Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cousins are built in friends!!!

 Ella loves Jack and Jara so much!! And now that they are getting so big, play time is little to no work for me!! 
They happily splashed, played nice and complemented each other. It was so funny to hear them cheer each other on when they played "basketball".
I heard: That was great!!
It's ok you missed, try again!!
Here, I'll hold it still, then it will go in better!!

The bubble machine earned its keep!! They took turns trying to blast them with the hose. I don't think anyone was ever successful, but they had fun trying!!
I love my nieceeeeeees and nephews!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Scarlet's Birth Story

I realized I had never shared Scarlet’s birth story, and there is a reason why. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to put out all those raw feelings for the world to judge and perhaps criticize. Scarlet was born 8 weeks premature. It was the most soul wrenching experience of my life, that I feel still effects my family today. People were unkind about her arrival into the world. I was accused of purposely having her at that time, of not opting for a vaginal birth, and of being lucky I didn’t have to ‘finish’ pregnancy. I was criticized for not nursing, for not spending enough time with her, for spending too much time with her, everything. It was a very difficult experience.

Now I would like to specify that I do not have what I like to call, “the preemie complex”. I describe this as an individual who is condescending towards other who hasn’t had to experience a premature child. I DO NOT think going a week after a due date is necessary or should be endured for the health of a baby. I DO NOT think induction is evil. I DO NOT think a schedule c section is evil. I DO NOT think it’s anybody’s business except yours and your doctors on how, when or where you choose to give birth. I DO NOT care if a late pregnant person complains about pregnancy. If I had ever made it to 38, 39, 40 weeks (heaven forbid later than that!) I would be complaining too!! As a matter of fact I complained when I was 36 weeks pregnant with Ella and had her 3 days later!! Just because my baby came into the world early does not mean I am a martyr suffering under a cross to bear. It happened. We’re doing our best to deal with it. Sometimes it's hard.

So on to my story!!

I went to my doctor’s appointment for 2 non stress tests on August 18th and 19th. I kept insisting that Scarlet wasn’t moving like she should. It felt like tiny flutters not good kicks. My placenta was anterior (on the front side) so I had a hard feeling her period. The doctor said the NST looked fine and she was just out of room and couldn’t move. I have a septated uterus so the baby only has half the space. But it just felt wrong. I called Brent on the way home sobbing. Something was just wrong. He kindly called the doctor and they had a nice chat. Dr. O told me to come in the next day, August 19th to have a quick ultra sound.

I went to the doctor feeling foolish and like I had severely over reacted. I lay on the table and the nice ultra sound lady, Barb placed the wand on my belly. I saw a little face, a huge black spot, and two little feet. Barb gasped a little and began rapidly measuring and clicking and taking pictures. She looked at me with big eyes and said, “I’m going to go get the doctor.” She scampered out the door and within a few seconds had Dr. O at her side. His face was blank and grave and he had the appearance of wanting to remove expression until he knew more. The ultra sound revealed I had half the amount of required amniotic fluid and Scarlet’s bladder was swollen 10 times the normal size, and was filling her entire diaphragm.

I was admitted to Mesa View Hospital and pumped full of fluids for 24 hours. She needed to evacuate her bladder, and fill the amniotic sack back up.

It didn’t work.

Dr. O sent me to Sunrise hospital to have my specialist evaluate what came next. I went home, packed a bag, clung to Ella for a moment and was on my way. At about Apex I started having contractions and they grew more and more intense as we neared the hospital. I had this dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach that has preceded many unpleasant occasions in my life and did not find it reassuring. I walked into Sunrise and had a horrible, overwhelming feeling that I was coming here to die. I stopped in the low ceilinged, narrow hallway and felt my heart pound. I was coming here for a terrible reason. I didn’t want to.

To shorten my saga, I waited until Monday morning to have a c section. I did not want a c section and did not choose to have one. Scarlet was frank breech. She was folded in half with her feet by her face and bottom down. She couldn’t turn to be born vaginally. They measured my amniotic fluid one last time, and there wasn’t any.

My lovely nurse Mia got my IV going and they wheeled me into surgery.  I was silently crying and admitted ot her I was afraid that I was afraid either me or my baby was going to die. She stopped what she was doing, took my hand and smiled. "Your baby is not going to die. You need her."
They put a drape up so I couldn’t see myself being cut into, but I could see my wonderful specialist face. He gave me the play by play of what he was doing and then he said, “And she’s out.”

He lifted her face over the drape for a brief second. She was bloody, and swollen and so ugly. The neonatal team swarmed to her and snatched her away and I could hear these pitiful little cries. Her legs were still bent in half and one was crooked from the way she was laying. They tied her down on the table and started sticking tubes in everything. I could feel my numb abdomen jerk as Dr. W and his assisting physician was stitching and stapling me closed.

They brought her to Brent and he placed her by my face. Her skin was swollen and bloated from having no fluid to sit in and the color was red from being too early. Everything was too skinny except her grotesque stomach. It was painfully stretched and had signs of bearing stretch marks from the skin being pulled too tight so quickly. She had a squashed, bent nose, swollen eyes, and feet about 2 inches long.

My heart broke when she looked at me and pitifully mewled a tiny, helpless cry. I touched her rough, dry cheek and the nurse told me to give her kiss and then whisked her away. She was put into a mobile, climate controlled pod and I didn’t see her for 2 days. I didn’t get to hold her for a week. And even then it was only if I threw a fit or cried for the nurse. And some of those heartless bitches wouldn’t even let me have her then.

I feel cheated out of Scarlet’s birth. I didn’t feel her move until 20 weeks, she never moved well, and then she stopped moving at 30 weeks. I didn’t get to go into labor and push her out and hear her cries and feel joy. I felt fear. I felt heart break. I felt pain.

So here is her birth story. Not the one we wanted, but the one we got.  
But here is my baby, and she is more than just what I got. She is the one I wanted. She is a choice spirit that chose me, and I her. And regardless of how hard the journey has been for us, and how much more we have ahead of us, we need each other.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why I Love Brent

On a regular basis my beloved husband either annoys, frustrates or infuriates me. He's a total slob. He "can't" ever hear me. He is just such a man. He drives me crazy!!
But regardless of all those things that make me batty, Brent is a good person. He does not feel put out to watch his own children. He never cares when I spend money like I have it. He lets me do whatever I want. Brent and I see eye to eye on most subjects and he supports me when I make decisions regarding our children. He always thinks I'm pretty, even when I am 30 pounds too heavy or my skin is horribly broke out. He gets up with our kids when I get a bad nights sleep, even if he has to work that day. He lets me take naps, on the rare occasion I take one. He doesn't spend all his spare time out of the house or playing with his friends. He never thinks I'm selfish. He acknowledges that I work hard as a mother and wife and he appreciates it. He doesn't feel like his life ended with the obligation of family. And today we had a conversation that I will treasure forever.
Ashley: Brent, I just don't think I want anymore children. Pregnancy is so hard for more than one reason and I don't know if I can do it again! I feel satisfied with our little family.
Brent: It is. It's getting to the point it's a threat to your health.
Ashley: I'm ok with having only 2 children. Are you?
Brent: Absolutely
Ashley: Even if they are girls?
Brent: (blank stare)
Ashley: Will you be disappointed with only 2 girls? It seems important for men to have a son.
Brent: You and my 2 beautiful girls could NEVER disappoint me. You are everything that matters. This little house is ours. Or in 27 years it will be ours! Our ugly yard with the flower beds is ours. The fat cat is ours. Those 2 little girls are beautiful and smart and we work hard for them. You and Ella and Scarlet will NEVER disappoint me. You're my life.

And that is why I love Brent. Because no matter how crazy I am, or how crazy our life is. I will never disappoint him. And he genuinely means it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Almost 9 Months!!

 Would you like to know something horrible? I haven't taken ANY pictures in a long time!!
Scarlet had a well check appointment today for her 6 month immunizations. Yes, you did the math right. She's 3 months behind. Oops.
She is 60% for both height AND weight!! What? I thought she was a preemie? She's a lot bigger than Ella was at this same age. Matter of fact, she's the size Ella was at 15-16 months!! Her head was in the 75%!! She has her daddy's big head genetics. :)
Unfortunately, we learned she has a few more things wrong with her. Sigh.
We have to start physical therapy. She has possible hip dysplatia and possible "prune belly". Her hips are probably ok. Her belly is probably NOT. There is a lot of medical information and explanation behind those diagnosis, and I don't feel like explaining them. I invite you to google them!! We will have lots more doctor visits ahead of us, but hopefully it helps her to sit! Can't sit without functioning abdomen muscles. And she has eczema. I bought the ointment. I hope it's that easy!!
One of the many hard things about my little ladybug is; her problems didn't end when she finally got out of the NICU. It seems like every few months a whole new batch crops up!! It's disheartening.
We love her though and we think she pretty cute!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thoughts of the Day

Every new mother knows that rocking a baby to sleep allows our mind to wander. Sometimes it wanders FAR!!

Here are some of the thoughts that crossed my mind while I settled Scarlet today.

1. What color should I paint my toenails next?
2. What should I buy myself for Mother's Day?
3. Crap that's soon!! What should I buy my MOM for mothers day!/
4. Do I like blue or pink better?
5. Or green?
6. Or purple?
7. Should I repaint the bathroom tomorrow?
8. Bleh painting sucks.
9. I'll weed the garden instead.
10. I really need to have my yard sale. That stuff has been piled up in the garage forever!
11. If I go running tomorrow in a tank top, will people be offended by my big boobs bouncing down the street?
12. Probably.
13. But it's so hot and I want to tan the rest of neck!!
14. I should probably be more concerned about skin cancer.
15. Yeah right. My dad's family is brown. I should be ok.
16. Maybe I should buy a tanning pass for mother's day!!
17. Bleh. I don't have that time.
18. But my belly is so white!!
19. I can't hear Ella. What is that little devil up to?
20. What's that noise? Oh it's Scarlet snoring!! Time to come back to reality!!

And this concludes my ramblings for the day!! Insight into the mind of a genius? Or the babblings of a mad woman?!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Life of Molly the Cat

 Molly drinks only toilet water. I have filled dishes and set them by her food dish, and they are sniffed disdainfully and ignored. I filled it with cold water from the fridge. Still she turned up her nose. So now we make sure the lid is always left up!!
 Do not leave any drawer, or chest, or cubby open that has something soft to lay on! She is instantly inside, snuggled in and getting her fur and cat filth on everything!!
She had an infected fox tail on her neck this week. I found it as a lump and she was tired and had a little kitty fever. How do you tell if cat have a fever you may ask? Their ears are hot. She slept away Friday and when she woke up she scratched and ruptured it!! I did not include a photo as it is VERY VERY NASTY!! This is her make shift kitty band aid. It consists of neosporin, gauze pads and the tube of an old sock!! It may be ugly but it serves its purpose!!