Saturday, October 25, 2014

Family Pictures!

We went today and took some family pictures and I think they turned out really well! For some reason, Josh wasn't feeling it, so we didn't get many of him smiling, and I am actually taking him back on Tuesday after I drop Noah off at preschool and we will do a little 10 minute mini-session to try to get some smiling individual pictures of Josh. Overall though I think they turned out really cute and I love seeing our little family all together! These four boys are my greatest blessings!!!
 Josh's face looks like a thug in this one, cracks me up!

 As close as we could get to him smiling!

 Noah is SO photogenic, and he loves to cheese it up for the camera. Such a cutie!

 Some of Noah's funny personality!

 Josh is very not sure about what we are doing at the studio...

 I do love this picture of him, just wish we could get some of his adorable smiles!!

 Sam is SO cute, he was cooing and squealing the whole time. Love this darling baby!!

 I think this is one of my favorites.

 He was looking at me during these profile shots. :)

 Three handsome little dudes!!

 Can you tell this was towards the END of the photo shoot?!

Love this picture of the bog brothers looking at their baby brother. Hope they always want to be friends and watch out for each other.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Welcoming Baby Sam!

Sam’s Labor Story

Samuel Boyd Anderson was born on June 27th, 2014 at 6:03 pm. He weighed 8 pounds exactly and was 20 1/2 inches long. I was induced with him a couple of days before my 38 week mark due to complications, namely pre-eclampsia. Let’s start there… (skip ahead if you don’t want to read all the pre-baby stuff!)

At my 34 week appointment I went in and found out that I had high protein count in my urine and unusually high blood pressure, I usually have picture perfect blood pressure. I was asked to do a non-stress test on the baby to make sure he was okay, which he was, then I was asked to do a blood draw to test for my platelet count, which was low. All of these signs combined made my doctor think I had pre-eclampsia so she told me to do a 24 hour urine test just to be sure the protein levels really were elevated. So the next day I drove to the hospital to drop it off and we heard back that afternoon that yes my levels were elevated and I needed to come back in the next day. So I went back to the doctor’s office (a 40 minute drive!) and we did all the tests again, with the same results. High protein, low platelets, high blood pressure, but no problems with the baby. They also did a quick ultrasound to make sure my amniotic fluid levels were okay, which they were. So I was told to get a blood pressure cuff and take my blood pressure at home every couple of hours and if it got consistently above 140/90 I was supposed to come back in. Well, I was almost always over on one number but not the other, so I was the absolute border of where they wanted me to be. I would be either 142-ish over 88-ish, or I would be 138-ish over 92-ish. Once I got a reading of 154/100 which was kind of scary.

I was told to take it ridiculously easy, basically partial bed rest, until my due date got closer. Problem with that was, well, I have two other small children! My mom and dad were in Europe for the month of June, so I was keeping them updated on the phone and through texts about my condition, which was stressful for all of us. Ben took a bit of time off here and there and my mother in law and sister in law were great to come down often and take over caring for my kids so I could take it easy and not endanger Sam or myself. I was even told to limit how many times I went up and down my stairs since the slightest activity spiked my blood pressure! It was a very stressful time for me, and discouraging to not be able to be a functioning mom…

I now had to go in to the doctor twice a week instead of just once, which was a major pain but I am glad they were being so careful about my health and about Sam’s well-being. At my first 36 week appointment my doctor was out of town and I was seen by someone else who said she would induce me that day if I wanted since my levels were steadily, if somewhat slowly, climbing the charts. I chose to wait another week for my doctor (I didn’t really like the one I saw that week) and to let my mom have time to come home early from her trip to be with me since it was most likely that I would have the baby before she was originally scheduled to come home. I went in for my scheduled 37 week appointment and found out that I was 85% effaced, dilated to a 3, and my levels were still high so we set my induction date for Friday that week. I was so excited to have a date set, but so nervous about all these complications and worried about Sam. It was a roller coaster of emotions, but nothing compared to what was coming!

The Actual Labor:

I was admitted to the hospital at 7:00 AM on Friday. We were almost in the same room that I had Noah in, we were right next door! I jokingly told the nurse to tell the lady to move and she said she was positive the lady wouldn’t appreciate that, and about 20 minutes later we heard her baby cry, so yeah she probably wouldn’t have liked moving just then! Anyway, there was a weird picture on the wall of different birthing positions that creeped Ben out, so the nurse actually took it down and put it in a closet! Our nurse was absolutely wonderful, she was so accommodating and friendly and we really enjoyed her bedside manner. She spent a lot of time with us since she only had one other patient that day so we got lots of attention.

I was hooked up to the IV and started on the Pitocin by 7:30, and once that Pitocin hit I started contracting regularly every 3 minutes. I am the most regular contractor ever! I am like clockwork the whole time, which is great, but it is also very tiring. I was able to last until I was at a 6, which was around 3:00pm. I got my epidural at that time, which had to be administered twice because he hit a blood vessel the first time. It was pretty miserable to have to be numbed and stuck and poked twice, and all the while I was having very regular strong contractions, but I made it and the epidural was wonderful! I still got sick and light headed and nauseated from it for about an hour, just like I have every time I get one, but the relief from the pain is so nice. I did have to have a little bit of oxygen once or twice to help with light headedness. My mom had shown up around 11:30 and she was there to laugh and joke and visit with us and her support was so nice, especially through what was to come. Ben was so wonderful too, especially while I got the epidural, he held my hand the whole time, and he also gave me foot massages, helped me stay comfortable on the bed, assisted me in walking to the bathroom and around the room to help with pain, and just generally supported me and told me I was doing a good job. He is so sweet!

After getting the epidural about an hour later one of the doctors from my clinic FINALLY came to break my water, my doctor was supposed to be there around noon to do so but got held up and had to ask someone else to come over, and after my water broke I progressed very quickly. By about 5:30 I was feeling ready to push and I was experiencing a lot of pressure and just a touch of real pain. When the doctor came in and got ready and told me to push, after one big push she said, “Well he is just going to pop right on out!” and he did, only 2 pushed later and he was here!

Sam’s Big Scare:

When Sam came out he was so cute and chubby, my biggest baby, and he let out a few decent cries while they started to clean him off then suddenly that beautiful pink color receded and the dark blue color came back and he stopped making any sound. They grabbed him off my stomach and rushed him over to the bassinet and the nurse was talking into her radio thingy and said, “We need staff to room 412 we have a limp baby” and my world just stopped. I couldn’t see Sam because he was instantly surrounded by a large group of nurses, probably 8 or more, and there was also a large pillar in the way, but I could see his monitor and it wasn’t moving. He had flat lined. They did chest compressions on him and got him going again, but his breathing was incredibly shallow and very very rapid. Once I knew he was breathing and his heart was beating, I began to cry. We had literally just done almost the same scenario with Josh a year earlier (Josh and Sam are Irish twins, both born in June) and I didn’t know if I was strong enough to go through it all again. I was so worried about Sam, I don’t think there is any way to feel more helpless than to watch a team of nurses frantically working on your newborn child, before you have even touched him or held him or let him hear your voice. I couldn’t even go be near him because I was getting the afterbirth process over with. Ben stood as close by Sam as he could get without hindering the nurses efforts, but he was just as helpless. As I cried my mom was by me and kept rubbing my arm to support me but she was also emotional and we cried together as we watched my precious son from across the room. The room seemed very big at that point, he was so far away.

Eventually, roughly 20 to 30 minutes later though it felt like much longer, they got me sewn up (two little stiches) and cleaned up and got Sam stable enough to bring him to me. I was able to hold him for just a few precious minutes, give a few kisses, and let Ben hold him. I learned from Josh last year that if Ben didn’t get a chance to hold him then it might be a couple of days before he got the chance. So I made sure Ben got just a moment with our new son. Far too soon, he was whisked away to the NICU for further evaluation to see if he had to be admitted. After he was gone and my emotions were back somewhat under control I began to shake violently. Partly from the labor and partly from the trauma and emotions and adrenaline. I was brought 3 heated blankets and I still shook and shook and shook. It took a while to stop. I tried to eat some crackers and drink some juice and took a pain pill since my epidural had long since worn off and I was feeling the pain, but I threw it all up immediately. I decided to wait to eat and take another pill for a little while because I think my emotions were making me ill. Ben was in the NICU with Sam at that point so it was just my mom and I and I am SO grateful that she was there to be with me!

I was ready to go to the maternity ward, and in my hospital when a new mom is wheeled from labor and delivery to maternity they play a lullaby overhead. Well I had also learned from Josh that being wheeled over there with empty arms and a broken heart while listening to a lullaby is torturous and so I asked them to kindly refrain from playing the song, which they did. They quickly wheeled me to the NICU first so I could see that Sam was hooked up to his machines and get an quick update from the nurse there, who was actually the nurse who first took care of Josh and she remembered us which was kind of coincidental. We were told he was being admitted, which I knew meant several days in the hospital. Sam was hooked up to oxygen, a heart monitor, a breathing monitor, an IV, a pulse monitor, and an oxygenation monitor. He was breathing SO fast and so shallow, it was frightening to watch. They assured us that he was not life threatening and would be fine once they slowed his breathing down, which ended up taking 8 long days in the hospital plus another month and a half of home oxygen. Anyway, after I visited Sam I was wheeled to maternity, with Ben and my mom walked alongside me. We were all very subdued and I especially was feeling discouraged and disheartened because I knew I was in for a long recovery, it is difficult to recover when you are staying in the hospital with your baby for several days, and I knew how depressing and lonely I was about to be while I waited for Sam to be ready to come home. It was not a good feeling. Little did I know my personal adventure was just beginning!

My Big Scare: (kind of gross at the beginning)

Once we got to my maternity room I was ready to lie down, try to eat again, and rest for a while. I hadn’t eaten since 6:00 that morning, it was now about 8:00 at night, and I was physically and emotionally wrung out. However, when I stood up from the wheelchair to get on the bed, I felt a huge gush of blood, including several fist sized (or bigger) blood clots go down my legs. I told my nurse and she helped me lay down and then looked down and her eyes got huge. She immediately called for my doctor and another nurse to come into my room. She began “massaging” my stomach to get any remaining blood out and each time she pressed down on me a large amount of blood would gush out.

My doctor came in and did the same thing for about 10 minutes and then said they would let me rest for a few minutes and see if the bleeding slowed. I was in a lot of pain by now because she wasn’t exactly gentle and I had absolutely no pain medication of any kind in my system by this point. Ben left, at my insistence, to go check on Sam. While he was gone my doctor began to push down very hard on my abdomen to get out any remaining blood and see if I was clotting like I was supposed to, and several more huge gushes and enormous clots came out each time. Then she told me she was going to use her hand to pull out the clots still inside me and told me to hold onto the sides of the bed because it was going to hurt, a lot. So I braced myself by holding onto the bed rails and honest to goodness it was all I could do to not scream. That was the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life. She would push down as hard as possible on my abdomen while literally scraping with her fingers around my insides and pulling out handfuls of clots, with gushes of blood each time. I had my eyes closed, I was biting my lips, and I had tears just running down the sides of my face. I was literally writhing in agony each time she had to do that, and it took about 15 minutes, and I was getting dizzy and light headed from the pain and the blood loss. Ben called my cell phone, which my mom was holding, to give me an update on Sam and I wasn’t paying too much attention but I remember her saying, “Ben you need to get over here, she needs you.” Ben showed up a minute later and luckily she had just finished so he didn’t have to see me in that kind of agony, but he could tell it had been bad because by then I was full on sobbing (I am NOT a crier, so he knew it was bad) and I actually moaned a few times when I tried to even just shift my weight. I kept reiterating that I had no pain medicine working to help me and I could feel the tremendous loss of blood that I had just gone through, on top of the normal post labor aches and pains.

At that point the doctor laid out what was happening with my poor body. She said in rare cases some women with pre-eclampsia have complications after the birth which is unusual because normally the “cure” for pre-eclampsia is having the baby. I was one of those lucky few. I was hemorrhaging and would probably continue to do so until they intervened with medication. I was borderline for needing a blood transfusion but my doctor decided against it, but later said she wished that she would have ordered it anyway since it took a full 2 months for my blood count to return to normal. She ordered pain medication to be put into my IV so I would be able to get some relief, then told me that I would be on magnesium overnight at least, possibly longer. I was told to lay flat and not get back up until I was given the okay from my nurses, which ended up being around 11:00 the next morning.

I was wheeled on my bed back to labor and delivery where a nurse would be able to closely watch me for seizures and respiratory failure since I was losing so much blood, I was on the magnesium, and I was also given a strong muscle relaxer. I was told I couldn’t eat, which made me SO sad because I was starving by this point. The magnesium was really weird, it makes you feel REALLY REALLY hot when they first put it in, and they even had to bring in two big fans for me! That only lasted for about half an hour thankfully. I was told to sleep which was hard since I was hooked up to so much stuff! I had compression boots on each foot going off every 30 seconds (all the way up to my knee to prevent blood clots), my IV in my hand, a blood pressure cuff which went off every half hour, an oxygenation monitor on my finger, a catheter, a second IV line for continued Pitocin to try to contract my uterus as much as possible so the bleeding would stop, and something else I can’t remember. I stayed like that all night long, with nurses coming in often to check on different things, change IV bags, and I even had a blood draw in the middle of the night! Ben spent the night sleeping on the couch-bed in the room, but I don’t think he rested much.

The next morning Ben checked in on Sam, who was doing fairly well, and then he went home to get some rest after having breakfast with me. By 11 that morning I was SO done with all that, and everything was disconnected except for the IV in my hand. I was able to get up and slowly walk around and freshen up just a little bit. My face was droopy from the muscle relaxer and my mouth felt like something cottony died in it, so it was nice to watch my face, brush my teeth, and just stand up for a little bit! I was able to finally eat my breakfast, and I ordered it twice because I was so hungry! I was finally taken back to the maternity ward and told that I could go visit Sam is someone wheeled me over, which was necessary. I hated feeling so helpless but just walking across my room made me dizzy and weak. By the end of the day I was able to slowly walk myself to the NICU but I had to really take it easy.

It took 8 days, but eventually we were able to bring Sam home! I stayed in the hospital with him the whole time which was depressing and tedious and monotonous but I can’t imagine leaving him there alone. I spent the days in his room holding him when I could (he spent two days under IV lights for jaundice) and just sitting alongside his bassinet when I couldn’t hold him, or when I was too weak to do so which was hard to admit. I spent the nights in my room trying to keep positive and focus on the good to keep from going crazy. Sam made good progress and I am so grateful for modern medicine. Sam never did develop any sort of infection or have complications other than shallow rapid breathing, and we are still not totally sure what caused it. Ben came often but had to go back to work for part of the time, and I am grateful for our families for taking care of Noah and Josh during that time. They both got to come visit me several times and their visits were so wonderful but saying goodbye was always so incredibly hard. I could tell that Josh especially really needed his mommy and having to leave him over and over broke my heart. Luckily he bounced back quickly and the both adapted quite well to baby Sam. There were a lot of tears shed, a lot of prayers said, blessings given to both me and to Sam while we were there in the hospital, and my faith was tested again, but I know that the trials we have gone through have only strengthened us. I know that I felt closer to my Heavenly Father through that time because I had to rely on Him so much, and I felt His love for me and for my sweet baby. I am grateful for my testimony and for eternal families, and I am SO happy to have all of my wonderful children and my amazing, strong, capable, loving husband forever!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

For the 4th of July this year we spent the day at the Roberts house and had a blast! Mom had a kid pool set up, as well as a giant slip n slide that sprayed water, and Noah LOVED both of those things. The kids also got to make shirts, paint picture frames, and decorate foam hats, which was a great success and they all loved it. We had a nice bbq for dinner and then finished it off with homemade ice cream. After spending the whole day there, we brought our little family home and watched the Thanksgiving Point fireworks show from our backyard. Noah absolutely loved the fireworks! When you ask him what a firework says, he makes a boom sound effect and he kept doing that over and over while we watched them. He would also point to them a whole bunch and say things like fun or pretty. The other great thing about that day was that our wonderful pediatrician went into his office just to read the results of Josh's room air trial that we did the day before and he called me to tell me that Josh would be fine off of the oxygen! That was wonderful news, it was so nice to finally see his sweet face without the tube in his nose! It was a fabulous day! The next day we headed up to the Anderson's home and Kayla took a bunch of pictures for us! I think they turned out beautifully, even if we couldn't get Noah to cooperate as much as we wanted him to... :) LOVE MY FAMILY!!!!
Me and my two boys!

Duck face!!
Josh's shirt was the one we made on the 4th, his aunts Emily and Ashley made it for him. :)

So nice to see his darling face without the oxygen tube! He's just such a handsome boy.

This is my favorite one of Josh because he is slightly smiling and he just looks so cute! He is about 1 month old in these pictures, I can't believe he's already that old! 
This is the only picture we could get of both boys because either Noah wouldn't sit for the picture or Joshua wouldn't stop crying! So, there's the "brotherly love" picture I wanted... :)

Noah was VERY done with pictures by the end...
Now he's just hamming it up in his high chair, just because we aren't trying for a good picture anymore! The little stinker!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Joshua Pictures

Joshua is SUCH a good baby!! Oh I just love him! He is a wonderful nurser, he eats a lot every time he eats and he is actually starting to develop a full blown double chin. He is a wonderful sleeper, he sleeps in his own bassinet instead of having to be held or rocked to sleep (although, sometimes I still hold him the whole nap time just because I can!) and he sleeps for 4 hours between nighttime feedings which means I am not too terribly sleep deprived. He usually eats every 3 to 3 1/2 hours during the day, and takes about 5 naps during the day. He hardly ever cries, and if he does he is very easily soothed. He gets the hiccups a lot which he doesn't like, and he got them a lot when I was pregnant too so that is funny! He is a very sweet baby, he is very peaceful and calm and cuddly. It's nice to have a baby that likes to be held, because Noah didn't ever really like it that much!  It's interesting to see the difference in their personalities already. Joshua is so mellow compared to how Noah was as a newborn, he was pretty fussy for a few months before leveling out. I absolutely love having two boys, and Noah is so cute with Josh! He has figured out that he can kiss him on the head, so sometimes when I am nursing Josh I have to hold Noah off a little bit because all he wants to do is kiss him and rub his head. Noah also likes to stroke Josh's feet and he always wants to go look at Josh while he is sleeping. Good thing Josh can sleep through a lot since Noah isn't exactly quiet when he calls out to him from right next to the bassinet! :) They are both such sweet boys and I feel so incredibly blessed to be their mom, they have been wonderful additions to our family!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Joshua's Updated Stats

We took Joshua in today to get circumcised since the hospital wouldn't do it while he was on oxygen and we found out that the hospital mis-measured Josh because they were in such a rush to get him hooked up to the c-pap machine. So, he is actually an inch longer than we thought! His newborn stats are:

Height: 20 1/2 inches
Weight: 7 lbs 2 oz
Born: June 2nd, 2013 at 6:16 pm

He lost some weight in the NICU, he was down to about 6 lbs 14 oz at the lowest point, which was mid-week while we were there, and he is already up to 7 lbs 8 oz as of today's appointment! This boy can eat! :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Joshua's Pictures

 Taken right before hooking up to everything to help him breathe, but right after spending about 30 minutes trying to get him to breathe in the first place.

 All hooked up to everything. 

 Another view of all of the tubes, wires, and machines he was on that first night and day. 

 Ben's first time holding Joshua, roughly 36 hours later. 

 Official family photo, minus Noah of course. 

 Proud daddy of two handsome sons!

 "Hi daddy."

 Oxygen tube instead of the c-pap machine. This is what he will be on for the next two weeks, possibly longer. 

 Sleeping baby!

Free to come home!