Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last post of the year!!!!

2011 has been great, hard to top. Hoping 2012 at least gives a run for the money. Hoping it won't bring a zombie apocalypse or massive pandemic.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 A year in review

7th annual year in review

Please note last years for reference.

What did you do in 2011 that you've never done before?
Became a Mother of 4!

Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for next year?
My only resolution was not to have any, and I kept that. I am going to stick with that one. Same as last year... and the year before... and the year before that... and the year before that.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Me!!!! And several others.

Did anyone close to you die?
Unfortunately my grandmother passed away last month. She was a devoted Christian woman and was ready to go and is no longer in pain.

What countries did you visit?
None.

What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Well I got my baby that I asked for last year I honestly don't know how I could top that. Honestly I can't think of anything.

What date from 2011 will remain etched in your memory and why?
Halloween, Oct. 31, the day Heston was born.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Heston being born, and probably the fact it was a home birth with no complications.

What was your biggest failure?
While it was not my failure I regretted that Heston had to go to the NICU a couple of days after birth for dehydration and jaundice. But I grew from the experience so not all is lost and he is perfectly healthy now. I also regret losing our IFS contracts but all worked out in the end with that as well. I started my private practice, started working at Vista part time as a school based therapist, and I am back to doing the counseling contracts with Kathleen. I also still get more time with Ryker and Heston.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Mastitis a couple of weeks ago, it was terrible.

What was the best thing you bought?
My midwife's services. I love going that route.

Where did most of your money go?
Student loan bills, Heston midwife, and now NICU bills.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Heston

What scripture is a theme of 2011?
James 1: 2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Same every year.


Compared to this time last year are you:
a. Happier or sadder? Definitely happier.
b. Thinner or fatter? fatter for obvious reasons. Got about 10 pounds left of baby weight. Might as well work on more after that.
c. Richer or poorer? Poorer, again for obvious reasons.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Always spend more time with my family. Although I got to spend I good amount this year considering the lapse in my jobs plus this maternity leave.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Maybe time on the internet.

How did you spend Christmas?
With my family!!! 3 days in a row and mine and Steven's parents and then home for Christmas with the kiddos. Just the way we like it. Same as last year.

Did you fall in love in 2011?
Yes, with a little baby named Heston.

What was your favorite TV show?
Watched a few on Netflix, but none are really my favorite.

What was the best book you read?
Read some Frank Peretti books. So far This Present Darkness is my fav. Have two others of his I need to read still, Prophet and Piercing the Darkness.

What was your greatest musical discovery of 2011?
Loving me some Adele. Also the young Greyson Chance from Oklahoma.

What did you want and get?
Heston.

What did you want and not get?
IFS contract.

What was your favorite film this year?
Breaking Dawn part 1.

What did you do on your birthday?
I think we went out to eat. It was low key.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Hmm, not sure, last year it was a baby, now I got that I don't know.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Comfy but trendy. Still the same.

What kept you sane?
Alone time, family time, sleep, massages, church, and working out. Same every year.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
none I suppose.

What political issue stirred you the most?
economy

Who did you miss?
Still the same, my friends from home, and family.

Who was the best new person you met?
I call him Heston in case I haven't said it yet.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Life is fragile, but I knew that already. I also learned that I can withstand a lot more than I knew. When Heston went into the NICU there was a part of me that thought we would lose him. I almost lost it that day. Closest to insanity I have ever been. With the help of loved ones and their prayers and God's grace Heston, Steven, and I both made it through.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Days go by, Lifehouse
"So don't sit back and watch the days go by
Are you ever gonna live before you die
And when things fall apart
The world has come undone
Leave it all behind
Leave the loneliness alone
You wait forever blind

So come on and leave the years
When you watched the days go by
Come on and leave the fears
That you were afraid to find
Cause while you wait inside
The days go by"

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

This year I got the gift I have wanted for over 2 years now. He is 8 weeks old today. Other than that I was pretty happy with expecting none other than comfort and joy everything else was just icing on top. I see why those two are particular in certain Christmas songs. With a very busy and sometimes overwhelming life comfort and joy cannot be topped. We did our usual Christmas day at home. Christmas eve was spent at my sisters house in Coalgate, OK, and the night before we were at my Mother in laws. Kids of coarse got lots of stuff and had a blast. I am spending today doing none other than relaxing with the little man while the rest of the bunch plays with everything.















Friday, December 16, 2011

Heston growing









Party Pics












Wired differently? Nah just God's grace.

Sadly, this is my first post this month despite all that has happened. We went to my granny's funeral and it was just how she would have wanted it. No sad music and a celebration of her life! Afterwards at my Papaw's house I located those old skates that I used to skate in and broke down. It's funny how it happens, fine one minute the next, bam! It was a good cry though, from a bunch of happy memories hitting me at once. Those skates were given to me and my Papaw even told me about how he met my Granny... at a skating rink! Thought that was awesome. He and my Granny's sister also told me about how much she loved to skate and how good she was. Also thought that was pretty cool. She also had print outs of newspaper articles that were about me including my derby stuff. She never told me she did that. Unfortunately we couldn't stay long as it was on a Wednesday and had to get back.

That weekend was Kieran's birthday and hers and Zoe's party at our house. I will post pics later, still have a lot to download off the camera. The party was already planned that day otherwise considering the funeral early in the week it was bad timing.

I have been trying to work a few hours on Wednesdays since one of my friends from church offered to watch Ryker and Heston for me. Wasn't quite ready for the holidays this year. They sprung up on me. With Heston being born and then NICU right after, shopping has not been on my to do list. We did manage to get some things bought on Amazon. Wouldn't bother me in the future if we did everything online.

This past Sunday I woke up with a sore breast from Heston going a little longer between feeding. He normally nurses all night long. Not that night and it got me. I got up and pumped but it was still sore. I went to church and felt fine in Sunday School but once church started I was not feeling to good. After church was over the chills and fever hit. I went home and wrapped under covers. I knew I had mastitis, no doubt in my mind. I even had to miss the church's yearly Christmas dinner that night and auction. I hated that. The next morning with red lines appearing on my breast, which is not a good thing, I broke down and called my APN who called in some antibiotics. Started taking them that afternoon but I didn't start feeling like myself for nearly 48 hours. Normally I respond within 24 with most infections. The fever and chills were the worst. I felt sharp shooting pains everywhere. Tylenol wouldn't last long at all and due to my allergy to NSAID's I suffered without ibuprofen for a long time until I broke down and took some children's. I felt like I was playing Russian Roulette every time though. My fever was near 103 so I really didn't have a choice and it was either that or go to the hospital, which I probably should have done. But I am on the mend now and also taking some lecithin for prevention. That was worse than the flu and I never want it again if I can help it.

Through out the whole sickness I still took care of Heston and Ryker during the day and Heston even at night. It was during this that I realized I am not wired normal after having babies as most are. I have described my euphoria before that I know is unnatural. But throughout all this I still felt so blessed and happy. The baby blues are very common, some estimate it affects nearly 80% of women who give birth. That is just hormones mostly balancing out. There is also a good number who have PPD (Postpartum depression) which is a pretty good number as well and chances grow higher with significant issues after birth, such as deaths, sicknesses, stress, etc. Hmm, I have dealt with all of those and God's grace has carried me through. Heston in the NICU was enough to send me over the edge, and boy was I close when I thought I would lose him. My hope and his grace got me through that. I look back at it and see so much growth during that time. Granny's death was a sadness and also a blessing. She lived a great full life but had been suffering for a few months. She knew where she was going and is no longer in pain. Then my sickness I realized my patience level is better than I thought. I also patted myself on the back for still being able to take care of an infant when I was barely able to manage myself. In all of this I could have given up and took the opposite route that I did.

Now don't get me wrong, it would be nice if things would calm down a bit and no more huge things happen. I could use some calmness to find what normal is right now and some sleep. After all they say things happen in three's. That is 3 big things in my mind. They also say that when it comes to troubles everyone is either going into some, in the middle of some, or just getting out of some. I pray mine is just the coming out of it.

Tonight is our Sunday School couples class Christmas party. We are eating at a little pizzaria in Siloam Springs. My friend from church's (who has been watching Ryker and Heston) brother owns it and it is awesome. The kids will have their own party at the church. Heston of coarse will go with me. Looking forward to some calm fun. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Heston's first Christmas tree



This boy is very attached to his Mother! Hardly allows anyone else to hold him. It is making it difficult at times, like when I want to eat, do my hygiene, or work out. I better not complain though because I would much rather have him attached constantly then not at all.

Tomorrow we go to Oklahoma and Tuesday to my granny's funeral. Not sure how he is going to do on the trip or at the funeral but I hope I do get to go.

Friday, November 25, 2011

She is at peace...

My Granny went to be with the Lord today. She has been ill for awhile. Her kidneys shut down and then her liver and she has been receiving hospice services in her home for a few weeks. My Dad called the other day to tell me that it could be any day now and that she has mostly not been aware of whats going on around her. When he called today he told me that she is no longer suffering and that is a relief to him. My Granny was also and very God fearing Christian lady whose love for the Lord was known by all. One of my best earliest memories of her is when my brother and I would go stay with her when they lived in Watonga, OK, long ago and she would take us over to one of her friends house where they would just pray, but the lady had all kinds of good stuff to eat and keep us occupied while they prayed. She was also a very giving person, her and my Papaw both.

Every summer growing up I would go and spend some time with them in Davis, OK. This is also where my Dad grew up and where my cousins live. Lots of good memories there. My Granny has a pair of white skates that I would put on and skate all around her drive way every day I could. This was where my fondest moments of skating come from.

I will miss my Granny, but I also know I will get to see her one day.

Love you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blessings from our senses

Thanks to the ladies of Shiloh Community Church for helping to come up with these. Completed at our Second Annual Women's retreat, this was a group that my sister and I led. I also used this idea in adult therapy groups and it is amazing what people can come up with. We take for granted so many things in our lives... the simple things that can bring us so much joy! Never stop looking for the awesome in the every day, because when you do, you will miss so much!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!





Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Growing!


Despite losing a lot of weight off the bat, Heston was back to his birth weight plus a couple of ounces a few days shy of 2 weeks old. Today he was weighed at the midwife's and is 7 pounds already and yesterday he did turn 2 weeks old. Doctors feel better when infants reach their birth weight by 2 weeks, especially if they are breastfed. Heston seems to be going above and beyond. He is going to be a porker like Gage was at this rate. I am happy he is growing but saddened he won't be so little much longer. The newborn stage never lasts long enough for me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Official 11.11.11 post

Need to make one since it was the official due date for Heston. Hard to believe he has been here almost 2 weeks already. He continues to do well. Had his check up on Thursday and he is 2 ounces over his birth weight, which is good considering how much he lost off the bat. Tomorrow will mark a week of him being out of the NICU. To me this is the hardest part of being a parent and seeing time fly and them grow up so fast. The newborn stage doesn't last near long enough for me.

Monday, November 07, 2011

One week old!



And while this week has felt like a month in some ways, it's still hard to believe my little guy is already a week old. Since coming home from the NICU things have been good and fairly calm. He is nursing like a champ but gets frustrated when he is co-sleeping and can't latch on just right. He sleeps hard throughout the day and seems t not sleep as well at night. :( His cord fell off today, but we are still having to put alcohol on it as it is still scabbed. We also started using some of our cloth diapers today. These things are tricky and will take some getting used to. Main reason being they seem so huge on him.

Physically I am doing well. Still way behind on sleep, but I am managing. I still have this calm high that I get after all the kids were born, which I can only attribute to hormones. It's definitely better then having the baby blues. Told a friend of mine that I wish I could put it in pill form and market it. I figure I feel well enough to start working out right now but I am hesitant that it will affect my milk supply since I am just now getting it started. I figure if it continues to go well I will start slowly this next week. I gained about 27 pounds with this pregnancy which is only a few more than I did with Kieran and Ryker but still a lot less than what I did with Gage.

My parents and sister came up yesterday to see Heston, but they also brought up my early Christmas present, or at least part of it. I now have a full dining room set with 6 chairs, with 2 leaves. I also have a matching china hutch but will get it the next time they come up. It wouldn't all fit in my dad's truck this go. It will be nice to be able to put my Grandma's china she gave me somewhere besides a box in the garage. I gave my old table and chairs to my sister and her husband. It was a good set but only had 4 chairs. We have already been a family of 5 for awhile so you can see my excitement to finally get a 6 seater.

Right now, life is good. :)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Life Changing week



This week has brought about a lot of high's and low's. It was just Monday that Heston was born and was doing awesome. Midwife came for the 24 hour check up on Tuesday and everything still looked great. All vitals were normal. Around 11ish that night he fed and went to sleep. The rest of the night was a nightmare! Heston would wake wanting to nurse and eat but refused to latch on no matter what I tried. He screamed and cried most of the night and maybe got 1 hour of sleep. I had zero sleep. We thought it was maybe gas but sometime in the middle of the night I knew something wasn't right because he just seemed in pain and nothing would help.

The next morning I had Steven call the midwife. She asked us to take his temp and sure enough he had a temp of 102 rectally. It's hard to tell an infant has a temp by feeling them because they feel warm when wrapped all up anyways, but the guilt of not noticing earlier was heartbreaking. We were told to take him to the Doctor or ER. Heston had a Doctor's appt. scheduled with his pediatrician already scheduled that afternoon but we called and got him in within the next hour. I was a mess. I knew everything I had ever read or heard of newborns having high temps was bad and every known imaginable terrible thing popped into my head. The pediatrician looked him over and saw no visible signs of infection but noted that he was very jaundiced. We did notice this as well as he was in perfect color the night before. She stated with newborns that they had to take high temps seriously because of the potential for serious infections including meningitis. She told us we would need to take him to be admitted to the NICU and he would have to have tests run. I broke down so many times I couldn't count. One test included a spinal tap :( and she would do that in her office. She mentioned that she would like for him to go the Willowcreek NICU which was right next door but that they don't take babies that are born outside of the hospital, but she would call and see anyways. Well, luckily enough they agreed to take Heston and he was the first baby admitted there not being born there. He would just have to be in isolation from the other babies as precaution. One worry I had was that I wouldn't be able to stay with him but luckily this was not the case.

After she was able to get the spinal tap we took it directly to the hospital and they got him admitted. The neonatologist went over the many things they would be testing for, each one sounding scary. He went over the time length of stay and minimum was three days if nothing came up and the longest could be weeks. Most of the tests required cultures to be tested for growth each day for three days to see if anything shows up. Heston's bilirubin came back at 15 which required phototherapy. He was also extremely dehydrated, which and of itself is unusual considering nursing babies kidneys are supposed to keep this from happening in the first 48 hours or so until the Mother's milk comes in. Because of this his sodium levels were extremely high and this caused headaches which was more than likely the pain he was crying about. :( After they were able to get him on an IV and get some fluids in him his fever was gone. They went ahead and started him on antibiotics just in case. They also started him on formula until I could start producing for him. I was also worried they would make me to have to switch to formula and ruin any chance to nurse him, but ironically the opposite happened.

I got to stay with Heston pretty much the whole time, only leaving for a short time to go see the other kiddos. They let me do the feedings and hold him occasionally but for the most part he had to stay under the phototherapy lights for his jaundice for the first couple of days. The first day he was on formula and I pumped every time he would have ate. At first I got basically none out but soon after I noticed my supply was increasing. The next day the Doctor wanted me to nurse every other feed and continue pumping. The third day I just nursed and bottle fed as back up. By this time by milk was fully in and in great supply thanks to all the pumping I did. I feel it wouldn't have been this much otherwise. Every test they ran on him for infection was also coming back negative. The Doctor told us if all continues to go well we could discharge on Saturday afternoon. Initially, the earliest was going to be Sunday. This morning he came in and said all continued to show no infection so he would discharge this morning. We were so happy! The Doctor said for some reason unknown Heston became dehydrated and that there was nothing we did to cause it. He said the kidneys should have been on hold but they let out too much early on and then when he stopped eating it just went bad quickly. The jaundice was also caused by this because without his eating there was nothing to get things moving. Luckily, he has been latching on a lot easier and getting plenty, so hopefully we are out of the woods.

This whole ordeal has been testing. None of our children have every been admitted to the hospital for anything (knock on wood). The fear of possibly losing a child was not comparable to any fear I have ever had. Normally a very strong individual and one to rarely cry I was a mess. I am a firm believer in God using things like this for his good. And I have seen many blessings throughout. One such being before we had officially been admitted to the NICU we were already on several church prayer chains and I could feel the strength as more continued to be added. I am not one to necessarily take life for granted as fear has always been there for such life to be taken. But the reminder of that pain and the fear it produced was at times too much. Only God, prayers, and loved ones support was what got me through. Especially, with the intense amount of sleep deprivation I have had. This whole week I may have had maybe 18 hours of sleep total. If you know my health history at all you realize the miracle itself that my body has withstood that. And yet, here I am typing this with a healthy baby laying on me comfortably resting and feeling much at peace. Few words can actually describe it. It's only been less than one week, but the week has brought so much joy, fear, pain, and contentment that I can't really describe it in a blog. You can go years through life and not learn anything about what it truly is until you go through something life changing. It's a good way to remind you what priorities in life are really important. At times it almost felt that I was removed from the world itself. Time seemed unimportant and days ran together. And yet, despite all we went though we are stronger because of it. It's also been a great reminder to see our friends and family come together with the support that we have had.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Introducing Heston Sutter!!





Heston arrived at 6:13 a.m. on Halloween. I woke up around 4:20ish with what I first though were bad gas pains. I noticed very quickly that they were not typical as they were coming and going and I could feel them in my lower back. I told Steven I was pretty sure after a couple of them that this was it. He timed about 3 and agreed. He called the midwife soon after that and I got up and they quickly started getting worse. My water broke a couple of minutes before 5:00. I pretty much just stood in my bathroom and tried not to move too much as I was afraid after Ryker that he was coming. Jennifer my midwife got there soon after and checked me and I was almost completely effaced but only 2 cm dilated. I kind of got nervous as I was a 3 the week before and thought I still had a long way to go, but she said that I would probably still go fast, and I did.
I took my first position sitting on my knees right off the side of the bed. The breaks in my contractions were regular but short. I mostly just put my face into the bed and hummed through them loudly. They continued to get worse. I then said I wanted to see if getting in the tub would help. I am not sure how long I was in there but not very long before I got back out to be checked. At that time I didn't want to lay on the bed but I forced myself long enough to be checked. I was at a 5-6. I was also reminded why I was doing a homebirth as I absolutely didn't want to be on my back, it made the pain so much worse. Steven and Jennifer tried to roll me over but that didn't help either. I finally was able to get back down to my original knee position off the end of the bed. At this point I just had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't going to be much longer because I started to feel pressure. Jennifer told me to push when I felt the need to. This was so different than my previous hospital births where they always had to check to make sure I was "complete" and even then I had to wait on them. Out of nowhere it came and I started pushing. This was not long at all after being checked at a 5-6. Steven said it was no more than 3-4 pushes and he was out. Start to finish it was again less than 2 hours, like Ryker's labor and birth.
He cried immediately and was perfectly healthy. He weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces and measured 19 inches long. He is doing great and I am so happy we chose to do this at home.