Monday, August 30, 2010

My girly-girl

Marcus's comment after my last post, "it is interesting that you mostly talked about her tantrums". It made me feel really bad because that was not my intention. I did realize after the post that I left out a huge thing ...I have the most girly-girl daughter EVER. She is so stinkin' cute, she loves to "dress-up" and carry her own purse around. She is in love with purses, she zones in on them as soon as she sees someone's. Her other favorite thing to do is put on make-up with me when I am getting ready. I think it is so funny that she is such a girly-girl because I really am not(as if I need to tell anyone that). Anyway, I wish I had a camera to take a picture of her with her purse, she is so cute how she wears it over her arm. Hopefully soon!

On another note, our car is in the shop. We had to get a new fuel tank. Which answers the question of why our gas mileage has been so crummy. Anyway, we are hoping to get it back today. Thanks to Jeni I have had a car.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wow .... what happened to all my posts ....

So, I just logged in and saw that my last post was Zolie's birth story .... seriously can we just pretend I have been a faithful blogger and all my posts have mysteriously been deleted?!? Ok, good that's the story, and I'm sticking to it.

Well, let's see how quickly I can give a synopsis of the last 17 months ... hahaha. This has probably been the best year and half of my life, I am loving being a mom and now for the last few months I have been a stay-at-home mom. I can't believe how blessed I feel that we were actually able to make it happen. Granted it has been kind of hard and scary at times but things seem to work out when you put your faith and mind to something. I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom (I need to remind myself of that sometimes) and I am amazed it has come true. Zolie is my world ... she is the cutest, funniest, smartest little girl.

I think we have started the dreaded terrible twos ... but we are getting through them as best we can. I still do couponing and garage selling of the free/cheap stuff I get .... which does keep me (and Zolie) busy most days. She does get sick of shopping and those are usually where we have are biggest melt downs. I had the worst shopping trip last week, oh man if I had run into anyone I knew i think I would have died. She had been having a running nose that week .... then add a chocolate chip cookie (I do what I have to to get through the store) to that and then an opened lunchable being thrown from the cart and full on tantrum throughout the store..... oh and add that it was a Tuesday night (typical last day of the ad, and usually busy) and we had a recipe for a embarrassing and messy scene. Luckily we got through it and both of us got home unharmed. She usually is pretty good at the store, she loves to wave at everyone and sing and grab at things she wants. She is a huge people person, and loves to watch them, especially kids.

Other than her occasional tantrums she is a sweet and awesome little girl. She loves to give hugs and kisses, but don't ask too much because then she gets a little stingy (I have learned the hard way). Her hugs are probably my favorite thing in the world, especially when she decides to give one on her own. Ok, now I want to wake her up and get a hug, hahaha. The other morning I had woken up at 4 for some unknown reason, well it meant that Zolie woke up earlier than normal as well. which I thought was going to be a bad thing, but when she woke up she just sat on my lap with the sweetest smile and let me love on her and just put her head back like she was the happiest she had ever been. It was probably the best morning we have had in a long time.

Now that I am a SAHM I think I can update this regularly .... but I don't think I am capable of making any promises right now. I have not had a camera in a long time and so I have hardly any pictures, which makes me really sad. We are hoping to get a new camera in the next month or so. Until then I probably won't post many pictures.

Here is a picture from Tempe Beach Park. Zolie has fallen in love with this place. It is great for toddlers. It took her a little while to get used to it, but once she did there was no turning back. It was really exciting to see her progress. The first time I took her she wouldn't leave my hip or play in the water, to now she will stand under the waterfall and go off on her own, sometimes a little to far for my comfort. We have loved this place, especially on some of the hotter days.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Zolie Maye's Birth Story

Ok, this is Mandi and now that it has been a week and I have watched the video of her birth twice I feel I am ready to tell the story. This is going to be long and much too detailed and I apologize in advance for boring you, I really don't want to forget this and I am using this blog as a journal so bear with me please.

On Tuesday, March 3 I had a doctor's appt and my blood pressure was high, I had gained 6 pounds in one week, luckily there was not any protein in my urine. My doctor was concerned about Pre-eclempsia and sent me to the hospital for monitoring and labs. They all came back fine, but she was still concerned so she scheduled me to come back into her office on the Thursday for a follow-up. When I went back, I had lost 2 pounds (the prior weight gain was probably due to fluids ... at least that's what I like to think) and my blood pressure was ok. She put me on bedrest at that time and had me going in to the hospital for Non-Stress Tests to make sure that the baby was not affected and doing well. All the stress tests were fine, which was a relief. Zolie was a very active baby and never showed signs of distress. I went back to my doctor on the 12th for another follow-up. My doctor said "you are a loose one centimeter, very, very soft", but Zolie was still really high. She scheduled me to be induced on the 17th at 10 pm. I was hoping for much more than this because I knew my risk of having a C-Section went way up by being induced.

Ok, now to the good stuff ..... Tuesday we went into the hospital at 10 pm to get started. Marcus and I were pretty calm, just getting excited and anxious for Zolie to get here. Our first nurse, Bonnie was an interesting one. I would say she was in her 50's but didn't seem like she had been a nurse for more than a week! Anyway, our first problem came when she tried to get the IV started ... I have really small veins that no one can ever get to. I have never had an IV but every time I have had to have blood drawn it is an ordeal, even after I have made sure to drink a ton of water. So, she blew the first one in my right hand which immediately started swelling and hurting really bad, the pain was all the way up my arm. She went and got another nurse to try. Well, this one blew it as well, on my left forearm (which I still have a lovely bruise from). Then she went and got the Charge Nurse who finally was able to get it in my left wrist area. She had no bedside manner but I didn't care because she was able to get the IV in.

It is now about midnight and they are just getting me set up on Pitocin. My doctor came in about 12:30 (I wasn't expecting to see her until the morning). She checked me and I had not really progressed. I was 2 centimeters and about 70% effaced. She suggested we go ahead and break my water right then, to see if it would help bring on labor. I was a little taken aback because I was not expecting to have my water broken that early on, but she said if not then it wouldn't be until she was back in at 7:30 the next morning. So, she went ahead and broke it. At that point I was continuously leaking - which was not really fun.

Side story: Marcus and I had taken labor class and our instructor, Janice, was quite funny. She was very candid and just told it like it was. She was always doing impersonations of women having a contraction and it was the funniest thing ever, so we made jokes about me doing them when I really was in labor. Here is my best impersonation (I'm not having a contraction at all)

As labor progressed, the nurse raised the Pitocin by 2, every 20 minutes. They started it at 2 and she said the highest they are able to go to is 30 but she said "we never have to get that high". At 7am they had shift change and I got the greatest labor nurse ever, Danielle. She was amazing. I could not stand being in bed, which my first nurse really wouldn't let me do anything about. I had to be continuously monitored so it made it kind of hard. Danielle though, allowed me to stand which really, really helped. I was able to rock with the contraction and it made it much easier. When I was in bed I felt out of control and my legs kept feeling really restless and I would kick them because I was so uncomfortable. Later on, Danielle asked if I wanted a birthing ball, which I was excited about. She left to find one and seemed to be gone for a long time (it seems they aren't used very often because she said it was in a closet somewhere). This helped immensely once the contractions started getting harder. I had been checked a couple more times, but not much progress. Although, Danielle did force me to a '4'. It was the most painful thing in the world!! My doctor then came back and said they wanted to monitor the contractions internally because they couldn't tell how strong they were. I think the "Pit" was now at a 20 (30 being the highest). I had to get in bed and stay there once this happened, which I was upset about because I knew I couldn't last much longer that way without an Epidural (keep in mind, prior to all of this I had made the decision I wasn't going to get one). As soon as the first contraction hit with the monitor my doctor said, "they are more than strong enough". Now I am laboring in bed with a monitor, Pitocin set at 20, and having very painful contractions rig0ht on top of each other. I was handling the pain ok, I was just struggling to relax when one came to help open my pelvis. I have a hard time remembering the time line but I think about 10:30 or so my doctor checked me and I had still not progressed anymore and Zolie was still really high. She said, it could be two things, I could have too small of a pelvis and Zolie is too big and won't fit, or I am not relaxing enough to let the contractions open me up (which I knew I was having trouble doing). She said, I would suggest getting an Epidural to see if that helps because "this is heading to a C-Section". I grudgingly accepted to get an Epidural because I really, really didn't want to have a C-Section. It actually went faster than I expected and I could still move my legs and feel them. My doctor had a C-Section scheduled for noon and so she said we'll wait and once I am done if you haven't progressed we are probably going to have to go ahead and do a C-Section. She gave me the last word, but said if we don't, I think you will labor all day and then 9 or 10 tonight end up having one anyway and possibly me or the baby would be in trouble. I was so praying at this time to have progress, Danielle upped the Pit. to 24 (could not feel them, all I felt was something under my rib cage, I think it was from my position in bed) just to help it along, she knew how much I didn't want to have a C-Section.

My doctor was back in our room at 12:45 and checked me, at this time I had not progressed more and she could see where the contractions were pushing Zolie's head down and it was swelling trying to fit, as well as my cervix was. She said "we are going to need to do a C-Section, I think you have a big baby). Ok, so I am a little nervous trying to think how big she is, because my mom and sister both have big babies, Courtney's were both over 10 pounds.

Once we decided on the C-Section it went really fast. They had to give me more fluids and the Anesthesiologist had to come back and give me more medicine to make me completely numb. I was in the OR by 1:35. They took me in first to get me all prepped before they brought Marcus in. Dr. Miller, my Anesthesiologist stood by me the entire time talking to me, she was absolutely awesome. I don't know what I would have done without her there. I was at this point shivering like crazy, they gave me a warm blanket but it didn't really help much. My heart rate was going through the roof, so I was trying really hard to calm down and relax a bit. Once Marcus came in I felt a lot better and once he held my hand I instantly felt warmer. It took 10 minutes for them to deliver Zolie Maye Howard. She came out crying, they barely had to suction her and she was beautiful! The weirdest and most unexpected thing was as soon as they pulled her out I felt instant relief from the pressure, I could breathe deep and I felt like I had lost 100 pounds.

Once she came, Marcus rushed off to be with her and they proceeded to put me back together. They wiped her down and weighed her and then wrapped her up and brought her over to me. Once I saw her I started bawling and couldn't even see her very well. I was crying so hard they had to stop sewing me up because I was shaking so bad, it was quite funny. I remember someone saying "it's ok, we just have to wait for you to not be so emotional". They took a couple of pictures of us and then they left with her to continue checking her out. I was then wheeled out of the OR to recovery. It was really weird as soon as I was in recovery my incision instantly started hurting really bad. Danielle was working on getting me pain medicine, she then put pressure right on the incision and the pain almost completely went away. I had felt like it had been forever since I had last seen Marcus and Zolie and did not know where they were. Danielle said she was trying to figure out what was taking so long. My mom soon after came in to see me and said they were in the nursery with Zolie, there was some problem with the warmer not being where it should. Normally they would have the baby right next to me doing everything they needed to. I told my mom to go see her new granddaughter that I was fine. Marcus' mom then came back as did his dad and I rushed them off to meet her as well. It took almost exactly one hour for them to get her back to me. Probably the longest hour of my life. Once I saw her I knew she was mine. She was beautiful. She came out hungry and within 10 minutes was already latched on. They wheeled us upstairs to Post-Partum and we started our life together. The rest of that day is pretty much a blur. The main thing I remember is her wanting to eat almost continually and the nurses having to come in and push on my belly which was very painful. Danielle (the greatest nurse ever) actually came up with us to finish her shift with us, which was very nice.

I felt great after surgery (how could I not when I was holding my precious little baby girl). At 5 the next morning I was able to get rid of the catheter and then walk a bit. I felt great (pain meds are awesome when needed), I think I walked down the hall then. My nurse told me I was acting like I had had a C-Section. I didn't really understand this, all I knew is that I felt pretty good and I wanted out of there as soon as possible.

We had some great nurses, Danielle, Lynn, Amy, and Linda ... and then there was Beverly. She was the only nurse we had two nights in a row and she was not the best. She gave us poor information, made us feel like idiots, and that we weren't taking care of Zolie. Right after surgery my doctor said I would be in until Saturday but by Thursday morning I was already planning on leaving Friday .... and then came Beverly. Because of how she treated us and the bad information she gave us we all had a really bad day on Friday. Marcus had changed most of the diapers for the first day or two and was leaning over my bed to do so, plus the cot they had for him was horrible and so he had basically thrown his back out. He collapsed 3 times from his back giving out and was nervous about carrying Zolie. So, we decided to stay until Saturday, which was fine. My emotions kicked into high gear on Friday and with Marcus' back we were in no shape to go home and be on our own. Saturday morning we got up and started getting ready to head home. My doctor came in Friday afternoon to right up the discharge papers and said we would probably be out around 10. We had an awesome nurse, Linda and an awesome tech., Wanda. We were bummed because we only got them for a few hours. We were out of the hospital about 10:45 and home to our new life at 11.

Another side story:

I started to have high blood pressure during my pregnancy and was put on medicine. At about 33 weeks my doctor had me going in for NST (non-stress test) twice a week to monitor my blood pressure for an extended time and monitor Zolie to make sure she was not stressed. I had to go to the Triage of the hospital and there was one nurse, Pat that was there almost every time I went in. She basically always worked Triage so it was really comforting to see a friendly face every time. Well, on Saturday morning I asked Marcus to go and ask one of the nurses if Pat was working that day. He came back and said nope she isn't. I was bummed because I wanted to introduce her to the cutie that she monitored for so long. About 10 minutes later, right before we are about to leave, Pat walks in. Marcus wanted it to be a surprise for me. I was really excited to see her and let her hold Zolie.

Looking back, I realize that Zolie was just not quite ready to come, she is perfect and there is nothing wrong with her but with my genetics (mom late with all 5, my brother was 2 weeks late, and both of my sisters boys were late). I don't regret any decision we made and feel that my doctor made the best decisions with what was presented. I wanted an unmedicated labor, whch I did get to have for 12 hours and am actually grateful for. The C-Section was not planned but in the end we got the greatest gift in the world. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for her and the joy she has already brought to our lives. Marcus and I already have trouble remembering what life was like and I think it is because our lives didn't really have much meaning until she came. I feel very blessed and am so excited to raise my daughter to be a good person and to love life. I now know for sure what I was made to do!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Going Home

Well.... I'll let Mandi give the full report of "Expedition Zolie", but here are some more pictures!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Stats!!

Zolie arrived at 1:43pm, on Wednesday, March 18th (I guessed that she'd arrive on the 17th... glad I didn't put money on it. haha).

She weighed in at 7lbs 13 oz. As of Thursday she reached 7lbs 4.8 oz (for all those not aware, that's the norm. They'll lose some weight at first, and then start to pack in on later).

Zolie is 21 inches long - with big feet and hands to match. As I type this, Mandi is commenting about her future volleyball player status. She's already a breastfeeding champ, so why not volleyball too!!

That's it for now.... here's some more pics:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Zolie Has Arrived!!

Sorry for the gap in informaion. I planned on a sort of "play-by-play", but that didn't work too well. Who wants to see a cute baby??

Honorable mention (if not photographic mention) to: Zolie's Grandpa Howard, Uncle Ryan, and Aunt Courtney & Uncle Wes.
More photos to come....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Time!!! :)

This post is from Marcus!!

We're finally here in the hospital. Mandi's nurses just spent a while trying to get an IV started for the induction. This was definitely a fun experience. I can now start formulating "how many nurses...." jokes, since it took three of them - and 30 minutes.

We are very excited!! By the end of tomorrow (today by now, I guess), we'll have a little baby. Oh, but not just any baby. Zolie Maye Howard!!

Ok... I'm not a very good blogger. Get used to it!