The Livingstons

The Livingstons

Thursday, February 2, 2017

When It Rains, It Pours

I've been wanting to write about what's going on in my life for the past couple of weeks, but every time I've gone to write something, I just couldn't bring myself to. It's too hard. But I need to write it down... For me, in the future. To remember and to learn.

I don't really know where to begin, but I'll try my best. Let's just start with the day I took the pill to start my miscarriage...

On Thursday, January 19, I took Misoprosol, a pill that makes your body start the miscarriage process. It helps your body expel all of the tissue and blood. I took it at around 8:45am and felt nothing for about 6 hours. No cramps, no bleeding. I was starting to get worried that the pill wasn't going to work. But all of a sudden, at around 2:45pm, I started bleeding and cramping HORRIBLY. I was in the bathroom every 15 minutes cleaning myself up.

This next part is maybe a little bit too much TMI, but I'm going to write about it anyway. Read with caution.

About an hour after I started bleeding, I started passing extremely large tennis ball-sized clots and tissue. One of the large pieces of tissue was the sac that my baby was in. It fell into my pants, and I just looked at it. And then the tears started pouring. There was my little baby. The baby I could've had. I had to physically let go of that future, and it was one of the hardest, most emotionally taxing moments of my life. I cried so hard.

Kate had followed me into the bathroom. I couldn't really control what she was doing because I was worrying about me. She watched me cry with bewildered eyes, wondering what was going on. She said, "Mommy, yucky poo poo." I just nodded to her as I cried.

The rest of that afternoon, I lost a ton of blood. I was changing pads at least 3 times every hour. By 8pm that night, I had started feeling very dizzy when I would stand up. I decided to call my doctor's office. I got the physician's exchange operator and told her that I was being treated for a miscarriage, and I was worried about the amount of blood I was losing.

The operator asked, "Are you pregnant?"

"No."

"Are you within 6 weeks postpartum?"

"No. I'm having a miscarriage at 10 weeks."

"I'm so sorry, but your case does not fall under any of our criteria for me to let you talk to a doctor."

Awkward silence.

Me: "But I'm having a miscarriage and I'm bleeding a lot. I guess I technically might still be pregnant. I don't know. Can I just talk to a doctor?"

"No, I'm sorry. You'll have to call during normal business hours."

Awkward silence.

Me: "Ok...... I guess I'll call back then."

And then she hung up.

I was appalled that she didn't take me more seriously. But I didn't know if I was overreacting about the amount of blood I was losing, so I decided to just let it go.

Less than two hours later, at around 9:45pm, Greg and I were watching a show, and it was time for me to get up and go clean myself again. I got up very slowly, but I started to feel dizzy. I walked over to the bathroom and sat on the toilet.

All of a sudden, I started feeling extremely dizzy, and I noticed some blood on the floor. I called to Greg, "Hey hon! Can you come over here? I think I need your help."

Greg came over to me pretty quickly. And then it happened. It was as if my body was tingling, starting with my toes and moving toward my head. Greg said he asked me a question like, "What do you need help with?" My ears were muffled, and I told him, "I can't hear you. I can't really hear anything." And then I passed out.

Greg caught me before I hit my head on anything. He laid me down. I was out for about 20 seconds, and Greg said those were the scariest 20 seconds of his life. He had never had anyone pass out in front of him like that. He said he laid me down, turned me on my side, and started kind of slapping my face, calling for me to wake up.

As I started to wake up, I felt really warm and oddly happy. Like I was having a really happy dream. I felt GOOD! But when I looked up at Greg, I saw he was crying. I said, "Hon, what happened? What's wrong?" Completely out of it. He said, "You passed out. You passed out." And then he called 911.

About 8 paramedics/firefighters came speeding to our house and up our stairs. I was very calm and very out of it, laying on my bathroom floor. The paramedics came in, asked me a million questions, and took my blood pressure. Everything looked normal. Then they tried to have me sit on the toilet. Immediately, my face turned pale white and my blood pressure dropped 20 points. I felt like I was going to throw up. They laid me back down and told me, "We recommend taking you to the hospital. It seems to us that you are losing too much blood."

During this encounter, Greg called our good friend Sara to come over and watch Kate (even though she was sleeping the entire time) so we could go to the hospital together. As I was being carried downstairs in the stretcher, Sara showed up and touched my arm, as if to say, "Hi. I'm here." It was really comforting, and I am forever grateful that she was there for us so quickly in our time of need.

As I rode in the ambulance, Greg drove behind us in our car. The paramedic that was looking after me was so kind and made me feel better about the situation. He told me he had a little 2 year old girl at home too. We talked about how fun and hard little toddlers are. Then I looked at him with tears in my eyes and said, "This sucks." He looked back and said, "I can't imagine what you're going through. I'm really sorry."

Just a little side note: ambulance rides are not super fun. They put an IV in my arm, but as the paramedic was about to put the needle in, we hit a bump, and he missed the vein. So he had to retry. I hate IV needles.

I got to the hospital, and that same paramedic told me, "Sam, I will be right by your side the entire time until we get you a nurse." That made me feel better about being in the ER. I told whoever was around me, "Please find my husband. Where is he?" They assured me that they would find him for me.

I got to my room and a nurse came in to take my vitals and make sure I was doing ok for the moment. And then Greg finally came in. We both just hugged and cried a little bit. I was so glad to have him there. Once we kind of settled down, I told him in a teasing way, "Hey, I got to ride in an ambulance! Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?" I don't think he appreciated the jokes.

A while later, the ER doctor came in to talk to me. They took some blood from my arm to check my blood count. He said he wanted me to do an ultrasound to see what was going on. Before he left, he said, "Just so you know, we are very busy tonight. Expect to be here for a few hours." Great.

Greg and I were alone in my room for about 45 minutes after that. We decided that he needed to call Sara to let her know what was going on, but the entire hospital didn't have cell phone reception. So Greg said he was going to leave me for a little bit to find some reception. I thought, No big deal. It's probably going to take a long time for them to come in to do the ultrasound.

Literally 2 minutes after he left, the ultrasound technician came in and wheeled me out of my room down to a different part of the hospital to do an ultrasound. At this point, I hadn't stood up since passing out, so she did an abdominal ultrasound first. Then she told me to go use the restroom and come back so she could do a vaginal ultrasound. They do vaginal ultrasounds because it's easier to see in the uterus. I was so nervous. Greg wasn't with me, and I was standing up for the first time since being at home. I was scared I was going to pass out again. As I went to the restroom, I was constantly thinking, "Please Heavenly Father. Let me just get through this short little restroom visit without any problems." Over and over again.

Thankfully, I made it back to my bed, and she did the vaginal ultrasound. It took at least 30 minutes to do, and when she was done, she wheeled me out into the hallway and said, "I can't take you back to your room right now because I have to send the ultrasound pictures to the radiologist. And they are too busy at the ER to have someone come get you. So you'll have to wait until I'm finished." So, great. More waiting.

After probably a half hour, another technician came and wheeled me back to my room. Greg said he was waiting for at least an hour for me to come back. And then we waited in my room for another 2 hours for the results.

Finally, the doctor came in and said, "Good news. It looks like all of the tissue is out of your uterus, which means your chances of having an infection are very low now. Also, your hemoglobin count came back in normal ranges, so you don't need a transfusion." He then told me to come back to the ER if I got a fever, or if I passed out again, or if I was bleeding through 2 pads in an hour. Honestly, I don't think he took me super seriously with how bad the whole episode had been. I think he thought I just passed out because I saw too much blood. Maybe. But I kind of doubt it.

Thankfully, we were free to go. It was about 2am at that point, so we rushed home to relieve Sara. Thank the heavens above for Sara. She really came to our rescue. She was our angel that night.

After that night, my bleeding slowed down a lot. I was bleeding consistently still, but it wasn't accompanied by huge clots anymore, so that was good.

The next Tuesday, I went to go get a root canal. I was actually very excited to get it done because I hadn't been able to chew on my right side of my mouth for like 7 months! But I wasn't super excited about having to pay for it, even though I knew going in that it would be expensive to get the root canal and crown.

I got the root canal done, and looked forward to my doctor's appointment for that Friday. I wasn't worried about doing the ultrasound at all because the radiologist at the ER said all of the tissue was out.

But, the radiologist was wrong. I got to my doctor's office, did the ultrasound, and then went to see my doctor. She came in and said, "So, it looks like you still have some tissue in your uterus."

What.

"You have about 1.7 cm of tissue still lining your uterus. If you had less than 1 cm, I would say your body is doing the job and we don't need to do anything about it. But since you have more, you need to take another dose of the miscarriage medicine."

I HATE that medicine. Hate it.

My doctor said that when I took the next dose, the bleeding was going to be very similar to the last time- heavy, with big clots. I was seriously mortified.

I left the office, so angry and upset. I asked God, "Why? Why can't my body just get through this on it's own? I don't want to go through that bleeding again. I can't. It's too much, Father. Please."

I decided not to take the medicine until the next day because dang it, I was going to go to Disneyland with Greg that night and enjoy myself before I had to go through that pain again.

Saturday morning, I took the medication, really nervous about what was about to happen.

But nothing happened. My bleeding got a tiny bit heavier, but other than that, nothing.

I was a little torn. On the one hand, I was happy to not have to go through that dreadful experience again, but on the other hand, if nothing was happening, did that mean that the tissue was still inside?

The next Monday was rough. Not because of the bleeding, but because I just couldn't take what was going on in my life anymore. I was super emotional. I cried and cried to Greg, telling him how hurt I was, and how much pain I was feeling that I couldn't really move on from this experience yet. Up until the ultrasound where they found more tissue, I had held it together pretty well. I was beginning to feel like I could move on. And then I get this bomb dropped on me. It's not over. It's not even over yet.

I cried about the miscarriage. And then I cried about our finances. I had just gotten a bill for $1400 from the AMBULANCE ride, let alone the hospital. I hadn't even gotten that bill yet. We have pretty good insurance that I hoped would cover most of that, but just seeing $1400 in my face was overwhelming. I cried about the expenses for the root canal and crown. It's just so expensive. I cried about other financial problems we were facing. We weren't in debt or completely broke, but I just felt like we kept getting hit, over and over and over again. We couldn't save anything because of just one thing after another.

I had lost it. I began feeling like God had abandoned me. I recognized His hand in some pretty amazing ways during this experience like friends bringing dinners, or flowers, or offering to watch Kate, or offering to just talk. That was really important to me, and I know that God was watching out for us. But I felt like I couldn't feel His love for me directly from HIM. And I was a little upset about that. I prayed and BEGGED Him to let me feel His love for me. I knew in my mind that He loved me, but I just couldn't FEEL it. I wanted to feel like someone knew exactly how I was feeling, but I didn't feel like I was getting that. I was hurting so incredibly bad, and I just felt like he had forgotten about me. And so I fell into despair.

The next Wednesday, my friends were meeting up at the park to have all of our little ones play together. I was really excited to just get out and do something fun. I pulled up to the park, and stood up. All of a sudden, I felt giant clot after giant clot, over and over again, fall into my pants. The blood was so thick that it soaked my pants down to my knees. I quickly got back in the car, freaking out. Luckily I had some newspaper in the passenger seat, so I shoved it under me to hopefully stop some of the blood from getting on the seat. I called Greg and told him what was happening. I was freaking out. The entire drive home, I could feel so much blood and clots just spewing. Kate kept saying, "Mommy! Park!" But I was just in my own world at this point.

When I got home and parked the car, I really didn't know what to do. I knew I had to get upstairs and into my shower, but I also knew that if I stood up, it was going to be a bloody disaster. As I sat in my seat, I turned and unlocked Kate's seat belt and opened her door. I told her, "You are in charge of getting yourself upstairs, ok?"

I stood up and blood gushed. It seeped all the way down my pants, almost all the way to my ankles. Kate wasn't moving. She kept saying, "Mommy, park!" I bribed her with everything I could throw at her to get her up to our house. I waddled to my house and up the stairs, blood dripping behind me the entire way.

I ran to the shower and stripped down. It was a murder scene. I sat down in the bathtub and just cried and cried. Harder than I ever have.

All of a sudden, I heard this voice come into my head. It said, "I am SO sorry that you have to go through this. But this is the only way. It's the only way to move on from this miscarriage and pass the tissue." I heard that over and over again, and I kept saying out loud, through hysterical tears, "I know. I know. I know." Heavenly Father let me know that He was there with me.

Still hysterical, I prayed to Heavenly Father and said, "Please, PLEASE help me to just calm down! I'm hysterical!" I was basically hyperventilating. Immediately, I'm telling you, IMMEDIATELY, I calmed down and stopped crying. I know that that was also Heavenly Father, letting me know He was there.

I tried to imagine Him just holding me as I sat in the bathtub under the shower. I needed Him.

I stayed in the shower for about 30 minutes, waiting for the blood to slow down enough for me to get out and put some clothes on. I called Greg and just cried and cried to him. I couldn't believe what had just happened.

About an hour after the initial bleeding started, it slowed way down. I felt like the worst was over, but it was extremely traumatizing. I had several people offer to bring dinner over that day. I had a friend come over and listen to me cry and vent and be upset. She will never know how much that meant to me. I was completely open with her about how I was feeling, and she basically told me that it's ok for me to be feeling frustrated, upset, sad, and hurt and that I should just embrace that for a little while.

That day and night, I kept pleading with Heavenly Father, "Please, Father. I just can't take any more. I can't handle any more. Please don't give me any more. Please remove this burden from me. I'm falling apart."

The next morning at about 6am, I woke up feeling extremely nauseous, like I was going to throw up. I couldn't even get out of bed, I felt TERRIBLE. I laid in bed and thought, "Are. You. Kidding. Me."

The entire day, I laid in bed, feeling nauseous the entire time. Kate was super unhappy with me for not playing or being able to take care of her. But I couldn't get up without throwing up. I literally was crawling on the floor when I had to help her. I threw up, violently. I thought that I had the flu because Kate had had a 24 hour bug a couple days before where she was throwing up too.

I thought, "This seriously can't be happening." I cried to Heavenly Father and asked, "WHY! Why can't I catch a break? Why is this still happening?! I thought we came to an understanding! I can't do this!"

But then I thought, "Yes I can. I can do this. I don't want to do this. I HATE this. But Heavenly Father knows me better than I know myself. He knows I can handle this. I don't know why this is happening, but He is stretching me. He is teaching me something. I don't know what it is yet, but He is teaching me."

When Greg got home that afternoon, I had gotten a low-grade fever, the nausea was still in full force, I couldn't get up from the couch, and I felt like I was dying. Greg is a saint. He immediately got to work. He cleaned the entire house. He took care of Kate. He went and cleaned the seat in my car from all the blood. He got dinner going. He got me whatever I needed. I love him so much. I can't even put it into words.

By the evening, I was starting to get worried that I might have an infection in my uterus and that's what was causing all of the fever and upset stomach. Greg kindly called the doctor again, after hours, and they had a doctor call us. The doctor said she thought I had the flu, and that she didn't think there was anything to worry about. Thank the heavens.

I have another ultrasound tomorrow to see if all the tissue is out, and I'm trying to be prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best.

Life is really, really hard. There have been moments through all of this that I've really thought, "I just can't do it." I've hated what I've gone through. But I have learned that people care about you when you're going through hard trials. People are there for you. Heavenly Father sends those people to us to let us know that He cares and that He is there. It's not always easy to see that. In fact, for a while, I couldn't see that. But looking at the entire situation, I realize, God loves me. He is there. He's not always going to take away our pain, but it's for a reason. I don't know the reason yet, but I have faith that He loves me and wants what is best for me.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Miscarriages are Miserable

When Greg and I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 at the end of November, we were thrilled! Our lives were about to change again when our new little bundle of joy would enter our world in August of 2017. We told Katherine over and over again that there was a little baby in Mommy's tummy. We asked her if she wanted a baby brother or a baby sister, and she would reply, "Baby sissuhs." We told our parents and a couple other people, but we were so excited to have our own little secret that we decided to wait to tell the world for a little while. Getting pregnant was so easy for me, and although I was SO nervous about this new journey we were embarking on, I was beyond excited to meet another little perfect angel and be his or her Mommy.

After Christmas, I went to my first doctor's appointment. I was 9 weeks along, and I was so anxious to see my little bean on the ultrasound. I brought Kate with me to the appointment and kept telling her that she was going to see her new little baby brother or sister.

The ultrasound technician was very kind and kept complimenting Kate on how cute and good she was being. Then she started the ultrasound. As soon as I saw my little one on the screen, my heart was so happy! But then, I heard the words no mother wants to hear:

"I can't find a heartbeat."

It was as if my own heart had stopped beating. All of a sudden, my body felt cold and started shaking.

What? Did she say no heartbeat? That can't be.

And then, more daggers to my heart:

"You're measuring only 6 weeks, when you should be measuring 9."

Breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out.

The technician told me that this could mean so many things, but that she'd let my doctor talk to me about it in a few minutes. And then she left.

As I went over to the suite where my appointment with my doctor would be, I tried focusing on Kate to keep my mind preoccupied. But I was in a daze.

When the nurse called me back, I tried to seem happy. But when we got to my room and she started asking me questions about how far along I was and how this pregnancy was going, I didn't know what to say. I didn't really know what was happening.

I sat for a while with Kate on my lap, waiting for the doctor. So many thoughts kept racing through my mind: Maybe I got my dates wrong and I really am 6 weeks along, not 9. Maybe the ultrasound was wrong. Maybe I ovulated later than I actually thought. Maybe this is totally normal. Stop thinking the worst! It's going to be fine! I'm not cramping or bleeding- there's no signs of miscarriage. This baby is going to be fine!

My doctor finally came in, and Kate started screaming. Screaming at the top of her lungs. She normally was super comfortable around doctors, so this was strange. I tried to calm her down, with no success. The doctor tried to talk to me over the screaming. She said that she wasn't exactly sure what was going on with the pregnancy, so she wanted me to come back in a week and do a second ultrasound to see if there is any growth. Right before she left the room, I asked her, "So, have I had a miscarriage?" She answered, a little solemnly, "Yes, I think that you have most likely had a miscarriage. But we just want to make sure before we make any decisions about what to do."

When I heard those words, I knew what was ahead. I knew that I had lost my baby. I just knew it. I had lost this baby's future. And my family's future in August.

I carried screaming Kate out of the doctor's office and quickly walked to the car, the entire time thinking, "Hold it together. Hold it together!"

At the car, Kate had calmed down, and I put her in her car seat as fast as I could. I jumped into the front seat. All of a sudden, the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I started bawling. I cried harder than I had in a long, long time. I felt deeply sad, hurt, hopeless, angry, frustrated, and confused.

I called Greg as soon as I had calmed down a little bit, but as soon as he answered, the tears came back. "Greg, the doctor thinks I've had a miscarriage." He had no idea, he was blindsided. He started tearing up, too, and we both just kind of sat for a few seconds in silence as we both cried. I explained that it wasn't an official miscarriage, but that I had a feeling that it was. It most likely was. We were devastated.

I called my mom immediately after talking to Greg, and the tears just kept coming. She felt so bad and so sorry for me.

At this point, I decided it was time to drive home. But suddenly, I thought of a good friend of mine who had gone through this exact same experience. I called her up and again, started crying and told her everything that had happened. I went over to her house, and she gave me a huge hug as I cried. She let me just talk about how I was feeling, and she talked about her feelings when it happened to her. I will never be able to express how much those moments meant to me. Those moments when I was deeply hurt and needed someone to talk to.

I went home and found Greg there, home from work. He gave me a giant hug, and we were both at a loss for words. Finally, I started telling him how I was feeling- sad, hurt, angry, confused, frustrated... I hated how I was feeling.

From there, I decided to try and suppress the horrible emotions I was feeling. I found that if I kept myself busy and tried not to think about it, I could act and appear just fine. But then, there would be random moments where it would just hit me all over again, and I'd break out into a crying episode. It was like this that whole week, waiting for the second ultrasound- back and forth. I'm fine... Now I'm not.

During that week of waiting for the next ultrasound, I started noticing some things on social media. As I'd be scrolling through the feeds, I saw picture after picture after picture of friends that were pregnant and due around the same time I was supposed to be due. I saw friends having beautiful babies. I saw so much happiness, and I was very happy for them. But I was also feeling really hurt and extremely envious. It wasn't their fault that I was feeling like this. It was my own fault. I let myself feel that way. I wanted what they had. I HAD what they had, but now it was all taken away. It wasn't fair. Why was this my fate?

I wasn't mad at God. I was just confused. Why had I felt so good about getting pregnant and having another baby, but then when I got pregnant, I had a miscarriage? Right before I got pregnant, I felt like God and Greg and I were on the same page, that Greg and I should have another baby. That the timing was perfect. But now this? Why?

I knew that miscarriages are common, but I always thought that they happened to other people. It wouldn't happen to me. But it did. At least, unofficially. I felt a little silly for being so sad about a little baby inside of me that probably didn't make it past 6 weeks, but I couldn't help but feel this deep, deep sadness. I all of a sudden realized that if I was feeling this way about a baby that I lost at 6 weeks of pregnancy, how much more would it hurt to have a miscarriage later on in pregnancy or have a stillborn child or have multiple miscarriages or deal with infertility? That would just be horrible. My heart aches for people that have to go through that.

As I neared my second ultrasound, my mindset shifted. I was still extremely sad, but for some reason, there was this thought in the back of my mind that there was a chance that this baby was still alive. After all, the doctor didn't officially tell me that I had had a miscarriage. There was still hope! I started feeling like those were dangerous thoughts to be having. If I let myself feel this hope and it turned out that it was a miscarriage, I would be even more devastated. I decided to allow the hope to be there, but to not expect any good news. I expected it to be a miscarriage, but if it wasn't, all the better!

My dear friend offered to watch Kate as I went to my second ultrasound. It was nice not to have to worry about another little person during this time; however, not having Kate made it so that my mind wasn't distracted from what was coming. It was all I could think about as I drove to the doctor's office.

When the ultrasound technician called me back to my room, I took some deep breaths. She left the room as I got undressed from the waist down. It felt like an eternity as I waited for her to come into the room and start the ultrasound. My mind kept going back and forth. The baby might still be alive! No, I've had a miscarriage.

The ultrasound technician didn't say a word as she did the ultrasound, which made everything 100 times worse. I could see the little fetus on the screen, but I had no idea what to even look for on an ultrasound. Finally, after about 5 minutes, she turned to me and said, "You were measuring 6 weeks last week. Now you are measuring 5. Your sac has shrunk. I couldn't find a heartbeat either. I am so sorry for your loss." And she left the room.

Devastation. That's really all I can say about how I was feeling. There was no room for anything else.

I walked over to my doctor's suite with my head down. I didn't talk to a single person. I barely said a word to the receptionist. I sat down and stared at the floor. I had no cell phone reception, so I couldn't even get a text or a call out to Greg or anyone. I felt utterly alone.

The same nurse from before called me back after 40 minutes of sitting in the waiting room. When we got to my room, she was about to ask me a question about my pregnancy, but stopped herself when she saw that I had had a miscarriage on the computer she had with her. "Two pregnancies. One birth, one miscarriage," she said as she entered information onto the computer. There it was.

I waited for my doctor for about 20 minutes, alone again. Now all I could think about was, "What now? I have to pass this sac inside of me. And then what?"

My doctor came in and confirmed that I had indeed had a miscarriage. She said the fetus probably hadn't even had a single heartbeat. She then proceeded to explain my options to me:

Option 1: Wait it out and hope that my body figures out that I've had a miscarriage. I should start to bleed and cramp and pass the baby. But we don't know when that will even happen, or IF it will even happen on its own.

Option 2: Take medication to induce the miscarriage. It would basically make my body start cramping and bleeding and pass the baby. I had heard horror stories about this option, with people bleeding so bad that they had to have an emergency D&C. My doctor assured me that those cases were very rare. She said that one of two things could happen: either the medication wouldn't do anything and I'd have to have a D&C anyway, or it would work how it is supposed to and flush everything out in a couple of days. She said that I would also have extremely bad cramping and HEAVY bleeding.

Option 3: Get a D&C. My doctor said that this was the quickest and least painful way to get everything flushed out. The only downside is that it is a surgical procedure, so any risks associated with surgery are there.

Well, none of these options sounded great. I wanted to have a baby in August, not flush it out right now. But obviously that wasn't going to happen. So I chose Option 2. I would take the medication.

My doctor explained how to use the medication. And then she switched gears and told me that it was ok for me to be feeling sad and hurt. She told me that I should not suppress those feelings, that doing so would only make it worse in the long run. She said I needed to grieve and mourn the loss of this future that I almost had. She said that I would probably go home and blame myself for this happening- if only I hadn't worked out that day, if only I hadn't taken the ibuprofen that day, then I'd still be pregnant. But she said that I needed to remember that there was nothing I could have done to prevent this from happening. She said she had looked at my health and lifestyle records and I was extremely healthy. This is just something that happened. I was in tears as she said this to me. I really needed to hear all of that right then.

The rest of the day, I pretty much did nothing. Kate napped for a while, and I just laid down. I figured I deserved at least that. I started thinking about this medication that I was going to take in the morning. And having to deal with the physical aspects of this miscarriage- the blood and the cramping and the passing of the baby. I suddenly started crying as I realized I was going to have to physically let go of this future child that I could've had. For some reason, this was so hard to think about. That I'd actually physically have to pass this little one.

I prayed and prayed and prayed! I asked Father in Heaven to please give me comfort and courage to do what I had to do. With tears in my eyes, I pleaded with Him for these two gifts. I was so sad and so scared.

Thankfully, He gave me those two gifts. It didn't make any of the pain go away, but He made it so that I could bear it and that I could have enough courage to press forward.

Dealing with the physical parts of having a miscarriage is a miserable, miserable experience. That's all I'll say about that.

When you find out you've had a miscarriage, especially when there have been absolutely no signs of it, the last thing you want to do is deal with the bleeding and cramping and everything that comes with that. But you have to have courage and just do it. No matter how nervous or sad you're feeling. You have to rely on God. Otherwise, you'll just feel alone at all times. If you pray and ask for His help and comfort, HE WILL GIVE IT TO YOU.

I asked Greg if he thought God was hurting as much as I was. After all, He can see the bigger picture. He can see that I will probably have more children in the future, and that this experience is a short one in the grand scheme of things. But I can't see those things right now, even though I have faith and hope that they will happen. Right now, I'm just hurting. I'm hurting really deeply. Greg said, "Of course He feels as hurt as you. Probably more. He loves you and hates seeing you so sad. And He is also probably sad that another one of His children couldn't come to earth just yet."

I have faith that that's true. I have hope that things are going to be ok, and that I'll look back at this experience in a few years and realize that everything did turn out ok. But for now, I'm going to mourn and grieve and be sad. I've never gone through anything like this, and it's really hard. I need to be able to mourn. And that's ok. It's expected, and it's normal.



Monday, March 28, 2016

I Just Love My Little Boo Bear

Tonight, Greg and I were doing FHE with Kate. We pulled out a picture of President Hinckley, and we were trying to explain why prophets are important to us. As I was talking to Kate, she grabbed the picture, leaned all the way over, and kissed President Hinckley. It was the sweetest thing! She also does that to the pictures of Jesus in her room. Almost every night, she points to the pictures (there are like 3 of Jesus), and when we give them to her, she gives them kisses. Seriously, it is the cutest thing ever.

Kate is just such a sweetheart. She has been a lot more cuddly lately, which is a giant step for her. She's been giving us kisses and hugs and just wants to be with us. She has major stranger anxiety right now. If people stay like 5 feet away from her, she's super friendly, but if they get any closer, she jumps right into my lap or arms. It's actually pretty cute.

The past few weeks, Katherine has been cutting 4 molars. It has been INSANE. She does NOT handle it well, and so it makes for one angry little baby. I don't blame her- cutting teeth is horrible! I'd be crying too! I totally did cry when my wisdom teeth came in. But even though I feel for her, it doesn't make it any easier being the mom that has to take care of the crying, screaming, wailing baby. There are times when I try everything up my sleeve and she STILL isn't happy. I just tell myself that this teething will be over soon, and I can get through it. We both can get through it. When she isn't screaming or wailing, she is the SWEETEST little girl.

Greg and I are going to Europe in June. Greg has to go do an audit at a company in Lausanne, Switzerland, so I'm going to come with him and we will make a big trip out of it! We will go to Switzerland, Austria, and Italy (maybe France and Germany, too). We are having Diane come and watch Kate for 2 weeks while we are there. I'm really excited, but SO nervous to leave Kate. Honestly, it gives me anxiety just thinking about leaving her. I know she will be ok, I totally know that. But I haven't been apart from her for more than like 6 hours (not including sleeping) her entire life! I'm nervous that she won't know what is going on and will think we abandoned her, and I'm nervous that I won't be able to handle being away from her. I really do want to go on this trip because I think Greg and I need it (and we deserve it), but I just get so sad at the same time.

As you can tell, I am basically obsessed with Kate. My heart could explode with the love I have for her. She is the sweetest, cutest, happiest, most beautiful girl I've ever met. I'm so glad that she is all mine.


My Baby is ONE!

When people tell you not to blink because once you open your eyes, your baby will be in college, they aren't far from the truth. I feel like I just had Katherine yesterday. And now she's one year old! She's not my little tiny baby anymore- she's a toddler!

She loves to walk everywhere and get into everything. She sometimes likes to crawl really fast and be silly. 

She loves pointing at everything and clapping. She especially loves grabbing my hands and making me clap. She just giggles and giggles.

She is an awesome dancer! Seriously anytime a song comes on, no matter what song, she just stops what she's doing and starts bouncing up and down or back and forth on her feet. Once, we were walking on the sidewalk, and a car drove past with some rap music playing, and Katherine stopped and started bouncing. It was hilarious!

She loves to eat everything she can get her hands on, and that includes toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and toilet water. 

Her favorite foods are bananas and grapes, by far. She really hates apples and tomatoes. But she's generally a good eater.

She loves to babble and "talk." She can't say any distinct words yet, even though Greg swears she says "dada."

She LOVES books- she brings them over to me and tries to sit in my lap for me to read to her. Books are some of her favorite things.

She loves to giggle and play peek-a-boo. She goes over to our curtains and hides behind them, and when her little head emerges, we say "Peek-a-boo!" and she loves that.

She puts so many things over her head to be silly. She'll put clothes, books, toys, strings, towels, etc. over her head or around her neck (sometimes it's a little dangerous). She's so funny.

She has the cutest little giggle. You can get her really riled up when you tickle her (especially her thighs and armpits), and she absolutely LOVES it.

She climbs on everything. If there is anything right next to the couch, she uses it to climb up onto the couch. Once she's on the couch, she loves to be silly and flop herself all over the pillows. And yes, she has fallen one or two times. It was the scariest thing. But she's ok. She also grabs onto the top of my dresser (it's not a tall one) and just hangs from it or tries to climb up. There's also a little paint can next to my dresser, and she uses it to stand on and grab things from on top of my dresser.

She loves playing in her "kitchen." A girl from our ward gave us a play kitchen set a few weeks ago, and Katherine is seriously obsessed. It's her favorite thing. She loves to try to eat the play food. She doesn't quite get that it's pretend yet.

She is not a huge cuddler. Not even when she is hurt or crying. She doesn't love giving or getting kissies, but there are those rare times when I ask her for a kissie, and she stops moving her head, looks at me, and leans forward to kiss me. THAT IS THE CUTEST THING EVER.

She has started to help me when I'm trying to put her clothes on. She'll push her arms through the sleeves, and she puts her legs up to push them through the pants when she's laying on the ground.

She has slept through the night since she was about 9 months old. She's so good at not screaming or crying that when she wakes up from her naps, she even just sits there and doesn't make a sound for a little while (I know this because sometimes I go in there and she's just sitting there playing with her stuffed animal bunny).

She loves when I chase her around the house and then she gets to chase me. She just giggles and giggles!

She loves to try to mimic what Greg and I do. For instance, when we smack our lips, she tries to do it too. Or when I blow kisses to her, you can tell she's trying to figure it out and do it too. Or when I tell her to say "Hi" or "Bye bye" and wave, she waves too. It's seriously the cutest.

She's kind of a little bully with other kids. And by bully, I just mean that she doesn't really care that other kids are playing with toys, she will just go over and forcefully take whatever she wants out of their hands. Little stinker.

She does love other babies though. Depending on her mood. Sometimes she just squeals and gets so excited and points when she sees other kids. She has some cute little friends, Audrey, Gemma, and Lyla that she loves to play with. She also loves to play with Savannah and Sterling, but if they try to hold her hand or anything like that, she just SCREAMS.

Speaking of her scream, she has the LOUDEST scream I've ever heard from a baby. I'm not kidding. It is ear piercing. I've never heard another baby scream as loudly or as crazily as Katherine. She has got some lungs. I actually get that a lot from other random people that we meet at the store or when we are shopping.

She is really good at squatting. It's no easy feat. Trust me, I've tried. She does it with her bum almost touching the floor. It takes a lot of balance!

When we are cooking in the kitchen, she has to be in our arms seeing what's going on. She HATES being short.

If I'm taking a shower, she thinks it's hilarious to pull the shower curtain to the side and play peek-a-boo. It makes for a freezing shower.

She LOVES the beach! On Christmas Eve day, Greg, Ann Marie, my dad, Katherine, and I went to Seal Beach. My dad was put in charge of watching Kate while the rest of us took some pictures for my jewelry company. Next thing I know, I look over and Katherine was basically rolling around in the sand with her clothes on (not a swimsuit). It was a hilarious sight to see, but not fun when she started getting cold because she was soaking wet. 

She loves holding the iPhones. I don't know how, but she just knows where they are and sneakily grabs them and runs away. She doesn't give them up easily either.

She's a VERY smart girl. She impresses me every day with how smart she is. For instance, she knows she isn't supposed to get into the garbage, but she does it anyway. When I start heading over to her to stop her from grabbing the trash, she immediately knows what's going on and starts running away, usually with some trash in her hands. Sometimes it is an absolute mess.

She hates the stroller. I've pretty much given up trying to put her in it when we go shopping. She just wants to be out walking around. By herself. No hand holding.

She's obsessed with the dishwasher. She comes up and grabs a knife or fork or spoon and just runs away with it.

She loves to rough house with daddy. He tickles and throws her onto a pile of pillows and stuff like that. She giggles the entire time.

Church is basically a nightmare with Katherine. She doesn't sit still at all, and she screams in the middle of the chapel during sacrament meeting if she can't walk around. So, I take her out into the halls the first hour, and then Greg takes her out in the halls the second and third hours while I'm playing piano in Primary. Church with a baby stinks. Especially 11am church (right during nap time). We just cling onto the fact that she will be in nursery in 6 months and we can go back to having a good, spiritual church meeting again.

She does REALLY well with new people. She's definitely not one of those shy babies. We've had others babysit her a few times, and she's done really well every time. She doesn't scream when we leave. Hopefully that lasts.

She throws tantrums still, but they aren't as bad as they were a couple months ago. She gets over them pretty quickly. We've just ignored her when she starts screaming, and when she knows she's not going to get attention out of it, she stops.

There's so much more that I could go on and on about, but I'll just stop there!















Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tantrum Baby (and months 6-11)

You know, parenthood is such an ever-changing roller coaster of emotions and new adventures. As a parent with a newborn, you just can't wait until they start to smile, and when they do, it just melts your heart. And then you can't wait until they can roll over, and when they do, you are just bursting with pride. And then you can't wait for them to eat real food and crawl and walk and talk...

But what you aren't expecting is that along with all of these amazing milestones comes a little personality from that darling sweet baby. And not every part of that personality is darling and sweet.

Unfortunately for Greg and me, our little not-even-11-month-old has figured out that she can throw tantrums. She can throw them in stores while we are shopping. She can throw them when we take something away from her. She can throw them when she's hungry. She can throw them just to throw them. Like, if she's bored. And I'm not talking just simple crying. I'm talking stomping her feet, falling onto her bottom, SCREAMING tantrums.

This is the face I get a lot:

I have become that mother in the store that looks around me with sorry eyes while my screaming baby runs around terrorizing the merchandise. I have become that mother who stands next to the sink and takes one or two or ten deep breaths while her baby stomps her feet, falls on her bum, and screams at the top of her lungs. I can't tell you how many silent prayers I say in one day.

I mean, my baby is not even one year old, and she already stomps her feet and tries to hide that dangerous pencil in her hand from me. Isn't she a little young to be that smart? Am I missing something here? 

I guess I should count myself lucky that she's just so smart... So smart that she's already testing my limits!

I have a feeling that this little girl is going to be giving me a run for my money and teaching me new things every day of my life. Like how to be patient. Or how to successfully lock myself in the bathroom without hearing the screams.

I know that I need to cut myself some slack and remember that this is all new to both Katherine and me. I've never had to parent a screaming baby, and she's never had to control herself. We are both learning, and I know it will take a lot of time and patience on both of our parts. I'm sure I'll look back at this blog post in 10 years and laugh at how naive I was. But I guess that's the point: I AM naive. I've never done this before, and I'm learning. I'm excited to learn how to be a parent.

Here are some things we've been up to the past 5 months (the pictures are a little out of order)!


We went whale watching!

 We went to a pumpkin patch in Irvine with Greg and Karina and the kids.


We went up to Utah at the beginning of September to celebrate Chris and Bailey's marriage! 

Greg and I finally got to go on a temple date while my parents watched Katherine. It was so nice.

This is Katherine at Dan and Alisa's wedding in early October.

Halloween pumpkin carving was so fun!

We went to Downtown Disney to see the decorations for Christmas! There was an outdoor ice skating rink. It was like 65 degrees outside.

Katherine is a CLIMBER. She climbs on EVERYTHING!




This was the only picture we got on our 4th wedding anniversary. It's gone by so fast!

Lots of beach fun!

Katherine LOVES dogs. I even become chopped liver when dogs are around, and that's really saying something. 

When we were in Utah for Chris and Bailey's reception, a bunch of Greg's little cousins played with Katherine. I'm not sure who was having more fun- Kate or the boys! 

On our way back to California after Chris and Bailey's reception, we found Ann Marie in the airport! SO FUN!

More beach time at sunset.





We love Downtown Disney! 



We've been able to go on a few local hikes. It's been awesome!


Katherine loves bubbles!




Uncle Steve and Uncle Ray got me some new clothes and toys!

Little whale watcher.

At Auntie Lisa's wedding.




We went on a beautiful hike in Park City when we were there in October. It was so awesome!! Notice Kate on Greg's back... Totally zonked.

I love this baby.

More pumpkin patch fun.




Kate has some really cute friends, Audrey and Gemma! (And mommy loves hanging out with their mommies).

How can you not love a face like that?

"You sly dog...."

Pumpkin baby.

Not very happy about her costume... 

We were Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Swee'Pea for Halloween this year! 

Beach kissies.

Katherine is extremely resourceful.

We go to Music Makers with some women and their kids from the ward and stake. It's really fun! Kate still isn't really sure about what's going on, but she'll get it eventually! 

Cuties at Music Makers.

Our pumpkins this year. Not my best, but Greg's always turn out awesome! He always does some sort of Star Wars character. 




Katherine also loves the dishwasher. She just can't stay away.

Alisa did this AMAZING picture of the three of us. She is seriously so talented. I just love it!

Two little sickies. Katherine and I both had strep, and she was a serious trooper through it. Strong girl.

Katherine and I went to the San Diego Zoo with Greg, Karina, and the kids back in October. It was such an awesome time! We love that zoo!




We were in San Diego because Greg had a workshop he needed to go to for work, so while he was doing that for a few days, Kate and I explored San Diego. We went to the Mormon Battalion Historic site. It was so fun! Katherine loved it, and she loved the missionaries too!


This is in Old Town. I just love Kate's face.

We visited the temple! So gorgeous! 

We all went to La Jolla Cove before we came home. It was really pretty! La Jolla is a hoppin' little town. It's super busy. But it sure is gorgeous! 


I'm telling you. Climbs on everything... 



We went to Greg's Aunt Lori and Uncle Dave's apartment in downtown San Diego. They live in a really cool high rise! We had dinner with them and then walked around downtown. It was really fun!

Diva. 

Aunt Wave came to visit us for a few days! We LOVED being with her!


Wave took some cute photos of this little babe at the beach (the beach in NOVEMBER).





Alfalfs.

Hanging out at grandma and grandpa's on Thanksgiving.




And here's Katherine's Thanksgiving meal. She LOVED it!


Thanksgiving weekend just wore us out!

This little monster loves to make messes everywhere! It's a good thing she's so darn cute!

When it gets down to like 55 degrees here in Orange County, we bust out our winter clothes. 


 We love walks with Daddy.

My little munchkin. She's so pretty.

Life is great!