Sunday, November 21, 2010

Club Feet

Brynley was born with club feet. She had to have casts on both legs up to her thighs for eight weeks. She had new casts put on every week and a half to two weeks. During this time she had surgery on her tendons so they will grow longer. She finally graduated to braces that she had to wear night and day for six weeks. Now, she is out of her braces during the day and just wears them at night until she is four or five years. Phew! It's been a long process, but we are just grateful that this is the only problem she has had to deal with. So, here are some pictures of her casts and braces, thought you might enjoy!

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First Casts

Blessing day!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Birth Story....

I've been putting writing the birth story off because it's not really something I want to relive, but I decided I need to write it to remember some of my feelings and blessings that I have. And of course, to have those of you who are curious to catch up... so here goes...

On the 24th, the morning of the c-section everything was going just fine. Brian was there early, and even though I was a little nervous, we said prayer and felt everything would be okay. The prep was fine, and the surgery started. Brian came in after the spinal and it quickly proceeded. It seemed like it was taking quite a lot longer to get Brynley out than I expected. I started to get the feeling things weren't going well. When they finally did get her out, she didn't cry for quite a while which was scary, but when she finally did we were so relieved. I got to see her for just a minute and then they whisked her away to the NICU.

Then the placenta, which wasn't coming out. I could tell it was taking longer than usual and my doctor seemed a little panicked. Things got pretty intense fast. The next thing I remember is my doctor yelling for someone to get Dr. Lance (the high risk doctor) and then she leaned over and told me that I would need a hysterectomy. They then put me out.

The next time I was awake was at 4:00 in the afternoon. I woke up in the ICU with a breathing tube down my throat and my hands tied to my side. I couldn't communicate at all, but I was so relieved to see Brian by my side. The breathing tube was torture, not being able to even take a breath for myself. I felt like I was suffocating. Since I couldn't talk and I couldn't use my hands, I had no way of letting anyone know. I finally signed with my hands to Brian and after a while of guessing, he understood. He told my doctors, but they didn't take it off for another hour or so. And then they made me promise that I would breathe on my own. I tell you, that was a scary promise. I hope I'm never asked to promise that again. How would I know if I could breathe on my own? But, anything was better than the breathing tube, so of course I gave them a thumbs up.

After I was feeling a little more coherent, Brian explained to me what happened. Apparently my placenta had grown too far into my uterus, a condition called placenta accreta. When my doctor tried to get it out it wouldn't come so she tried cutting it out. It still wasn't all coming and I was losing a lot of blood. She called in for the high risk doctor, Dr. Lance, and the head of the department of gynecology (Dr. Cox). They all three performed the hysterectomy. After they had gotten my uterus out, they still couldn't stop the bleeding. I was given 9 units of blood transfusions. They realized that they would also have to take out the cervix, which they did, and were finally able to stop the bleeding.

Before the surgery, Brian was told that he needed to leave and being a little stubborn he told them, "no he was staying". He finally was escorted out though and led into the prep room where he stayed for two hours. Of course he was furious. They hadn't told him anything for those few hours that he was in that room and he had no idea what was going on. They finally brought Brynley into him after it was all over and explained the situation.

The next couple of days I stayed in the ICU and Brynley stayed in the NICU. Brynley wasn't breathing as well as they would have liked. She also had some eating problems so she was on feeding tubes and IV's. I wasn't able to see her for about four days after the surgery. But, I was grateful for a little picture that someone had taken for me and taped by my bed. This is what would keep my going many times during those first few days.

I received two more units of blood and some antibiotics to help with infections. I was so grateful after a couple of days to finally get out of ICU and into postpartum. Brian stayed with me every day, always by my side. Except at night of course when he went home to sleep. I don't know what I would have done without him. Especially those days in the ICU, apparently they aren't used to patients that are coherent. They also told me they hardly ever get someone from maternity. So they didn't really know how to handle me.... hmmm... that was fun.

Anyway, things were much better after that. I was pretty sore and really worn out, but every day was a little better. After about three days I was finally able to get up to the bathroom and then one or two days later finally got to go see my baby. It was so great after all that time to see Brynley and to actually hold her. It was hard to see all her IV's, and feeding tubes, but she was also improving every day and doing well. Her jaundice had peaked a little, and her billirubin was up to a thirteen, so they put her under the lights for a couple of days.

After the surgery I had many of my nurses and doctors come and visit me. I was so glad to see them. I have definitely made some good friends in the hospital and it will be a little sad to leave them. One of my doctors (Apgar) came and talked to me after. She told me how close I came to losing my life. She gave me a hug and with tears in her eyes and said she was grateful that I was alive and well. We both were a little emotional. Then she told me that I should consider giving blood because that blood saved my life. I have always been a little squeamish about giving blood, but now I am have made up my mind and I'm definitely going to do it.

After six days, they finally discharged me from the hospital (really, after ten weeks of being there, it felt like leaving home or at least something like that). That was the same day that my mom went back home to Utah, which was so sad but I was happy for her to finally get home too.
I tell you, it was so good to be in my own bed that night.
Brynley got discharged the next day. We finally left the hospital for good and oh were we happy.

Okay, okay, sorry for such a long story. I just can't end this though without saying how grateful I am for my life and my little Brynley's life. I feel like so many things that happened were the Lord helping us through this. I couldn't have been more grateful that I was able to move my surgery up a day to have Dr. Hammond deliver her. She is definitely the most experienced of all my doctors. And, even though it was hard to stay in the hospital for so long, I can't even think about what would have happened if I hadn't. There were just so many blessings in all of this. I can't express enough how grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who cares about me and my family. I know now more than ever that he loves and cares about me. I had so many wonderful friends and family members fast and pray for us, and to you all I will be forever grateful. I am so glad to be here with my sweet girls and to be able to raise them.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Brynley Anne Whipple

Yep, we had our baby and feel so blessed. Sorry it has taken me so long to post, it's been an adventure that we never expected this last week, but now we are all well and happy. She was 6 pounds 9 ounces and is 19 inches long. I'll write the story soon. Here's some pictures ...

Brynley in the NICU....

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Going home day!
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Father's Day

This was written a couple weeks ago..... Brian's been a little busy.

First, before I write about Father's Day, I have to tell our good news. I only have three more days left!! My practice of doctors has six or so doctors that I see on a regular basis. I do like all of them, but there is one in particular that I love (doctor Hammond) and when she heard that I was having my c-section on Friday she said, "Are you sure that you aren't 37 weeks on Thursday?" I told her I was pretty sure and she said, "because I am on call on Thursday and I would love to do your c-section." So, I begged her to ask the high risk doctor (who apparently has most of the say here) if there is a chance I could go a day early and he said that was fine. So.... I am now due for the c-section on Thursday instead of Friday and I get my favorite doctor.

I can't tell you how excited I am to be done. I tell you, it's been a long ride, but at least now there is an end in sight. I have to say though, I am a little nervous to have a c-section. I have heard the recovery is not fun, and I just can't wait to be up and around again. I do have another ultrasound on Wednesday (the day before) just to make sure the placenta hasn't moved. I guess the worst case scenario would be that if it has, and I still have a breech baby, then I would go home and then in a couple of weeks have a c-section anyway. Well... that probably won't happen, but we shall see...

Yesterday was Father's day and Brian called me yesterday telling me about his lovely night. I have to admit, I'm a little glad I wasn't there, but I do feel bad that it happened on Father's day. Ashtyn was sick with a stomach bug which kept her by the toilet for a while and then she begged her dad if she could sleep with him. She finally zonked out, but all the commotion had woken Raegan up and now she couldn't get to sleep, so Brian slept on the floor with her for a while. When he thought all was good, he quietly snuck back into his room, but she must not have been quite asleep because the wailing started again. After a couple of hours of this, I think he finally got a few hours of sleep.... Happy father's day Bri.

The afternoon was good though. My mom took care of the dinner and kids while he took a nap and then they came to visit me. We got to go in the wheelchair (outside!) for a half hour, while I just kind of held my breath as my kids ran with me down the sidewalks (how do babies in strollers do it??). Then we had some ice cream and opened a couple of gifts that the girls had made Brian. It was fun, oh how I miss my girls...

Since it is Father's Day, I'm going to brag a little about mine. I know I'm a little biased, but I think I have the best dad and the best husband in the world. I'm not sure why I have been so lucky to have both, but I do. Really, they are both very different from eachother, but two of the best guys have ever known. I was talking to my mom the other day and she agrees with me. It's amazing how different, yet how great they both are and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have them both! I sure love you dad and Brian and happy Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Two More Weeks....

Well, I had my ultrasound on Friday (the one I have been waiting for for two weeks) and unfortunately the placenta has NOT moved. So.... I have to stay in the hospital. I know, bummer! I was really looking forward to going home. Oh, and to top it all off, my neighbor friend ( a girl right next door to me that has placenta previa too and I know all about even though we have never met) went into labor (or had an episode) that same night and had her c-section! I couldn't believe she deserted me after all this time together.... I mean, I was a week further along than her, so I was supposed to leave her. Oh the nerve!! Well, I am going to miss her though and now I am all alone in my little hallway with my own nurse who keeps telling me that I am making her life too easy.

I do have some good news though. I have a set date for my c-section. It will be on June 25th. So it's not all bad, at least in two weeks I will have a baby to take home with me. And today I only have twelve more days left. I can do that right? What's two more weeks?

I am getting to the end of my good books and nothing on tv is very interesting to me anymore. So, I'm running out of ideas to keep me busy. If you have any good books that you have read lately, I would love some ideas. I asked my doctor yesterday if I am allowed to take a little stroll in a wheel chair when my kids come to visit and she said yes. I get thirty minutes every three days or so to ride around the hospital. I know that may not sound too exciting to you, but when you have been stuck in one room for eight weeks, it's the best news I can get... well almost the best.

There are a few advantages to being on bed rest. First of all, my veins are so much better. For those of you who don't know, I have terrible vericose veins and with each pregnancy they just get worse and worse and so uncomfortable. But, with this pregnancy they have been awesome and hardly even bother me. The other great thing is I don't have marshmallow feet. Yes, my feet actually look normal and maybe I won't even grow a shoe size this time... wouldn't that be great?

I was talking to a friend the other day that helped me remember the good things in pregnancy and since this will be our last baby (unless divine revealation comes into play) then this will be the last time I will be pregnant. For as much as I complain and would love to have it over, I was glad to be reminded of that. I do love feeling my little baby kicking and moving inside me. It's pretty amazing what our bodies can do, so I'm trying to appreciate these last couple of weeks even though I am getting almost no sleep at night and I could go on and on, but I'll save it for another blog.

Okay, the most exciting thing that has happened in the past week is that my little Raegan is potty trained! Yes, I mean all the way. I actually started training her a few days before I went on bed rest, and then realized that it might be too hard for me, so we put her in pull ups and hoped she would learn slowly. She did really well the first couple of weeks and even though she had accidents every once in a while, she was learning. Then I went into the hospital, so we pretty much gave up encouraging her. But, she just kept getting better and better at going, so just this last week my mom took her pull ups off and left her in panties and she has been amazing! She is done now and hardly ever has an accident and I couldn't be happier.... I am so relieved that I won't have two kids in diapers when I come home. That was the easiest potty training I have ever done... (: Thank you mom and Brian!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kids Day!

Okay, even though I didn't get to participate in Kid's Day this year, I still can blog about it right? I just have to after hearing what a good time they had. And, even though I didn't get to participate much (although they did come visit me), grandma and grandpa were there with them, so they had just as much fun. So this is what they did this year:

* Woke up early, did our usual shopping for cold cereal (they all get to pick whatever cold cereal they like) then headed to the park to eat it and played at the playground for a while.

*Next they all visited me in the hospital, which I loved even though they were all pretty much on a sugar high...

* Left grandma to spend the afternoon with me, and they headed out to go ice skating. This was Raegan's first time ice skating. Usually she just sits up at the top with me and envys her sisters. Apparently she had the time of her life and couldn't get enough. Brian or grandpa would take her little hands and pull her around as she would yell at the top of her lungs, "I'm skating, I'm skating!" Just like in What About Bob.... oh, I wish I could have seen it! Every time she got back around for a little break she would beg, "just one more time!" so off they would go again. That night she called me to tell me all about it.

*Chick-Fil-A for lunch. What could be better I tell you....

*Headed on up to the airport to drop grandpa off. Everyone was pretty sad about that, especially grandma. We've had a great time with him.

*Came back to the hospital, picked up grandma and headed on out swimming. They were all pretty exhausted, but managed to have a great time anyway. Raegan discovered the baby pool and couldn't get enough.

*After an hour and a half of swimming, came home for a dinner that grandma had prepared and then ended the day with a little bit of Wii against dad.

So, all in all it was a success even without mom (which is really what I was hoping for). Plus, I'm always interrupting everything with my picture taking, so it was probably much better. Even though I am a little bitter about no pictures... there's always next year I guess....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A little bit of News

I still can't access my blog from the hospital, but Brian is still willing to post them for me from his email, so if you're wondering why I haven't posted pictures forever this is why. Maybe when I get out, I will get some pictures up. So, in the meantime it will just be my writing.

Well, I have some news this week. It feels good to actually have some progression to say about this pregnancy instead of the same old thing. It's quite a big change or can be at least. I had another ultrasound on Friday (33 weeks) and the placenta has moved! Yes, it actually moved a little. It's still on the verge of the cervix, which means I'm still marginal placenta previa, but my doctors are really hopeful that it will be moved in two weeks. They've each told me that this hardly ever happens with complete previa, so I'm really lucky, or blessed I should say. So now, I have to stay two more weeks and they will do another ultrasound to see if it has moved all the way. If it has, then I will be able to go home and be off bed rest. I guess there is still a chance I may have to have a c-section because she is breech. But, after talking to my nurses about this, they think it's because I have been on bed rest for so long and when I am off, she will probably turn.

Okay, I know all this should be really good news to me, in most ways it is, but I am having a few mixed feelings about a few things. I was getting really excited to be going home with my baby in three weeks. Now, even though it will be great to not have surgery and get to go home, it may be five to seven more weeks of pregnancy. Phew!! I am so ready to be done. I just can't imagine being pregnant for seven more weeks and trying to run my house after being on bed rest for three months! Ugh. I know that it will be good for our baby though to wait for a few more weeks. And, it will be nice for me to have a little time with my girls again without a new baby. So, I'm willing to do it and the more I think about it, the more I know it will be the right thing. I'll keep you posted in two weeks.

In other news, my family is doing great without me. My girls have adjusted well and my mom is still here, thank goodness! She has been such a blessing to us. My dad is still here too, but he leaves tomorrow and I know we are all going to have an adjustment without him. My girls are loving this attention they are getting from their grandparents and since we only get to see them maybe once a year (sometimes every other year) it's been such a good experience for them to get to know their grandparents. They are getting pretty attached.

Thanks to my cute friends out here, my mom really hasn't been lonely. She's been to quilt night, to game parties, to the library reading times, and even strawberry picking (my dad made me strawberry jam, I'm so impressed!). She and my dad also went to DC overnight to a hotel and then to some Smithsonians the next day. Which they loved! So, I'm so grateful for my friends and ward for taking care of her. It's not easy to be so far away from home and have the huge task of taking care of four children. Even though she had six of her own, it's been a while.

Oh, I forgot to say, my friend Lisa Tanner the other day suggested we have a triple date at the hospital. So, she called another couple in our ward (the Murphys) to get a babysitter and they all came up here in my room where we played Apples to Apples and Pit. It was a blast. Thanks Lisa for the date night. (:

Today I am so grateful for the sacrament. The Nuss boys in our ward have been coming every Sunday to administer it to me here in the hospital. For one of the first times in my life it has seemed so personal. I didn't feel like I took it for granted before, but now I do. I am realizing how much the atonement is meant for each individual person. How much the Savior loves each of us that he wants us all to partake of his life and his sacrifice and renew ourselves every week. That those blessings and promises can and are for me even. That I can become a better person even when I am stuck in a hospital with not much interaction with the outside world. It's easy to forget that, but when I see those young men come every week, totally out of their way, and taking up their time, I realize that the Lord cares for and loves me too. I know that he has a plan for our family and I'm trying to trust him and let him lead me.

How can I not believe the Lord loves me? I have seen his hand in everything that has happened through this whole pregnancy. When my doctors told me right from the beginning that I had a 20% chance of this baby surviving. I received a priesthood blessing from my sweet husband shortly after where I was promised that she would make it to full term. Then when I had so much bleeding and thought maybe that was then end, I remembered that blessing and tried my hardest to trust the Lord. With all the wonderful blessings we have had and our good friends and family who have helped us so much, how can I have any doubt? I can't, and that's why I know everything will be okay. I just need to trust in the Lord and have faith in him and I know he will lead me through this.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Still Plugging Along...

Quite a few things happened this week. One, is that I reached 32 weeks with no major issues. I am quite thrilled that I made it this long and I still feel sane. I don't know, maybe you'll have to ask my husband if I really am.sane.... I had another ultrasound and everything looks pretty much the same, no movement from the placenta, and the baby looks fine. The doctor did say that 32 weeks is a major milestone, so Bri and I are going to celebrate with ice cream of course. Can't wait.

I'm still here in the hospital, and the doctor today told me I will be here until the end. The good news is that she also told me that at 36 weeks, I will have an amnio to see if the baby's lungs are strong enough, and then the c section. So..... only three and a half weeks left!!! I've done five weeks, what's three and half more right?

The happenings with the family-

Ashtyn is riding a bike!! Yes, she does it all alone. About a week before I went on bedrest she was able to do a little with our help, but now she is a full blown bike rider. She has watched her sisters riding around our cul-de-sac and made up her mind that she was going to be that good, and now she is! Good job Ashty!

My sweet little Raegan turned three this week. I just can't believe she is so old. When I see her (which is every few days) she seems so much older and says bigger words. My favorite thing she has said lately is, "mommy are you still in the hosibal?". Oh my Raegy, I love her so much. What joy she brings to my life!

Raegy is in love with a cute little kid in our ward (or they used to be in our ward) named Luke. When I told her a few days before that it was going to be her birthday soon, the first thing she said was, "Is Lukey coming?". So, even though I can't officially give her a birthday party from far away, I had to arrange one last play date with her best friend. He is moving this week back to Utah so it was a perfect goodbye for two good friends. My mom and dad watched them of course and said they had a great time. She took pictures and Lukey even brought her a little present. I talked to her on the phone and she was so happy.

That night Brian brought all the girls and my parents for a little birthday party at the hospital. I couldn't have been happier. It really made my week to see my little girl so happy on her birthday. We had cake which grandma made and Raegy told me all about it. She opened all her gifts and was delighted with each one (good job Bri!). It's amazing what a bubble machine and a stuffed dog will do to a three year old.

Okay, so here are some of my favorite things about my little Raegy:

* She is so cheerful (most of the time that is)
* She babbles and babbles about everything- tells me all the news that is going on at home.
* Tells me every day on the phone she is a big girl because she goes potty, but she hasn't quite mastered it yet.
* Is the best hugger in the world of three year olds
* Would be happy with peanut butter and pretzels every day for lunch
* Loves oatmeal (the old fashioned kind!) and calls it "me meal."
* Loves to read books, but associates them with nap, so many times refuses, but just can't resist in the end.
* Hates bread of any kind and even though she says she loves sandwiches, never eats them
* Has just recently learned to love bagels (there is some hope to sandwiches)
* Refuses just about every vegetable, but can be bribed with treats.
* Can ride a scooter with the best of them.
* Has quite the screech when she gets hurt, the whole neighborhood knows.
* Adores her big sisters.
* Will eat Gogurt (oogurt) every day if I let her.
* And my favorite, says the sweetest prayers, and won't let us go to bed without scripture study.

What would we do without Raegy in our family. She really has brought so much joy, I can't even tell you. I'm so thankful for my little three year old!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

31 Weeks and Counting

In two days, it will officially be four weeks since I have been in the hospital. It's actually gone by faster than I thought it would. Although some days I think I am going crazy and just want to break out and run the halls, most of the time it hasn't been terrible. I've watched way too much tv and movies, read some books and lots of magazines, eaten way too much chocolate, learned how to knit while listening to books on mp3 (thanks Mendy!), and talked my nurses ears off. It seems like the life right? It actually is sometimes. I'll probably miss it when I am back to my normal routine, making meals, doing dishes, laundry, etc. etc., and of course all that with a new baby. So, this is what keeps me feeling sane. I won't get this again for a very long time, might as well enjoy it. Oh, and it has helped so much to have so many of my kind friends and family visit, call and write letters. Thank you, thank you! I can't tell you how much it has meant to me.
Well, to put another drama into my life, (it feels like I have something new every week), there was a blood clot found in my leg. It had been hurting for a few days and I finally decided I should say something about it, so they gave me an ultrasound and found a few. Now, before you fret too much, it wasn't in my deep veins, but in the artificial ones on the top. Therefore, it will probably not be anything to worry about and won't travel to my heart. But, it does mean that my doctors are little more nervous about my veins and my clotting and so they have put me on a blood thinner which is injected twice a day in my stomach. Hmm.... I was not happy about that, and neither is my stomach I tell you. With getting stuck for the heparin twice a day, getting blood drawn every three days and changing my IV every four days, I'm starting to feel like a science experiment. The good news is, I am now officially 31 weeks along, so not too much longer to go. I can do this right?
Mothers Day last Sunday was wonderful. Really it was. I had a great nap in the afternoon and then my cute husband brought all my kids and my mom with roses, cheesecake, gift card from Old Navy (hee hee), and cards my kids had made for me. We had a fun little party in my hospital room. I was also so glad to share it with my sweet mother who is still here helping us. We got to surprise her with her mother's day present too, which was that we arranged for my dad to come and stay with us for a while. Of course she found our surprise a couple days early when she was searching on her bank website. Oh that mom, always finding out her secrets! But, I think she was pretty excited even if she wasn't too surprised.
So my dad came Tuesday and I couldn't be happier, I think they are pretty happy to see each other too. It has now been six weeks since she has left him to help us out! I tell ya, I feel like I can never repay her for all she has done. I knew she was missing my dad more than anything, and he was missing her, so this makes me feel much better. And the best thing is, he is here for three weeks! Yes, three weeks, can you believe it? Those who know my dad probably can't. I mean he even left his cub scout troupe to be here. That's saying something. (:
My kids have been troupers through this whole thing. They of course are loving this time with grandma and grandpa and don't get it a lot, so I am grateful that they have this time to get to know each other better. I know they are in good hands. Brian has been taking them to see me two at a time lately rather than all four at once, and this has helped with the craziness.
Well, here we go off to another week. Every day I make it with this baby is another accomplishment. Can't wait to make it 32 weeks!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothering from afar

I think the hardest part about being in the hospital for so long, is not being with my girls. I get to spend quite a bit of time with Brian, which is so great. After he gets the girls to bed, he comes up to the hospital to be with me. I love it, and don't know what I would do without him. But, I still have that ache in my heart for my sweet girls. I do get to see them, but it's so different than being with them, loving them, and caring for them, basically being their mom. Somehow, even though I know I'm doing the right thing for our family and our baby, I can't get over the fact that I'm not being a mom to them right now. I almost feel like I've abandoned them. Yes, it's only been a few weeks, but it feels much longer. Are my two little ones old enough to understand that I don't want to be away from them? That I would much rather be there with them during this time? I don't know if they are. Yet, I feel they are safe and happy. I feel they all are. When I talk to them on the phone, and when they come and visit me, they seem happy and content, and that makes me even more grateful for my sweet mother who has sacrificed so much to be here and help my family. What would I do without her at this time? My kids are on their same schedules, they sleep in their own beds, they have their dad and grandma their to love them. The only thing that is different is their mom isn't there. It's such a relief to know that things are fairly normal to them right now. So that's what keeps me going, and someday, not too far away I hope, things will be back to normal and I can be their mom again.
As far as my pregnancy and the baby goes, everything is pretty much the same. Although I am 30 weeks along now, which is a huge feat in my mind. My ultrasound yesterday seemed to make all my doctors happy. I guess they were more worried about the placenta abrupting from the uterus, or the baby in some kind of distress. Although that was great news too, I was hoping to see a migrating placenta which would mean my going home. Well, unfortunately for me it was in the same exact place. No movement, and no hope for an early return. I was even told that at this point it probably won't happen, so they will schedule another ultrasound for four more weeks. That seems like an eternity for me, but I will plug along if it means our baby will be safe. I was surprised by my emotions yesterday. I guess I really did believe the placenta would move up. Or maybe it was joy from being out for the first time in two and a half weeks, even if it was only down a few halls.
So today I just received another IV (which has to be changed every four days). I have to say, that's the second worse part about being here. I'm not a huge fan of needles especially when they can't seem to find my veins. I will have quite a few scars to show for this when I get out. But, despite that, I am doing pretty well. I am a little lonely at times, but thanks to some wonderful friends I feel very loved. I look around at my room and see so many wonderful cards, books, magazines, and treats, that my sweet friends and family have brought me and I can't tell you how grateful I am. I really feel so blessed and know that Heavenly Father is watching over our family right now. I read a touching article yesterday about a family who almost lost their seventeen month old boy whom they found not breathing in the bath tub. It made me realize how good I have it. How quickly life goes, and how precious it is. Whatever trials we have, we need to take them with faith and let our fears wash away. As this mother said, " I have no room in my heart for both fear and faith. One of them has to go, and I choose faith."

Monday, May 3, 2010

One Crazy Summer

I was hoping to stay up on my blog now that I am in the hospital, but apparently the hospital has blocked any websites for blogging or Facebooking, so I finally decided that I would make the most of it and email Brian my posts and have him blog it for me. So, here goes...

Well, as most of you know, it's been quite a crazy five or so weeks for our family. On my 19th week check up, during the ultrasound, my doctor told me that I have placenta previa. She said that it was marginal and that hopefully it would resolve itself by the end of the pregnancy. I was actually kind of expecting it because of all the low lying problems I have had from the beginning. She didn't give me any instructions of bedrest though and just reassured me that it would be good in a way, because I would get extra ultrasounds. So... I didn't think much about it.

About four weeks later when I was around 24 weeks along, I woke up at two in the morning with pretty heavy bleeding. Since it was so late at night, we decided to wait and see if it went away and went back to sleep. Which it did, thankfully. Then the next morning I went in to get it checked out where I got quite a lashing from my doctor about not calling in the night. Well, what's a tired pregnant girl supposed to do, I mean I need my sleep too right? Anyway, it made us quite a bit more cautious. Still I wasn't put on bedrest, but told I need to take it a little easier.

Two days later I had another bleeding episode. Of course it was a Saturday, (argh!) so I knew I would be submitted to the hospital. Apparently their beepers weren't working that day, but the next day (Sunday) I was able to get through and then sent to the hospital. This time I was submitted over night and thankfully the bleeding had stopped by the time I got there. They gave me steroid shots for the baby's lungs and the next day did another ultrasound where they found that the placenta previa wasn't just marginal, but complete. Meaning completely over the cervix. This time they sent me home on strict bed rest.

Meanwhile, my sweet friend had taken my kids and arranged a whole bunch of meals for us. I really don't know what I would have done without her. It was so nice to know my kids had somewhere to go that week and meals were taken care of! So, I sat on the couch all week hoping it was all just be a temporary fix and my uterus would grow a whole bunch in the next few weeks, migrating the placenta up and that everything would be fine. The next ultrasound was scheduled on my 28th week which was still three and half weeks away, so I knew I would be stuck at least until then.

I called my mom and let her know my situation and the first thing she said was, "do you need me to come out and watch your kids?". Oh man, I couldn't have heard sweeter words than that. So, she scheduled a flight for a few days later and she's been out here ever since. Which has been quite a while I tell you!

Okay so, we spent the next two weeks with my mom. She made our breakfasts, lunches, dinners, took the kids to school and back every day, cleaned my house (I mean thoroughly cleaned it), washed dishes, played with Raegan and put her to naps, etc. etc.. Oh, she is going to be so tired after this whole thing. And, I had to stay on the couch watching her do everything. Oh, and let's not forget, Raegan had just started potty training before this whole thing came to pass, and it was going well, but now has taken a back burner. So, as I have been wearing my mom out, she has watched me sit on the couch with my books. I tell you, it was nice for the first few days, but has gotten quite hard. Since I feel pretty good, it's easy to get up and just do a few things and think nothing about it.

After two weeks of this, one day I had a really hard day and didn't feel right, I went to take a nap for a little while, and woke up with pretty heavy bleeding. We called the doctor, which she sent us right down to the hospital. The bleeding stopped after the first night there and thankfully they didn't have to take our baby yet. I was then 27 weeks along. The next day I had another ultrasound where they found the baby just doing great, but my placenta still completely covering my cervix. So... I was told I would be staying in the hospital, for a least a few weeks.

So now I am 29 weeks along, the baby is doing great, but no real changes with my previa. Apparently, it takes two to four weeks for the placenta to move at all, so I still have another week or so before the next ultrasound. Today is Sunday and on Tuesday I will have been in the hospital for two weeks. Am I going a little crazy? I think I'm starting to get there. Although I can't complain too much because I have had so many wonderful friends visit me and do things for my family and I can't tell you how grateful I am for that. It makes me so emotional as I'm typing this, thinking of all of my wonderful friends and family who have supported us. I really do feel blessed. Our baby has made it much further than we could have hoped, and my kids and family are all happily at home with each other. What more could I ask for I tell you! I can't think of a better situation for us in this crazy time that we are in. And, how can I express my gratitude for my sweet mom, I really don't know, but I hope to find a way that I can someday. She has repeatedly told me that she will stay as long as I need her. It has now been about four weeks that she has been here, and I know it's not easy for her or for my dad at home alone. But, she keeps telling me not to worry, she wants to do this and that when this baby comes out healthy, it will all be worth it. Just to have that security that my kids are feeling right now, while their mom is in the hospital, makes it worth it to me.

Now here's to hoping, and praying, that the placenta will move up and out of the way in the next few weeks. I have been told that it doesn't usually happen, if it does at all, until after 32 weeks. So, I may have a few more weeks in the hospital. Brian comes to visit me every evening ( last night we played Scrabble, one of these days I will beat him I tell you!) and mom and my girls come about every three days. Since there's not too much to do here (expect push buttons) they get a little bored, but it's always great to see them. In the meantime, I am watching too much tv, snacking a little too much (thanks Tracy for telling the ward to bring me chocolate!), gaining more and more weight by the day, catching up on books I have meant to read forever, and doing a lot of email. So, I'm keeping my spirits up. I even get bathroom privileges now, which I am very grateful for. I tell you, those bed pans are no fun.... And next time I will keep you posted before I have to write another essay...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shaylee's Baptism

Shaylee has been waiting for her baptism and to turn eight for a long time. It feels like a really long time to her, since she is taller than her older sister and sometimes I think she thinks that she is older. So, to have Teralyn get to go to Activity Days, to get to stay home by herself for a couple of hours while I run an errand, and to not have to sit in a booster, was a huge deal! She just kept saying, it seems like all the good things happen when you turn eight. But, when I questioned her about the "good things" she put baptism on the top of her list, which made me smile.

So, she finally made it to eight and as it turned out, she was baptized on her birthday. She was quite excited. I always stress out a little before a baptism. I'm not sure why. It seems I want everything to go perfect and then distract from the spirit of the ordinance. But for Shaylee's I was determined to not stress out about it, and enjoy the day. A few days before her baptism, the bishopric called me and asked me to speak on the Holy Ghost. That made me stress a little more, but when it came down to it, I was really glad for the opportunity. I mean, who gets to speak in their own daughters baptism? Not many people right? I think it's because usually the parents/kid decides who will speak and they usually don't suggest themselves. So.... at first I thought, "oh no, just one more thing!" But, when it came down to it, I really loved it. I just hope Shay did, she doesn't get to hear me lecture enough at home...

Brian's parents were able to come out for the baptism the day before. Thank you, thank you for coming!! I was so glad to share it with some family. Considering that ALL of our family lives in Utah or Idaho (and we have big families), it was SO nice to have someone come out and share this day with us. And, also for the wonderful friends we have that came or tried to come (I realize things come up!) thank you so much! It really made the day so much better.

As far as the baptism went, it was wonderful. Shay and Tera did a piano/violin duet of "Love One Another". It was very sweet. They even messed up a little, but kept on going... (: Then Shay did the baptism talk. Yes, Shaylee did it! Our ward bishopric asks the child getting baptized to do the talk. It was very, very quiet and fast, but I was so proud of her that she actually did it. I mean, she was terrified, so this was a big feat for her.

All in all it was a great day, and to top it all off, the sun was out!! Yes, the sun actually came out for a day or two in Maryland. (: We had a little family party for Shay and then headed out to Golden Coral (yes, our kids love this place! Not us of course....). Grandma and Grandpa stayed for the next day and then left on Monday. So... here's some pictures of my cute girl and her baptism day....

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's a Girl!!! But, what did you expect?

Oh man, has it been that long since I have written?? I really have no excuses now, except I love taking an afternoon nap. Thanks Bri for doing the last blog. I guess he was getting tired of waiting around for me to write. And look how good he did! I mean, I should just turn it over to him.... I'm sure he'd love that.

Okay, on to business. So.... most of you know, but we are having our fifth GIRL!! Crazy huh? I think it is, what are the chances? Brian figured it out for me and it's like 3% chance or something. I just think the Lord knows I'm not up for the craziness of boys. I am excited though. I mean, I'll always get my girls home with me for Thanksgiving and Christmas right? And, just think of all the fun girls night outs we will have. That is, if they invite me. I better make sure they know right now that I want to be invited. Oh, I'm sure they will.... but just in case.

Okay, so that is our big news and Bri couldn't be happier, so don't you dare say, "Oh poor Brian!" because he's only wanted girls all along. I'm the one who wanted a boy, but you know, girls are great so I'm not complaining. Please just don't send me to the loony bin though when they are all teenagers. Just send over some advice or take me out away from it all. That's all I'm asking.

Oh, one more thing. A name. Do you realize how hard it is for me to come up with girls names? I mean, I can think of a hundred boys names that I like. But girls names? And to think that all my girls names are meaningful (meaning they are named after someone that I love). I tell ya, it's going to be hard. I am just resigned to come up with a name that I like, and then try to fit it into something meaningful. That will work right? Hmm... we shall see.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vacation & Snow

Okay so Brenda is taking entirely too long to blog about the snow and our vacation. I mean we have been back for over a week and still no blog. To make matters worse, we just found out the gender of our next child (no I'm not going to tell you'll just have to wait until Brenda blogs about it) and with Shaylee's baptism this Saturday, those things will take precedent over the vacation and snow and they will just get lost in the background of our busy life. So I guess it is up to me to document these important events in the Whipple families lives.

Part 1: SNOW
This story really goes back to just before Christmas when we got the first big snow storm of the winter season. At the time I was thinking "okay in Maryland we usually get one big storm every three to four years so it looks like this should last us for the winter." This was really frustrating because the storm hit on a Friday afternoon and I didn't get a single snow day out of it!

Quick Aside: For those of you reading this who have never lived in Maryland you must understand that one of the best things about living in Maryland is the snow days. I mean the ice-cream is sub-par at best, the canned chili is horrible, and I have yet to find a place that serves a decent pastrami hamburger! But on those magical days when it snows more than two inches they close down the state and I get an impromptu vacation. It almost makes up for the lack of good Utah ice-cream. (But not the pastrami hamburgers I'll never forgive Maryland for that!)

So when January was coming to a close and everybody started talking about snow, I could hardly believe my luck at a another chance for snow days. I mean two snow storms where we get more than a foot of snow in a single winter? With 8 years as a Marylander I have never seen such a thing. Then it became clear that this storm would hit us on a Friday again I couldn't believe it! I would also like to point out that I was not the only one at work complaining that this was hitting us on a Friday afternoon again! I can't stress how much we look forward to our impromptu vacations out here. As it turns out the snow storm was serious enough that I ended up getting Monday off! Finally a snow day!

The following are pictures from the snow storm. Enjoy (see below for part 2)

View from our front door Saturday morning (it was still snowing at this point)

A view of how deep the snow was when I first started shoveling

Measurement of the snow

Two of my little cuties in the snow

I thought it would be fun to throw Ashtyn into the snow
She didn't agree.

Even though Ashtyn didn't like it I just had to do it again

Part 2a - Vacation plans
This story starts about six years ago when we first heard about this fun place called Great Wolf Lodge. It is this hotel with a indoor water park attached to it. We looked it up and decided that we really wanted to take our family, then we noticed the price and thought better of it. For the past six winters Brenda and I have had the following conversation:

Brian: We should take the kids to great wolf lodge this year
Brenda: That sounds fun lets look into it
Brian (after looking at the prices again): I just don't see how we can afford it
Brenda: Yeah maybe next year

Well this January we were talking with some friends in our ward and they mentioned a sale going on during the month of February. We looked it up and the sale did not apply to weekend dates. We are really loath to take our kids out of school for vacation so at first gave it us as another winter without great wolf lodge. However, Brenda does not give up so easily, she looked at the school calendar for any good times in February that we could do this. She found a couple days just before valentines day where the kids had half days. Taking the kinds out for half days isn't so bad right? Well at least that was our justification and we scheduled our vacation for this time. The price was still a little high but we had enough of our tax return leftover after paying for a deck to cover the costs.

Another quick aside: I love paying too much in taxes throughout the year and then getting a killer return at tax time. It's my way of giving myself a bonus. The financial expert that write articles on the internet, most people that I talk to, and turbo tax all tell me my return is too large and I should have less taken out throughout the year. But I love the sudden influx of money the return provides. For one month a year I feel rich and get to buy things like large televisions, decks, couches, and fun vacations. For those who are screaming "but you are giving the government a interest free loan!" All I can say is I know but I don't care, so there.

Part 2b: Getting out of town.
With our reservation made we spent the next month building up excitement for the vacation. I still felt a little guilty for taking our kids out of school, but if I kept repeating to myself enough times "it's only half days" I could push the guilt far enough to the back of my mind to get excited for the vacation again. Then came the snow, see above, the Friday before the Tuesday that we were planning on leaving. As the snow continued to fall through Saturday we assured each other that our street would be plowed before the Tuesday morning that we were planning on leaving. I don't know if we actually believed it but it felt better to say it and hear someone else say it. Eventually the snow stopped and we continue to convince ourselves that we will be okay to leave on Tuesday, when the weather reports indicated another large snow storm was coming. Sunday we spent looking out our windows at our neighbors frantically digging themselves out so that they could get to their Superbowl parties. A few people were able to dig themselves out to the main street which was plowed, but most had to change their Superbowl plans. With half the day Monday gone and still no plow, I was starting to get nervous so out I headed with my shovel to dig a path for our car to get to the main road. By mid afternoon I had a path just wide enough for our van to pass through when wouldn't you know it the plow came and dug us out. Tuesday morning we were able to get out of town before the next storm hit. The drive south was a bit dicey but we made it to Williamsburg without any incidents.

Part 2c: Vacation

We had been building expectations for so long that I was a little worried that the real deal wouldn't be able to live up to our expectations. However, I was wrong. Great wolf lodge not only met our expectation but it probably beat them. They had a fun lazy river, some really fun slides, a fun playhouse, a wave pool that Raegan and I had fun with and a little child pool. And the best part was that with the snow storm they closed the schools so we didn't actually take our children out of school. Below are some pictures of the play area.

The Lodge

The front lobby they had a story time here each night

The cabin in our room where the kids slept

Raegie looking out the window of her cabin

Fun play area in the middle of the water area

Shaylee and Teralyn at the bottom of two of the slides

Teralyn and Ashtyn in the wave pool

My little Raegie playing in the water

Tera and shay earning a candy bar by going across the padded logs

Part 3: Back to Snow

We were worried about the drive home. After watching CNN in our room we were worried that the roads wouldn't be clear enough for us to make it all the way home. We were thinking of staying in a hotel another night to be sure, but after checking Howard county site we determined that most of the roads were plowed so we decided to try to make it home on Thursday. The drive home was uneventful with no problems getting right up to our house we actually got stuck trying to pull into our parking space, but it wasn't too much of an issue to push the van back into the road and dig out our spot.

Raegie and Dad in our snow cave

Tera and Ash in our snow cave

Tera and Shay in the snow cave

A snow bank in our parking lot