Thursday, July 26, 2012

Three Whole Months!!

Diana just turned 3 (months) yesterday! She has to be the cutest baby of all time. I'm not joking. She's adorable. Her dark hair has turned auburn. She is so good and so happy. She smiles all the time and Billy even got a laugh out of her a couple days ago. It's not consistant, but she can finally lift that big ol' head of hers off the ground. She can almost hold it steady when she's upright. She can sit up by herself if she is propped up with a pillow.
She loves to play with this little bumble bee toy in her crib and a soft pink bunny/blanket/rattle toy. She's very talkative since she discovered her voice. She just learned yesterday how to scream for fun and now she does all the time. She sleeps through the night and eats well. She loves being sung to by mommy and daddy. It gets her to sleep almost instantly. I sing her the Disney lullabyes and Billy likes to sing songs from Phantom and country music.
The only problem we're having is that she is constantly spitting up. So she is constantly in a bib. Problem solved.
It's amazing how fast babies grow. Especially my baby. She's enormous. I just put away a box of her clothing that she has already grown out of. At her last doctors appointment at 2 months she was 25 inches and 13.5 pounds. That means tall and chunky. I love her chubby cheeks and thighs. She's already wearing a size 2 diaper and fits some 6 month clothing.
She went swimming for the first time in the bath tub and last week we got her in the pool. She wasn't too keen on the cold water, but she did really well for her age. She likes the bath tub much better. I'm looking forward to when she is old enough for swimming lessons.
We had her blessing on July 1st. She would have been 10 weeks old. She wore the dress that my grandma made for me when I was a blessed. Since she is a big girl and we waited a little long, the dress was a little snug on her and the bonnet fit just barely. Billy gave a beautiful blessing and a woman in our ward wrote it down for us. Unfortunately since all my family lives pretty far away, no one could make it from my side, but Billy's side was well represented.
As for me, I'm doing great too. I get a little cabin fever sometimes, but the apartment is always pretty clean, the laundry and dishes done, and I manage to work out about 4 days a week. I've started doing power yoga. It kicks my trash every time. I had no idea how badly damaged I am until I tried the "upward facing dog" pose. I felt like my spine was going to break in half. And don't get me started on the chair. Burning quads! I'm getting stronger though. My goal is to loose 20 pounds of fat and gain 10 pounds of muscle, soooo....I'm on my way. I just need to stop eatting so much. Peanut butter is very fattening. I eat it every day. Blah. But I work out more than Billy does, so even if he wanted to, he can't talk about my fitness. Muahaha.
So are more pictures.

The men in the blessing circle
 Our family
 Diana exhausted from another "tummy time"
 So cute in a dress Megan got her
 She's sinking into the couch.
 What a cute little baby butt.
 She really loved floating in the tub.
Cute face!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Road trip and Bath time.

When Diana was 1 month old on Memorial Day weekend, we went to visit Billy's best friend Chris and their family. We went with Billy's mom because she was headed down to a wedding so we hitched a ride last minute. It was Diana's first road trip and she did so well. She slept almost the whole time and only woke up (cried) when she was hungry.
She did really well with her first baby sitter, Marie Fosse, Chris' mom. She had her first contact with a dog, a BIG dog. A giant great dane named Maggie. Billy and I went to the Space Center in Pleasant Grove and pretended to be crew of a Star Trek space station. It was pretty fun, but not as good as iWorlds. The staff were all under the age of 14 and there was one girl that you could tell had no friends.
Gretchen made some pretty awesome Zoopa Tuscana soup. She said the recipe is from Olive Garden, but hers was way better (and spicier). Diana also had her first encounter with a beard. She could not stop staring at Chris' beard. We also got to see Kaleb at his mission fairwell. Have fun in the Ukraine, kid. We took a stroll around the mall, hung out at walmart, went to that wedding I mentioned, and played a "game." The game that I'm not allowed to talk about. That's because it is SUPER nerdy. Nerdier than the Space Center. Anyway...
Chris' wife Ashley was 9 months pregnant and on our last morning there, she went into labor. We were on the road and they called us that afternoon and let us know their new little girl had arrived. On our way home we stopped in Montana and the 50,000 silver dollar store and made jokes about the Testicle Festival (rocky mountain oysters). Just a few pics from our drive home.
 Poor girl didn't fit the car seat quite right, I had to prop her head up with a toy.
 Diaper change at a gas station
50,000 silver dollar store in montana. Diana wasn't the greatest at holding her head up yet.

I swear our little girl grows so fast. I bet she put on four pounds in two weeks. At six weeks she had her first photographed bath...because that's how long it took for her not to scream in the tub. She's a big girl too. At six weeks she was in 3 month clothes and is in between sizes for shoes.

 The biggest little feet.
Poor baby HATES tummy time because her big head is so heavy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recovery and the First Two Weeks

Most of the first couple weeks was a haze; a narcotic induced haze.I had asked several people to tell me the truth, because as mommy, she is beautiful. But to everyone else she is beautiful too. He was born with an awesome complextion and dark brown curly hair. She had a widows peak and looks just like my dad and a lot like her cousins, my sister's kids. She has daddy's big lips and his toes and she has my heels and ears. Her feet are enormous for a newborn. Her footprints take up most of the paper they give you in the hospital. She's a tall little girl, but I always knew she would be big.
I had lots of visitors. I should say, Diana had lots of visitors. Many of my co-workers, including Sara, Vicki an Wendy all threatened to steal her. Luckily they put a little anti-baby-theft band on her ankle that triggers the doors to close and lock when you get to close to them. ;) My mom, Billy's mom and his brother and sisters, my co-workers, and a few folks from church came to visit in the hospital. My mom was on her best behavior for her visit and was actually very helpful. She cleaned my apartment and stocked my freezer with lots of food and made some really yummy soup. She was in no way pushy and respected my wishes about being in the room during labor (which was no one in the room but Billy).
We were there from Tuesday morning to Saturday morning. Her first meal was formula on a bottle because I couldn't hold her, but managed to breast feed a little after that. She hated it, and I wasn't a fan either because she hated it. We ended up pumping and feeding her with a bottle. That worked for a little while. I'll explain later. She slept so well even in the first few weeks. She has such a mild cry that I didn't mind waking up. Whether or not I could actually get to her.
She roomed in with us in the hospital and right away Billy took charge. I wasn't allowed to stand for a while, mostly because I couldn't. He would get up and bring her too me in a zombie-lack-of-sleep-coma. After major abdominal surgery one is considered a "fall risk" and given a big red tag to wear. I was in lots of pain from surgery and wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom by myself for a couple days. I was on lots of anti-nausea medication too because I was also on a ton of pain killers. The staple pulled like mad and I had a lot of loose skin hanging over them.
The first week, Billy was mom. Although I was pumping, I couldn't take care of her. Soon after we came home from the hospital I got violently ill. I could not stop throwing up. I was constipated for a week and drugged on pain killers. Because I was sick, I was severly depressed. That lasted until I went to urgent care four days later where I receved about 2 1/2 liters of IV fluids because I was so dehydrated. I was throwing up and pumping and I couldn't hold anything but gatorade down. So after about six hours in the Urgent Care Center at my work, they figure I had severe acid reflux and was prescribed Prilosec for the rest of my life. That medication is Category C in pregnancy and not for use in nursing. Therefore Diana now gets formula. She doesn't seem to care. She got the colostrum that she needed and is chunky and happy. And I am happy too. It's amazing how much your attitude can improve when you're healthy. It was an almost instant improvement. If I forget a dose I get major heartburn that evening and if I forget two doses I get nauseated and start throwing up again. I think it is worth the sacrifice of breastfeeding to have a happy mommy. After childbirth and the week of fluid loss, I lost 40 pounds. I went from 187 to 147 in two weeks and could finally see my ankles again. I still would not let people take pictures of me if they didn't have to. I had another appointment at three weeks which showed I had a uterine infection and was put on antibiotic. I had no idea I had that, because I thought the pain was normal for a C-section. I had stopped taking pain killers because they made me too sick. After that, I was all better and had only a normal post surgery ache.
Diana had her first doctors appointment when she was 5 days old and got a clean bill of health. She lost some weight because she was swollen too. At her two week appointment she had gained it all back and then some. Her umbilical cord stump fell off somewhere around 3 weeks and she got her first tub bath after that and she hated it. She screamed like we were killing an old lady. So we refrained from baths and just washed her hair in the sink. My dad and Joanne came to visit around this time too. We all went out to eat at Golden Corral, our new favorite restaurant. (I like it for the soft serve, billy likes it for the cotton candy) Joanne made Diana a beautiful purple blanket and they took us shopping and bought us two cases of Huggies and a jumbo pack of bottles and a dishwasher rack for them. These have been awesome because I am so not a fan of washing bottles.
Hmmmmmm....I think thats enough and here are a few more pictures...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pregnancy and Delivery

It's been a wild ride so far, so here is an update.
Let's just start with this...the rest of my pregnancy was awful. This includes kidney stones and swelling like a water balloon. I gained 60 pounds, mostly water. My skin stretched to it's limit so I'm covered in stretch marks. The last week of pregnancy my legs ached because of the swelling and I couldn't see my ankle bones or my knees. I could literally leave deep indentations in my skin from my ankles to my upper thighs and part of my stomach. It's called pitting edema.
My stomach was covered in a very very itchy rash that was only soothed if I numbed it with ice packs. If I touched my skin it got worse. That was probably the worst part. I itched so much I cried on a daily basis.
My joints became so sore that the only way I could sleep was in a recliner. I'm still recovering from a back injury and occasionally my pelvis still hurts when I lay on my side and it's more than two months later.
I worked up until a week before I was due and my last day was my birthday. I was due the next Friday but the Tuesday before that i had enough. I had some pretty severe Braxon-Hicks contractions and was getting frustrated because my little bundle (of misery at this point) had not arrived yet. I was already super big and was told I would likely deliver early. HA! If anything I knew she would be late. I had been begging my doctor to induce me early, but she just laughed it off. I woke Billy up at six in the morning and told him to take me to the hospital. I wasn't in labor, but I was getting this baby out NOW.
We got to the hospital around seven and I went to the ER because my right leg was more swollen than my left and it was hurting more than usual. I wanted them to check me for a blood clot. What else could go wrong with this pregnancy? Well they immediately sent me to labor and delivery where they were confused because all they heard was "we're sending you a pregnant woman with swollen ankles." When I actually got there they said "whoa." I guess they didn't realize HOW swollen I was.
So we waited in a L&D room until about 3 in the afternoon for an ultrasound of my leg. That came back normal-ish. Baby was sitting on a vein preventing me from "draining" properly. Great. They were going to send me home. I wasn't about to leave that hospital without a baby in my arms.
The hospital staff and my husband were communicating with my doctor the whole time. Finally after begging Billy to talk to my doctor, did she finally consent to inducing me. I guess she didn't realize how much pain and misery I was in, or she didn't believe me when I told her. It had to come from someone else. Hmm.
Soooo...I get moved to a different room where they hook up a baby monitor and start me on an IV with oxytocin. First they let me take a bath in one of their giant tubs. It was amazing and I would recommend it. It was the first time my body didn't ache in 6 months. Then they put the oxytocin on a slow drip so I can go through contractions through the night and sleep through them. That was fun.
In the morning I wasn't progressing enough, so they broke my water, upped the dose and gave me an epidural. That was the weirdest feeling. I have a back injury and I could feel lots of pressure down my right butt cheek. So all numbed up and my contractions started pretty fierce. It was taking forever. It was time to push. Billy was watching a movie on the laptop. I told him I felt like he should be doing something, but really there was nothing for him to do. Two nurses helped me hold my legs. When your legs are as swollen as mine were and completely numb, they are SO heavy.
They put me in several different awkward and unflattering positions to no avail. I got two more "bumps" in my epidural medication because it kept wearing off. After two hours of pushing I had birthed some dark hair. By this time my epidural had all but worn off (except for my right leg, which wasn't "draining" properly) My doctor came and I pushed for another hour (NOT numb) and FINALLY she consulted with another OB at the hospital. He took a quick look and said, "Oh, your pelvis is too narrow. You need a C-section." !!???!!!?!?!?!?!WTF!!!?!??!?! I was ALL for it, but WHY THE F*$% COULDN'T SOMEONE NOTICE THIS EARLIER!??! You'd think after all the pelvic exams someone would have noticed a big head wouldn't make it though. GEEZE!
So I consented to the surgery, Billy got all gussied up, and they rolled me into the OR. They strapped my arms down to the side and set up this big tent so I can't see my stomach. Then they gave me some more drugs to get me numbed up again. By this time I'm so loaded with narcotics, that I'm shivering and my arms are shaking uncontrollably and I've already been sick twice. They asked me several times "Can you feel this?" YES PLEASE DON'T CUT YET! I guess it took three doses of whatever to get me numb enough. Because of all the swelling, I wasn't circulating things fast enough.
After I was numbed up, they brought Billy into the room and started the procedure. I could feel so much, but the only pain I felt was a foot in my ribs. They used a cautery scalpel, so I could smell my skin burning. Billy attempted to tell me what was going on, but I was so sick already, that I didn't want to know. Ususally I can handle that kind of thing. My arms where shaking so violently now that I had to hold on to the poles that were holding up the sheild to keep myself steady.
I could feel them tugging. She was very far into my birth canal so they had to do a lot of tricky manuvering to get her out. Apparently her overall positioning was bad. I could feel all that too. I knew the moment she left my body because there was relief from the foot in my ribs and a huge weight on my spine was gone. Then I heard her cry.
Diana Belle Michael was born on Wednesday, 4/25/2012 at 4:12 pm weighing 8 pounds 2 ounces and 21 1/4 inches long.
I don't remember much because I was so drugged. It seemed very chaotic. There were several people cleaning the baby, and several working on putting my guts back in. (They take your uterus out to clean it). Billy showed me my new little girl and the first thing I remember was her curly hair and how super soft she was. I couldn't hold her because my arms were still strapped to the table and still shaking. He took her out to show the grandma's who were patiently waiting in the hallway while I got stitched up. I think I sort of blacked out after this. I don't remember being wheeled back to recovery. I remember it being dark in the room, being sick again, and I remember talking to my sister-in-law but not what I said to her. And I remember not being able to hold my baby because I was too afraid to drop her because I couldn't get control of my arms. I think it was several hours before a lot of the medication wore off and I could hold her.
This is a good stopping point. Next blog I'll talk about recovery and the first couple weeks.

She is such a sweet baby. I'm so grateful for such a good little girl. I had such a lousy pregnancy and delivery that I guess God decided to bless me with her. My little angel.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

THE recipe. Egg rolls.

Hmong Egg Rolls

1 (10 1/2 ounce) bag bean thread noodles
1 package egg roll wrappers or rice paper wrappers
1 (10 -12 ounce) package coleslaw mix (or 1 sm cabbage & 2 carrots shredded)
1 medium yellow onion
1 bunch green onion or 2-3 shallots
1 bunch cilantro
1 1/2 lbs ground pork, chicken or turkey
1 egg (xtra 1 for sealing egg rolls)
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
-Mae Ploy sweet chili dipping sauce (or sauce of your choice)
-Vegetable or Peanut oil for frying


1. Boil noodles (follow package directions), drain, rinse with cold water, cut into 3-inch lengths; set aside.
2. Chop green and yellow onions and cilantro (also, cabbage and carrots if not going with the packaged coleslaw).
3. In large wok or skillet, brown ground meat. Mix all ingredients together in the wok and cook until onions are clear and cabbage is cooked down.
4. Peel eggroll wraps apart, put about 1/2 cup mix on egg roll wrap, roll it up, and seal with egg. (Must be egg. Water or other things will not keep rolls together in oil)
5. Heat oil (med high heat) and brown on all sides.
6. Let cool slightly and serve with dipping sauce and Jasmine rice.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Real Deal-22 weeks

I think it's finally sunk in. I had an ultrasound a couple weeks ago and saw my little baby's face for the first time. I can feel movement. A lot of it. On Saturday I cramped for a good four hours. It scared me a lot and turns out, according to my follow-up ultrasound today, baby flipped a full 180 in that time. Holy Braxton-Hicks. I thought I was going pre-term. The ultrasound today confirmed we are having a little girl. She's a full pound, and I have gained about 10. She's big for her "age" and I'm right were I should be. Now I'm showing. A lot of people at work still can't tell, but I think that's because I wear scrubbs. You can definitely tell if I wear form fitting clothes. My heels hurt like crazy and I still have massive heartburn, but otherwise I feel okay now.
Today after the ultrasound I was showing some people a couple pictures with Billy. Two of my co-workers were oohing and awing over one of them, "How cute!" I looked to see which one they were looking at. Turns out they were a little confused because they thought the "confirmation she's a she" picture looked a lot like a face. Billy had his first moment of protective Dad syndrome. "That's not a face! Don't look at my daughter's [hoohoo] like that! It's not cute!" Thankfully those co-workers were both female. And they were both very embarrassed.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The truth about pregnancy...

This is NOT fun. In all the books I've read and all the websites I've consulted, they NEVER tell you how bad it really is. Pregnancy is a beautiful time of creation, blah blah. Some lower back and belly pain is normal. Recurrent UTI's are common among pregnant women. True...all of it...What they don't tell you is how much all of that actually hurts and actually sucks!!! They sort of gloss over the bad parts and make it sound so wonderful.
Lets stroll through my wonderful journey so far at 20 weeks pregnant...
-"Morning" sickness lasted all day long. There was no end to the sea-sick rocking feeling that I had to endure while at work. The only way to feel better was to eat, thus giving me more ammo to use when aiming for the toilet bowl. Even then I lost five pounds to start. The anti-nausea medication saved me from many, many sick days. Thankfully, I'm past that stage.
-Sensitivity to smell...quite an understatement. It's more like a super power. Or a curse. They didn't say that everytime I walk by the break room that I would feel like puking or actually puke. They also didn't say that I wouldn't be able to kiss my husband. I had to change lotion, soap and deodorant, laundry detergent, fabric softner and dishsoap. Most of my candles were thrown out. I can no longer eat garlic, onions or big macs. The smell of our basement apartment finally got so bad that we actually had to MOVE! I missed work a few times because I work in a medical clinic where it wasn't the patients that smelled horrible to me, but the doctors collogne.
-Heartburn. I feel like a firebreathing dragon if I don't take a pill twice a day. And man if I forget I'm sorry later. I can't stand the taste/texture of Tums. Not only was there the heartburn, but also the ULCER! The stress of being so sick, my living arrangements, responsibilities at work and church, and feeling terrible that Billy had to put up with me burnt a whole in my stomach. I was medicated for this one too, with two pills I had to take four times a day.
-UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). So this one was lots of fun. First of all, the first symptoms of a UTI are frequent urination and some low back pain...which are also normal symptoms of pregnancy. Soooo....until my urine had blood in it and I had severe cramping in my kidneys, I had NO idea I had one. So it got BAD...really bad. Then my doc put me on antibiotics three times a day for a week and I am praying I don't get a yeast infection, because that is also normal after being on antibiotics.
-Not normal, but still sucky...a common cold. Normally people handle a cold just fine with a decongestant or Nyquil. Well, you can't take those when you're pregnant, lucky me. I had Tylenol and whatever home remedy I could think of. Finally the sinus pressure got so bad and 9pm that I called the on-call MD crying and so stuffy I literally could not breath through my nose. She told me I could take benedryl so at least I could sleep through it and drink LOTS of water. AHHH!!! NOT ENOUGH!!! I missed two days of work for a cold that I'm still not quite over yet. I'd never been so grateful for the invention of sudafed and ibuprofen until I could have neither.
-Cravings and aversions to food. More just aversions, see sensitivity to smell. I can't stand ranch dressing or mayo. I only crave food itself. I'm hungry all the time. I think I crave potatoes, but I'm not sure. Fries, hashbrowns and mashed potatoes all sound really good to me, but it's not strong enough to drop everything and get some...yet.
-Oh the stretching!!! What is so benignly put as "round ligament pain" started out as feeling like I exercised my lower abdominal muscles a little too hard. It now feels like there is a little beasty trying to burst through at any moment...sort of like the alien in the diner on Space Balls. At least my little beasty will be cute. I lotion the heck out of my skin and so far, no stretch marks. But I can't lotion the muscles under the skin.
-Along with the stretching is the shifting. My pelvis is moving like the continental plates and when one hits wrong I've got an earthquake in my nether regions. It doesn't help the SI joint pain that I've had since I was fourteen anyway. My tailbone pops in and out of place when I sit down or stand up and is always sore. I cannot maintain one position for longer than 15 minutes. I'm almost to the point where I can't sit with my legs crossed either. But I can still touch my toes...the hard part is standing back up once I'm down there.
There is so many more little things I could vent about, but I'm only half way through my pregnancy and I'm sure there are many more surprises to be had. I just want to thank all of the ridiculous women out there that have no symptoms or that "just love being pregnant" or "felt the best in their life" when they were pregnant. For being so restricted on medications, I have never taken more medication in my LIFE. A totally of six so far, not including the massive amounts of Tylenol I took for my sinuses. I'm glad I'm pregnant but only because I'm looking forward to my little bundle of joy in April.