Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Baby Laine

I don't think I wrote a post on my latest pregnancy. This one has been the most difficult, probably because this time I had two kids to take care of and one of them was just a little over 15mo. I was just beyond exhausted all the time. That's probably why I haven't written anything since April. I was about 16 weeks before I started feeling this looming cloud of fatigue and sickness float away. I had stated to feel closer to my old self  at about that time, even though I was still going to bed at 10pm and feeling like I could  sleep till 9:30am and still take a nap in the afternoon.

At 20 weeks Brian and I had our ultrasound appointment. Naturally, we were pretty excited to find out the gender of our baby, much like anyone one else is at this time, and on the drive up there, we really didn't think about much else. Like the REAL reason we have sonograms is to check how the baby is growing and to make sure everything is developing well. The gender reveal is actually second on the importance scale.

We walk into the sonogram room and we begin to see our baby on the monitor. Brian and I were clueless, but I'm pretty sure the sonographer saw right away there was a problem. She begins to look around a little closer and I mention to her that it seems like the picture is not very clear. This is where she tells us: it seems like I am running low on amniotic fluid. She continues to look a little further then tells us she really can't see anything and for us to go have our appointment with our OB Dr. In hindsight, this appointment went very differently then it did with Reese. Not only because of the lack of fluid which I was somewhat concerned about, but I had heard of these issues before, and they worked themselves out right? This time around, the sonographer was very rushed, she did very well to hide the look of concern on her face and she got us with our Dr. very quickly.  When our Dr. came in, she told us she already had an appointment set up with a specialist for us in Frisco who had better machines and who delt with these issues all the time. We said ok, still not understanding the severity of this situation.

They literally rushed us out of the office and we drove to our next appointment. On the car ride over there, half of me was slightly concerned, but the other half (a larger half) just knew everything would be ok. We were still hoping that these new people, with their awesome machines, would be able to tell us the gender of our baby.

We get onto a room and a sonographer takes a look at our baby once again. Again she tells us I am low on fluid and that's why she can't see much of the baby. For the sonogram machine to work, there needs to be fluid to bounce off of. She still couldn't see the gender.

Soon after the sonographer leaves the room the Dr. comes in to talk to us. He gets the baby on the monitor again and tells us, "it's not that you have LOW fluid. You have NO fluid." Now, even I, in my ignorant "everything will be fine" state, knew something was terribly wrong and that the amniotic fluid is a pretty essential part of growing a healthy baby. He then tells us that the reason I don't have any amniotic fluid is because my baby doesn't have any kidneys. Our baby's kidneys never formed. He went on to explain that the amniotic fluid comes from the urine the baby produces, then swallows, to also help with lung formation. Since our baby didn't have fluid, or kidneys, our baby also didn't have lungs. It seems you can't have one thing without the other. This is when it hit me. Babies can survive without kidneys, people have transplants and survive all the time. But no lungs? Half of our baby's insides were missing. The only reason our baby still had a heart beat (not a great one) and was still growing (not very well) was because it was still attached to me and the organs it was missing were not essential for life inside the womb. This is called Potters Sequence.

Words cannot describe the feelings we were feeling when we heard all this. Devastated doesn't even come close.  The Dr. said if we wanted an MRI to confirm and be 100% sure he would set us up for an appointment. We said yes and our appointment was set for the earliest time Parkland had available. Friday at 4:00pm. This was Wednesday afternoon.

Even though I should have been somewhat hopeful, I just knew the MRI wouldn't tell us anything we didn't already know. And since our appointment was at 4:00pm on a Friday, I was just praying we would have quick results and a clear sign for the choices we where going to have to soon make.
I think here is where God really started to show himself to me. I was half expecting to get the MRI, they would file it away, and I wouldn't hear back from the Dr. till Monday or Tuesday. When I got there, I asked if I would be able to have the results after the MRI, and they told me yes, there was a Dr. on call 24-7. That was better then I could have even asked for. After I got my regular clothes back on, the Dr. had us back in her office. The Dr. Confirmed everything. Our baby had Potter's Sequence. She was so tender hearted and sweet, she actually started crying when I did. But there was answer to prayer #2. We would now be able to make a clear choice on what to do from here.

Earlier that day, I had called my Dr.'s office to see if I could go ahead and schedule an induction just in case they were going to be booked up. IF this was what we were going to do, I did not want to have to wait all week.  We made the apt. for the upcoming Monday at 5:00 am with the on-call Dr. BUT if I wanted to go in that Friday night after the MRI, MY Dr. would be on call that weekend and she said she would do it.

God had just answered another one of our prayers. For direction and for a clear sign of what choice we needed to make. The choice was clear. I was going to go ahead and induce labor at 20 weeks and 5 days. I called my Dr. while in the car driving home from Parkland. I didn't need to wait till Monday, I could come in that Friday night and be with MY Dr. This was another answer to prayer. Not one that I specifically prayed for, but I was SO grateful that MY Dr. would be delivering my baby. Just a sign that God was in control, He was looking out for me and that this was the right choice.

We had to run home pack a bag and tell the girls goodnight. Thankfully it's summer time and my mom was able to stay with the girls. It would have been so much more stressful had it been during school season.

We got checked into the hospital and settled into our room. My nurses were great and God showed himself to us again. We started talking to my nurse and she told us she got into nursing because of situations like ours. She had gone through what we were experiencing more then once and felt like she could help others like her. And she did.

Labor was hard. Since I only had c-sections I had no idea what to expect this time around. They gave me some pain killers and eventually some Ambien to delay giving me an epidural, but it got to a point where I NEEDED the epidural.

It was probably close to 12 hrs. before I had my baby. Thankfully I was able to labor at night, so Brian and I were able to get some sleep. After a total of about 5 pushes, my baby girl was born.  We named her Laine, since that is a girl name we thought of if we had a girl.

This is not an experience I would have chosen to go through. It is hard to bury a child, no matter how long they have been with you. Laine was with us for 21 weeks. She did not know us, but she knew her maker and she went to go be with Him before she even made it into this world. For that I am thankful.

This is not a perfect world. Horrible things happen all the time. Just because I am a believer, doesn't mean I get a free pass. But what I believe I do get, is the ability to see that God was with me the entire time. I did not go through that suffering alone and He put the people in my life that I needed. From family and friends who continuously kept us in their prayers, to the Dr.'s and nurses who happen to be in the same place I was. For this I am grateful.  

Maddie and Reese- May and June

May was a fun month school wise for Maddie. She had field day, which was a day Brian happened to be Watchdog for at school so he participated with her all day. I went up there for a couple hours with Reese to watch and we all had fun.
The PTA also put on a "splash day" for the kids which was fun also. I wasn't able to go up there for that, but I heard all about it when Maddie got home. Her Kindergarten class also had a "manners breakfast" where they invited a guest to come to their class and they served them breakfast and ate together. She chose Brian to be her guest and they had fun.

On the first week of June, Maddie had her kinder graduation. I can't believe I have a first grader! First grade seems so much older then Kindergarten. She won't be the baby on campus anymore. :(

About a week after school let out she started swim lessons with Cis. I was just as impressed with her progress this year as I was last year. By the end of it, her coaches said she became a good strong swimmer. I'm hoping she will continue what she learned at the pool we go to, but I have heard her say, she only wants to swim at Cis's pool. Ugh.

Now for a quick catch-up on Reese. She will be 21 months on Friday July 4th, so I may as well write and update now.

Reese has become a little more adventurous these past couple of months. She loves climbing on the coffee table and bouncing on the sofas. She also loves to color and it seems she might be left handed like her sister.- what are the odds of that? We are however, having a hard time keeping our crayons strictly on the paper. She has branched out on the sofas, tables and walls and I'm trying to figure out how to teach her that those are not correct surfaces to color on.

Reese just now switched to size 5 diapers and she is wearing size 24m clothes. She has most of her teeth and I'm pretty sure she has started working on her 2yr molars. Those are rough.

Reese also went on antibiotics for the first time. She randomly got strep. Then she gave it to Maddie. I had both girls on antibiotics at the same time.

This month Reese started gymnastics at ASI. We are doing a mommy and me type class and she loves it. She is a little more of a goof ball then Maddie was at this age, so she's not AS good on the circuits as I thought, but she's having a blast doing it, and I enjoy doing it with her, so, all in all, it's good time spent together.

Now that we are done with swimming, Maddie wants to start gymnastics again. I guess that's ok because it goes along with my "one activity at a time" rule.

We went to the Arboretum in May and got a year long family pass. The new kids area is really fun.


Reese at gymnastics

They love bath time together

Maddie got a new bike for graduating kindergarten. (she needed one desperately, she was still riding a little radio flyer trike and her knees hit the handle bars when she peddled. ha!) 

After swimming 

This is possibly one of my favorite photos of the girls. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Maddie's 6th Birthday and Disneyland

We have been wanting to take a trip to Disney for a couple of years, and finally, it came a time when I was not pregnant or buying a house or going through something life changing, that we decided to go ahead and pull the trigger.  We had been planing this trip for months. We decided to go during the spring so we could also celebrate Maddie's 6th birthday at the park. Best decision ever made.

The week of her birthday, on a Tuesday, we had a small gathering of some of her friends from church come over for pizza and cake. She chose to have a FROZEN theme birthday and honestly, even though it was small and at our own house, it was just as fun as some of the enormous birthday celebrations we have had for her at bounce houses and birthday places in the previous years.
We would be leaving on our trip on that Friday morning, so on Thursday, I took cupcakes to her class and they sang happy birthday to her there. (I felt that would also make up for the small crowd at our house since she wanted to invite EVERYONE)


Brian or I had never been to Disneyland, only to Disney World, so this would be new to everyone.
The reason why we decided to do Land over World was because my sister's in-laws live in California about 30min away from Disneyland. They absolutely love my girls (since they don't have g-kids of their own yet) and have been wanting us to come out there and stay with them. Also about the time we where planning our trip, their middle son, Jimmy, got a part time job at Disneyland, so he came with us a couple of days and kind of gave us the ins and outs of the park.


Our trip out there went ok. It was a 4 1/2 hour flight and Reese slept about 30min of it on my lap. The rest of the 4hrs where spent shuffling her between Brian and I taking turns trying to keep her entertained.  Before we left, I downloaded some apps for Maddie on the ipad and that pretty much took care of her.

Saturday morning, March 1st, Maddie's 6th birthday, we got up early and headed to the park as planned. What was NOT planned was all the rain California suddenly decided to get after weeks of a drought. Of course it WOULD rain the weekend we where there. Back in January I made reservations at the PLAZA INN to have breakfast with the characters especially for her birthday. Another best decision ever made.

Even though I made a reservation, we still had to sit on the patio, which was ok, just not what I had visioned. The curtains where down so we didn't get cold or wet and the Characters made their way just fine outside to see us and Maddie never new the difference. The breakfast was a buffet of ALL kinds of food including mickey mouse shaped waffles. Maddie really liked those.

We spent the rest of the day walking around, riding rides and trying to avoid the rain. We spent part of this first day at California Adventure, which was just across the way from Disneyland. This was a fun park too, but Maddie was not able to do several of the rides, and with the non stop rain, we spent a lot of time just hiding out, trying to not get to wet.

In California Adventure we saw A Bugs Land, and also Cars, which was just amazing. We also saw Monsters University. I know there was probably more for us to see, but the rain made it quite impossible to do much else.

Fortunately I was able to get Reese take a nap in the stroller while we where there.  She would sleep for at least an hour, and that was enough to get her through the rest of the day and into the night so we could stay as long as we could. 

We spent 3 total days at the park and we had so much fun. My feelings comparing the two parks are as follows: Disneyland was perfect for the age of our girls. Maddie was able to ride just about all rides except for maybe a couple. She was even able to ride Space Mountain and Splash Mountain and absolutely loved them both. Reese was also able to ride several rides, and the ones she couldn't Brian and I where able to switch off waiting in line and riding a ride with Maddie, while the other waited out with Reese. When the ride was over, the parent riding stayed with Reese while the other parent  got back into a no-wait line with Maddie to ride the ride. This was awesome. That way we where all able to ride the rides and not waste any more time waiting in line.

I would like to go Florida when the kids are older and would be able to experience all the parks that Disney has to offer there. I think it would have been a waste of money for us to pay for things and not be able to enjoy them because our kids would have been to small. These parks where perfect.

 Maddie was able to meet several of the princesses and this just totally made her day. She met Cinderella, Anna, Ariel, Aurora, Mulan and several characters at the breakfast and then later through out the park including Mickey, Minney, Daisy and others. This age was perfect.

Along with visiting the parks, we also took a small tour of Southern Cali. We went to LA and Hollywood, which actually was not impressive and quite trashy. Not at all what I had imagined, they warned us, but I just couldn't imagine going to California and not experiencing the stars walk of fame. I wanted to tour the Dolby Theater, but they where still cleaning up from the Oscars from the night before, so we weren't able to go in. But I did take a picture with Mr. Oscar who was still standing outside.

After Hollywood, we went to Beverly Hills and took a picture in front of the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel. We would have gone inside, but we had the girls with us so we didn't. Instead we drove down Rodeo Dr. and had lunch at a Cheesecake Factory.

After lunch we drove down to Santa Monica and walked down the pier and on the beach. Its not the most impressive beach I have ever seen, but iconic non the less. Maddie didn't know the difference and it was to cold to spend to much time there anyways. To my surprise Reese didn't like the beach. I don't know if it was the sand or the cold water, or a combination of both, but it was funny to see her.

I have so many more photos but I would be here all night.
We had a great trip, even though it wasn't a "relaxing" vacation on the beach, we had so much fun and I cant wait till Reese is old enough for us to do it again so she can experience it like Maddie did.
Our trip home was a little better, Reese slept 1 1/2 hrs on my lap which was better then the first time around, and after being gone from Friday-Wednesday, we where all ready to be home.  It was a great vacation AND 6th birthday.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reese-15 months

We just got back from Reese's 15 month appointment. She is 24lb's -75% and is 31 1/4" in length -75%.

Reese has definitely begun throwing tantrums. I know I've mentioned that she had been showing signs of that in the past, but now its the real deal. I'm hopping that as her vocabulary develops, her attitude will change. She is still a very sweet baby and loves to cuddle, but when shes not happy about out.

Reese understands simple commands like "no", "sit down", "be gentile" (we had to teach that early due to hitting people when shes mad), "come here", "give hugs and kisses" and others.  She also knows words like "eat", "night night", "snacks", "buy buy" and several others.

Reese loves to sit and "read" books and play with her toys. Shes also very attached to her lovie, a little giraffe. I asked Brian's mom to find me another one so I can have a spare while one is being washed.

The big milestone Reese has reached this past month is walking. She is now walking all over the house. Its funny when kids learn how to walk they are very aimless about it. But its easy to see how proud she is in her new accomplishment.

We love watching you grow sweet baby girl!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas and Happy New Year!

I almost cant believe I'm able to sit down to do this and its NOT a post about Reese's monthly progress. But don't worry, her appointment is next week, so you wont have to wait to long. :)

Christmas this year was good. It was definitely different then in the past, since this was the first year my brother and sister where not with us. On Christmas Eve, we went out to eat with my parents and grand-pa, then on the way home Brian, the girls and I drove around Willow Bend to look at the lights. We met my parents back at my house (after they dropped off my grand-pa back at his house) and we opened presents. We don't normally open presents on Christmas eve, but my parents had gifts for the girls and we wouldn't be together the next day, so we just decided to open gifts that night and see what Santa brought the next morning.

Maddie slept in our room on Christmas Eve because I didn't want her waking up and seeing what Santa brought without catching it on camera.

In the morning we all got up probably about 7:30 or so, and Maddie could hardly wait to see what Santa brought. We had a leisurely morning with cinnamon rolls for breakfast and then getting ready for Brian's parents to come over for dinner.

We had dinner with Brian's parents, opened gifts with them and just hung out and played some new games Maddie got earlier. 

New years eve, we where going to have friends over, but I had to be a terrible friend and un-invite them because Reese was sick with a really bad cold, that and a combination that I haven't slept in a couple months due to her molars coming in, I woke up new years eve morning and just wanted to cry from exhaustion. So instead, my parents came over with some food and they played games with Maddie and we watched the count-down on TV. The life of a family with small (sick) children. I was in bed before 12:00 but that's ok. Its just a faze of life and even as lame as it sounds, I do like hanging out at home just spending time with my kids and family.

These pictures are kind of out of order. And also mostly taken with someone's iphone, so don't judge my photography skills by these photos.

Christmas morning, Maddie and Brian playing a new game.

Maddie showing off her gifts from Santa. Including an A.G. doll. Marie Grace.

And also a playground for the back-yard.

Reese snuck a bite of left-over cookie crumb that had been left for Santa.

Christmas Eve dinner. 

Christmas Eve.

Reese and her new Princess Cinderella dress from Mrs.Karen. 

Goodies Santa left.

Maddie got a Rapunzell dress from Mrs.Karen.

 We also celebrated our 8th Anniversary (a little late due to the ice storm) at the Melting Pot in Addison. A fun tradition. We had also gone to the Nordtrom Spa at Northpark Mall. Heavenly!

Maddie won at Shoots n Ladders NYE.

Work in progress. A lot more work then Brian anticipated. He has done a great job. My dad has come over some to help, but for the most part, hes been working on it all by himself. Maddie LOVES her new swing set. I look forward to being able to watch the girls play back there. (while I lay in the shade reading a book :) )  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Reese 14 mo. and Thanksmas

I totally forgot to write a 14 month post for Reese!
There haven't been just a whole lot of changes since last month. She still eats just about everything, and she wears the same size diapers and clothes.
The biggest change this month is that she has become more confident in her cruising abilities and she also has become aware of her ability to stand without being supported. We have started practicing with her walking back and fourth between Brian and I and she will take one step before diving head first towards us.  We have some work to do!

This past month I have been busy with photo shoots for Christmas cards and getting started in Christmas decorating and shopping. This year we did our family Christmas on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Dubbed as "Thanksmas." This was the year that Ashlee and Michael will be in California and Corey and Rachel will be in San Antonio for Christmas. We will be here as always, but will be having Christmas with Brian's family. The only time we would all be together was at Thanksgiving break, it was only logical we had our Christmas at that time.

We had a great Thanksgiving break. Maddie was out of school for a week and I was very happy to have her home. We had a fun time together playing, shopping and getting ready for Thanksmas.

Before our family got together for Thanksmas, we celebrated Brian's 30th birthday! His birthday wasn't for a few days, but he wanted to celebrate while everyone was in town. His restaurant of choice was Club Schmitz in Dallas. Its actually a pretty well known hamburger bar despite its "appealing" curb appeal. Apparently some famous people have frequented this bar back in the day. So after the girls shopped in Allen all day we drove to meet the boys at the bar after their ALL DAY round of golf. I'm glad he got the opportunity to do something fun like that, especially on his "birthday".
The little girls fell asleep on our way to Dallas after shopping all day. Ashlee was on head reast duty.

Club Schmitz. It's a classy place.

This establishment actually has a special place in mine and my families heart. I have been a patron of this place since I was little when my family was home on furlough. My grandpa used to live on Lover's Lane in Dallas where my dad grew up which is quite close to where this bar is. My grandpa knows the owner and his family and everyone knows who my grandpa is and what he will be eating and drinking when he comes in. When I was little he used to go every Saturday. Since he's been retired he goes on different days during the week to meet his other old retired friends. They eat, drink and play pool. They also have a shuffle board which Maddie tries to perfect her skills when she goes.

The next day we had our Thanksmas celebration. It was fun preparing the food and getting everything ready in my house. Having little kids, its so much easier to host. Plus, my parents house is undergoing a huge remodel so their house was quite out of the question anyways.  

My parents (mom) wanted an impromptu photoshoot.  

 Classy Reese.

 Maddie was excited about The Grinch.
That wraps up November.  Merry Christmas!