Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thank you!

This has been a very crazy few weeks. We have had a baby, moved apartments, and had many helpers come visit. We have received so many emails, texts, meals, phone calls, letters, cards, and people stopping by to offer help, comfort and assistance. This experience has been full of miracles, and we have seen the Lord's hand manifest through the many hand that have helped us.

Here's a fun fact about me; I have a really hard time accepting help. Not because I don't want the help, but because sometimes I don't realize that I need help. My mom told Layton the following story while she was here visiting. When I was little we were at my Grandma's house for thanksgiving dinner. Everyone was seated and they were about to bless the food when they noticed that I was missing. They called my name and I responded "I'll be there in a minute." Another minute or so passed, and they called again and again they heard "I'll be there in a minute." Finally they sent my dad out to find me. I had been playing in the front of the house and I got me head stuck in between the bars of her wrought iron gate. I knew that I could get my head out but it was taking longer than I thought it would. With my dad's help we got me unstuck quickly and went inside to enjoy our thanksgiving dinner.

This story is rather typical of me, I'm not easily stressed out especially when I think I have everything under control. We have had so much family here helping us that we haven't had to actively ask for help yet. I have been fortunate to be recovering quite quickly from the c-section so I feel like I can do more than I'm actually supposed to. Nevertheless, for all the help we've received, noticed and unnoticed, asked for or simply just given, needed or not, I want to say thank you to you all!

We are so grateful to all of you known and unknown for everything. We can feel your love and prayers, it helps us to keep going everyday!

We love you all,

Meredith, Layton, and Emma

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Emma Rose Part III

When I started these blog posts about Emma I debated what I should call them. My first option was "A Series of Unfortunate Events". Part I would have been titled "In which we plan to go on vacation". Part II "In which we unexpectedly become parents", and Part III would be called "In which they find mold in our apartment for the 3rd time in 3 years and we move up to the third floor." That seemed a bit excessive so we'll stick with Parts I-III.

Once again, for the sake of space, I'll summarize the events of the last few days.

Saturday: Dad and Max came to visit and see our little Emma. We spent Saturday in the NICU looking at our sweet girl, then enjoyed lunch. That evening we had a nice dinner with Dad at our apartment and went for a walk. Upon arriving home Layton went into the sewing/storage room to get something, and when he came out he told us the the carpet was soaking wet and mold was growing on the walls. Again. This had happened to the year before, as well to the prior tenants. So, we began the process of calling the manager and hospital to make sure we could still come and see Emma. We didn't want her to be exposed to anything that could compromise her health more than it already has been.

The manager gave us the option of moving upstairs. I was a mess and couldn't stop crying, I was so worried that we wouldn't be able to visit Emma for the risk it would pose to her. The nurse I talked with told me she would consult with the Doctors and let me know in the morning.

Sunday: The hospital called in the morning and said we could still come visit, we just needed to be cautious that we weren't wearing clothes that had been in that room. Thankfully none of our clothes are kept in that room. We attended church, made some yummy lunch, and had Max and Dad help us move our bed frame and dresser upstairs. Layton and I spent the rest of the day making small trips taking little things upstairs. Layton called his sister Tiahna to see if she would be available to come up to help out. She said she would leave that day. We met her at the hospital where she got to see Emma, and spent the rest of the evening moving.

Monday: More moving. Tiahna had her cute little girl with her so we took the whole day and made about a million trips and got almost everything except the couch upstairs. We went to dinner at the pizza pie cafe that night. Layton had worked all day mowing lawns and we were all exhausted.

Tuesday: Spent the morning moving and cleaning. Tiahna got to visit the school where she taught, and we all went to go see Emma. Had lunch. By the time we got back it was pouring rain so we went out to dinner and saw the new Cinderella movie. It was super wonderful!

Wednesday: Tiahna had to go home. Layton and I got settled into the new apt. and spent lots of time with Emma.

The rest of this week has been spent cleaning the moldy apartment, getting settled and organized, and spending as much time as we can with Emma. Some days are harder than others, on friday I spent the morning with Emma holding her, helping with her checks, sitting by her little isolette. It broke my heart to leave for many reasons, (there were more crying babies there than usual that morning). Most of the babies there are 30+ weeks so they are only there for a few days or even a week. They are a lot bigger than Emma and cry really loudly if they need something. On friday it was so noisy, and someone must have had a visitor because the whole place reeked of cigarette smoke. I wanted to pack up her isolette and take her home with me. I felt like such a bad mom leaving her there all alone. I know she is receiving great care and I love all of her nurses, but that doesn't make it any easier when I have to leave. The nurses get busy and don't always have the time to do more than simply take care of the children's physical needs. I know they do their best but it is still hard that I can't be there 24/7.

I know things will get better. I know that she will come home someday. My favorite part of any day is when I get to hold her. Lately after putting her in my chest and bundling her up with warm blankets she will reach out one of her arms like this as if she is telling me it will be alright. I really love my little Emma girl.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Emma Rose Part I

This has been quite the experience, having Emma at 25 weeks was unexpected. I'm so glad that I wrote to my sister on her mission each week, because it helped me keep track of all the things that were going on. This is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to ruby the week before we had Emma.

This week started out really well, I was working on putting a sleeve on a prom dress for a friend's little sister, we were busy at work, and Layton and I were looking forward to our trip to Washington to visit his parents. However, as we were soon to find out, sometimes the Lord has very different plans for us. Here's a brief look at the days vents. 

Monday April 27th: lots of work

Tuesday the 28th: bought a new phone, lots of errands, shopped for a maternity swim suit, and attended our first birthing class. Super fun day!

Wednesday the 29th: Prom week was in full swing, which meant work was crazy!!

Thursday the 30th: I took on another  prom dress, and a friend in the ward brought her husband's pants over to be hemmed. After work I
 sewed sewed sewed. At this point I was super tired and my stomach hurt more than normal and the placental bleeding had started again, though only lightly.

Friday May 1st: Took Layton to work and began work in my sewing room. I start experiencing more pain and cramping in my stomach and lower belly, then I realized my bleeding had increased significantly. I still hadn't finished one of the prom dresses, nor the pants. I was trying to get ready for the day but I was in pain and stressed out! Finally I knelt down in the middle of the chaos and cried and prayed to Heavenly father for help and comfort. After the prayer I gather up the dresses and drove over to where Layton works. I told him what was going, as well as his boss (who was a mother herself as well as a caregiver at the homestead). When they both recommended I call the doctor immediately, I burst into tears again. Upon calling the midwife she told me to come to the hospital as soon as I could, so I dropped by work to let my boss know what was happening and dropped off the dresses. Layton was able to get work off too. Driving down was scary because they told us to meet them in the hospital, not the midwife center. When I got there they hooked me up to all sorts of monitors and told me I was having small contractions. They tested my urine and kept me on the monitor for almost 2 hrs. After all this they did an ultrasound and couldn't find anything really wrong. So they sent me home and told me to rest. If the pains/contractions came more frequently (more than six/hour) I was to come back to the hospital.

After getting home I was exhausted. My boss texted me and told me to take the next day off. Layton and I went for a short walk to the library and decided to leave early the next day for Washington!
Going to sleep that night was rough, as I was restless and kept having abdominal pain. At 1:30 am it was so bad I told Layton I would move to the couch so at least he could get some sleep. He gave me a priesthood blessing, warmed up my heater pillow and tucked me in. At this point the pain was so bad that I couldn't sleep so I just counted contractions; nine, then ten, finally twelve each hour until 4 am. I was so tired and in so much pain ,but eventually I fell asleep. 

Saturday the 2nd : That morning we called the midwife and again she told us to come in immediately. So, we packed the car with all our Washington stuff and headed down to Pocatello once more. This time we were greeted by the friendliest nurse, by the name of Wendy. She had me change into a hospital gown and hooked me back up to the monitors. First news was that baby birds heart beat was strong and normal! But I was having severe contractions, enough that they prepared the NICU at another hospital for me to be delivering a very early baby. They called the midwife in and had a surgeon on call. They hooked me up to an IV and got another ultrasound done. The baby is healthy and safe but you're going into labor unless we can stop the contractions is what they told us. So they ordered some shots, one that had steroids to help babies lungs develop more quickly, and one that was a muscle relaxant to force the contractions to stop. While we were waiting for the shots the midwife checked my cervix and it was completely closed and hard. A very good sign!  Both were painful and the muscle one in particular made me super shaky. After all this I was so hungry, so Wendy had Layton  order us some lunch (cheeseburgers!!) Finally after all that they sent us some with a prescription for more muscle  relaxants to use if the contractions started again. Luckily layton's grandparents live in Pocatello so we called and they told us we could stay with them until we returned the next day (sunday) to be checked over one final time. So many tender mercies.

Sunday the 3rd: That morning grandma had a big wonderful breakfast prepared, and we got to spend time with some of Layton's Aunt and Uncle, Sheldon and Nikki. Then back to the hospital where Wendy was waiting for us. She hooked me up went to go get the shot. When she came back I had registered more contractions although they weren't painful and babies heart rate had dropped. So they rolled me on my side and her heart rate went back to normal :) yay! they gave me the shot and had to keep me in for monitoring longer, so we missed church. They told me that I am now classified as a high risk pregnancy and that they will help to keep baby Bird inside of me as long as they possibly can but that she will probably be delivered early. The doctors are hoping for at least 4 more weeks, Layton is hoping I make it to July, and I'm hoping to make it until after Ruby got home. I'm officially on bed rest, laying only on my side, not my back. I can get up to use the bathroom and eat, but should do little besides. Obviously, our tripe was canceled, and I stayed the remainder of the week in Pocatello. Layton drove home sunday night to start work early, since we weren't going to be traveling, and I missed him dearly. 

Hospital Selfie