Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ellie Marie: Birth Story

I went in for a check up on September 17th (a Wednesday) and had my fingers crossed that I was progressing. I wanted so badly for my doctor to tell me things were looking good and that Ellie would be making he debut any day. Luckily, I was dilated to a 3 and things were looking good. Dr. Meredith scheduled me to come in the following Tuesday to be induced. I was induced with Sam for medical reasons and actually loved the experience. So when I was told that was an option this time around as well, I jumped at the chance. 
Monday rolled around and I spent the day finishing up a few last minute errands and spent the day with my family (both my parents were here as well as my sisters). We ate at Five Guys for dinner (naturally) and then Ben and I stayed up late talking because obviously I wouldn't be getting any sleep that night. Actually, the last two months of my pregnancy I was going on about 2 hours of sleep each night. I had the worst insomnia. It was a mixture of being uncomfortable (Ellie was SO low) and soon as I would get in bed my mind would just race. I felt like I had totally gotten into the toddler groove and that I had forgotten everything about caring for a newborn! So I would stay up every night and read about all things baby. I was crazy. Little did I know, that it would all come back so naturally once she was in my arms. 
Anyways, we were told to call the hospital Tuesday morning at 5am to make sure that they had enough room for me. It never even crossed my mind that they may be full. I called at 5am on the dot and one of the nurses told me to come on in and that they had a room waiting for me. Ben and I got up and started to get ready. About 20 minutes later my phone rang and when I saw that it was the hospital calling, my heart sank. I answered and, sure enough, they had several women who needed emergency c-sections come in. What are the chances? That was the ultimate let down. The nurse who I talked to was so sweet and so apologetic. My doctor even called me a couple hours later and said he would do everything he could to get me in later in the day because he knew my family was in town. I told Ben that he should go to work today and that I would hang with Sammy and our family to try to pass the time quickly. They ended up not having room for us that day and told us to try again tomorrow. 
That night Ben's mom called us and said it wasn't looking good for the next morning either (she works as a nurse at the hospital) and that they had a lot of women in labor that night. What?! I tried not to be, but I was really bummed. I was so ready to have this baby! I really was physically done. I was sleep deprived, and so uncomfortable. There was nothing left in the house that I could scrub. We were all ready! That night we tried everything! Ben and I went on a long walk around the neighborhood at about 10:30pm. We got home and I had him googling all sorts of labor-inducing techniques. He tried giving me a pressure point massage but eventually we just gave in. We would have our baby girl when she was ready. 
The next morning, just to be sure, we called the hospital again at 5am. We were told that they were still currently full, but to call back at 10am. I got back in bed and started to read. At 7am, my mother in law called me and said that the hospital had been trying to get a hold of me and that we had the green light to head to the hospital! Ben and I hopped out of bed and I showered and got ready while he there a few last minute things into our bags. When we were all ready to go, I snuck into Sam's room to say goodbye. He was asleep and I didn't want to wake him so I gave him a kiss on the cheek and we told him we loved him. I was all sorts of emotional. My one on one time with my boy was coming to an end. It was such a  hard concept for me to process but I knew that giving Sam a sister would be the best gift we could give him. That boy was meant to be an oldest sibling. My parents stayed home with Sam. My mom was going to come meet us at the hospital once we got all checked in. 
We got to the hospital and checked in fairly quickly.  They then took us back to our room in labor and delivery. Of course, the one thing I had forgotten was the order form that my doctor had given me to bring to the hospital so the nurses would know what to start me on. So once we got settled in our room, we had to wait for about an hour to get a hold of my doctor (who was in a surgery) before they could start me. Ben and I just relaxed in our room and talked with my amazing nurses. Seriously, I totally lucked out with nurses during our entire stay. Tara and Kendra were my nurses while I was in L&D and they were nothing short of angels! I could go on and on. I loved them. Once they got instructions from my doctor, we got the ball rolling. Everyone had told me to expect things to go a lot quicker with my second baby. With Sam, from the time they started me to time he was born was about 12 hours. I didn't want to get my hopes up for a certain time frame but I was hoping that everyone was right and that it would go slightly quicker this go around. Tara came in to put my IV in and it was just as bad as I remembered! I am not exaggerating when I say that I would rather go through 10 epidurals then get that IV put in. With Sam, they had to try several times because my veins kept rolling and the same thing happened this time. It was so painful. I tried not to look while she was trying to get the IV put in. Once she was done, I looked down and my hand was covered in blood. I knew it wasn't the nurses fault because  the same thing happened with Sam. Apparently, I just have crazy veins. But it was so painful. Once that was over, the waiting game began. My doctor came in to check me and I was still at about a 3/4. 
About an hour later, my mom and Ben's mom arrived. It was so nice to have my mom with us. I was planning on having them both in the room for the delivery. And it was great to have Ben's mom with us throughout this whole process. She is a nurse at the hospital and knows everyone. She made sure we were completely taken care of. 
By 11am, my contractions were starting to pick up and I was really starting to feel it. By noon, my nurses came in and said I could either get my epidural right then or I would have to wait an hour and a half. Of course, I opted to do it then rather than waiting. When they came in to tell me this, Ben and his mom had just left to go get some food at the cafeteria (by the way, this hospital had the best food!). Once I had agreed to the epidural, the nurses told me that the anesthesiologist would be right in and that he had a student with him who would be performing the epidural. Even though I had an epidural with Sam, I was still so nervous about getting it this time around. Once I heard that a student would be sticking a needle in my back, I freaked! I told my mom to run and get Dallen so that she could do whatever she needed to to make sure this wasn't going to happen. She came right up with Ben and the nurses and they assured me that the lady who would be perming my epidural was amazing. Sure enough, she came in and was fantastic. Her name was Verity. When the nurse described her as a student, immediately my mind pictured some college kid coming in to give me an epidural. But Verity was on her last year of residency and was amazing. My epidural with Ellie so much better than the one I had with Sam. It worked immediately was the perfect combination of taking the pain away while still being able to feel pressure and what not. 
Things went QUICK after this. About an hour later, I felt a ton of pressure. My nurse had just checked me a few minutes prior and said I would probably be ready to push in a couple hours. I had her come back in and let her know what I was feeling a lot of pressure. She checked me again and, sure enough, I was ready to go. Honestly, everything after this happened so quickly. My doctor must have been close by because we didn't have to wait at all. Everything was ready to go and the Dr. Lovell was in the room within 5 minutes. I waiting through a few contractions and then started pushing with each contraction. This part was so different than my experience with Sam. I felt a lot more pain with him so maybe I just wasn't as coherent when I was pushing with Sam. But with Ellie, I really enjoyed the pushing. It was so relaxed and laid back (that feels weird to even say, but it was). I would push through one contraction, and then lay back and we would all chat for a bit. My nurses were amazing and so fun to talk to. At one point my doctor was making jokes (something about us not having a name picked out and suggesting we name her after some weird town in Idaho; it was weird but I remember laughing). I pushed through 4 contractions and she was out with a full head of dark beautiful hair. The nurses laid her on my chest for a bit. I was such a bawl baby this time around so this part is kind of fuzzy. But I do remember her grabbing onto my hospital gown and not letting go. She was so perfect. I snuggled her for a few minutes then her nurse took her to get cleaned up and weighed. As I was watching her with the nurses, I remember feeling so incredibly blessed. I had an amazing husband who had been by my side the entire day and we now had TWO beautiful and healthy babies. There were no complications and I remember thinking that if I could, I would relive this day and the day Sam was born over and over again if I could. 
Once they had Ellie cleaned and checked, they brought her back over to me. They had her all wrapped up and she just looked like the cutest little butterball. She had the cutest cheeks I had ever laid eyes on. My dad and sisters, who had been waiting in the hall, came in and everyone got a chance to hold her. While everyone was holding Ellie, my nurse (who knew I had been starving all day) brought me in a turkey sandwich with french fried and a milk shake. It tasted amazing! After things settled down a bit, everyone left to give Ben and I some alone time with our precious baby girl. I nursed her and she did great. I wanted so badly to see Sam and to have him come meet his new baby sister, but our hospital didn't allow kids in once flu season started. We had just missed the cut off. I understood the reasoning, but I was so disappointed. My dad had Sam down in the cafeteria so Ben went down to see him and it killed me not to be able to go too! I knew that he was in good hands with my parents though. 
Once I showered, they moved us into a recovery room. That night, Steve and Audrey (Ben's brother and his wife) came to visit us. It was so nice to see them. Ben's other brother Rob happened to be out doing ward visits with our Bishop (he serves in the bishopric) so they both stopped in as well. I loved watching Ellie get passed around and admired by everyone who loves her most. My mom left at about 9 and the rest of the night Ben and I spent alone with our baby girl cuddling her and trying to decide on a name (she didn't have a name at this point). The name we had talked most about we didn't end up using. She just didn't seem to fit that name. We decided on Ellie about 20 minutes before leaving the hospital the next day. We hadn't even talked about that name at all but it just seemed right. Marie is my middle name and my mom's middle name. I hadn't plane don using that name either, but it also just seemed like the right choice. 

Ellie has been the perfect addition to our family and brings so much joy into our lives. We love her more than anything and love watching how much Sam loves her. It truly is nothing short of magical to watching Sam and Ellie interact. I cannot wait to watch them grow together. They already have the sweetest bond. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sam: 2 Years

i have said that every stage of sam's life has been my "favorite", but truthfully, if i could keep him one age forever this s would be it! two year old sam is hilarious, sweet, kind hearted, polite and makes his parents so happy on daily basis. i cannot get over how fun this age is. ben and i have several "where did he come up with that" moments daily. the things that come out of sam's mouth are hysterical and we have no idea where he picks this stuff up!
he has started saying "thank you mommy" and "thank you daddy" to everything. when i finish bathing him, when i feed him lunch, when i change his diaper, when i put on his jammies…i always get a "thank you mommy" afterwards and it melts my heart each of every time. 
whenever he doesn't want to do something we always get a "no thank you". we usually die laughing because we will ask him is we should go change his diaper or go take a nap or go to bed and his response is always a quick "no thank you". 
sam LOVES his disney movies and can recite every line from frozen and tangled. he also currently loves despicable me, brave, the princess and the frog, and of course daniel tiger is always watched at some point during the day.  
we have the stage of imaginary play, specifically when it involves food. sam loves to pretend to "cook" things and then make me eat them. he is constantly opening my hand so he can place something in my hand for me to eat. i'll ask him what it is that i am eating and the most common response is brown cake (chocolate cake). he loves his sweets!
he is currently obsessed with puzzles! he got a few more for his second birthday and he could play with them all day long. i am actually really surprised at how well he can complete them. we got him a wooden alphabet puzzle and within a couple days he had mastered it. he loves to tell you which letter is which and what color each letter is. 
he's still all about all things sports. we finished our basement just before ellie was born and he now has the entire downstairs living room filled with all his sports balls and is constantly asking ben to go down stairs with him and pitch the ball to him (he got a t-ball set for his birthday). i love that he would choose to throw the ball around with dad over just about any other activity. 
sam is quite the celebrity at ben's office. he asks daily to go visit dad at work. i am sure he really does want to go to see ben, but am convinced he just loves the attention he gets from everyone there. he usually makes the rounds visiting each office and getting candy. 
just after sam turned two, we welcomed our sweet girl, ellie, to our family. just like that sam went from only child to oldest child. i was so worried about this transition and was constantly praying that he would love ellie and that he would be a great older brother for her. i don't know why i was so worried because sam did great when we brought her home. no one loves ellie more than sam does, and that is not an understatement. she is the first thing he asks about when he wakes up in the morning and he is the first person to run to her side when she starts to cry. he loves to give her kisses any chance he gets and loves to hold he little hand and tell me how cute her fingers and toes are. ben and i laugh every time he talks to ellie because his voice goes really high; he has mastered the baby talk. :) i know there was a reason sam was sent to our family first and i can't wait to watch these two grow and develop a friendship with each other. i hope that they are always the best of friends!

we are so in love with our boy. i feel blessed every single day that i get to be this sweet boys mom. he is patient with me and always forgiving of my mistakes as i am still leaning to be the best mom i can be. he never misses an opportunity to tell ben and i that he loves us and has recently started calling me that i'm pretty; melt my heart. he makes friends with anyone and everyone and has the kindest heart. i am over the moon for you, sam. now please stop growing. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

22 months

i can't believe we are so close to having a 2-year-old on our hands!
i feel like sam's second year has flown by much more quickly than his first year. at this point, it literally seems like he is learning new things by the hour. the craziest is when he picks up on something that i didn't even teach him. i'll catch him saying a phrase that he heard on daniel tiger or singing a new song he learned in nursery. he is a sponge!!
his new favorite word is "ouchie". we have been playing outside a lot this summer which means there have been quite a few "ouchies". if he falls or bonks his head he immediately runs to me pointing to whatever is hurting him saying "ouchie mama..kisses?" and will absolutely not let it go until i kiss his scrape. and then he asks me to kiss his scrape about 134 times a day until it is healed and he can't see it anymore. 
he is also the most polite little boy. always saying "thank you" when i get him what he's asking for or "bless you" if i sneeze or cough. 
i have realized that i must say "cute" a lot because i'll occasionally catch sam in his baby sisters closet, going through her clothes while saying "oooh cute" to every piece of clothing. he also loves to take pictures of himself on my phone and after each picture he'll look at himself and say "oooh cute". we die laughing every time!
he absolutely loves all things sports. he could play for hours with his basketball hoop and loves to throw the football with dad outside. 
at this point he can pretty much fully communicate with us. he talks in sentences which still blows me away and can tell me whatever he is thinking or whatever he needs. he literally talks all day long. 
he is definitely showing signs of potty training (i.e. telling me when he has a dirty diaper and wants to be changed) but i still think we will wait until after the baby comes and we are stick indoors all day during the winter. as much as i would love to not have two in diapers, i don't know if i could handle being in the beginning stages of potty training while also bringing baby girl home. 
some things that sam currently does that we don't want to forget:
-he is newly obsessed with his magna doodle (which he's had since christmas and hasn't touched?). he brings it to me and tells me to draw something, then erases it and tells me to draw something different. when he asks me to draw a person he tells me exactly how he wants me to draw it. "face mama. eyes mama. nose mama. legs mama…". he also always asks me to draw a flower with a sun in the sky and clouds and grass (what?). 
- he can count to twelve and has started to say 6-7 letter sequences from the alphabet. 
-can say his full name.
-i have caught him singing songs around the house from daniel tigers neighborhood. the other day he was singing the song from the episode about singing about your feelings. too funny!
- is fascinated by my pregnant belly. he loves pulling up my shirt and poking at my belly button.
- loves to FaceTime with papa and grandma in fresno! he asks about papa and grandma all the time and asks about all his aunts and uncles. he is pretty confused by the fact that his aunt samantha has the same name as him so instead of calling her sam he calls her "ah-the". and no matter how many times i say "kenzie" or "mckenzie" he still only calls her ken ken. he also idolizes all his cousins on the webb side. he is always asking to play with charlie and pooker (cooper). 
-his current favorite foods are tomatoes, turkey, mac n cheese, avocado, fruit snacks, oatmeal, french fries, and teddy grahams. 
-he plays extremely well on his own. whenever i let him play for a while with his toys on his own, he just always needs to know that i am nearby so every 15 minutes or so he'll peek his head into the room that i'm in, throw me a wave and say "hi mom…bye mom" and then he's off again. 
-loves watering the plants and loves to be outside. he asks to go outside every chance he gets. 
-most of the time when we sit down to eat dinner as a family, he has his arms folded and his head bowed for a prayer before ben and i even have a chance to sit down. it's the sweetest and melts our hearts. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

18 months

where to even begin? 
the love i have for my sweet, kind hearted, long lashed, sports loving baby boy is out of this world. toddlerhood is exhausting. i'm finding it harder and harder for my pregnant self to keep up with a busy and curious toddler but this stage is the most rewarding. sam is learning new things daily and is constantly picking up on everything going on in the world around him, which can be scary at times. he is so independent at hime and wants to do everything for himself. when it comes time to brush his teeth he says "i do" and grabs the toothbrush. while we are reading books he says "i do" until he gets to turn the pages himself. he wants to tackle everything himself. 
sam actually went to nursery at 17 months because both ben and i have callings in young men and young women's and it was getting harder and harder to have him with us. his first week, he did amazing! but from the second week on he freaks out whenever we step foot near the nursery. it breaks my heart. we are hoping he will learn to love it soon. his nursery leaders are gems and are so great with him so we are hoping with him he will warm up to them. 
my little book worm loves to read and although he occasionally has me ready a few different ones, he generally sticks to his favorites. his current favorites are "brown bear, brown bear", "the little blue truck", "that's not my elephant", and an old goodnight book from when i was little. 
he can name each of the animals in his brown bear book along with the noises that they make. we are working on counting, but he generally just makes it to three and then starts naming random numbers. 
we absolutely love teaching him new things and seeing his wheels turn. 
at this point, we can basically fully communicate with him. he understands when we tell him to do something and he can tell us when he is wanting something. he is starting to get better at stringing 2-4 word sentences together. 
he currently loves playing with his mega blocks, any sort of tractor or car, and ALWAYS has his teddy bear with him. i am not sure at what point he became so attached to this one random teddy bear that he has but it is glued to his hands at home and always says "teddy?" as soon as i get him in his car seat to go somewhere. he also loves playing with his basketball hoop and actually has great aim. give his boy any sort of sports ball and you'll have his heart for life. 
he is still the worlds biggest ham and loves to say hi to every single person in every single store we step foot into. he if they say hi back to him he continues to say hi over and over until he can no longer see them. he honestly makes friends wherever we go!
we have been trying to explain to sam that he will be a big brother in september. he probably doesn't really grasp that concept yet but he loves to give kisses to "baby sissy". he comes up and pats my belly and then plants a big one on his sister. there is no doubt in my mind that he will make the worlds best big brother and i can't wait to see him interact with his new baby girl.
sam keeps us on our toes but no matter how tired i may be at the end of the day, i wouldn't trade this age for the world. i feel so blessed to be sam's mama and i love him to pieces. 

18 month stats:

31 1/2 inches tall
21 lbs. (11%)


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

16 months

sam at 16 months:

- is a major chatterbox! he wakes up talking (and sometimes singing to himself:) and doesn't stop until it's time for bed. it is amazing to watch him learn new words daily! he loves to copy whatever ben and i are saying (which has really put  us in check). 
- loves to talk on his "cell phone". one of the toys he got for christmas came with a pretend phone which he loves to carry around and occasionally put up to his ear and say "helloooo" or "hiiiii". 
- sam went through a hitting phase a couple months ago. he thought it was pretty funny. so we taught him how to be "soft". so now whenever we tell him to be "soft" he gently strokes out cheeks and says "soooff". we can't get enough of it!
- he LOVES his backpack and wears it everywhere. he will usually bring it to me first thing when he wakes up so i can put it on him. and he looks pretty darn cute in it. 
- church is rough right now! sam is a mover and a shaker so trying to sit in sacrament and throughout our meetings can be hard. we usually end up doing laps around the church. i am both excited and terrified for him to enter nursery. on one hand, ben and i both have obligations the second and third hour (ben in elders quorum and me with young women's) so it's hard to keep and eye on sam AND be engaged with our callings so nursery will be a relief but on the other hand i am terrified that sam will come home sick every week. 
-sam is obsessed with out iphones. he can turn them on, get to the pictures/videos, and scroll through them. it is crazy that i didn't have a call phone until i was 12 or 13 (and it was one of those nokia bricks) and sam can work an iphone by the time he is one. 
- still loves to be rocked to sleep. and mama loves it too. 
- learned a new animal sound this month. he now says "sssssss" when i ask him what a snake says. 
- loves to facetime with grandma and papa!
- sleeps 7:30 pm - 8:00 am.
- learned how to crawl up onto chairs/ottomans/anything. we were watching a movie one night through the apple tv. so it was playing on our tv as well as over on our computer. somewhere in the middle of the movie we realized that sam was no longer sitting next to us. i looked over towards the computer area and he had pulled himself onto the chair in front of the computer and was watching the movie on his own. we could not stop laughing!
- still loves his books. i hope reading never gets old for him! 
- has learned how to fold his arms for a prayer. and honestly, i feel like me heart is going to burst every single time he does this. he can also say "Jesus".
- loves to play basketball! or to play catch. my parents got sam a little tikes basketball hoop for Christmas and it is probably the best purchase ever made! just in the past couple days he has started making baskets on his own! ben is a happy man. 
- this was sam's second Christmas and it was truly magical! he is at the perfect age. seeing everything through his eyes was so special for ben and i. we loved watching him open all his gifts and "oooh" and "ahhh" at them. my family got to be with us for Christmas so sam was spoiled with love and attention. and prezzies :)
- loves to help mama clean. i usually sing a song with him while we clean up his toys and he will dance while putting his toys away. 
- his obsession with "Daniel Tigers Neighborhood" has reached new levels. we watch it in the car, at home, everywhere. he calls him "dannnny". 
- still sleeps like a champ as night and takes one 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon.