Stories from the lives of Jared, Stephanie, Aubrey, Hannah and Dani Or, Jare-phanie-brey-nah-ni

Monday, July 20, 2015

Aubrey's super sad ER trip

I'm sure this was the first of several ER trips for us. Aubrey goes from zero to sixty speeds and doesn't always watch where she is going. On many occasions, she'll bump into a wall or trip over something on the floor.

But last Friday morning was different. Jared was in the bathroom and I was in the living room nursing Hannah. We were both busy at that moment. Aubrey likes to try to get into the bathroom while we are in it and we usually tell her to go to the other room. She'll say "oooh" and then run off at full speed. This happens at least once a day.

Only this time, when she ran off, she didn't think of her surroundings. I hear a thud and then Aubrey starts crying. Because she bumps herself all the time or cries because Jared won't let her in the bathroom, I didn't think much of it. I just called out and asked what had happened. She kept crying hysterically.

Luckily, Jared came out to see what was wrong and he noticed Aubrey was bleeding. So he rushed her to the kitchen to put her on the counter and dab her wound with paper towels.

As they rushed by, I just thought it was a bloody nose. And then I saw where the blood was coming from. I quickly laid Hannah on the floor and went to help. When I saw the gash on her forehead, I knew she'd need stitches and we'd have to go to the ER. My first aid kit is pretty basic...

Jared stays with Aubrey while I run around. I change my pajama pants to jeans, grab clothes and spare panties for Aubrey (she was just in her panties that morning). I put Hannah in her carseat and hopped in back. Jared knew where the ER was, so he drove while I sat in back and tried to hold Aubrey's gash closed.

Found the emergency entrance. Jared got out to carry Aubrey inside while Hannah and I went to park the car. I luckily got inside quick enough to know what room Jared and Aubrey went to.

Aubrey did NOT appreciate all the nurses and people trying to help her. She doesn't like doctors or strangers as it is. Then add in the strange place, pain and confusion. She wouldn't let the nurse take her vitals or anything. All she wanted to do was go home. She'd say "I want to go back to the car!"

She was freaking out, Hannah was calm and didn't make much noises. Jared tried to help Aubrey while I answered insurance questions. Aubrey just cried and cried so hard that she threw up. It was mostly stomach acid, but we were waiting for it to happen. She made a few gagging noises before that and in lots cases, a big bump to the head results in vomiting.

Poor Aubrey kept asking for her clothes because she was naked. So we got her in a shirt and the shorts I brought. Silly me forgot her shoes.

The only thing to calm Aubrey down was for the nurses to leave and putting a show on the TV. When Curious George ended, I pulled it up on Netflix on my phone. The nurse came back and talked mostly about the show and finally got Aubrey to warm up to her a little. Every now and then we would count all the people in the room. 11 people (including Jared, Hannah and me) total. So many!

The doctor came in and told us our 2 options. Either we hold her down and stitch her up with a little pain reliever in her forehead. (Ha, as if that was a real option for Aubrey). Or we have her sedated. He explained the risks to us, but we quickly realized it was the only option. And at least with being sedated, she wouldn't remember being stitched up.

We finally got Aubrey's vitals and they got ready to give her the sedative. It was administered by a shot in her thigh. She didn't appreciate that. So she cried and cried. But slowly her crying died down and she let everyone lay her down on the bed. They warned us that her eyes would be open the whole time. That part didn't bother me.

What got to me was just seeing Aubrey on the bed, sedated, still hiccuping from crying so hard. Jared left the room for a little bit and took Hannah outside. I stayed nearby to hold Aubrey's hand.

They put the 3 stitches in pretty quick. Her vitals were still good and it was time for Aubrey to come back to consciousness. They said it would take a while. It was funny and so sad when Aubrey was coming back.

Every now and then she would let out a weird cry. A few times she tried to get up herself and just ended up falling over in bed. She even fell over a little bit into the bed railing. And her mouth must have felt funny because she kept doing this funny thing with her tongue. She kept sticking it out, licking her upper lip and then slowly slide her mouth back in. Everything else was typical, except that funny tongue thing.

She would notice things and would talk to me about them. Like the thing on her finger that monitored her pulse or whatever. There was a red light and it lit up her whole finger. So Aubrey saw it and said that her finger was red. She needed a band-aid. And she said it clearly enough that we buzzed for the nurse who came and took all the monitor stuff off her chest, tummy and finger. And we got her a band-aid for her finger!

Aubrey still really wanted to go home. Then a nurse had a great idea for us to give Aubrey rides in a wagon as she continued to come out of sedation. They laid blankets down and had a pillow help prop her up. She was pretty happy. Jared pulled her up and down the hallway.

He said that she greeted everyone with a wave and hello. When I was saying goodbye as she rode away, it was so cute that she kept looking back at waving bye-bye to me. Her smile is weird from the drug!

At last it was time to go home. Aubrey was able to drink and keep juice in her tummy. She even asked for a popsicle. She could take a few steps without falling, though she was still a little shaky and unbalanced.

We went home and knew it would be a pampering day for Aubrey. We were warned by nurses that she might be super tired or famished all day. Aubrey didn't seem to be either of those. It was time for her nap anyhow, so we don't think she was any more tired than usual. And her appetite wasn't increased or anything.

She is much happier now. She is good about not touching the stitches and she likes wearing fun band-aids on her head. She still doesn't want us touching it, but we only do it twice a day to put some neosporin on it.

We love her very much. We'll go back in a week and have the stitches taken out. That will be a whole other adventure, because the only real option is to hold her down while they remove the stitches. Oh man...Peter Pan!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Roadtripping with the girls!

We drove out to Utah this summer for a family reunion. This was our first major roadtrip! We've taken Aubrey down to Tennessee once and that was considered a half trip. Only spent part of a day in the car. Other trips we go out to Ohio. That's hardly a roadtrip, especially if we can get her to take a nap during the couple hours drive.

But driving to Utah. What an experience! Good and bad, as expected.

Aubrey was FANTASTIC! She had her DVD player playing Sofia the First videos I checked out from the library. I had books by her. Plenty of snacks and drinks. Hannah was the one having a rough time. She did NOT appreciate being stuck in a carseat all day! It felt like every time she was awake, she was screaming!

We left Saturday afternoon. Jared drove during the day and I took over during the night. We stopped every couple hours so I could nurse Hannah and Aubrey could run around, get some energy out.

Nightime was rough. Aubrey couldn't get comfortable. Hannah was still upset from being in the carseat. But eventually, both girls slept and I made good progress. Jared was able to rest a little bit. But I hit my driving wall at about 4am. I hadn't slept well the night before and I was running out of juice!

Luckily, Jared was great and was able to take over until the morning. I could rest my eyes a little bit and we took turns driving the rest of the way.

Nebraska is such a LONG state to drive through. And for miles and miles, there were no stops! Nothing for gas or food, except a Pizza Hut. But it was breakfast time and we wanted food! Aubrey was ready to get out and we all needed a break. Nothing for miles!

Finally, we found an exit with something!!

We stopped for breakfast at a McDonalds. Aubrey has a weirdness about foods. So we brought her own bowl, cereal and milk. She loved it and Jared and I had a quick breakfast too.

We ran into a rough part just outside Park City. Oh my goodness. It was STRESSFUL!!

Our poor car isn't used to driving in the mountains and we made the mistake of trying to drive the speed limit. We stopped at a McDonalds for a quick lunch. Holy cow, it was hot! I was in the backseat, trying to keep Hannah happy the last hour of driving. I had Jared blast the air conditioning at the lowest temperature to help me cool off in the back.

Big mistake!

We overworked our car! And of course it happened on a construction strip of the road. So here we are, an hour away from our destination, Hannah is ready to get out, Aubrey is getting antsy and our car stalls out! Cars are lining up behind us because there wasn't much room to pass! Luckily I could pull the car over to the side and people passed. We tried the car again and it stalled out again.

Jared called his Mom and told her what happened. I tried to call roadside assistance. But Hannah was crying and my reception was bad in the mountains. Jared's brother, Brandon, was ready to be the hero and come pick the girls up while Jared stayed behind with the car.

But I didn't want to sit around in the heat. I tried the car one more time and just took things really slow. I waited til most of the cars were passed and we said lots of prayers. Jared's family was praying. We were praying. Even had Aubrey say a prayer, because I believe kids' prayers have special power.

We were blessed and finally made it to grandma's house. Got there in time for dinner. Aubrey loved seeing everyone. Hannah LOVED being out of the carseat.

I got some really cute pictures though!

 Breakfast at McDonalds

 Selfie in the backseat!

A rare happy Hannah moment.

The trip back was so much better. 

We left in the morning when Hannah was struggling to stay awake. Aubrey was set up with more movies and snacks. Jared drove first because I was planning on driving through the night again. 

Hannah was so much better. I think she had finally gotten used to the idea of being in the car. We drove alot all over Utah to different things, so it just became a part of life for her. 

We'd stop for food and gas. But we could do longer stretches at a time because Hannah would actually sleep! When she'd wake up, Jared or I (whoever wasn't driving) would hop back and play with her. When she got fussy/hungry then we'd look for an exit. 

Aubrey was still great. Nighttime wasn't easy again, but it was much better. Aubrey found a good way to sleep. Hannah put up a big fight, but once she was asleep, she was out. 

I had plenty of Dr Pepper and my Les Miserables CD playing to keep me awake. I made it til the sky's color started lightening up. I don't remember what time. Maybe 5. But I had been driving since 9, so I was ready to stop and take a break. Jared took over and let me rest for a little bit before breakfast. 

No car problems this time!! We made it home in the early afternoon. Both girls were exhuasted and took long naps. I even took a nap too!

We are NEVER doing another roadtrip like this! Unless all kids are old enough to watch movies or entertain themselves! Trips to Ohio are still good. But anything over 6 hours is out of the question!! 

But we survived and still came out a happy, loving family. 

Two more pictures of Hannah!

 She was a much happier baby for the drive home!

Got a little fussy, so we had her chew on some licorice!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hannah's Natural Birth story (2 of 2)

So we got settled at the birthing center. Our food was already there from our false alarm on Tuesday. My room was still open and ready. Michelle started to run the water for the tub for me.

We were excited that things were finally starting to happen! Some of the excitement would leave for me though, during the contractions. Not many happy thoughts through contractions!

I got in the tub for a little bit. The warm water was awesome. And for some reason, being on all fours really helped me through the contractions. I would just sit on my heels, hold myself up with my arms and try to make it through each one.

Jared was so awesome with everything. He would rub my back, talk to me and gave me a pattern of breathing to follow. He was also really nice when I would snap and tell him to stop rubbing me. I think I even told him to "shhh" a few times. He didn't take it personally though :)

Michelle would come by every now and then, just to see if I needed anything. She promised she wouldn't check my progress unless I asked her to. That was a relief. I didn't want her coming in every hour to check.

Jared and I tried lots of different things. I was in the tub for a while. And then we tried the bed. That was a mistake. Every time I moved set off another contraction, even if I just had one! Couldn't handle contractions laying on my side. So we tried a birthing stool. A little better. But not much.

We brought a movie and put it on for a few minutes. I was on the birthing stool again with Jared behind me on the couch. I just couldn't relax. I'd just end up on all fours on the floor. Michelle came out and gave me some good tips. I would take short breaths and that left me light headed. So she'd have me take a deep breath and slowly let it out while trying to focus it down with the baby. That really helped.

I couldn't watch the movie. I just hurt too much. I began to seriously doubt the decision. I decided I want to get back into the warm tub. Of course, getting there set off like 10 contractions. I basically had to walk during them or Jared would have had to carry/drag me.

While in the tub, Michelle checked to see how far I'd progressed. In just 3 hours I had progressed from a 4/5 when we got in at 9pm to a 8/9 at 12:30am. It was time to call the nurse! She lived an hour away and Michelle guessed I wouldn't want to push until another hour anyway.

It was pretty good timing. Melissa, the nurse, got there right around the time I wanted to push.

Oh my gosh, I was terrified of pushing. I never really went through it with Aubrey. They just told me to push and I would try, but I couldn't feel anything!

But I got the point I had to try! It was just getting so painful! So I moved out of my all four position and got in a better sitting position to push.

I have no idea how long I pushed, but I don't think it was very long. Jared had jumped in the tub with me by that point to help me by giving me his hand and just having him nearby helped me so much.

The time came I had to start pushing. I just couldn't hold back. But I was so scared of the whole thing. I had made it so far, I just didn't think I could finish the work.

I tried pushing a couple times and it helped with the pressure from contractions. It was just a different pressure. I would push as much as I could and Michelle would get excited when she could see things happening. But from my point of view, I couldn't see what was happening. All I knew was that I would push and get to a point I had to stop and take a break.

I had some serious self-doubt moments. I felt I just pushed and pushed and that it wasn't getting me anywhere. I didn't believe I had enough power in me to finally push her out.

At one point I even asked in desperation, "Can't you just pull her out!?" Michelle held back a laugh and said, "I can't; there's no handle! You have to push her out!"

There were a few times I pretty much had my whole head in the water. I had to put my chin to my chest and hunch over to push and sometimes I would be sitting so low that I'd felt I was drowning in the water. We had to drain it to a low level for me to be able to breathe!

We were finally reaching the point where the baby was almost out. I just had a couple more pushes left to go. I really started to freak out and I just didn't believe I could do it. My breathing would turn panicky and I would just sob. Michelle said that's usually when you just have one or two pushes left.

Next thing I knew, our baby was out! It felt much better having her out and Jared immediately helped put her to my chest. It was just so great having her there and seeing her beautiful face! And it was so fun to see her dark hair! We've been wondering for weeks if we'd have another red-head girl like Aubrey or if she'd have darker hair like me!

After a few minutes, Jared got out and dried off so he could take the baby while I finished up.

We officially decided to call her Hannah Rae. She is just perfect! She was born at 1:44am on January 3, 2015. Weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces and 20 inches long.

So that's the birth story! We had some great cuddle time, which was much needed. I needed some rest after not being able to take a nap and also from being up all night. Because I thought I was only cramping, I had skipped dinner. Which was a mistake after all the work I went through :)

At 5am, we decided we wanted to go home. I wanted to lay in bed and have some time to relax before we brought Aubrey home and introduced the 2 sisters!

It was quite the experience, choosing natural childbirth. I'm glad I did it this one time (if I choose not to do it again). My recovery is definitely going better, which is great!

Hannah's Natural Birth story (1 of 2)

Jared and I were so excited to find out we were pregnant in the spring of 2014. We always knew we wanted to have a couple kids so it was great that our family would be growing!

But we wanted to do things differently this time. Having Aubrey in our lives is wonderful, but her delivery was pretty hard on me. I made a few posts about it, if anyone wants to go back and read it. (click here to check out Aubrey's story). To summarize, after 2 epidurals and an episiotomy I didn't want, my recovery was really rough. It took me a long time to get back into the swing of things.

I didn't think Aubrey would tolerate me having a rough recovery with this next delivery, so we talked to friends and I learned that a lot of women in my ward have done natural deliveries.

Not to offend anyone, but at first, I thought going natural was for hippies who were all organic and it just wasn't for me. My friends are all normal, so learning about why they went natural really changed the image for me.

Being in control was a large factor in why I chose to go natural. I didn't like being stuck in a bed in a hospital when having Aubrey.

Another large factor was that everyone said recovering from natural childbirth would be a little easier and faster. With an active toddler at home, I would need an easier recovery!

So anyways, everything was going really well! I read a book about natural childbirth several times. Made notes. Talked things over with Jared and my midwife. I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Except I had never been through it before.

I was induced with Aubrey and didn't really get to feel normal contractions. And I couldn't feel anything from the waist down so I couldn't even feel myself pushing her out.

I was really nervous about how I would react to having contractions start. And with the goal in mind of having this baby before New Years, there was a little added pressure.

After having my membranes swept on Monday and Tuesday before New Years, I felt that annoying cramping. It started to get worse Tuesday night so we thought, "Hey! Contractions! Let's go to the birthing center!"

False alarm. I was feeling contractions, but not the right ones that were making progress. So that was disappointing.

New Years came and went. Still no baby. I was getting a little sad, because I really wanted her out!

Because I was technically past my due date, I had an ultrasound and a non-stress test to make sure everything was still OK with the baby. My fluid had dropped a little bit, but nothing dangerous. I passed all the tests and the heartbeat was a good, strong one so I was given the all-clear to go another few days. The midwife I saw checked to see if I had dilated any more since Tuesday. Nope. So she went ahead and swept my membranes again. 3 times in one week is quite enough! Never doing that again...

Aubrey has been a rockstar at every prenatal visit. We got home and she went down for a nap, because being so good is exhausting. I wanted to take a nap too. But the cramping kept me up. Bummer for me!

The cramping started to get worse, but after a week of pretty much non-stop cramping, I didn't really focus on it. Just had to get through it.

Jared let me have the car that day. It was time to pick him up and my cramping was starting to get really bad. Enough to where on the way home, I started to tear up during the cramps while Jared drove.

Things kept getting worse as the evening went on. I was laying on the couch after about 2 hours of crying. Aubrey was sweet during most of it. She put her blanket on me, rubbed and kissed my arms and even hugged my legs.

Out of concern, Jared called my midwife and wanted to know what we should do. After explaining what was happening, my midwife, Michelle, said we could come to the office and get checked if I'm having contractions or if it's really just cramps.

Unwilling to get my hopes up, I just insisted they were cramps. Didn't even bother packing up some things I wanted, like my iPod or some more snacks.

We dropped Aubrey off at an amazing family's house. Our Bishop and his family are just so great. Jared just called and they were more than willing to have Aubrey over, even though they already had company!

Jared drove us to the Auburn Birthing Center office and Michelle let us in. My eyes were all puffy from crying. The bumpy roads to get there were NOT welcome during my "cramps."

She checked to see if I had dilated more than the 4 I was at previously. I hadn't. But then she checked during a cramp and said I was at a 5. So I was in labor.

Now all my crying made sense! I was so adamant about not getting my hopes up just to be dashed again that I didn't even seriously consider the cramping to be contractions. And they also weren't what I was expecting, so that threw me off.

It was time to head down the road to the birthing center!