Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Joy and Peace

As I'm sitting here at my desk at work 3 days before we celebrate the birth of our Savior, I am overwhelmed with a sense of Peace and immense love.  As many of you know, I have been struggling with PPD, Post Pardum Depression.  It has been a really rough year, despite how many blessings we have in our lives, its been hands down the hardest year.  Just yesterday I woke up and I felt....Free.  I felt like the weight of darkness had lifted off of my shoulders and I can honestly say that I am filled with Joy and Peace.  

As true to the title of this blog, Heart on my Sleeve, I want to express to you a few things.  Becoming a new mom, as many of you know, it is tough.  There are things you aren't told and aren't shown or known that will change in your life.  I know everyone is different and everyone deals with things differently, but this is my experience.  This is what was true for me.  I have changed. I have been changed, by this tiny human.  Forever.  

Part of what I wasn't accepting was myself.  I couldn't comprehend that I could change who I was so drastically.  From becoming a complete extrovert to more of an introvert.  To being very social, to being a home body and finding security and refuge in my home, my husband and my son.  I have accepted that who I am is not perfect. Who I am IS perfect in God's eyes.  And He is okay with who I am, so why can't I?  How do I get this joy and peace that i want so desperately, I can feel it in my bones?  How can I find that?  ONLY through the power of Jesus.  Only through accepting myself and loving myself.  Telling myself, Amber, you are OK.  There is so much more to this than I think I can ever express, but what I want to say to myself when I'm faced with this again, is, It's okay.  You are okay. You are loved.  

I think for so many, you can hear it until you want to rip your ears off, but until you grasp it and accept it, it will not be your  reality.  It won't be your truth.  

My saddest part about all of this, are some of the relationships I have failed and lost because of what depression is.  I take responsibility for my choices and my actions, but it is serious business.  If you know someone who is depressed, be kind.  Have patience.  Your relationship will be different and it will be isolating.  Just know it's not you, its the person dealing with the depression.  Some days is enough to get out of bed. 

My reality, there were days when I wouldn't even make it into work.  My boss is amazing and so flexible. I had talked with him about what I was dealing with and he understood.  Talk about grace.  

I'm not who I was before I had Luke. In so many ways. My body is different.  It process things differently.  I have a few jiggly bits that I didn't have before.  My world is consumed with my son.  His well being and his safety and mostly I want him to know what LOVE is.  And to know that he is loved.  

I'm not the same girl who Justin married.  I was desperately afraid he wouldn't like me.  This new me.  I'm finding out what unconditional love really is.  Something that I never truly understood before.  

Unconditional love. 

We are taught about it, and we know that our parents love us with this love and so does God.  Until you really fully understand it and experience it giving away from yourself with it, its a hard love to grasp.  

I am a very literal person.  I have to truly understand what something is in order to understand how i feel about it or how to show it.

So, 2016, here is to the new me.  Here is to the different girl that I am and who I am okay with.  This year will be spent getting healthy so I can be the best I can be for my husband, my son and any other children God decides to bless us with.  And yes, I am open to more kids now.  I even told Justin I would be open to having more than 2.......GASP! the world is TRULY changing......

Joy and Peace to you this Season of Noel, God with Us.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Let's have a little chat.........

Good Morning! 

I know it has literally been forever since I've been on here, let alone, even wanted to write anything for that matter.  

Luke is doing awesome.  He is growing like a weed and he will be 5 months old on the 21st of this month! Can you believe it? He is 28 inches long and is weighing 18 lbs...I think...lol.   We started rice cereal and sweet potatoes this month....He is a very good eater! He still gets up about 2 times at night to eat and he takes between 2-3 naps a day.  He sleeps in 6-8 hour stents at night, which is awesome! He's a really good boy.  

Now for the good stuff.....JK.   The main reason I wanted to write today, is because I want to talk about something that isn't often talked about with new moms and the joys of parenthood.  It is more along the lines of the darker side of what sometimes happens to new moms in the midst of the exhaustion and pure and utter joy they feel.  Something that I was so scared would happen to me and has.  


For those of you who have  no clue what that is, it is Post Partum Depression.  Now let me say for the record this is not a pitty party post, or I want you to feel bad for me post.  No, this is an awareness post.  I do want to tell you about what I've been dealing with and for those who are wondering where the heck I've been, you might understand why.  

For some time I was in denial, that I wasn't feeling the way I was and that I totally have this going back to work, leaving my newborn baby at home thing.  Then I couldn't fight and hold up the walls anymore.  Realizing that as grateful I am that Justin can raise Luke, in my mind, my husband knows my son better than I do.  Aren't I supposed to be the one who knows my son the best?  Isn't it me who is supposed to be the closest one to him and we are supposed to have this amazing bond?  Don't get me wrong, I know Luke and I have a special bond.  He will always look for me when someone else is holding him, and he always snuggles into me even when he's not tired.  

Every day is a struggle to get out of bed.  Every day I am beyond exhausted. Everyday I don't feel good.  Every day to basically function, I have to put every ounce of energy I have.  The anxiety that comes along with it is something that feels like I've drank 2 monsters, the big ones.  Heart pounding, sweating, deep breaths.  I hate that feeling.  I want to be the best I can for my husband and son. But I just don't know how.  It's like a leech that you can't get rid of.  

I can't give enough credit to working mom's.  They have to be apart from their babies for a God awful amount of hours, which is most of the day, then come home, make dinner, get the kids their food, bath, and bed.  By all that time, you have only had about 2 hours all day with your kids.  Not really spending quality time with them.  Then you proceed to do it for the next 5 days.  Weekends....oh glorious weekends. I don't want to do anything, but snuggle with my sweet boy on the couch.  But he has other plans and so do you.  The world can't stop just because you want to capture the moment.  He needs wiggle time, and has to eat and play and sleep.  And you have promises that you have made to be somewhere, thinking in the moment you made them, it would be fine.  Panic sets in at the thought of other people and things taking time away from those precious moments you have with your baby.  Not to mention your time with your husband.  A husband who is utterly exhausted from taking care of your baby boy all day, all while fighting what could possibly be pneumonia. Yup, you have a super hero for a hubby.  

Stay at home mom's I give you so much credit, but I envy you. I know how tired you are, I know the daily battles you face are real.  But I envy that you get to have those battles.  I want the melt downs, and the sweet feeding times that interrupt your cleaning the house.  The diaper changes that make you want to puke your guts up, because your baby is on special formula that smells like death. I envy you.   

Don't get me wrong, I'm beyond thankful that I have a job, and don't have to pay child care.  I am beyond grateful that I have an easy place of employment, with a boss and coworkers who are actually nice and talk to you. A boss who, his wife and himself come down to the hospital and pray with you when your brand new baby is readmitted into the hospital for a fatal issue.  For coworkers that are dudes, but also friends that I have known for a very long time. 

To know that you have to be on meds that help with your depression, that don't actually do anything....trying to figure out what does work for you.  Your husband says that it has calmed you down, but you aren't too sure about that.  You wonder if it really is helping.  

Another side for all of this for me is the fact that, as you all know, I was pretty sick right along with Luke.  I am still having the residual effects of that.  I wasn't able to breastfeed, which is the biggest part of all of this that I am mourning.   I mourn for the hours that I can't be home with Luke, I mourn for the lack of Joy I feel in my life, I mourn for the desperation I feel to want Joy in my life and give myself fully and wholly to my maker.  I mourn for the lack of a wife that Justin has at the moment, and what I really should be for him.  I mourn that I can barely put anything before myself and I'm in a continual state of self help or for better terms, resisting self help.  

I know it won't always be like this.  I know I will have the darkness unveiled. For now, I pray, I plead, and I ask God for favor. I thank him for every moment I have with Justin and Luke. I pray for peace as I constantly live in fear of....EVERYTHING.  

One day, I will find that peace.  For now, I deal. 

What I ask of you, my friends, is that you give and extend grace. I'm not asking it for myself (although it would be much appreciated) but for all those other mommies who disappear after they have a baby.  If you wonder why they don't make plans, don't call, don't have the time......It's because having a baby is hard enough.  Adding Depression on top of it, is debilitating.  Just think twice before you are quick to think that we have just disappeared.   

PPD doesn't effect everyone.  I was probably more susceptible to it because I have had depression/anxiety issues in the past.  It was a fear of mine before I had Luke and here we are.  Very very real.  Like a slap in the face.  It's not something many women like to talk about or admit.  It is an uncomfortable place to be in.  Just cling to the HOPE of who Christ is and who He is inside of you.  He will not let you fall.  You are loved, and you are doing the best you can.  
One day at a time. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Luke is 13 weeks old!

So it's been a while.  

It's been a while since I've written down my feelings, my hopes, my dreams, my insecurities, my deepest fears.  I can't continue ignoring them in any way shape or form..  So I need to write it out.  I need to reconnect with my soul the only way I know how.  That is to write.  My thoughts in my head get so jumbled and yet, when I write it all becomes so clear.  

Luke is now 13 weeks old, and he is thriving! He is so much fun to be with even on his worst days.  He's a happy baby who loves to coo and make OOOOO sounds with you.  He will literally sit and have a conversation with you! He is on special formula because he has a milk protein allergy that was causing him to poop blood, so we are thankful that is fixed and he is doing well on this formula.  He has been sleeping about 8 hours at night, and he is taking less and less naps during the day.  His hair is out of control and every one comments on how blonde and how much there is! He's like a little celebrity.  It's ridiculous! lol.  

I started back to work Monday.  It's not as terrifying as I thought it would be.  But I know once I start coming full time, it is going to be hard.  We feel so blessed that Justin can be home with Luke, for the time being.  Justin is still going to school and doing excellent! He is in Sociology right now and actually really likes it....I would LOATH that class.  I never understood any of  it.  lol. Justin is such a good daddy to Luke.  I couldn't have asked for a better person to love our son.  He is so good with him.  

My health is leveling out.  I still feel the effects of the blood infection and I am still on meds for my blood pressure.  Hopefully that will all go away at my next dr appt.  but we shall see.   My anxiety was through the roof before I came back to work.  I literally had to stop taking my blood pressure because it was constantly high even with the meds.  But work has been awesome.  When I came back Monday, I came back to a raise and a promise of more work and role changes.  I'm super excited about this as I'll feel more productive at work and hopefully the day will go by faster so I can be home with Luke.  I love the place I work and to be honest I don't think I can give it up.   My boss and his wife actually came down to pray with me when Luke was admitted into the NICU.  They are amazing people and treat their employees like family.   Later on down the road if and when Justin gets a paying job that I can stay home, I might.  I would like to, but I think part of me doesn't want to leave the people I work with.  They have been apart of my life for so long, they feel like family as well.  

There are days where I feel like I will come home and Luke won't know me.  There are times when I feel like he won't need me and only need Justin.  I know that day will come, and it hurts me to the core to think about.  When he will want daddy to put him down instead of mommy.  Rolling with the punches.  I'm thankful that Luke has a daddy to want.  I'm thankful that it isn't a stranger that he feels more comfortable with.  I always want my son to feel secure and loved and happy.  It breaks my heart when he's not.  

Adjusting to a new norm is never easy.  Especially when you feel like you haven't had enough time in the norm you were trying to adjust to.  I don't want to be so out of tune with my child that I have no idea what will soothe him.  I know it changes all the time and that scares me.  I know i will probably go through all of this with my second, if we are blessed with a second, as well.  

We moved a few weeks ago into a house in West Covina.  We are finally on our own! woo hoo! We couldn't repay my parents for the love and support they have shown us through letting us stay with them for 16 months.  They were awesome and dealt with our complaining and having 4 adult, 1 baby, and a dog in the house.  We made it without killing each other and we feel so blessed for the opportunity to have lived there.  We love our new place! It's perfect for us and Luke gets his own room! We are renting from a very close family friend who is giving us a killer rate that we couldn't find anywhere for a house.  God is watching out for us left and right.  We are blessed beyond measure.  We are thankful that I have a job to come back to, we are thankful for a home to live it, we are thankful for our benefits so that we can provide Luke with the best medical care out there.  We are living in a world of chaos and its so hard to find the blessings in things I find these days, but there is so much to be thankful for.  So much good still happening in the world.  It's time to look at the bright side of life and stop dwelling and focusing on the bad.  We have a son who is happy and healthy and here.  He made it, through something that he could have died or been seriously impaired from.  So far he is perfect.  We continuously pray that he stays healthy and that the effects from the infection on his brain and spinal fluid are none.  

Hope you all are doing well, we miss those of you who we haven't seen in a while.  Don't be afraid to text or call and let's get together! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thankfulness in the darkest of times

As I look back on the last 7 weeks, I don't think I have expressed my gratitude  through any form of writing. It doesn't mean that my gratitude is diminished or isn't official because I haven't written about it, but I want to document just how thankful I am so I can look back and show Luke just how much love there is in our lives.
The day Luke was born, was one of the scariest (because I had no clue what I was doing right down to how to push him out), the most elated, filled day of my life. I fell deeper on love with Justin and most importantly, deeper in love with God. Here is this tiny, but huge (9 lbs 13 oz) baby that just came out of me.... How do I respond to this? You just soak it in. You don't have to have an agenda and get him on a schedule. Just roll with it. 

When we brought him home, a few things didn't feel right inside and I felt terrified. The car ride home was the worst. I thought every bump he was going to wake up, or something aweful was going to happen. It didn't. 

Then that night Luke starts showing signs that there was somethig wrong. He hadn't eaten in a long time, 12 hours, he hadn't had a dirty diaper in a while, he was moaning and he had a fever. So we took him back to the hospital at 2 days old. I know you all know the story.... But what most of you don't know is how scared I was. We thought our beautiful baby boy was surely going to die. I thought to myself, he's dead. For sure. But God's grace and love were poured out onto us so greatly. 

When he was admitted to the nicu, we told ourselves to reach out to our family and friends. We knew we couldn't do this alone, and we didn't have to. That's exactly what we did. From our family, church family, family friends, to my boss, people came to pray. They prayed over us, with us, for us when we didn't have the words to speak ourselves. God knew our hearts. God knew just what we needed. He place those in our life at that moment, and we will forever be grateful. For those of you who came, you have no idea what kind of impact you made. We were so overwhelmed with the feeling of love. Love is something that shows itself in so many forms.  From bringing a meal, to just being there, to writing a card, to a hug. I only hope one day we will be able to show love like others have shown us. 

So here is my unending gratitude. Thank you for the love, prayers, meals, talks, hugs, and real conversations. Thank you for letting us just be and giving us space to sort it all out in our heads. Thank you for holding me while I cried inconsolably, and thank you for loving my family. It means beyond words and I can never repay you. 
This is what being the hands and feet of Jesus truly means. I am huge on that. If you aren't acting on your faith, then what is faith? If you aren't moving you are being stagnant. If you are beig stagnant, you aren't growing. God wants the very best for us. He wants is growing in Him and in ourselves. Beauty comes from that. 

So thank you from the deepest parts of our souls. We love you all and are forever grateful for you. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Someone I want you to meet..........

So we've had an adventure for the past 3+ weeks.  There is someone whom my heart loves and adores beyond comprehension....his name is Luke Matthew...

He was born on 7/21/14 at 11:38 a.m. weighing in at 9 lbs. 13 oz.  and 22 inches long.  He couldn't be more perfect.  With his very own full head of blonde hair. 

Our story looks like a happy one but little did we know that just less than 15 hours after this picture was taken, our entire world was going to be turned upside down. 

I think I will start off on a happy note and give my birth experience, since it happened first and was pretty awesome.  

My original due date was July 26th, but because I had the gestational diabetes, I was going to need to be induced early, so they scheduled me for 7/23, I know, just 3 days before...lame! But I digress.  I ended up going into Labor and Delivery on the 20th with a dull headache that had lasted me 2 days or so.  It wasn't incredibly painful, like a migraine or anything, but they said if I have a persistent headache that wouldn't go away with Tylenol, to go in.  So I did.  

We arrived around noon and I actually had to wait to be seen because all the triage beds were full, so we waited about 45 min to be seen.  I just about told Justin to forget it because my headache was almost gone and I didn't want to waste the day at the hospital when I was feeling better. Then, they called my name.  So we headed into the room and get all hooked up to the monitor to see how Luke was doing.  They check my blood pressure and it was elevated.  They had tested my urine for protein and it was negative.  ( A sure sign I would have pre-eclampsia, but there was none, so phew!) I was monitored for about an hour and a half and the routine they were doing was a little different this time.  I have been into L&D multiple times for different reasons.  They took blood, which they never do.  I had  a different wrist band on, which they said was just in case I was admitted.  So the Dr comes in, does a cervical check (tells me I'm 3 cm and 100% effaced) and basically tells me that he is concerned and wants to induce me now.  uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....I'm sorry, what!?!?!!? 

I literally said that to him, and he asked me if that was okay?  I said.....OK.  I was in shock.  I wasn't prepared and my mind was going 5,000 miles an hour.  I wasn't ready.  I had things to do still.  Like....I don't know what, but I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready to feel empty, to feel nothing inside once he was out.  I wasn't ready for it to not just be Justin and I, not yet.  But ready or not, this was happening.  So by 3 p.m. I was hooked up to Pitocin, had a call in to my mom to bring the rest of the stuff we needed, and we started calling our people.  You know the ones who you want there when this shindig goes down.  So we called Justin's mom, Marianne, and Amy.  My mom was already on her way down.
Here I am, Huge and happy!
  I was pretty determined at that point to labor through as much as I could on my own.  I was doing pretty good, staying on top of the contractions by focusing and breathing through them.  By 10 p.m. the anesthesiologist had come by to talk to me, since I had said I eventually wanted an epidural at some point.  He was pretty good, he talked me into getting one then, instead of at 3 am and I'm so glad he did. The worst part of the epidural was the numbing stuff he first injected so I wouldn't feel anything.  Oh dear Lord, that hurt! I hated the feeling of one of my legs being "dead."  I ended up having an allergic reaction to the epidural so they gave me some benedryl, which helped me sleep for about 3 hours.  My mom, Justin, Cindy, Marianne and Amy were all on rotation all night long.  My room ended up being the sleeping room that they came to crash out in. I felt so loved and so safe with all these people here with me.  I felt like no matter what happened, I had all the people I loved there. It was a very calming feeling.  

The Dr came in, and asked if it was okay to check me and of course I said yes, I was pretty curious to know where I was at.  So at 5 am, she checked me and I was at 5 cm and still 100% effaced.  Holy smokes! So she broke my water, and I thought.....Seriously, this was about to get going.  So at 9 am, she came back and checked me and I was like 9.5/10 cm dilated.  I had one part of my cervix that wasn't dilating like the rest so it created like a lip, so they continued to wait to see if it would fix itself.  The midwife came in at about 10:45 and said that I could start pushing, super casual, on my own, just to get a feel for it.  She showed me how to do it by doing a few pushes with me, and then left for a few minutes.  Justin was counting them out for me and we were doing it.  The midwife came back in and felt to see where his head was, and it was right at my cervix, so she literally stretched my cervix so his head could get around the lip.  Once his head was through it was smooth sailing from there.  I had Justin on my super dead leg and Cindy and my mom were taking turns holding up my other leg.  Because Luke was so big, they needed my hips to open up wide and I couldn't do that on my own with the epidural.  I don't think I would have been able to do it without an epidural on my own.  So here we were Justin counting out my pushes, My mom's holding my legs and 40 something minutes later, out comes this huge, blonde haired little man.
Our midwife, Alicia, catching Luke on his way out!

All I kept thinking through pushing was get him out.  Do whatever you can to get him out.  I was pretty bound and determined to push him through.  I know that I definitely wouldn't have been able to do it if I had not had the epidural.  Have you met me?  I don't do pain very well. I know that I wouldn't have been able to stay on top of the contractions and I would have spiraled out of control.  I just couldn't do that to me or the process.  It wasn't something I wanted to look back on and not even care to do it again because of that. 

I just remember them putting him on my chest and I just started rubbing him.  About 5 minutes after I delivered him, the midwife was encouraging me in a controlled push, to push out the placenta.  Then I had to be stitched up.  She was down there for some time. I still don't know how many I had, as she lost count.  I just felt so relived to have him here and he was healthy, and I just remembered feeling relief.
This was when they put him on me, and I just remember rubbing him.
The next moments were a blur, and I can't really recall what was going on.  The next thing I know I have him in my arms and we are trying to breastfeed.  Which wasn't going to great, but we were trying.  After that, We are being wheeled into what will be our room until we leave.  I feel like it was so long ago, that these days were happening.  I remember walking was not fun, and neither was sitting.  I remember thinking, how bad did I tear! We made it through the day with breastfeeding as much as we could and changing diapers left and right. 

The next morning, I had fed him at 8:30 am and then he had his circumcision at 9:30 am.  He came back and we were being geared up for discharge.  They told me he would sleep a lot and probably not have much of an appetite from it.  OK.  So at 2 p.m. we start to leave and to head home.  Most nerve racking car ride of my life!  

So we are finally home, and he is still not eating.[when everything goes to hell ] By 10 p.m. he still hadn't eaten and I was pretty worried, but then he finally ate at around 11 p.m.  Then he started to cry non stop. The cry soon turned into a moan, and we realized he hadn't had a pee or poop diaper since he ate. He then spiked a temp and I had Justin call Kaiser to talk to them.  They said to immediately bring him in.  So here we are, 5 am, haven't even had him home for 24 hours, and we are heading back to the ER.  They see him right away, and I'm a hot hot mess.  I'm crying, I am so exhausted,  and I have a super hero husband sitting by my side holding my hand the entire time.  

The Dr comes in and starts to assess him.  Mean while he is just as lethargic as can be.  She all of sudden looks at us and says, okay, we are going to run some blood work, do this and that and do a SPINAL TAP.  ummm, I'm sorry, your going to do what to my new born son?  I thought she was just over reacting.  But I said okay.  The techs came in and started poking and prodding our son as he sits there screaming through it all.   I'm sitting there crying my brains out because I can't do anything for him.  I just have to let them do their job.   Then the Pediatric Dr. came down to talk to us, he said they think he has an infection and it is effecting the blood and they still needed to do a spinal tap. He then told us he was going to admit him into the NICU.   I just thought, holy crap, this is super serious.  

We are rolled upstairs and the NICU DR comes and talks to us.  What she is insinuating is what I ask her out loud, Bacterial Meningitis, and she says YES.  My vision turns to tunnel vision and I automatically assume that our son is going to die.  I find out later that Justin was thinking the same exact thing.  I'm thankful that Dr. Mendoza had taken us into a private room, because I all but lost it at that moment.  She was so gracious and stepped out for a moment.  While we soaked it in.  

As the days started to pass, they had done a blood culture on him that first day of being admitted.  They had originally thought it was Group B strep, which I was tested for at 35 weeks and I tested negative.  They couldn't figure out how I had tested negative.  They finally did a second blood culture and both came back Group D, not Group B.  The day he was admitted was a Wed morning.  By the time Friday came, I was exhausted and I wasn't resting.  That late evening, I had woken up from a nap, and started to shake uncontrollably.  I spiked a slight temperature, and I just felt achy.  Justin and my mom brought me in to urgent care at about 5 pm. We were supposed to be heading back to the hospital to see Luke and we were going to be giving him his first bath. But, as the night progressed I became incoherent,  I had a fever of 103, I had a headache the size of the world, and I just didn't feel good.  I was admitted to hospital by 9 pm that night.  After blood work and all that jazz, they determined that I had post partum pre eclampsia, a uterine lining infection and they also did a blood culture on me.  Come to find out I really didn't have Group B, I had group D.  Group D comes from the colon, so there are a ton of risk factors involved.  So let's fast forward.  

My test results for the blood culture come back as Group D. Now this Group D and B are natural floras that are in your body.  The hormones in my body just made the group D flourish and was an infection in my blood.  It then spread to Luke through the birthing process as early as probably when they broke my water.  It went into his blood stream and into his spinal fluid, since the blood barrier is very thin in newborns.  I also had post partum pre-eclampsia.  So they had to start me on magnesium right away.  I had a uterine lining infection and on top of that beyond severe swelling. So....who says pregnancy isn't fun?

Part of Group D strep also, can effect your heart valves, like infect them with it. I was told that I could have lost my life as well with this infection.  My poor husband is a wreck with his wife and son both deathly sick and both in the hospital.  All I could think that first night was that we were missing Luke's first bath.  I felt like we were all spiraling out of control and I couldn't understand why this was happening.  I have never prayed so much in my life to have God heal us both and I just remember pleading with Him for Luke's life. 

It was a hard time for me in the hospital as they wouldn't let me see Luke (who was 20 feet down the hall in the NICU) until they were sure I wasn't contagious and we wouldn't harm each other by what we both had.   Finally, Sunday came around and I was told I could go see my baby.  So Justin cautiously walked me over and I was able to sit with him for a while and hold him.  It didn't take long for me to start feeling bad again, so we went back to the room and I rested.  I was finally discharged on Tuesday and we started a routine of back and forth to the hospital twice a day.  We would go in the morning and come home in the afternoon to rest, to return in the evening until about 10.  These days were getting long, but Luke was improving with each passing day.  His IV's kept blowing out, so at this point, the hardest part was listening to him scream while they would change them out.  I had to be pretty persistent with the nurses to change out his IV's as they would just push the meds and flushes while he was screaming.  He NEVER did that if the line was in right.  Yes, the flush is uncomfortable, but not painful.  Luke is not a fussy baby by any means, so I knew something was wrong with this.  They listened to me and sure enough the line would be out and they would have to find a different spot to hook up the IV.  MOMS: Always trust your gut.

Literally the next week and few days were a blur and I can't believe we are here and we have had him home for a week now.  We are slowly building into a routine here.  He's a slow eater and loves to sleep.  He always falls asleep while we are feeding him, but he eventually gets it all in.  He drinks between 4 and 6 ounces at a time....usually on the lower side of that.  He was up to 6 oz in the NICU. I know...my son is a fatty.  But he is a healthy, beautiful, bright eyed, perfect little fatty.  The nurses in the NICU loved him SO much.  Because of all the hair he had and how blonde it was, he soon became known as Brad Pitt in the NICU.  They even started calling him Brad and some of the nurses didn't even know his real name. lol  They would come over to me and ask and just share how good of a baby he is and what a delight it was to have him there.

The nurses in the NICU are one of a kind.  If you have ever had your babies in the NICU, you may know what I'm talking about.  They are the warmest, most kind hearted men and women, I think, in the field.  Luke received such amazing care from them and the Dr's.  They all worked as a team to save our baby boy's life.  He is alive today because of their quick response and by the grace of God.  We are so blessed to have him with us today.

Parenthood is a whole new world. No one can prepare you for it.  The sleeplessness you encounter along with the headaches from not sleeping.  Sinus infections no longer matter, they become second to everything that is not your baby.  Sleep is something that I think...hey if it happens, great, if not, Luke is happy and healthy.  It's not so hard to get out of bed anymore when your baby is crying.  Luke gives me purpose in life.  I struggled so hard to find that, for years actually.  I prayed and prayed for God to show me my purpose here on this earth and what I was meant to do.  No job has ever been able to satisfy me inside as much as taking care of my son has for the last 7 days.
Yes, its exhausting, no I have no clue what day it is, Yes the smell of formula diapers gags me in a way nothing else can.......but you know what?  I wouldn't trade any of those things for anything else in this life.  I wouldn't want our life to be any different.   So, I'll stick to my coffee, sudafed, and endless days if it means I get to have just one more day on this earth with the two people that matter the most to me......

Saturday, July 12, 2014

38 weeks

I realized today that I haven't written in a long while..... Like weeks long while. Eeeeeekkkk! 
Well, I was officially on maternity leave as of 6/30. So a couple weeks now. I'm taking it day by day at this point. Last week we had a dr appointment on Tuesday, and we got some good news that I was 80% effaced and 1.5 cm dialated already! 
Yay!!! We were so excited! As of this past Wednesday, I lost most of my mucus plug. Now, your mucus plug can regenerate itself, so I'm not holding my breath there. At least it is some progress, but I can be here for a while. We also had an ultrasound two Wednesdays ago, and he measured at 8lbs as of 36 weeks and a couple days. It is totally an estimate but he's pretty large so far. We are excited an nervous and just really ready for him to be here.  I'm pretty uncomfortable these days. My blood sugars are a daily battle, and I know as soon as I have him, I hope that my gd will go away.   I know that pregnancy is what as is, but throw gestational diabetes ontop of it, and it has been a really hard struggle for me. It doesn't just effect me, it effects my baby. The ups and downs of the physicalities of high and low blood sugar your body goes through alone is exhausting. Throw being  pregnant on top of it, and your done. I keep hearin your almost there..... Well everyday that he's in there is good, but I am exhausted from it. Thankful we are healthy and we are almost done, but I cant wait to be done. We have another dr appt this next Thursday.  They will do another check to see if I have progressed, let's hope that I have!!!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

34 weeks and 5 days........

Ladies and Gents, we are getting down to the last leg of our journey.  Thank you for flying this wild ride with Justin and I as we start our descend into delivery and parenthood......

So I had a Dr. appt yesterday.......Let me just fill you in on what happened.  There were so many things.  This was the one appt that Justin didn't go with me to, and I literally felt like my brain was going to explode from all the info! lol.

But first this......

***GD update:   My numbers were doing good for a little bit, but have started to go crazy again.   So I was put on 3.7 mg of Gliburyde instead of 2.5.  I will max out at 5 mg before who know's what they will do.  So we are trying to be diligent and keep it under control.  Kaiser is amazing with their support and being able to talk to someone about it.  So we will see how I do with this new up'd dose.  I'll keep you posted.

So Mr. Luke.  Either he is going to be a huge kid, or I have a ton of amniotic fluid.  I'm measuring at 37 weeks. (So to be clear, it's not how big Luke is measuring, it's how big my uterus is measuring.)  If anyone has encountered this, can you please text me or fb message me on what you experienced! This week I have to start NST tests down at Baldwin Park two times a week to monitor Luke.   A NST test is a non stress test.  The doula who is teaching the birthing class, told me that it is a test to see how much Luke responds with movement to sounds?  So this will be interesting.  I want to do everything in my power to make sure Luke is happy, healthy and safe, but, I feel like life is just getting busier and busier.  So I will have these twice a week NST test's until he comes.

Secondly, as I said above, I'm measuring at 37 weeks.  I have an ultrasound in 2 weeks from today, to have them measure and see how big he is.  Because I'm on the Gliburyde, my Dr. also informed me that I will be induced a week early...... ummmm I'm sorry, what?  So if I don't go into labor on my own a week before my due date, they will induce me.  Apparently, if you are on meds like I am for a condition, they want the baby out a week early.  I wasn't given a straight answer as to why, but I believe they don't want him to get too big.  So we are there at this point, which I am processing and just getting used to the fact that he will be here before we know it.  With the ultra sound in 2 weeks, it will show us how big he is and what to expect. If I understood her right, they might induce even earlier if he is huge.  I'm not sure.  Things are very up in the air.

I'm asking for prayer today.  With my anxiety issues, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this fact.  I know that you have to go with the flow and things change in an instant with labor and delivery.  I just wasn't expecting to be induced and deal with everything that comes with pitocin.   I'm going to thoughtfully seek to be in prayer this week, as I try and process this news.  I know some of you reading this, are like no big deal, but for me it is.  I"m not being dramatic, I"m just processing through some anxiety issues.  I thank you for your prayers this whole time.  I thank you for your love and your support of Justin, myself, and Luke.  We feel deeply all those prayers that have already been prayed over us.

At the moment, I'm not sure if I left anything out of this update.  But I'm just hoping to get a grasp and control over my sugars, try and keep the swelling down (yes I"m swelling everywhere I feel like.  My hands are feeling swollen just typing this!)

We are getting anxious and excited the closer he is to being here.  Our lives are going to change forever and its just crazy to think about.  It kinda boggles my mind! lol

Hope you all are having a great week!

loves, ambs