Wednesday, March 1, 2017

our hospital stay

Following the c-section, we had a 3 day long hospital stay... kinda more like 4 since Em was born early early Thursday morning. So... Wednesday morning to Sunday afternoon. It was so wonderful to be in that little hospital bubble of ours. Here is just a quick photo dump of our hospital stay!

Friday, February 24, 2017

emerson lyn white: birth story

Emerson turned 7 weeks old yesterday and I figured I better take a few minutes to write out her birth story. Part of me wishes I could go back and relive that sacred day over and over! But then also part of me is like, yeah not doing it like that ever again but thanks anyway. Weeks before Em was born, I was in the early stages of labor and having contractions everyday. This caused me to think she was definitely showing up early! Yeah, wrong. Our first false alarm was the day before Zach’s most important final. I had been having fairly consistent contractions and an excess of (sorry, TMI) cervical mucus which led me to believe my water had “torn” and was leaking. I called my OB and they told me to go ahead and go in. Once there, in the triage room, the nurse did some tests to see if anything really was of concern. Due to the results of the tests, she decided it best for me to hang out a bit longer and have the doctor come in and check me. The doctor told me I was the same progression as my check-up a few days prior (2 cm dilated and about 65% effaced) and that my water was still very much in tact. I was secretly bummed but also TOTALLY relieved because Zach absolutely had to take this particular final the next day.

Fast forward a week and a half later, my mom gets into town and we are ALL about inducing labor. We walked and walked and walked and tried a whole bunch of wives tales. Nothing. Then New Year’s Eve, around 9:00 pm I start having contractions. Then they become more consistent and painful so we start timing. Sure enough by 11:00 they were 5 minutes apart. We tried getting ahold of my OBGYN (you’re supposed to call before going to the hospital). No answer for an hour (!!! NOT COOL) so we just went ahead and went in. So we get to the triage room and (I’m really starting to not love this particular room) I go ahead and get dressed in the hospital gown and they hook me up to the monitors. Sure enough, I was not only having consistent contractions but I was dilated to a 3 and about 75% effaced. Whoo, progress! They then tell us to walk around the hospital (me. Walking. With contractions. Not a super fun thing) to see if I progress more. After about an hour and half of walking, my contractions had started getting closer together to being 2 minutes apart. I get checked again but hadn’t progressed really so they had to send us home. I was heartbroken!

Again, fast forward 4 days. I wake up around 6:30 am to some pretty gnarly contractions. I decided they were bad enough that I didn’t want to lounge around in our room so I head downstairs. They’re bad but not super consistent; of course, over the next couple of hours they progressively got worse and closer together. 9:00 am rolls around and contractions are 5 minutes apart so we decide to go ahead and call the OBGYN. Thank the good heavens they answered quicker than last time because we were walking into the hospital at 9:30 am. Back to the triage room and really hating that room more than ever. The doctor checks me after a while and I am 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced so they decide to keep us! Hallelujah, epidural I am COMING FOR YOU! By 11 am, we were moved to our delivery room and everything is so surreal. I get my IV and I’m in bed working my way through contractions with my hubbby and mama by my side. At noon, my life got so much better. The anesthesiologist comes in and we get that happy juice goin’! By 12:30, I was all hooked up and feeling FANTASTIC. Oh, epidural I love you so. I do think that part of the reason I so desperately wanted the epidural was because of the fear I had of labor but the rest of it was definitely how bad the contractions were. They radiated all through my back and into my abdomen. Ouchie. Anyway, from then they left us in our room to rest until 3:00 pm when they came back in to check me. Thanks to the epidural, I was able to take some naps (or tried to rather, I was so excited and nervous I couldn’t really sleep) and watch tv and eat my popsicles and drink my ginger ale. See, even as I type this I’m trying to be positive but let’s be real. I hadn’t eaten since the evening before because when I woke up to contractions the last thing I wanted to do was eat (which is stupid, I am force feeding myself next time) so I was hangry. Distracted by what was happening so not too grumpy, but hangry. At 3:00 Dr. MacLaurin came in with Sandy (one of my favorite nurses) and checked me. Well, I was 5 cm dilated but not progressing because the epidural seemed to have slowed things down a bit (not that I could be too mad because I loved my epidural so). At this point, they broke my water in hopes it would speed things up. Not that I could feel much of anything (again, epidural I love you) but I could feel a little bit of the gush and was later told by Zach that it was A LOT of fluid (again, TMI but hey if you’re reading this you probably already assumed there would be a couple “TMI” moments amirite??). They came back in at 4:00 with the oxytocin since my water breaking meant that I was at a higher risk for infection if we waited too long. Well, the combination did the trick. Cue contractions closer together and becoming more intense. By 6:30, I was dilated to 9! YES! That’s when the doctor told me we would be pushing within an hour or two so I was to try my hardest to sleep since I didn’t have much energy due to the lack of food I had consumed. This is when things start to go wrong.

7:00 pm. Nurses change. I was trying so hard to be happy-go-lucky and go with the flow that I sort of tuned out my nurse but she was not great. She was rude and treated us all like idiots. I continue contracting but at this point the epidural is starting to wear off a bit. This is good, this is what I wanted! I wanted to be able to feel a little bit so I wasn’t completely numb and “in the dark” when it came time to push. So I am laboring with this not-so-nice nurse when 8:00 pm rolls around and I’m told it could still be a while before I can push so I did the only pushing I could do… the blessed epidural button. PUSH DAT BUTTON!  Okay, so my nurse decides then I need to be switching from side to side because sometimes your epidural can favor one side of your body but switching sides can help balance it out. This goes on until 9:30 and then it’s the real pushing time. I remember feeling super out of it when my nurse explains to me how to push and then has me get ready for the first one. With Zach on my left and my mom on my right, I get ready and bear down to push. So, I bear down and close my eyes and I pushed SO HARD that I only heard my nurse count to 3 before I black out. Yep, passed out. I remember coming to and seeing Zach’s and my mom’s faces looking so worried and mumbling something to them. “Whoa sorry I fell asleep a little bit” is what I said according to my team. My nurse thought I was kidding… Kay? Why would I joke about this? My mom and Zach were NOT happy but we decided to try pushing again. I get ready again and as I scrunched my face up and closed my eyes I could feel myself slipping again so I just stopped mid-push. So basically for the first little while of my TWO HOUR pushing period (yeah. And I did NOT mess around, I pushed hard) I tried to learn how to push my hardest while keeping my eyes open so I didn’t pass out. This led to a lot of broken blood vessels in my face and enough in both eyes to look like all the whites was just blood. Gross. The trick that I used to push, was the whole time the nurse counted to ten I looked at the number she was saying on the clock on the wall. It helped, but not too much. Not enough. 2 hours and all you could see was barely the tippy top of her head. They later told Zach her head was just too big for my pelvis and that it was like “fitting a square peg in a round hole”. So around 11:00 pm people start trickling in. At first, I noticed it was a nurse. Then a couple more. Then my doctor (who really only comes in towards the end of pushing when the baby in coming). So there are like 8 people in our room and Zach and my mom are no longer by my side. Where did they go? I am easily the most out of it I have ever been. I have NO idea where they went and when these nurses at my legs and sides and down by my feet showed up. The doctor then tells me that the baby’s heart rate is getting too high and things could go wrong really fast. Oh and NOT TO MENTION, you have an infection in your uterus from trying to push her out so hard and for having my water broken too long since earlier that day. Then, she tells me we need to go ahead and have the C-section. At this point, I didn’t even know where I was. You want to cut open my abdomen and pull this baby out? Cool. I don’t even care, I just want her out and I want her safe. So it takes about 30 minutes to get everyone prepped and me prepped. Also, funny side note: I had to sign some consent forms. While I labored, yeah my blessed epidural was pretty much completely gone at this point so I was feeling everything, and was in pain, pretty sure that “signature” was a squiggle. Plus, her head was low enough that every contraction I NEEDED to push but couldn’t or else it would cause more distress. It was so hard.

At this point, everything is blurry. I remember them putting on my little blue scrub cap and wheeling me out of the room. I remember going through the double doors that say “Authorized Personnel Only Beyond This Point” and being wheeled into another room. The lights were bright in there. I remember them transferring me to a different bed or table, I don’t really know. Then, the anesthesiologist told me the spinal block would kick in fast. A very sweet, very petite nurse helped me sit up and let me hang over her while I got the spinal block. Then nothing. Black. No idea how long it was or what happened from there but I woke up on my back with my arms stretched out beside me and looking at a blue curtain with more bright lights blinding me. Zach was there, on my right. The first thing I noticed, was that I couldn’t breathe. It was literally my worst nightmare playing out in real life but I couldn’t speak to tell anyone that I was unable to breathe. I must’ve looked extremely panicked (hm I don’t know, maybe because I WAS) because then the most wonderful nurse anesthetist in the entire world, who was sitting at my head, said to me, “I know it’s scary and it feels like you cannot breathe but you are breathing. You are doing great. Keep breathing even if it feels like you aren’t. Focus on the air in your nostrils.” Which, the air flowing in and out of my nostrils were the only thing I could feel. I still couldn’t find my voice so I just looked up at her, probably with tears in my eyes, and kept “breathing” while she stroked my hair. How did she know I loved having my hair played with/stroked?? Angel. Nurse. Seriously, she was an earthly angel for me. I just remember hearing a baby cry and in that moment (1:06 am), finding my voice. I don’t remember what I said but the next thing I do remember is them putting this wiggly, pink (wrinkly) thing on my chest. Face down. Like, why?? I couldn’t hardly move my arms and you put my baby on me, face down so she can suffocate??? (at least that is what I was thinking) So I asked Zach if he could just hold her next to me for fear I would drop her or she wouldn’t be able to breathe. I was so tired. So, so tired. The most tired I have ever been. But she captivated me! I held her little hand and looked at her until they whisked her away. She was completely healthy right away which was such a blessing after all they said could happen, especially with my infection. After she left, I felt the tugging and pressure of being put back together. Weird to think about. Anyway, then they were done and cleaned everything up. They transferred me back to the other bed and wheeled me to a recovery room.

This is where the story should pretty much be calming down, right? Yeah, well apparently our story was supposed to be spiced up a bit because while in the recovery room I tried to sleep. How dare I?! The spinal block must’ve been a bit too high because every time I would close my eyes to sleep, my breathing would slow so much that the alarms on my monitors would go off and someone would have to wake me up. I was SO TIRED, you guys, so tired that my eyelids were the heaviest I had ever experienced. If I tried to open my eyes, since ya know I couldn’t sleep for fear of DYING, to wake myself up I would get sick. I only threw up once, which I am pretty proud of. So I basically (tried to) forced myself to stay awake for the next 5 hours with my eyes closed… Being really tired, it didn’t work too well. So I would hear “KENZIE!! WAKE UP!” every 10 minutes or so for a few hours. The hardest part of all this was not being with my baby. All I wanted to do was hold her and look at her but I couldn’t. Zach took pictures for me but with the nauseating feeling I got when I opened my eyes, it wasn’t the best idea for me to look for too long. Luckily, Zach and my mom got to see her and hold her while I was bedridden during that time. That made me feel better. Around 6:00 am, we were told by the not-so-great nurse that I would get to stop by the nursery window to peek in at my baby on the way to my room! Yay! But she had to go do something and didn’t get back until 6:30 am which was 30 minutes before the shift change when she told me it would “take too long to take you by to see your baby” and that she would get off late. Cool. Okay. I was heartbroken but too tired to fight her on it (too much, I fought a tiny bit). Side note: Zach and my mom DID NOT like this lady. My mom was pissed she didn’t take me by the nursery and I’m grateful she was because I couldn’t be. You da best mama. So we get to our room around 6:40 (she totally could’ve taken me by the nursery, WHATEVER!) and I try my best to sleep. And I sleep okay for a few hours but was so anxious to get to meet my sweet Em that it was pretty crappy sleeping. Then the blessed hour of noon rolls around and it’s time to take me to the nursery. Getting out of bed and into that wheelchair was the pits. But it was worth it. Zach wheeled me into the nursery and I see her. My beautiful baby. Ah! She was sleeping and so beautiful. But it was my time to hold that girl. So the nurse got her out for me and I can’t stop staring at her! They let me do skin to skin and that’s when I start crying and can’t stop. All was right in the world. I had my baby in my arms. That’s the moment I could replay over and over and over a million times. I also got to feed her her little bottle of donated breast milk (thank you to all the amazing women that are able to do that) and snuggle with her for a bit. After that, we decided since it had been over 30 hours since I had last eaten that I should eat. So we left and met my mama (who brought us Chik-fil-A) in our room to eat lunch. Emerson was supposed to stay in the nursery for 24 hours after being born so they could monitor her due to the infection but she was able to join us just a few short hours after that and I was elated. The rest of the stay was me getting back to normal (peeing wise, interesting that’s not something I knew with a c-section/catheter stuff and also those danged to heck uterus massages: I loathe you) and getting to hold our baby and being with each other. Now, she’s 7 weeks old and the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. We love her so much. The end. (I didn’t know how else to end it HAHA and now pictures)IMG_5494.jpg

^^ my blue popsicles. Heaven sent!IMG_5497.jpg
^^ I just love Z in this picture. He is the best and most caring husband and father. We are so lucky he is ours.IMG_5501.jpg
^^ SO grateful for Zach and that he used our camera to take the photos of what I could not see.IMG_5506.jpg
^^ Emerson Lyn White // 8 lbs // 20 in. // born at 1:06 // Be still my heart!!!IMG_5513.jpg
^^ So funny, she does this with her legs when we change her. She bicycles them now. Work it girl!
^^ Getting panicked and telling Zach to take her from me.
^^ I love that Zach is looking at me in this photo. He is the best. Love you, honey!!
^^ Okay I am embarrassed by this photo BUT it just shows you how drugged and tired I was!


^^ All hooked up and so peaceful and sweet.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

bumpdate: 24 weeks

How Far Along? 
24 weeks along, today!
Maternity Clothes? 
Honestly, so far I really only have 3 pairs of maternity pants and one maternity dress (that I know many other people who are not pregnant own, ha!). So yes and no but I'm quickly running out of options.
I really like sleep. A few weeks ago, I got a body pillow from Bed, Bath and Beyond with a gift card we had and it's been AMAZING! I sleep a lot better with it but I still get up at least twice to pee during the night.
Notable pregnancy moments?
At the doctor I found out she is sitting upright, like me with her feet down below (kicking my bladder) and her head up high by my lungs. Nothing to worry about right now, but we will keep it monitored.
Quite a bit! She moves sporadically throughout the day and pretty frequently, but there are still many quiet moments, too! 
Gender: Sugar and Spice! GIRL!
Food Cravings?
Gosh, everything? Haha. Specifically mozzarella sticks, homemade chocolate chip cookies and french fries.
Morning Sickness?
Sometimes, I will wake up and feel nauseous very briefly but then not again for the rest of the day.
Lower back pain! UGH! This one sucks. If I am up doing something for too long, I will have to take a break and sit for a while before I can resume the task. Also, gas pain: I hate you.
Looking forward to?
Getting in the OBGYN and figuring everything out within the next few appointments.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

baby girl white

This story really starts almost 2.5 years ago when Zach and I were married. I was on the pill and it made me crazy. We knew we wanted to wait at least a year before starting to try to have a baby. Skip a year into our marriage, I was having trouble with my period so I stopped taking the pill and we decided it wasn't a big deal if we held off on finding another form of birth control. FUN FACT: when you are a virgin and you get married, because you start having sex you automatically think you're pregnant. At least for me, I am pretty sure if my period was 30 seconds late I would buy a test because I thought I was pregnant. Pretty sure we bought like a test every month because I was SURE I was pregnant haha. Woops, sorry Zach! Anyways, I was off the pill and I wasn't getting a period. Come 2 months later (probably closer to 3 months sans my monthly gift), I get a period. Yay, right?! Not quite. It was irregular from that point for months.

I always wanted to pregnant/about-to-pop have a baby when I graduated from school. The months came and went. I was having symptoms of pregnancy probably because I was hoping so much to BE pregnant that I was searching for any signs I could be. It was so hard for me to go every month and not be disappointed. It was 90% (generous?) what I thought about everyday until I was supposed to get Mother Nature's gift. Skip to the month before graduation; Zach and I decided it was going to be hard to continue living month to month in hopes of me becoming pregnant so we put in a deposit on a puppy. A sweet, little female Goldendoodle puppy. We weren't trying to replace a child with a pet, but I needed something to have when we moved to Durham! We love animals (particularly dogs, particularly golden retrievers) and knew when we got married we wanted to have children but if things didn't go how we wanted we would get a pet before kids. Or get a pet after we were done having kids. Anyways, we were all ready to get that sweet little puppy and bring her here with us!

A whole month passed, puppy on my mind. One day, May 7, I was home. Zach wasn't, he was helping his older brother move gravel into their yard to build a shed. I was leaving in like 30 minutes to take a family's photo's in the park but was idling in the bathroom. I had started to think about packing our things, what we would take and what we would give away. I opened the drawer and saw a lone pregnancy test. They come in packs of 2 and I had taken one already, probably the month before. Anyways, a thought popped into my head, "Well, I'm not gonna pack a solo pregnancy test when we move. I may as well take it now." Usually, I don't watch the lines because I feel like it takes longer but this one, I knew I wasn't pregnant. So I watched. One line... Two lines. Wait, what? 2 LINES?! I looked at that thing for 2 minutes straight. Maybe longer, maybe shorter. I started to panic. "Oh my gosh." I just kept saying it out loud, then faster, then crying. I COULD NOT believe it. I wasn't supposed to be doing this by myself! Zach and I decided to look at the results of pregnancy tests together; because if it was negative we could comfort each other and if it was positive, which it never was, we could celebrate together. I called Zach, probably 20 times, with no answer. I had to leave to go meet our friends at the park to take their photos yet Zach still didn't answer! I didn't want to show up at his brother's house for fear that he wouldn't be able to hide it or that he would be mad at me for taking the test without him. FINALLY, he answered. I was hysterical at this point so I really don't know how he understood me but I told him I was sorry for taking the test without him but that I was pregnant. He was so happy and I could've chatted with him forever but I had to leave! So I went to take the photos and once we were done, I sped home. While I was out, I had him buy me ANOTHER test (you're welcome pregnancy test companies for keeping you in business by myself) and I showed the first one. We cried and hugged and laughed and were so shocked! The second test was a digital one and it was also PREGNANT! The one month I wasn't thinking about being pregnant or becoming pregnant or babies was the one month that changed our lives.

^^Fun fact: I made fun of people that took pictures with their pregnancy tests. Like, you just peed on that. Now you're taking a picture of it. Why? Well, BECAUSE! That is proof that you are, in fact, with child. And it's cool and whatever.

We couldn't really wait to tell our folks so we told them the next day. Nothing fancy or special, we just told them. They knew it was hard for us to want a baby so bad for so long and not have anything happen so they were thrilled for us. This will be Zach's parent's 10th grandbaby and my parent's FIRST grandbaby! We are all so excited. Here are some other relevant pictures of me/my belly since then that are a part of our journey thus far. Bump updates to come!

^^ Our first ultrasound! Zach's uncle did it for us and I was so grateful to him. I think I hugged him like 3 times haha. Doesn't look like much, and really didn't look like much to me, but hearing the heartbeat that first trip was really something else. 

^^ We had Zach's other uncle, Uncle Sean, do an ultrasound for us at 16 weeks. I didn't have any prenatal care while we lived in Utah because of our wonderful family who would do the ultrasounds for us. Anyway, Uncle Sean is a Perinatologist so he was able to do a pretty hi-tech ultrasound for us. We were able to see her little hands, profile, legs, bum and lady parts... that's right! GIRL! We are thrilled. 

^^ Trying on my bridesmaid dress with the bump. I think this was 20 weeks.

^^ Pretty sure this was the same day! Haha. Just wearing a different dress. Do not be fooled, much of that is fat that was there before BUT there is definitely a baby in there. I can feel her attacking me regularly ;)

wedding weekend

2 weeks after we got to Durham, we hopped on a jet plane and flew to San Diego, CA for my little brother Matt's wedding. We got in early Thursday August 18 and my mama picked us up from the airport. We got In-N-Out for lunch and headed over to the house where the reception would be to help set up. I'm so sad because I hardly took ANY pictures but hope to post some here when my brother and his wife get their wedding photos back. Anyways, Friday we hung out together and I got my nails done with my mama while the boys hung out. That night was the family dinner put on at the same home as the reception and my parents did the dinner. This taco truck came and cooked super yummy tacos and quesadillas. There was a hibiscus drink and it was delicious. I loved getting to be with my family and see our dear family friends! Especially, my little cousin/sister Jessica. I love her dearly. She's my person (you too, Zach!)

Then we woke up bright and early Saturday to head over to the temple for the sealing. It was a beautiful sealing and I loved getting to be a part of their special day. Baby girl and I were bridesmaids and Zach was a groomsman so we also stayed after a while at the temple for photos. Matt and Brooke looked gorgeous. Post-wedding we went to lunch with Brooke's family then back to the hotel for naps until the reception. The reception was so pretty and there was a yummy waffle bar. The best part, though, was definitely the dancing. There were so many of Matt's childhood friends at the reception that I have also grown up with and my family made for prime dancing conditions. We got DOWN + danced the night away. I was SO sore after (Pop, Lock and Drop It will do that to ya) and sweaty and tired but it was worth it. The next morning we flew out early and I couldn't help but cry as I departed from my dad at the airport because we just live so far. I'm excited to be able to go home for a short time in November to be with my family again!