Birth Trauma

Birth trauma. When my midwife suggested at my 6 week check up that I go see a therapist that specializes in birth trauma, I thought to myself….why? I didn’t have “birth trauma”. I loved my labor and delivery! I loved my nurse and I absolutely loved my midwife. The only bad memory I have is not getting the gas faster 😉 But other than that I had a great birth experience. But after my birth is when the trauma started.

Travis and I were sitting on the bed trying to decide what to name this beautiful, huge eskimo baby. The doctor guessed Chirpie to be around 8 pounds at my 34 week ultrasound when she would be born. HA!! This cute chunker was 10 pounds 14 ounces. She wasn’t what I imagined her to be, and she did not fit my favorite names of Irene, Penelope or Everly. So, we decided to wait a while and just look at her and try and decide what we should name her. About 4 hours after she was born, she was sitting on my legs and I was watching her breathe and I noticed she was really retracting. When she was born around her mouth was bluish, but my midwife just said that is from being born and trying to switch to regular room air. I told Travis that he needed to go and get the nurse because it didn’t seem like she was breathing right. He went and got the nurse and she brought in the oxygen monitor and hooked it up and went back out of the room. When she went out I looked at the monitor and it was going between 80 and 84. By this time she should have been at 94 at least. I knew something was wrong and when the nurse came back in, she looked at the monitor and in a “I am going to pretend like everything is fine but it really isn’t tone”, she said okay, I am going to get oxygen and you will be going across the street to Children’s.

Okay. So at this point I am thinking I will be admitted over to the hospital and we will be in a post partum room together and they will just check up on her. This will be fine!

Ha. No. When the nurse brought the oxygen tank in and called for the ambulance, she walked me through what was going to happen. I needed to get dressed and we were going to go over by ambulance and she was going to be admitted to the NICU. Unfortunately since I gave birth at the birth center and I was “fine”, I would be discharged from the birth center and just go over with Evelyn and stay in her room over there. Okay, this is okay. I will have a bathroom in there and I will have a bed to sleep on, this will still be okay!

So I get up and attempt to get dressed (after have given birth to a almost 11 pound baby and having 10 stitches, that was not very fun…) we get ready to go over to the NICU. My mom, Sisi and Scarlett were already on their way up to the birth center, and Travis met them in the back. At this point we didn’t know what was going on and why she was having such low oxygen levels, so it was really scary. He told them that we were being transported by ambulance because her oxygen levels were to low.

Once the ambulance got there they brought in a new oxygen tank and a little mask for me to hold onto her. We went out the back and made our way to the ambulance while I am holding my newborn baby. I cried a little bit when I saw the oxygen levels and when they said we were going to be transferred, but as soon as we walked out the back door my mama bear mode kicked in. It was no longer about me. It didn’t matter that I had just given birth, it didn’t matter that I was in a ton of pain and that my feet and ankles were the size of watermelons. What mattered was my newborn baby and I needed to be strong for her.

So we made our way down the ally filled with snow and ice to the ambulance. We drove across the street and went into the hospital to be met by nurses and a incubator type thing for Evelyn. My mom Sisi and Scarlett came into the room and Scarlett got to meet her little sister for the first time in a big room with nurses and lights and medical equipment all around. Not exactly how I pictured the meeting happening, but none of this is what I had wanted or expected.

Since everyone was looking at Scarlett she decided to do THE fakest cough I have ever heard. But since she coughed she wasn’t allowed to come up to the NICU with us, she had to wait down the hallway while we got settled and I could come and say goodbye.

So we put Evelyn in the incubator to be wheeled up upstairs and they got me a wheel chair. We all went up together until we had to leave Scarlett with my mom and sister in the hallway. That was one of the hardest parts…I had to choose between staying with my crying almost 2 year old, or going with my newborn baby. I gave Scarlett a hug and I told her I would be right back, and they started wheeling me to Evelyns’ room. I could hear her start crying yelling “mama!! mama!!!!” and I just sat there and cried until we made it to our room.

Once we got into our room nurses came in and started getting Evelyn hooked up to a oxygen monitor, putting her oxygen mask on with little stickers on her face, monitors on her chest and belly and checking her vital signs. The doctor came in and explained to us what was going to happen. She would be getting a chest xray to rule out anything there, she was going to need to get a IV and get antibiotics since I was group b strep positive, and they would be giving her fluids and medicine to help with her blood sugar levels. As soon as they said she would need a IV I knew I couldn’t be in there or I would completely loose it. So I told Travis I was going to go find my mom and Scarlett and get something to eat and I would be back.

So we all walked the super long walk to Panera in the hospital and got some supper. By this time it was after 10 pm and I was absolutely exhausted. I got a salad and we made our way back to the room. Since we had no idea this was going to happen and we were expecting to just go home, we had nothing with us. No tooth brush toiletries pads ice packs, no pajamas or clean clothes or our pillows or blankets. The “bed” in the NICU was a super uncomfortable couch (if you can call it that….) that folded out to be a little bit bigger than a twin bed. They also had a chair that you could sleep on that was like sleeping on a rock covered in plastic that made you sweaty.

Oh, and the only bathroom they had was out and down the hall, and was a public restroom for anyone to use. If you have ever have ever given birth, you know that first night is rough. Lots of pads and disposable underwear and ice packs are needed, especially if you tear. Using a public restroom was the last thing I wanted to do, but once again, I was in complete mama bear mode. My feelings didn’t matter, I ignored the pain and tried to only focus on Evelyn, who was still Chirpie at this point.

My mom and Sisi went home, and we tried to get settled. Travis got the bed ready and I just sat and looked at Evelyn. My midwife came over around midnight to give me some fresh baked bread and some toiletries for us. Seeing her was such a comfort and it helped so much. I walked out with her and she gave me a big hug and reminded me that I need to take care of myself, too.

Once she left I went back in to try and sleep, but I could barely sit down on the bed much less try and lay down. So I ended up just sitting in the chair, dozing off sometimes but spending most of my night staring at Evelyn. It was hard to not just sit there and wallow in my self pity, and think about how this is not what I wished for or had wanted for my post partum time. But Evelyn didn’t ask for this either! She didn’t want a IV in her hand or to be poked before every feeding in her heel to check her blood sugars. She should have been on my chest and doing skin to skin and cuddling with her mama. But I felt like I shouldn’t even hold her because of her IV, her oxygen, all of the cords hooked up on her chest and belly. Breastfeeding her was hard because I was so scared to pull out her IV and have to have it redone.

But Evelyn is beyond amazing. She barely fussed, she only cried when she was hungry. She was a fantastic nurser and had a great latch from the beginning. By the next morning she was already having poops that were showing she was getting breastmilk. It was so amazing! She is such a little fighter and is so good in so many ways.

The next day my mom Sisi and the girls came to see us. I was absolutely starving so my sister stayed up with Evelyn so I could go down and meet my mom and my nieces to eat something. As I was walking through to the cafeteria looking like I was just hit by a bus, I hear “TORI!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and I look up to see Rosie and Thea running towards me, Thea screaming she is so excited. They both gave me a huge hug and were so excited to see me. If that doesn’t make you feel on top of the world, I am not sure what does! It was so cute and so fun to see them.

That afternoon we applied to stay at the Ronald Mcdonald house. I never really understood what it was or what they did, but all I can say is wow. It is absolutely amazing. It was just down the hallway a little ways from the NICU, but it felt like I was worlds away for my mind. They had a huge pantry filled with different food and canned goods that were donated by other families that was available at any time. They had a huge beautiful kitchen with 2 big fridges that had food in them, a lot of milk and apples that were donated from Mcdonalds. Every night was a huge meal that was made by different companies that came to donate their time. There was couches and a big play area with toys for Scarlett to play at. There were 9 rooms that each had a queen size bed with a big shower and bathroom in it. It was so amazing. The second night went so much better because there was a room available and we were able to go stay in it.

Travis was exhausted and we felt like Scarlett would do better if Travis went home and spent time with her, so my mom came up to stay with me at the Ronald Mcdonald house. She stayed with Evelyn so I could go back our room and take a nice hot shower and brush my teeth and comb my hair. It was amazing! I felt so much better once I did that and knew I had a place to go use a private bathroom. The second night went so much better than the first night!

The third day we were there we met with the doctor and made a plan to go home (yay!!!!). All of Evelyn’s blood tests were coming back normal, her blood sugars were where they needed to be, she was clearly getting milk and having enough wet and poopy diapers. We were beyond ready to go home and start our life as a family of 4. And I was so excited to be able to go and give Scarlett a nice big HUG!!! I missed her so much!

We got home and got settled in and it felt so good to be in our own house, be able to sleep in my own bed. I found myself constantly saying to Evelyn if she was crying or anything was happening, saying “we are going to survive this! It is okay, we are going to make it through and survive”. I didn’t even realize I was saying it until one day I was like wait…what am I saying? I was saying it and not even realizing what it meant or why I was saying it. I realized that I was just in survival mode. I was in survival mode to survive our NICU stay, to survive not having a bed or private bathroom, to survive becoming a mom of 2. I also felt like I just needed to survive life in general. I had completely distanced myself and removed myself from all of my feelings of my labor and delivery, the NICU stay, all of the emotions I was feeling. I made myself numb to be able to ignore my feelings, my pain, my uncomfortableness because my baby needed me. She needed me to be strong to be able to supply breastmilk for her, to be able to take care of her and nurture her and comfort her (even though I think half the time she was the source of my comfort). And in doing that, I didn’t feel like I had a connection with her and like we had formed a bond yet. I of course loved her, I took care of her, I would do absolutely anything for her. It was a really strange feeling. I was still in survival mode and when I realized I kept telling her we were going to survive this, I realized that I had felt like I needed to distance myself from her and become numb in order to kind of forget what happened and just pretend like I had a great recovery and like I loved every minute of it, even though I didn’t.

My midwife encouraged me to write my experience down and go and see a birth trauma therapist. While I haven’t made a appointment yet to go see one, I think that this is a great first step. And in no way do I not love my baby. I absolutely adore Evelyn and I cannot even begin to imagine my life without her. But it has taken a while. She turns 3 months in a week and I still have a hard time talking or even writing about my entire experience. I feel a little bitter, a little jealous, a little (okay..maybe a lot) sad that that is how it ended up going. But at the same time, I can’t imagine now it going any other way. I had a great recovery, minimal bleeding, I lost almost all of my baby weight really soon. I didn’t have any complications and I was able to give birth to a almost 11 pound baby NATURALLY. No pain meds. No epidural. And I think for that I deserve to call myself a bad ass. (Sorry Sisi and my mom if you are reading this….I usually don’t swear!) 😉

This entire experience has been a roller coaster of emotions. It has taken me quite a long time to even be able to write about my experience, but I knew I needed to. As I sit here and look at Evelyn sleeping peacefully in her new swing, I think about how thankful I am to have her. She is such a great baby. She brings so much joy to my life, the way she looks up at me with a smile that lights up her entire face, the way she sleeps so peacefully in her crib, how she loves to be worn in our carrier. I absolutely love everything about her, and I am so thankful I was chosen to be her mama. I am thankful for our experience and everything we went through because now it is our story. It made us stronger as a family, it made me a stronger mom and it made me realize everything can’t go exactly how I want it to, and that is okay. I am a huge planner and that is one reason why we chose not to find out the sex of our baby…I need to let go of wanting to control and plan out everything. And this definitely was out of my control and NOT in my plan! But I need to learn that that is okay.

Ah….I promised myself I was going to write how I felt and what I wanted to say at the time and not go back and edit and make sure it flows. So I am just going to click publish and go with it. It has taken me a while to get here, but thank you for reading and thank you for letting me express my thoughts and feelings. I know I left a lot out, and I know that I have already forgotten some things. But that’s okay! It felt good to write it out and get it all out there.

Love,

Travis, Tori, Scarlett and Evelyn

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Evelyn Rose

I have come back to this page more times than I can count. Part of it is having two kids and constantly getting interrupted, but part of it is I haven’t really been ready to think about, write about, and share Evelyns birth story. I absolutely LOVE reading other birth stories. I think it is amazing what us woman do and I love to read about how it was for others. So that being said, here is my birth story!

Since I was 20 weeks I knew my due date was off. I was measuring almost 2 weeks ahead from 20 weeks on…yikes. I was either going to go early or have a really big baby. By 36 weeks or so I was beyond uncomfortable. Like, way past the “I have a big belly and I am over being pregnant”. My belly was measuring 38 weeks, my back and ankles were killing me, I was crabby 99.999999999 percent of the time. Sorry Travis!! I was just over it. At 38 weeks my mom came and was staying with us on her days off. As it was getting closer to the day she was going to leave, we were both getting really nervous. I was already 4 cm dilated and I live 45 minutes with no traffic to the birth center. I was terrified I was going to end up having my baby in the car, driving alone to the birth center because Travis would be at work or something. So my mom decided to call into work and stay with me until I had this stubborn baby! Maybe I am a huge weirdo, but I love having my mom stay with us. It is comforting having your mom with you, especially when you are so uncomfortable and crabby and just exhausted in general.

So my 38 week excitement came and went….My water broke with Scarlett at 38 weeks one day, so I was counting on going into labor sometime that week. Nope. Contractions randomly, but as soon as I was going to start timing them they went away. I begged my midwife at my 39 week appointment to please induce me, I was so uncomfortable and my belly was measuring at 41 weeks. But since my blood pressure and everything was normal, I had to wait until my next appointment to make a possible plan of inducing me. I told her I am terrified of having a huge baby and not being able to deliver her since I am measuring 2 weeks ahead. Her response was “2 weeks ahead can be normal”. Fighting back the urge to punch her (jk. well, maybe. I am probably not the only one that has felt this way, let’s be honest), I went home still pregnant and still a huge whale.

The next week on Monday, April 16th Travis had a dentist appointment and my mom went to the cities to run errands. I think this was the one day in the last month that both Travis and my mom had plans to do something. I was 39 weeks 6 days with no baby in sight, planning my induction date for the next week. I woke up and my back was really hurting, but my back always hurts so I was trying to ignore it. Then it went away, and about 10 minutes later came back. Went away…came back. Went away…came back. I didn’t want to start timing them because every other time as soon as I opened my phone they went away. But by the 5th one I realized they aren’t going away! Maybe this is it?!?! Travis and Scarlett were still sleeping (yes it was like 9:30am, Scarlett used to sleep in really late). I woke Travis up for his dentist appointment and I said I am going to go with you because I am having contractions, but they will probably go away. He just said okay because this has been our new normal, contractions that just go away and never turn into anything. Then as I started timing them, they started to come a little bit closer together but were getting a lot more painful. As I was getting up and ready I was starting to not be able to talk and walk through them every time. Once I realized that this was it, I was actually in labor and they weren’t stopping we went and got Scarlett up and Travis cancelled his dentist appointment. We all got ready to go and took one last picture as a family of three (I wish I wore a different shirt so you could see how huge my belly really was…it was giant.) and we left for the birth center.

I sobbed in the car on the way to the birth center. I was so excited to meet our baby and find out for sure if it was a girl like I thought, but I was so sad for it not to be just Scarlett and I. We have been through a lot together, with Travis being in school and working full time we had a lot of alone time. She was my first baby and I didn’t know how another baby was going to fit into our family and our routine. But ready or not, this baby was coming!

Once we got to the birth center my mom was there to meet us. I really wanted my favorite midwife Heidi to be able to deliver my baby, but instead it was a midwife I had never seen named Amy. She kind of intimidated me at first because she was older, had her hair in cute pig tails and was just unfamiliar to me. I was absolutely ecstatic though when I saw my nurse. She was young, probably around my age and she did my home care class. For some reason she was a really calming presence to me and I was so excited that she was going to be there for my birth.

As I was getting ready in our birthing room and to say goodbye to my mom and Scarlett, I was getting more and more terrified. There was someone else in labor in the room next to me who was not handling it well, and the walls felt like they were paper thin. I was really looking forward to having gas to help with the pain, but unfortunately she was using it so I couldn’t use it for the first part of my labor. It was really hard to not only hear someone else in labor, but not be able to use gas when I was really planning on using it. I tried to stay positive and just breathe through the contractions as best as I could.

My labor with Scarlett was all back labor. It felt like my back was going to snap in half or like a ton of bricks were being pushed by hulk onto my lower back. I was hoping that this labor would be different and not as bad since this was my second. Nope!! I think this back labor was even worse. I was so tired from being on my hands and knees but then the second I laid down I flew back up again because it was so painful to be on my back. The nurse, midwife and Travis all took turns pushing as hard as they could on my back. I am seriously surprised it isn’t’ black and blue from how hard they were pushing! But it helped so much and I loved that they were all willing to do that.

When my contractions were starting to get closer together and even more painful, I kept begging my poor midwife to go take the gas from the other woman. I don’t think she was even using it, and I just had it stuck in my head that I needed it and that was the only thing that was going to help me. It was a really tough mental game for me, and I think that is why I had such a harder time coping with the pain.

Probably a half and hour before I had to start pushing I FINALLY got the gas. She gave me that mask and I started sucking that stuff down as fast as I could. And I can tell you, I don’t think I can ever ever EVER give birth again without gas. It doesn’t take the pain away by any means, but it helped me breathe through the contractions and cope a lot better with the pain. Kind of like I knew the pain was there, but I didn’t care because I was so focused on taking really deep breaths to get through it. Seriously, if you have the chance to get it for your next labor, I highly recommend it. It is worth every penny of the $100 you have to spend to get it.

I was starting to really feel the urge to push, so I was pushing and I felt like nothing was happening. My midwife said that my water hadn’t broken, and once it breaks I should progress really quickly and Chirpie will probably be born really soon one that happens. And she was right! Once my water broke (which is such a weird feeling and yet satisfying feeling) little Chirpie was born 15 minutes later. When in labor with Scarlett the thing that kept me going was that when they saw her head, they all told me she has hair! She has hair!

She barely had any hair.

And when they saw Evelyns’ head, my midwife said she has hair! And I just ignored her because I was thinking great, this is going to be a second Scarlett. Holy cow was I wrong!! I got my eskimo baby!!!! I will never forget how I felt when she was born and they put her onto my chest. She just looked up at me with her hand on my chest and I just felt so happy. I couldn’t believe that I got my little eskimo baby!

My mom and sister were waiting at her house to hear if Chirpie was born and if it was a boy or a girl, so like a minute after she was born Travis was asking if he could text my mom to tell her. Once things calmed down a little bit, I told him he could text her. I told him to say “she is here and she is safe” and my midwife goes “and she is huge!”. We hadn’t weighed her yet, the cord was still pulsing and I wanted to do skin to skin, so we waited. I knew I really wanted to do skin to skin and take time with her because I didn’t do that with Scarlett, and I really regretted it. Here is the first picture we took, just a little bit after she was born:

Tori and Evelyn

So happy, so in love. I love her little hand resting on me.

Once I got cleaned up and the adrenaline was done pulsing through me, I realized I was SO hungry. We still hadn’t weighed her or anything yet, so I called my mom and she offered to have my sister Sisi come bring us some food. She was there for the birth of Scarlett, but Travis and I decided it to just be the two of us this time. But I felt so relieved and happy when I saw Sisi. Someone else that knows what I just went through, knows the emotions I am feeling, it was really nice.

I was sitting on the bed and the midwife and the nurse came in and it was finally time to weigh Evelyn! My midwife guessed mid to upper 9’s, and I was thinking the same thing.

They were all sitting on the floor at the bottom of the bed with the scale, so I could only see their faces, not the scale. When they put Evelyn on the scale they all looked up at me with these huge eyes and were like OH MY GOSH. I was like what?!?! Thinking she was way smaller than we thought or something. And my midwife said Tori….she is 10 pounds and 14 ounces. I was like ummm……..WHAT?!?!?!?!?! I just gave birth, with no epidural, to a almost 11 pound baby. If that didn’t make me feel pretty bad ass I don’t know what would! I was in complete shock and I don’t think any of us were expecting that to say the least. Just more of Evelyn to love I guess 😉

 

Evelyn ended up having to be transferred to the NICU due to low oxygen levels a few hours after I gave birth, and I don’t feel totally ready to talk about/write about/process everything about that. So that post will be saved for another day! Thanks for reading, birth stories are so fun to read and everyone handles it and processes it differently. Either way, birth is amazing and it will continue to amaze me!

Family Traditions

My all time favorite family tradition is our family Christmas. Every year on my moms side we all get together (usually at my aunts house in South Dakota), have a cousin gift exchange and hang out. It is my favorite weekend of the entire year because everyone is together, and we always have tons of fun.

Now that Scarlett is a little bit older, I have been starting to think of traditions we want to start together as a family. We haven’t really done any yet. Scarlett was only 6 months last Christmas, and this year she is only a year and a half. I am going to start thinking about what tradition we want to start next year, especially since we will have 2 kids and Scarlett will be 2.5.

One topic that was a hard conversation with Travis and I was Santa. I don’t think that I grew up thinking Santa was real…I don’t remember getting presents from Santa, we didn’t go visit him. Maybe it is because I had 3 older brother and sisters that probably ruined it for me 😉

But either way, I have never wanted my kids to believe in “Santa”. The entire thing kind of weirds me out. A big man with a big beard is going to be watching you all year, and if you are naughty you won’t get any presents. We teach our kids to not talk to strangers, don’t let strangers into our home, etc. But Santa, a man we don’t know, is going to come into our house while we are sleeping, eat our food and drink our milk and leave presents? The entire thing kind of weirds me out. Travis and I decided that Santa wasn’t going to be apart of our “tradition”. We can still go take pics with Santa and everything, but we aren’t going to get Scarlett or Chirpie specific presents from Santa.

Another tradition I would love to start is cutting down our own tree! Since next year we will have a house, I would love to have that be a new tradition. I remember going to cut down a tree with my dad when we were younger, and I would love to continue that tradition.

Another tradition is Christmas presents. Every year we would all be crying because we didn’t get “what we wanted”. My poor mom. We acted like such brats when I think back on it. But presents always seem to be a let down. You don’t usually get what you want, it doesn’t live up to your expectations, etc. I really want Christmas to be more than just presents with our family. We don’t have a lot of money this year with Travis changing jobs and not getting a paycheck for almost a month, so we are doing little to none gifts this year. We got Scarlett a couple things that she needs, but not many big things. And that is okay! I hate being disappointed on Christmas, especially when we are celebrating the life of Jesus and spending it with family, not expecting to get gifts. I saw something super fun on Pinterest that we are going to start doing with at least our kids. For gifts you will get them something they need, something they want, something to read, something to wear. This way, there is no huge expectation for Christmas, they will always get some kind of new book, a new outfit, something they really want and something that they need, which will be different every year.

This year for Christmas I got Scarlett some super cute shirts and a dress that I found on clearance at Target for this summer. And we also got her a super cute little backpack that she is obsessed with! She really needs some more socks so I might get her some new socks for her something she needs. And for something she wants….I am thinking about getting her either some baby stuff or a play kitchen type thing. We went to my friends house yesterday and she had a little tea party set that Scarlett loved, so I might try and find something like that.

Since I am a stay at home mom, we are probably never going to have a ton and ton of money especially for Christmas. I think that this is a good compromise between getting presents that they will actually like and want, and having to go all out with Christmas and end up getting disappointed in the end.

 

Now for a pregnancy update!! I have a little bit of a prayer request for little Chirpie and I. I found out at my 20 week ultrasound that I am measuring a week ahead, which is super awesome. Chirpie weighs about one pound!! He/she is growing so well. We also found that Chirpies umbilical cord attached to the side/edge of the placenta rather than the middle. The problem with this is that Chirpie may not get as many or as much nutrients as he/she needs to grow. I am still able to go to the birth center, and it is really great that they found it now rather than after I deliver Chripie. One of the bigger concerns with this is when you deliver the placenta, they need to be very very gentle because the cord could come detached from the placenta, which would then become a emergency situation. Now that the midwives know, we can make a better plan for my delivery when the time comes. Sometimes babies that have this can have a lower birth weight, so I will get another ultrasound at 34 weeks to check on the growth and how Chirpie is doing. I am getting a little stressed out about it since we are supposed to be moving April 1st and I am due on the 17th, so it is cutting it a little close. But I know that we have a ton of family that will be able to help us, and we will just have to be extremely organized with our things and plan far ahead to make sure everything pans out nicely. I feel at peace and I trust my body to be able to provide enough nutrients to my baby and grow him/her big and strong. I trust all of my midwives and the OB at the birth center to take care of me and keep tabs on how Chirpie is growing. And I know that God will protect both of us. Whatever happens was meant to be and I know He has a plan for us, so I need to let it go to him.

I am busy doing a ton of laundry today and I am trying to get it done while Miss Scarlett sleeps. I absolutely CANNOT wait to have a house and have our own washer and dryer. I am so so so excited for that. And to have more room. We are growing out of our apartment very fast and Chirpie isn’t even here yet! All of our baby stuff is still packed away so I can only imagine how it would be if we had to stay here and not be able to move into a house.

 

I am back to laundry and watching keeping up with the Kardashians. I hope everyone is enjoying this snowy cold December day, I hope you can spend it with family and enjoy Christmas in the coming weeks!

 

Love,

Travis, Tori, Scarlett and Chripie

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Ahh…my favorite time of year. Especially when I am pregnant 😉 All the food, all the family time, all the pretty lights. I love it all! I love to be busy and have stuff going on, so this is such a fun time of year. Scarlett has been having a lot of fun making her rounds to all of our families and having a chance to play with everyone.

A few fun updates from the last few weeks!

Travis has been working a ton (like always), but I am SOOOOO excited because he is starting his new job in ONE week!!! He will be training on days for 3-4 weeks, then he will go to his regular shift of working overnights, Monday-Thursday. It stinks that he has to work overnights, but we are super excited for him to have three days off in a row. It will be an adjustment but we are ready for a more normal schedule.

Scarlett loves spending time with her daddy! They are so much alike, so silly, and have tons of fun together. These are some of my favorite pictures of them both from the last couple of weeks.

 

Another fun thing we got to do last weekend was go and see Santa and the Rosemount Marching band! My cousin Laura is in love with marching band, and really found her place when she joined her freshman year. As she should say, “marching band is LIFE”. She got a once in a lifetime chance and was able to travel to New York to perform in the Macy’s Day Parade! So exciting for her and a perfect way to end her marching band career. It was absolutely freezing outside, so Scarlett wasn’t super happy and pretty serious the entire night. Santa was there taking pics, so we got to get Scarlett in on it. In case you forgot her Santa picture from last year….

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I think she is the queen of hilarious Santa pics! Another reason she is just like her dad. I love it.

Here is this years Santa picture. As you can see….she wasn’t super happy with the entire situation. You can always tell what she is feeling by the expression on her face 🙂 Makes for some good memories!

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Shawna, my sister in law and her new husband bought a house about a half an hour away from us. We went over there a couple weekends ago to visit and see the progress. Scarlett found a doll, I gave her her milk and she found a little chair to sit in. Her favorite things! She loved sitting in there and taking care of the doll. So cute!

 

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Since we can’t handle trips to Target anymore, we decided to change our trips to the library. We went to the library in Farmington and Scarlett loves it! It is small and there is a fun kids area, so she can just roam and play. It is a nice little change from Target and our everyday lives. Plus side is it is nice and quiet, so I can sit and watch her and enjoy the silence.

 

Another super exciting thing that happened last week….Travis felt Chirpie kick for the FIRST time!!! When I was pregnant with Scarlett (Chip), he didn’t feel her until I was 20 weeks. So this time it was a week earlier, but just as exciting! It is hard for the dads to really feel a strong connection like us moms can. We feel our baby all the time and feel a personal connection, but dads don’t feel those kicks all the time and they don’t go through all of the changes. Which makes it so so fun when they get to feel the kicks and realize there is a real baby in there! Scarlett always kicked a ton whenever Travis would touch my belly, and it seems like Chirpie is going to be the same way. I still hope Chirpie looks like me this time though…Travis always has a mini him, I want a mini me!

Ahhh….Thanksgiving. Between Travis and I we have four families that we want to see on holidays…one is four hours away, so we usually won’t be able to see them. This year we spend lunch with his side and dinner on my side at my aunt Janices’ house.

At Travis’s side, my sister in laws step daughter brought some toys and her baby that has a fake bottle to feed it with. Scarlett immediately grabbed it and fell in love. She was sitting there rocking her baby, and then she took the bottle and started feeding it! It was so stinkin cute!

After lunch we went over to my aunt Janices’ house. She is so good at making such delicious meals and making everything look so effortless, and making everyone feel right at home. I love going over to her house. My sister Hannah and her wife Theresa came and brought this really fun game that is kind of like apples to apples, but with memes. It was hilarious and really fun! It was a little vulgar but sometimes that makes it more fun 😉

And of course we had to take a family picture! Our last Thanksgiving as a family of three :):):) Can’t wait to be able to celebrate with Chirpie next year.

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And this wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t include the cousins! My sister came over last week and we went to the park. It was a beautiful day and the girls loved playing together. After we came back to my tiny apartment and made lunch (well….Sisi did) then the girls played together for a while. While we were talking Sisi said can you imagine, in a few short months when we hang out we will have 5 kids between the two of us?!?!?! I hadn’t thought of it that way. Rosie will be the oldest, then Scarlett and Thea will be the same age, and Chirpie and Blue will be super close together! I can’t imagine being pregnant alone and not having my sister have a newborn baby too. It will be fun to have my baby first this time, and even better that we are 45 minutes away from each other. I am getting more and more anxious and excited to find out what we are having, and if we will have the same gender! Either way it will be fun since they will be so close in age.

Here are some fun pics. Thea and Rosie both wanted to help wash the dishes (aka make a mess and more dishes dirty) but who knew playing in the water would be so fun?!

And last but not least. My mom is starting a new job at the same company and has been missing Scarlett. I made a last minute decision to drive down to Sioux Falls and surprise her! I didn’t tell Eddie that I was coming down either until I was outside their townhouse. My mom was SUPER shocked and surprised and excited to see Scarlett. Scarlett was excited to see my mom and Eddie, so it was a really good trip. We also got to go to my aunts house and see Tommy (who loves Scarlett and Scarlett loves him), my cousin Paul who lives in North Dakota, and my brother Trevor. It was a quick but great trip that was well worth it. My mom started her new job today and from the sounds of it she loves it! I think that seeing Scarlett yesterday helped a little bit 😉

I am so happy that I am pregnant around this time of year because everything goes by so fast with all of the fun things going on! Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, then DUE DATE!! We are really busy the next few months until Chirpie is here, so I am hoping we can take a “baby moon” sometime in the beginning of March. I really want to get up to Duluth, but we will have to see. We are also going to be moving April 1st, so it is going to be interesting to say the least. Hopefully Chirpie isn’t too early, but even if I do go early I know we have a ton of help from our families. I am going to try not to stress too much about it and try and be organized as I can with everything, and know that everything will work out!

Travis is going to be home from work soon, Scarlett is taking a nap and I have been being a lazy bum on the couch. I better go and get some stuff done before he gets home. Until next time!

Love,

Travis, Tori, Scarlett and Chirpie

Pregnancy update! 

I always tell myself I want to write down what I’m feeling or what is going on during my pregnancy. Then I realize I’m already 17 weeks and I’ve barely put a thought into it!

The good news I am not nearly as sick anymore. I haven’t thrown up in about 2 weeks or so, which is amazing. I still feel pretty sick at night, but that’s getting better too. 

I’m constantly craving SPICY. I want everything spicy. So different than my pregnancy with Scarlett. 

My lower back is killing me and sometimes I can barely walk. At my midwife appointment she noticed Chirpie was quite far to the right, which makes sense as to why my lower right back is in so much pain. 

I still haven’t felt any definite kicks. I was hoping I would by now since this is my second and my placenta is supposedly in the back, but I guess not. Sometimes I think I feel something, but I can’t tell 100% if it’s Chirpie or not. Hopefully in a few weeks it will get harder and more consistent. 

I’m still about 5-10 pounds down from my pregnancy pregnancy weight, although you wouldn’t believe me by the size of my belly. I feel huge and it’s no wonder my back hurts so bad. I’m sure I’ll be gaining that weight back soon. 

My next ultrasound I scheduled for December 4th! I will be 21 weeks so I’m really excited to see how Chirpie has grown. Usually you find out the gender but since I’m going to a birth center, we decided to be team GREEN and not find out 🙂 super excited about that. Everyone always asks me if I have a feeling or a preference, but I don’t! I would love a boy since we already have a girl, but I would also love a girl because I love all things girly and I would love to get them matching outfits. I’m trying not to get my heart set on one or the other and stay very neutral. Even though I have a small feeling it’s a boy 😉 and we do have names picked out, but we are keeping them a secret until chirpies born. I have a couple for each of our favorites and are going to wait until we meet face to face to officially decide. Totally different than Scarlett, who we found out she was a girl and had a name chosen right away. I’m trying to do things differently this time and it’s kind of fun! 

Overall I feel good, tired emotional crabby-the normal pregnant/girl stuff. I’m s little scared at how fast this pregnancy is going, I feel like it’s going to be April and I won’t have anything ready! But it’s nice at the same time. Scarlett keeps me really busy, so I’m thankful for that. 

But that’s all! I’m enjoying every moment of this pregnancy and can’t wait for Chirpies kicks to get stinger and responding more to me. So much to look forward to in the coming months! 
Here’s my belly at 15ish weeks 🙂 

BIG Life Changes

2 years ago we decided to make a huge decison and move to South Dakota. There were many many reasons why we wanted to at the time. We wanted to start our own life, we didn’t really know where we wanted to live or what we wanted to do. We wanted a break from the crazy life that we had going on up there. And, a huge one was that Travis got a full ride scholorship for school.

Along with that scholorship, we signed a contract to live and work in South Dakota for 3 years following graduation. We thought, no problem! We would make a life for ourselves here and we probably wouldn’t end up moving back. Then, a month after we moved we got the biggest suprise of our life-a positive pregnancy test. Woah. That wasn’t necessarily in our “life plan”, even though we had talked about it we hadn’t expected it to happen that soon. At the time I was working full time with the benefits, and Travis was working barely part time at Menards and going to school full time. Holy crap. Stressed and nervous and scared doesn’t even begin to explain our feelings at the time. Not to mention neither of our parents were down here. We had my aunt and uncle and my grandparents that lived here, but not our parents or our siblings. I was a really crazy time that we didn’t really know what the future held for us.

Since this was my first pregnancy I had no idea what to expect. I figured I might not feel well and I might throw up a few times, but nothing prepared us for what was coming. I ended up with Hyperemesis (severe morning sickness) and was out of work for a few weeks. During this time Travis was still working at Menards, basically making minimum wage. I couldn’t get off the couch and he had to bring me to the ER and triage multiple times to get fluids becuase I couldn’t keep anything down. My aunt and cousin would come over and spend time with me and sit with me while I just cried becuase I was so sick. Travis had applied to Penske for a diesel mechanic position, but they were taking forever. Thankfully I had short term disability pay so I was still able to get a paycheck, otherwise I don’t know what we would have done.

Fast forward to May, 2016. We welcomed the best part of our lives, Scarlett Hazel. Living in a small 2 bedroom townhouse with 3 adults and a newborn was interesting to say the least. We ended up moving to a bigger, 3 bedroom townhouse in Tea. We decided that we loved our new townhouse and we were planning on staying there until the 5 years was up, then decide what to do and where we wanted to move to.

The next summer, Eddie ends up getting accepted to STI for welding AND getting the build dakota scholorship. He and my mom decide to get a townhouse together, and Travis and I were still planning on staying in our townhouse in Tea.

One day Travis calls me on his lunch break to tell me about his insurance that we have been waiting for to get through his new job. When he told me the price I almost passed out. It was almost as much as our rent payment. I told him there was NO way we could afford that and there was no way we were going to pay that much money for insurance. It was insane.

I started talking to my mom about it and how we just weren’t happy down here anymore. I miss all of our family in Minnesota, I miss being able to see Rosie and Thea all of the time. I just miss it up there so much, and I feel like that is where my heart belongs. I have no hard feelings about Sioux Falls, it is where we started our family and I am so thankful for all of the memories we have here. But I just felt in my heart that it was time to move on.

I talked to Travis about it that night and he totally agreed. All of his favorite things are up there-his snowmobile, his best man that has a farm his family my family. We decided that it would be best for us and our family to take a giant leap of faith and move back to Minnesota. We started looking for jobs and found out that were was a opening at the bus company that my brother in law works at. Awesome awesome benefits, great pay, just a all around great company. We applied there, put our notice in at our townhouse, and started looking for apartments in the cities.

We decided to apply for apartment at the same apartment complex that Travis and I first lived at together with a roommate (that was horrible). We found out that we were approved and have a move in date of September 30th!! Everything was falling into place and we were super excited. Travis finally got a email for the job that he applied for that he was invited to take a series of 3 tests to see if they wanted to invite him back for a interview.

As most big companies, they go slow-it is a long process to get hired, and there are a lot of steps and waitng that has to happen. We decided to take yet another leap of faith and move in with my aunt and uncle for the month of September to try and save a little bit of money for our big move. At first, we thought that Travis could stay down here until he was offered the job in the cities, then put his two weeks in THEN move up with us.

Until….another totally amazing thing happened. His old boss at one of his favorite jobs called him, telling him he is looking for a short term worker to cover for someone that is going to be out for surgery. It was the exact time frame that we are looking for to help fill the void between moving and getting his new job, so it worked out absolutely perfectly. Travis is in the cities now while I am still in South Dakota, and we officially get our apartment next Saturday. I AM SO EXCITED TO BE A FAMILY AGAIN!!!! Words cannot even begin to describe how thankful I am for my aunt and uncle to let us stay here with them. They have helped me SO much with Scarlett that I don’t even know how to thank them for it. Although, I think that Scarlett is starting to like them a lot more than me so it is good we will be moving soon 😉

So, as all of our family and friends know we don’t like to do anything the easy way, and this is no different. I will be 12 weeks pregant and we are moving 4 hours away, once again. No solid timeframe for Travis’s new job, but we are hoping within the next month or so we will get a solid start date. Until then he will be at the brick yard (which I wish he could stay there. Eeryone there is so nice and it feels like one big family) and enjoying life. We have some exciting events coming up that will be super fun, so we have a lot to look forward to. I am just ready to be back in our own apartment together as a family again. It will be a hard adjustment and I am going to miss my family down here so so so much, but I know that it is the best move for us. I want Scarlett to be able to be closer to her cousins and I want to be closer to them! I have missed them so much and I am so ready to be able to steal them or a weekend and spoil them.

Until then, I am going to soak up all the family time I can and continue to be thankful for all of the help I have gotten from my aunt and uncle and cousins. Did I mention that my uncle makes the best food ever??? We are so spoiled here.

Emotions

If I had to choose one word to describe the last few months, I would say it has been emotional. Tons of decisions, ups and downs, highs and lows. It is crazy that it has already been over 3 months since my grandpa passed away and we said goodbye to the little baby growing in my belly. How has it been that long? My grandpa’s funeral will always be a day I will never forget. It has by far been one of the hardest days of my life. During that weekend I felt like my life couldn’t go on. There was no way I could keep going, I couldn’t handle one more heartbreak or one more bit of bad news. I cried myself to sleep more nights than I care to admit to. I tried to keep it a secret and not show people how badly I was hurting. I dreaded the day that was going to come in the next 4-6 weeks when my cycle would return, just another stab to my heart, to remind me that I lost my little baby that I loved so much in such a short time.

The next few weeks flew by, and yet were at a stand still. I had a constant conversation with myself in my head, if I wanted to try for another baby so soon after losing my last one, or if I wanted to wait, or if I wanted to just see what happened and leave it to God. On one hand, I wanted time to heal, to grieve the loss of my second child. But on the other hand, I wanted to be pregnant SO BAD. I wanted another baby, a sibling for Scarlett who absolutely loves other kids. There is no rule or handbook on how to deal with a miscarriage. Nobody can tell you how soon is too soon, or how long to wait.

My pregnancies are hard, especially the first trimester. I have severe morning sickness and am not even able to get out of bed. I had to go in for fluids multiple times with my pregnancy with Scarlett, we racked up a ton of medical bills from all my visits to triage. I went on countless medications until I finally found one that worked, and even then I had to be on it my entire pregnancy or I would be out all day. It is funny though how you forget all of that stuff. You forget how hard it is to be so sick, to be throwing up and get dehydrated.

So, we decided to try for another baby the next month. I had it in the back of my mind that I would be sick-but at the same time, I was hoping my some miracle I would be one of the lucky ones that didn’t get that dreaded all day sickness.

Since my sister and I were pregnant together with our last babies, we got pretty close. She knew that I wanted to try for another baby, so everyday we were texting her. I started taking tests like, 7 days before my missed period. Which were obviously negative, so I just put it into my head that I wasn’t pregnant this month, and that was OKAY. We would try again next month. But let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to stop taking tests. So the next day I took another test…still obviously negative. I even stared at it with my flashlight and moved it around just to see if there was a line…nope. I tried telling myself again that nope, this isn’t the month and I am going to be okay with it. The next day, which was 5 days before and when I got my first positive with Scarlett, I took another one. And there was a FAINT line!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it. I told my sister right away and said I am going to take another one tomorrow and see if it is darker. I went to acute care that morning to go and get my HCG and progesterone checked, since I had a miscarriage before this one. I was so anxious to find out my results but since it was a Saturday, I would have to wait until the next morning. The next day I took another test and it was a tiny bit darker, but the line was more obvious. Eek!! I was freaking out and filled with anxiety. I was trying not to get my heart to set on it because I didn’t want to go through the heartbreak again. I I finally got the call from the nurse and my HCG levels were like 26-elevated, so I was technically pregnant, but still very early. The waiting game continued and I went in that Monday to get my HCG drawn again. They are supposed to double every 48 hours, so I was hoping and praying for at least 60. The nurse called me and my HCG was already 102!! More than tripled in 48 hours. That was great news. They wanted me to wait a week and come in that following Monday for another blood draw, then we would talk about scheduling my first ultrasound.

Talk about the longest week of my life. Monday finally came and I got to get poked (again). I hate needles but they were always super nice at the lab, and it barely hurt any of the times they poked me. I got awesome news that afternoon that my HCG levels were OVER 1,000. I was hoping for at least 800, so being over 1,000 was super super super exciting. That was a great sign of a healthy healthy baby!! Woohoo!!!!!!

My OB decided to wait a couple of weeks for my first ultrasound, and the waiting began, once again. Pregnancy is full of waiting and I am not a patient person-so it is good for me.

The week before my ultrasound morning sickness (screw whoever named it morning sickness, btw. It is all day hell) kicked in. I could barely get out of bed much less take care of a one year old. I couldn’t look at any type of food without gagging, and I threw up more times in a day than I want to count. Thankfully Travis didn’t have to leave for work until 11, so I stayed in bed until the last second then had him help me downstairs to the couch. Scarlett and I spent our days watching Daddy Finger Daddy Finger and different you tube shows to pass the time. Scarlett was always so worried about me, and sat with me on the couch pretty much all day. It is kind of funny because the first couple times I was sick, she sat on the couch and cried. Then, she would follow me into the bathroom and put her hand on my arm. Then more towards the end she started bending over and cough to try to copy me………..I can’t wait to tell her first boyfriend that story. Hehehe.

Finally it was my ultrasound day and I was feeling horrible. Between the anxiety over having my first ultrasound and not feeling well at all, it was a rough morning. They must have been behind on appointments because it took forever for them to finally call me back. I was trying to hold back tears because the last time we were in the ultrasound room, we were told there was no baby and I was having a miscarriage. The ultrasound tech was really nice and showed us our baby and Chirpie’s heartbeat right away. HUGE sigh of relief. She had to take different measurements then measured Chirpie and the heartbeat at the end. Chirpie is measuring right on track for a due date of April 17th, and the heart rate was 126. Perfect and healthy in every way. Such good news and I was flying high after the ultrasound.

Once I got to see my OB, I begged him for Diclegis. My insurance wanted me to try other medications before they would approve it because it isn’t a “preferred” medication. I told him that I can guarantee nothing else will work-I already went through this with my first one and this is the only thing that helped. They said they would try to call the insurance company but I was probably going to have to try other things first.

Since I had no idea when or if I was going to get the medicine and I could barely function, my sister offered for me to come and stay with her for a while and she could help me with Scarlett. Since Travis had to go to the cities to take a test for a job he was applying for anyways, we decided to pack our stuff and go and stay with my sister for a few weeks. That is how bad it was-I had to go and stay 4 hours away from my hubby, which I hate to do, so I could have some extra help. Like I said, clearly I had blocked out how horrible the first trimester is 😉

As I was following Travis driving to Minnesota, my phone rings. It is my doctor’s office and they wanted to let me know that they got my medicine approved! Woohoo!!!! Such awesome news. I went and picked it up and headed to my sisters.

Now, I will be the first to admit it isn’t or wasn’t a miracle cure. I was still really sick, and had already lost 10 pounds in the matter of a week and half. But this was definitely the step in the right direction.

I took my medicine that night and was hoping to feel better the next morning. Nope. While I didn’t have to run to the bathroom and throw up, I still felt really weak, light-headed and sick. Ugh!!! My sister took Scarlett and I went back to bed until noon when Travis got back from his test. I forced myself to get up and get dressed and we went out to lunch with Travis. Then it was time for him to head home 😦 As hard as it was saying goodbye, I knew it was for the best for both of us. Travis can’t take care of my 24/7 and Scarlett, and it isn’t fair for Scarlett to sit on the couch all day watching TV.

So for the next week, Scarlett got to play with her cousins and I slept and laid in bed as much as I could. As the week went on though, it was harder and harder to be there. I missed Travis SO much and so did Scarlett. I absolutely loved being able to be up there and spend time with my nieces, but it isn’t home, and Scarlett really missed her dad. I was feeling a tiny bit better…I still wasn’t feeling “good”, but I wasn’t throwing up either. When Travis came up that next weekend, I decided to go home with him. It was just the final nail in the coffin when I saw how excited Scarlett was to see Travis. She kept touching his face and just smiling. She loves her daddy so much (he is by far the fun one), and it wasn’t fair to keep her away from him. So Travis got all of our stuff packed up and we decided to go home.

I am now 10 weeks. Wait, am I??? Yes…10 weeks almost 11!! This is the difference between your first pregnancy and second pregnancy with a toddler. Lol. I still feel sick at night, and I have only thrown up twice in the last 2 weeks. I am still down 10 pounds but I am sure I will start gaining it back soon since I am eating more. A couple strange things I want to remember about right now…

I crave SPICY. There is a asian thai salad from Panera that I am obsessed with right now. I have seriously gotten it everyday this week and it is all I can think about. I absolutely love it. I also crave tacos from Taco John’s. Yummmm. So good. I have been having really weird dreams that I wake up and am like wtf? Then I forget what they were about 2 minutes later. I am definitely already showing which is really fun. We decided not to find out the gender this time (even though Travis keeps telling me that he thinks we should find out…makes me want to slap some sense into him) and aren’t going to choose one name for each gender-we are going to have a list of 3 or 4 each, and bring it to the hospital with us and then decide once Chirpie is born. And sorry, we aren’t going to tell anyone the names we like 😉 I can tell that my sickness is getting better as I get closer to the second trimester, although I am still exhausted 24/7. This first part of my pregnancy is flying by-it helps to have Scarlett keeping me busy. I can’t believe I am almost 11 weeks!! Craziness.

My next ultrasound is my first trimester screening on September 29th. I know I know….it won’t change my decision even if we find out that Chirpie is at a higher risk for down syndrome, but I really wanted another ultrasound. I don’t want to wait another 2 months before seeing Chirpie again, so we decided to do it. Plus..I am a planner…so if there is a possibility of something being “wrong”, then I would like to know. No matter what that would never ever in a million years change my feelings towards my baby, but I would like to have some plans set in place just in case.

So that is all for now. If you are still reading, then you are amazing and deserve a treat from Caribou. I want to be better about documenting this pregnancy and remembering the little weird things, because I don’t remember ever craving spicy with Scarlett. Plus it is extra fun because we won’t know until April what the gender is, so it will keep us guessing until then 🙂

Love,

Travis, Tori, Scarlett and Chirpie

Why Me?

One week.

One week ago I found out there was a little baby growing in my belly. One week ago I was now a mama to two babies. I was excited, nervous, scared, but ready. It is no secret I have wanted another baby for quite some time. Scarlett has changed me SO much. I absolutely love her with all of my heart. She loves kids, she loves people. I wanted her to have a little sibling to play with that I know her and I both desperately want. I started thinking about nursery decorations, if I wanted to switch Scarlett to a toddler bed before or after, how I wanted to announce, what type of birth I want. (Yes…you already know I am a HUGE planner :)) I looked up the cloth diapering service at my all time favorite store, Elegant Mommy. I was figuring out how much money we should save since I will be out of work. Will I have twins? Will it be a boy or a girl, or maybe both?! I had created this huge bond with this little baby growing inside of me, I felt like we already knew eachother. We were already friends, I was their mommy and I was going to protect them and love them with every ounce of my being.

Then everything changed.

I went to work on Thursday, thinking everything was normal. Except when I went to the bathroom I instantly knew something was wrong. I had a feeling, and my feelings were very very real. I went and punched out and called my midwife, who wanted me to go in that afternoon for a ultrasound. I was supposed to be a little over 5 weeks, so they weren’t sure if they would see anything. I still wanted to go, because I still had hope. I still thought this was all a silly misunderstanding and I was going to see my beautiful baby on the screen.

It was a long morning waiting to be able to go in. I waited for Travis to get off and I met him there. Once it was our turn to go back, I was still thinking in my mind that everything was okay, this wasn’t a nightmare. My fears were confirmed when they couldn’t see anything on the ultra sound. Even though in my mind, I was still hoping and praying I was still too soon to see anything. I got my HCG levels checked as well, so I had to wait for the nurse to call me with the results. We went over to Luverne to wait to get the call and hopefully take my mind off of everything.

Finally, a little after 4pm she finally called me. My levels were only 905. Pretty low for how far along I was thinking I was, but the sweet nurse who I had been talking all day to told me not to worry, this doesn’t 100% mean a miscarriage. But in the back of my mind I knew. They wanted me to come back Saturday morning to get my levels drawn again, just to see where they were going. I cried all afternoon. I cried the entire drive home from my grandma’s. I cried myself to sleep. I couldn’t go into work Friday, but when Travis got up I woke up and started crying again. I just couldn’t hold it back. I was and am absolutely heartbroken.

Saturday morning I woke up and I was bleeding more, and I just knew. Travis wanted me to keep my hopes up and just wait for the results of the blood draw, but I knew. We went to the lab and got my second blood draw. Now I had to wait again….I called the midwife on call and let her know I got it done but it was also my grandpa’s funeral, so I said I would call her when I got the chance.

When I got home I tried to pull myself together and get ready. Why was this happening to me? Today of all days. The day that we were supposed to be celebrating and remembering the life of my sweet Grandpa who had passed away a few days earlier. Why? Just why? I just wanted to scream and kick my feet and freak out. I was angry, hurt and sad. I felt like I had failed my baby and my body. I felt like it was MY fault this had happened.

My grandpa LOVED his grandkids. He may have loved his great-grand girls even more. He found out he had cancer 2 years ago, and he wasn’t sure if he would make it long enough to be able to meet his 2nd and 3rd grandchildren, Thea and Scarlett. He not only made it to the hospital to meet her the day she was born, but he got to spend an entire year with them. Making memories, having lots of laughs, holding them and loving them. Even on the day that he passed away he held his hand up for my niece Rosie when she came in the room. He loved them so much. Now, on the day of his funeral, we not only had to say goodbye to him, but to our little baby. God must have known that my grandpa needed a great grand baby up in heaven with him. They made the journey to heaven together. I can just imagine how happy they are up there, how much fun they are having. I know that they are both watching down on us, and they are both happy and pain free. I told Rose that the baby that was in my belly wasn’t there anymore, and it went to heaven. She asked if my baby went to heaven with Grandpa Great and I said yep, they sure did. It doesn’t make this loss easier, it doesn’t make it better. It just sucks. Plain old sucks. I wish this had never happened to me, I wish I could go back to last Sunday and feel the same joy I did when I saw the 2 lines on the pregnancy test.

Sometimes things happen in life and they aren’t fair, they don’t make sense. Why did this have to happen to me? Hasn’t our family been through enough heartache and loss? I am so lucky and so blessed to already have a sweet little girl, but I know my family isn’t complete. I am not a mama to 2 sweet babies, even though one has already made their journey to heaven. I will never EVER forget you, my sweet little love. I hope you know how much mommy loves you and misses you. Please watch over Scarlett, Travis and I. I know you are being well taken care of in heaven, hanging out with Lori, Anne, Dave and Grandpa great. I wish you were on heaven with us, but know you have taken a piece of my heart. I love you so much. Until we meet again….

What nobody tells you

Febrile seizures. Never heard of them. Well, maybe on a TV show like Chicago Med. But that doesn’t happen in REAL, life, right? That is just a fake TV show! Wrong. Completely wrong. We have taken Scarlett to the doctors more times than we can count for ear infections, baby checkups, colds, coughs, funny breathing. If something is off I immediately take her in. Not once did I learn or be told about febrile seizures.

In the end of March, Scarlett got (another) ear infection. No big deal, she has had multiple of these already. Go in, get her ears checked, get some antibiotics, it clears up. But this time, we saw a different doctor and she gave Scarlett a different antibiotic than she usually gets. I didn’t think anything of it, figuring that the doctor knows best. We finished the 10 days, Scarlett seemed fine. Or so I thought.

I have debated writing this blog post for weeks. Over 2 months, in fact. Sometimes driving home I still start crying remember this awful day that I thought I was loosing my baby in my arms. I am tearing up right now..it was such a hard, terrifying, scary day. I don’t know if I will ever be fully over it or truly be able to talk about it without starting to cry. It has been over 2 months and I still can’t handle it.

Scarlett fell asleep on me without having to nurse her, which never happens. She was fussing so I picked her up and rocked her and she fell asleep. She felt really hot while I was holding her, but I figured that was just because she had a sweatshirt on and she was laying on me. She woke up fussing so I nursed her to see if that would help. After she was done I burped her and she sat on my lap, laughing and smiling while I tickled her. She laid back down and went back to sleep. I wanted to run some errands, so my mom came down and I gave her to her and I was about to leave. My mom asked me to take her temp quick because she felt really hot. I grabbed it, thought to myself “it is fine, she is just warm…but okay”. I took it and it was 103. I grabbed Scarlett and told my mom I am going to take her into urgent care. As I was getting my shoes on, asking my mom if she wanted to come, I look down at Scarlett and instead of her beautiful blue eyes, all I saw was white. I screamed to my mom that her eyes rolled into the back of her head and I am calling 911.

I barely remember anything. I think that my brain blocked it because honestly it was the most terrifying thing to ever happen to me. I looked back at my call log and I called 911, hung up. Then called 911 again and talked to the operator. I tried to remain calm, but looking down at my baby girl, not seeing her eyes and having her jerk in my arms, it was impossible to keep calm. I gave my phone to my mom and ran outside. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I wanted to run as fast as I could to the hospital that is 10 minutes away. I wanted my baby to look back up at me with her cute little smile. But none of that was happening. The operator asked if she was breathing-I had no idea. I didn’t think she was, she was grunting and her entire body was jerking. I just kept telling her that mommy loves you, I was singing to her “You are my sunshine”, I was telling her that everybody loves her so much. I was pacing around the driveway until my mom told me to lay her on her side. So we went into the living room, I laid her on her side and a bunch of stuff came out of her mouth. She was still jerking at this point. Finally, a first responder came. He took Scarlett and laid her on the floor, and she was still seizing. Her first seizure lasted for 10 minutes. Once the EMT’s got there she had stopped, but as they were checking her over she started having another seizure. They had to give her Ativan to help stop the seizure, and thankfully that worked.

I was begging them to please help my baby…I thought that she was dead, I didn’t think that she was breathing. I didn’t think that she was going to survive, and if she did she was going to have brain damage for having such a long seizure. Once her second seizure stopped they put her on the stretcher. Her tiny little body on this huge stretcher made for a adult. I didn’t ask if I could ride with, I didn’t ask Travis if he wanted to go, I just jumped into the back of the ambulance. There was no way she was going alone. She fussed the entire way to the hospital, she had to have a oxygen mask on. I cried the entire way. The EMT was really nice, he kept assuring me that everything looked great, she was going great and everything was going to be fine.

Once we got to the hospital we went into the room and they took her temp-104.5. They gave her Tylenol and hooked her up to some monitors to check everything and make sure she was okay. The dose of Ativan that she was given is the same dose that they give to an adult, so she was super out of it. She wouldn’t look at us and just cried. The doctors decided to keep her over night for observation, just to be safe. We ended up needing to stay two nights, which excuse my language was absolute hell. Scarlett doesn’t sleep well in places she doesn’t know. The first night the nurse had to give her some medicine at midnight that woke her up. She didn’t go back to sleep until 5AM. Travis and I were SO exhausted. It is so boring to be at the hospital. Since she had a fever, we weren’t allowed to leave our room with her.

She continued to have fevers on and off the next day and was still really out of it. All she wanted to do was cuddle and sometimes play around. She had to have constant oxygen monitoring so she had to have a cord on her at all times, so “playing” was interesting.

I was super unimpressed to say the least with the doctors that we saw. Scarlett was having staring episodes when her fever would spike. She just stared off at something and it took a minute to get her attention back to us. They also didn’t want to give her Tylenol, even though she was clearly miserable. I was really frustrated by the entire thing, but I am so glad it is done!!

We ended up having to stay a second night because of the staring episodes and the fevers, they wanted to monitor her one more night just to be safe. What were they monitoring? I have no idea, because even when I told the nurse she was having the episodes the doctor didn’t come until hours later….

Needless to say, we are SO glad that that is over and done with. Scarlett has been doing AWESOME with everything else. No more fevers and she is happy almost all of the time. She is sleeping at least 12 hours a night and the last 2 weeks she has been taking nice long nap, which I absolutely love. She also eats everything in sight. She is such a clunker! I am going to do a separate blog post on her one year stats and things that have happened in the last month.

Thank you to everyone that wished us well, prayed for us and sent us your loving thoughts. We really really appreciated it. I hope that this NEVER happens again, but if it does I will be much more prepared and ready to handle the situation.

Just to give you a little peek of my current view while I was writing this

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Hehe. She is such a silly girl. Until next time,

Love Tori, Travis and Scarlett

HOW MANY KIDS?!

I love peoples reactions when I say that I want (at least) 4 kids. Coming from a family of 5 and knowing how much fun it is, I don’t want my kids to miss out!! But seriously. When I met my husband he 1) wanted to get married when he was 30 and 2) wanted 2 kids. That is it. Well, we got married when he was 22 and I was 20. We already have one baby, so what is 3 more?!

I love kids. LOVE kids. I always have, always will. I love Scarlett and my nieces so much that it makes my head hurt. So imagine my joy when my sister asked if we could take both girls for a week!! (Hint: I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of joy I experienced)

My first niece, Rosie, is 2.5. She is very very busy…very curious..and very smart. You tell her not to do something and she does it anyways, but looks out of the corner of her eye as she is doing it. She has the sweetest personality though and LOVES her sister and little cousin. Scarlett and Thea both light up when they see Rosie.

We started out our week with me driving “4” hours home with all three girls. Oh my. My trip took over 8 hours. I was hoping to make it halfway home before stopping, but I only made it 45 minutes. I stopped to feed Scarlett and let the girls play in the van.

 

Once babies were fed and Rosie had a snack, we were on our way again. I ended up having to stop a second time but I couldn’t find my phone…so there is no picture evidence. 😦

 

Once I got 20 miles from home, I called my mom and she came to meet me. Thea and Scarlett had fun laughing at each other while we got Rosie ready to get back into the car.

But Rosie being Rosie saw two adorable kids across the restaurant, so she had to go and say hi.

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Woohoo!! Time to go home. That was a LONG day.

The next day was a fun filled day at home. I gave all three girls a bath together (Rosie was giddy the entire time. She loves being with the babies)

All of the girls played so good together and had so much fun. Here are a couple of my favorites of the girls.

Super dad!

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I would not be auntie Tori if I didn’t have them wear matching outfits at least once

My favorite girls!

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Antie Riah came to visit us

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The girls LOVED our coffee table. It was the hot place to be. They would always be standing there watching or playing with a toy.

And sometimes Thea did this to Scarlett….

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Ahh…so cute. So many memories I will get to share with them.

We decided these girls had too much energy so we went to the mall. There is a small play area that Rosie loves, and it was actually really good for the little ones too. I will definitely be going back!

I have definitely felt like my relationship with Thea was WAY different than it was with Rosie. I had no baby of my own, I saw her multiple times a week, so we had a much stronger and bigger bond early on. I didn’t feel like I knew Thea, and I didn’t feel like she liked me. Wow did that change this week! I really bonded with Thea, and I loved every minute of it. I had so much fun with her. She is such a sweetie and is always smiling at you even if you aren’t watching. She would grip onto my shirt if my mom would try and take her. I secretly loved it 😉 I usually nurse Scarlett in our recliner, so a lot of the times when I would nurse her Thea would come and stand by my feet and play or watch me. I had my very own companion.

I love you Thea bear!!!!

Another really fun place was the gate by the stairs. Thea loved to go and stand there and hold onto it. She was really really good at climbing stairs too. I was amazed! Scarlett and Thea played over there a lot.

Hey auntie!

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Okay last picture…I was drinking my coffee on the couch, and Rosie came over and took my cup. I asked her to give it back to me because that is my coffee. She said “mimi said I can drink coffee!!!!!” super excitedly. As if she needs more sugar. So I told her no, go ask Mimi again. Come to find out Mimi did tell her she could have a sip….but Rosie comes back, puts her face mask on her eyes, and drinks my coffee. Maybe she thought she was invisible? Who knows. But it was stinkin cute and I couldn’t be mad at her. (Sisi..if you are reading this……..sorry.)

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I love love love that my sister lets us take the girls as much as she does. It is so hard being 4 hours away, I miss them so much!! I am blessed beyond measure that I get to be their auntie. We had such a fun week and it just flew by. Being a mommy is the best, and being an auntie is the best. ❤

And yes…even after having 3 girls under the age of 3, it has made me want 4 kids even more now. 😉