Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Milo's Birth Story

Milo Harvey Florence’s Birth Story

    Milo came into the world completely unexpectedly. In fact I had had a mid-wife appointment on Monday and she told me I “was perfect!”. I was 32 weeks along and doing well. Tuesday morning however I woke up from having sharp pain in my tummy. These contractions continued on throughout the morning. I told Hank about them casually, but thought there was nothing to be alarmed about. Around 8ish hank convinced me to call my mid-wife. I texted her instead and she ordered me to get into an Epson Salt bath and to drink magnesium.  She told me to do nothing at all because the contractions have to stop. They didn’t. A half hour later I texted her again informing of my consistent stomach pain she replied “you have to get to the hospital sweetheart”. I started crying quite a bit. Hank called Renae and after talking for a while he came back to sooth me. My mid-wife had explained that I was going to be given a shot which would mostly likely stop the contractions. Hank decided not to go into work and stayed with me all day. We dropped Sam off at a friend’s and headed over. They put an external monitor on me and I was definitely having contractions. They also checked me and I wasn’t dilated. After monitoring me for a while I was given a shot of Terbutaline which stopped the contractions. I went home and took a nap. When I woke up and started do a little activity I started feeling the contractions again. They continued throughout the afternoon and into the evening. At the hospital they told me if I had more than 6 in a hour that I was to come back. Finally Hank and I decided to count them and from 8pm to 9pm I had 6 contractions. I called my mid-wife and she told me to go back. She said I probably have an infection of some kind and they will treat me for that. I also could get another shot of Terbutaline. I arrived and was put back on an external monitor. The strange part about this visit was that the monitor wasn’t really picking up very much activity. I felt pain but the monitor recorded it only as cramping. I felt really confused and quite honestly completely embarrassed. After laying there for an hour the monitor had picked up only 3 contractions. The doctor who had been on call earlier that day was there still. When she came by to see me she launched into a big lecture on why I should change my care from a Mid-wife to a Physician. She told me that if I am going to keep coming into the hospital I’ll just keep having to have on call doctors and that if my mid-wife can’t give me the care I need then I should switch.  I understood her concern but I think she spent way too much time talking about it. She also didn’t know anything about mid-wives and keep making points that made her sound stupid. I also found it interesting that she was so concerned about me changing my care when she essentially didn’t give me any and didn’t believe me when I said I was having frequent contractions.  She also acted as if I was over-reacting. She couldn’t do a vaginal swap test to see if I had an infection because I had an intercourse within the last 24 hours, she didn’t want to check my cervix because she didn’t want to stimulate it anymore and  from what the monitor was reading she had no reason to be alarmed. The only problem was what I was feeling and what the monitor was reading were off, but I was so trusting at this point I just assumed I didn’t know my body’s signals. In fact while she was lecturing to me I had a contraction so painful I couldn’t talk to her and had to close my eyes. After the contraction was over she looked at the monitor and said “oh, that wasn’t bad”. I felt so stupid, embarrassed and just plain wimpy. I ask why was I was having so many contractions before I came and then when I got here they were gone. The doctor said it might be because I was laying down. She also told me “its in the air” meaning the hospital has magical air that stops people from contracting. That explanation did little to explain what was happening to my body. She told me to take some Benadryl. When I got home I just broke down and cried. The whole night was ruined and an embarrassment.

I had contractions all night long and they continued into the morning. At this point my confidence to know my body was almost diminished. I called Renee the next morning to report the horrible hospital visit. She was surprised they provided no treatment and didn’t check me. As we spoke she became a wealth of information. She was extremely helpful in explaining what all the different possibilities could be for my contractions. I asked her if I am at high risk right now and need to change my care so I can be bound to the hospital. She said more treatment would have to be done to see what was happening.  She completed validated me by acknowledging that something WAS happening to my body and I wasn’t crazy. Hank and I went over to her house shortly after our conversation and she did all sorts of checks and treatments. My cervix was irritated, my mucus plug was coming out and I had some yeast. She put tea tree oil and garlic on my cervix to heal it and set a bunch of samples off to a lap to check for infection.  That’s when she told me I was to be put on bed rest until the contractions stopped. I was also to do Monistat treatments, take magnesium and use cramp bark to help stop the contractions. We went home and I did it all. Even with just laying there my contractions were not stopping and they were getting more painful.  Renee called to check up on me and she told me to get to the hospital. NO!!! I really didn’t want to go back there. She said they needed to give me a magnesium sulfate shot which is extremely powerful and would be the best hope of stopping the contractions. Hank stayed with me that day as well. We dropped Sam off with another friend and went over. On the way I kept saying “lets just get the shot and go home, get the shot and go home”.  I was too embarrassed to show my face again.  I was just hoping the physician lecturing doctor wouldn’t be there. I got gowned up and hooked up once again to the external monitor. By this time the contractions I were having were pretty dang hard. I expressed my want for the magnesium sulfate shot. The nurse said they needed to monitor me for a while. Here was the big problem at this visit; the contractions were not being accurately monitored. I was very emotionally distraught by it. I would feel a strong tightening of my uterus sometimes to the point where I couldn’t speak and when I looked at the monitor I would see a straight line. Often times the contractions I had would come up only as cramps.  For this reason I wasn’t visited very often by anyone.  After about a half hour of this I told the nurse I had of my concern that the monitor wasn’t picking anything up. She looked at what the monitor had recorded and basically repeated back to me what it read and then left. Hank didn’t know what to think either. He said “I guess if those aren’t contractions then that’s good right?”. I was so confused. I have had stomach pain my whole life and none of it felt this intense. Was I crazy? Was this just the worse gas of my life? Hank texted Renee who was planning on meeting at the hospital. He told her that the monitor wasn’t picking up very many of the contractions, maybe a third of them. She again validated me and said it was the monitor’s fault and that I WAS having contractions. After another half hour or so no one came in. The monitor was still barely picking anything up so Hank got a nurse and I told her I think something was wrong with the monitor. She moved it and left.  My contractions at this point were getting so strong and intense that I had to start moaning to get through them. The pain was radiating to my legs. I told Hank that I didn’t care anymore what these garbage monitors said, I was in labor and I knew it! After another hour of no one the doctor finally arrived. I had been there for at least 2 1/2 hours. The time was around 5pm.When the doctor came he explained to me that it’s normal to have contractions but unless your cervix is dilated then he doesn’t care. He said my uterus was soft and that I was most likely fine. Since I wasn’t dilated the day before he didn’t think it was necessary to check me. By the way while he was saying all this as I was moaning in pain. I told him I was in a lot of pain and I am really confused. He hesitated and said “I could check you..” “yes!” I replied. When he checked me I was dilated to a four and fully effaced.  He looked so surprised, but I didn’t. I looked at both the nurse and doctor and said “I am not surprised”. That’s when the magnesium sulfate was finally  ordered as well as steroids (those help the baby). He told the nurses to admit me and then said to me “we’re gonna have a baby” and he gave me a high five. I started crying a lot.

When I got to the delivery room my contractions were only a few minutes apart and very painful. Renee and Rebecca (her assistant) arrived.  Renee kept me informed. She told me she ran into my doctor in the hall and he said he thinks it was a placenta abruption. She said that was “bull****” and she didn’t want to hear that they were going to cut me open because of that. She was right of course, later on when my placenta came out it was very healthy and whole. It’s so ironic how no one listened to me for so long and then when my condition came to light the worse possible scenario was drawn. I asked Renee what I was suppose to do at this point. She said my goal was to keep the baby inside me as long as I could, ideally 24 hours. That seems ridiculous to me but I wanted to do what was best for the baby. It was so strange trying to do the opposite of everything I had learned and experienced with labor. Instead of relaxing and letting my uterus do it’s job I had to somehow try to fight against it. A nurse came in to give me an IV but was having trouble with my vein. She was touching me trying to find somewhere and I asked her to stop because I was having a contraction. She replied in an extremely irritated voice “I am not going to stick you yet, I’m just trying to find a spot!”. She left and after a while another nurse came in and tried to find a vein. This whole vein process took so long Renee finally said “can I just do it!” (Renee’s an expert sticker). The labor and delivery nurse started laughing and said “you have no privileges here! That would be against the law!”. It was so so so awkward. They finally  had to get a specialist to come in and stick me. At this point I was barely having any breaks between my contractions. Hank was so strong. He stood by my side and just keep telling me how I could do this and how amazing I was. He would pray in my ear as I felt one coming. Everything was so intense at this point, the pain, the shock of being in labor etc. Every time I got done with a contraction I would look at Hank and it was if he had wings and a halo. He kept me steady. I was so grateful he was there. Renee was also so supportive. The only interaction I had with the nurses was they had me sign all this crap as I was deliriously moaning. Oh and the labor and deliver nurse asked if I wanted an epidural, “are you still planning on doing this the natural way? Or do you want something?“. I told I didn’t want any more complications. It had been at least a half hour maybe longer before the magnesium sulfate came. Renee explained everything to me; what the shot would feel like, what would happen afterwards etc. At this point though I had no break between contractions. As soon as one came down I felt another one come on. Renee could see what was happening and told me that if the baby is coming and I can’t stop it then the magnesium sulfate should not be administered. It would drug the baby and cause problems for him. Since they were ready to administer it I told a nurse to check me first. Thank goodness Renee had been there. I was at a 9! Shortly after the doctor rushed in and said “no mag! No mag!”. I looked at Renee and I asked what the goal was now. She said let us know if you feel pressure because the baby is coming. Then I felt like I was going to have a gigantic bowel movement. I said “I am think I am going to have  bowel movement, I know it’s gross but I can’t help it” Renee’s assistant said “you do what you need to do”.  By this time the pain was peaking without much fall or rise. My legs were radiating with so much pain I couldn’t hard move them. All I could do was moan. Renee and Hank were so encouraging. She just kept saying “think of Milo, think of your baby, be strong for him, you can do this, tell yourself this”. I remember at one point I screamed “I can do this, I am a good mom!”. I never felt an urge to push, just an urge poop. I felt a little pressure and I wanted this to be over so badly I yelled out “I want him out!” and I pushed with all my might. The doctor told me to hold my legs but the radiating pain in my legs was too much, so Renee and Hank helped hold them. As I was pushing I clenched to the side of the bed. This was probably the most painful part because all I felt was a peaked contraction that didn’t go down as well as the “ring of fire’ and radiating pain throughout my body. Renee could tell I was losing it so she kept telling to think of Milo and to relax my legs. I did the best I could but I was not very graceful. She also reminded me to breathe. After about 1 or 2 minutes of pushing Milo came out and I was in complete shock. They set him on my belly and Renee took my hand and laid it on him. She said “it’s over now, look at your baby, touch your baby”. I did and then looked at her and said “thanks so much for being here”, she kissed my head “of course sweetheart”. The pain wasn’t really gone until I pushed the placenta out and then I was so glad it was over. They let me see Milo once more while he was in the isolette and then whisked him away. Hank was beside me the whole time and I loved him for it. Milo was born at 6:01pm an hour after the doctor checked my cervix. He weighed 4lbs 3oz and was 17 ¼ inches long. He cried at birth and looked more beautiful then I could have imagined. He took us all by storm and has already been described by the NICU nurses as “feisty and a fighter”. We love him and even though the whole experience at the hospital was an emotional rollercoaster I am so grateful to have my little man, Mighty Milo.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Believe it or not...Milo Harvey Florence.

Milo Harvey Florence came into the world on December 14th which was a big surprise for us all. He weighed 4 lbs 7oz and was 17 1/4  inches long. He is 8 weeks early but is being taken care by a wonderful staff at the NICU. One of our nurses told us "he is a fighter"  and is doing so well. We appreciate your prayers as the next month or so will be a trying time for our family. We feel peace that all will be well.

I will try to keep things updated as best I can and I am sure a birth story will be coming soon.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Caryl's Baptism

This baptism has been a long time coming and it was a big event for our family. My sweet friend Caryl and I met a little over a year ago. Our friendship sparked unexpectedly because of a not so pleasant incident. I backed into her car and left a gigantic dent. That's how we met and in just a years time we are like family. The Lord works in mysterious ways. It was year ago when I first invited her to the Ward Christmas party. Since then she's had several sets of missionaries come teach her weekly. I have gotten so attached to so many of those Elders and now I have a whole line of suitors I am waiting to introduce to my little sister. The baptism was so neat. Her whole family came and were so supportive. Hank sang O Holy Night with one of our current missionaries and it was so inspiring. I nervously muddled my way through a talk on the Holy Ghost and managed not to cry too much. I got to see an old Elder who came back to baptism Caryl, her request. It was a really neat atmosphere and I just marveled at the love and support from missionaries and from the Ward. This journey with Caryl has really enriched my life and I always be grateful the Lord gave me this opportunity to be a part of it, even if it meant I had to bang up a friend's car.

 Here we are with our missionary who left our area in June. I am currently trying to bend the rules so I can have him and his companion over for dinner once a month even though he's not in our area. I just missed him too much. Caryl would be thrilled! They have such a fun dynamic.

Our current missionaries are on either side and are just incredible, they work so hard. I have to keep these boys in my mind so I have a goal on what I want for Sam. Caryl was all smiles all night which meant everything. There are few times you get to have experiences such as these so it's important to treasure them.

Fun Potty Training Days

We are attempting to potty train but don't hold your breathe, I don't think we're getting very far. We've stayed home the past few days so I don't have to worry about accidents when we're out and about. It's been quite pleasant actually. Here is Sam getting really to build a worm farm. He was so excited!

Our worm farm was a learning process. I wanted to put the dirt in clear containers so we could see the worms dig but I had only small sizes. After making four farms I realized Sam really just likes playing with the words so we dumped everything into a big bin. We've been digging for worms everyday since and loving it.

The tree in our front lawn just felt like shedding all its leaves in like a day. I never experienced fall leaves growing up so its just as exciting for me.

Oh my gosh my son is so cute, I think I might have to kiss the computer screen. He loved having all the leaves covering him, he told me "its kinda like a blanket".

November Adventures

Hank and I spent Thanksgiving away from each other this year so we needed a family day before I left town. What could be better than the Sacramento Children's Museum! I would say it was fun for the whole family but Sam was hard at work the whole time.

They had a cool glass window you could paint on. This is such a Hank thing to do.

We spent hours at the Museum and probably half of that time watching this ball blowing contraption. I swear Hank was more into all the activities than Sam was.

7 months along. Well I am more like 71/2 now. Things are well actually. My only complaint is I think my baby is resting on my sciatic nerve and it gets really painful. I have hard time walking and pretty much everyone makes fun of me. I don't mind, I look really funny. Honestly after 6 months of being sick to my stomach I don't mind much anymore.

Sam and I spent Thanksgiving with my family and Hank stayed home. He actually got to see a bunch of family that came into town. We both had fun but it was just sad we couldn't be together. When Sam and I arrived in SoCal we found this awesome indoor play gymnasium. Sam was thrilled because Aunt Beff came. He way preferred her to me, probably because I limping around like a 90 year old woman and Beff is a lot more fun.

Have I mentioned Sam's obsession with concrete mixer trucks? During a visit to the mall I saw this truck and Sam was beside himself. My Son is sorta a nerd. He loves concrete mixer trucks, mail boxes and smoke detectors. I have no answers.

I love visiting my family more for Sam than myself now a days. He absolutely adores his Aunts,Uncles and Grandparents. These two laid on the couch for probably a half hour and the whole time Sam kept saying "cuddling on the couch with Beff!". He was so proud. Gosh she is pretty even when she first wakes up.

He loves Anna just as much. Notice he's trying to pinch her face...that's a sign of true love he only reserves for a few. I am proud to say I have many little nicks and scratches on my face...... Yeah, we're working on that.

Is there anything more fun than this? My primary reason for coming down was to be with my sister for the birth of her baby. Georgianna Costa came four days after this picture was taken. Anna was incredible and I feel so indebted to her for allowing me to be there. She did it all on her own, no intervention and I just marveled. What an amazing woman my sister is. She also made an incredibly beautiful baby (with a bit of Mike's help of course :)) My camera died a day before the birth so unfortunately I don't have any baby pictures to post, but just trust me her baby is gorgeous...just like her.

We had a family day in Ventura and this was what the museum had on exhibit. I just like this picture. My brother has this weird side of him where he's intrigued with anything Gothic so he was thrilled. Sam just wants to be cool like Uncle Dan. We had such a fun time with the family and I wish I had more pictures of Sam with his Grandparents but I know we'll get lots of those for Christmas.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Washington, Boutique and Wedding!!

Sam and I came back about a week ago from a truly fantastic weekend in Washington where we got to visit a Bug, a Bean and a Boo ( my nieces). Our first adventure was at a Children's Museum. I was totally blown away. It was so interactive! I tried to get a picture of all the cousins together but they were all wandering in different directions. Sam of course stayed close to the train section for the majority of the time.

My little niece Norah, is the happiest, most joyful baby I have ever met. She turns over with joy at every smile she gets. She absolutely melted my heart. Sam was also entranced by her charisma but showed it in less than appropriate ways...like throwing a tub of blocks on her head. He wasn't malicious, he just couldn't control the cuteness! Life will be interesting when Milo enters the picture.

                                           Sam " Tats Av'ary, Tats Av'ary, tats Av'ary", 
                                          Avery "Why does he keep saying that?"  
                                          Me "because he likes you" 
                                          Sam "Tats Avery" 
                                         Avery "Why does he say that again?" 
                                         Me "because he likes you a lot Avery" 
                                         Avery "oh I see....tell me why he says that again?". 
                                         Sam loved following Avery around and doing whatever she was doing and Avery 
                                         Liked "being the oldest cousin here" and of course being liked.

The real adventure was on Saturday when we hiked throughout this nature park in Seattle. We started out expecting a nice nature trail to a lighthouse but it ended up being fairly long with lots of muddy climbs and slides. I loved it! and Sam was dancing in mud so he was thrilled. I was impressed with Sarah and Mike and their ability to guide their three girls on the up and down journey. Sometime I hope to be a super parent like that!

We reached a beach probably halfway through. It was so beautiful and peaceful. Sam ran straight into the water and would have kept going if Mike didn't pull him out. That's when I realized that boys and girls really are different.

After the beach incident, Sam had an appetite for water. The only way we could keep him going was to announce the next puddle that was coming. He would splash and splash until he saw another one. Avery was just beside herself with laughter since in her mind this was probably the most ridiculous thing you could possibly do, especially since it was freezing out.

My sister makes really gorgeous children, do you think? My niece Elliott who is on top just captured me on this trip. She is three and is just a girl of sophistication. She asks so many thought provoking questions and you can tell she is always trying to find a really clever way to get what she wants or at least the best end of the deal. It's actually pretty amazing to watch her at work.

After quite a trek we made it to the lighthouse. My goodness, isn't that pretty? I don't know why I didn't take more pictures of the weekend. I wish I had more of the cousins interacting. The whole experience was just delightful and now I wish I could just visit more often.

The Holiday Boutique! About six months ago I because the VP of Charity for my MOMS Club. As a board we have spent the last four months planning a fundraising boutique to raise money for families in the community who have really desperate needs. The event finally came and we raised twice as much money as we did last year so in a lot of ways it was a huge success! It was also so fun to be a part of. This is a picture of a few members of the club helping out at the boutique.

I was in charge of the vendors which was a bit overwhelming because we had over 40 participate. Fortunately the board has been very collaborative so I had a lot of help. I have learned a lot from this experience and have made a lot of close friends. It's been really rewarding.

Busy week! Saturday my two dear friends Brandy and Anthony got married. I thought the groom was in this picture when it was taken so I am sorta sad he's not.They have been investigating the church for two years and finally decided to get baptized. They needed to get married first so the ward threw together a gorgeous wedding in a months time! I was in charge of coordinating it the day of and was really nervous about it. There were only a few stressful moments like I having to DJ last minute (it ended up being easy) and calling animal control to get a rattle snake out of the building, other than that it went well. The baptize was where the really special moments were at.
I think the wedding atmosphere got to him!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treating Marathon and our New House

We bought a house! This is a long time overdue since we moved at the beginning of September. I've had a few requests from family members to post pics and I thought this would be a fun thing to document so here we are. I didn't take a picture of the front for some reason so here is a picture I found online. It looks the same.
Living Room right when you walk in.

Living Room

We have a dining/living area where we house Sam's toys.

The rest of the dining area.

Kitchen. I will admit that I am proud of my kitchen. It was so horribly ugly when we moved in and with a little bit of paint, a stencil and some knobs it really transformed. It's not perfect but I am still proud!

The Man Cave! The downstairs bedroom is devoted to Hank's nerdy movie obsession. We have big plans for this room. I was allowed my stationary bicycle until then which I am very grateful for.

Our cozy bedroom

Sam and soon to be Milo's room.

I love this room. Sam spends so much time in here reading, sometimes with me and often times by himself. I really want my children to enjoy their rooms and I feel like we are off to a great start.

On to Halloween!! We had a serious marathon with Trick or Treating. Our first stop was at a retirement community where my MOMS Club goes every year. Yes, everyone was enchanted by Sam's charm...especially when he wore his Elmo hood and smiled.

It's so weird how times flies by.I remember going to this last year. We had just moved to the area and I didn't know very many people from the club. Now I feel like Sam and I  really belong there. We have made so many friends and feel such a sense of community.This club has been a blessing in our lives.

After our first Trick or Treating excursion we had a little picnic at the park and colored pumpkins. I wanted something fast, clean and not dangerous. Sam really likes telling us whose pumpkin is who "Mommy's pumpkin, Daddy's pumpkin, Sammy's pumpkin and Milo's Pumpkin!"

Our next stop was Sam's favorite outdoor mall. They have fountains, train rides and tricking or treating! Sam has been very interested in finding scarecrows recently. I had to get a picture of one of his findings.

Cookie Monster and Elmo...perfect picture opportunity! ummm...."opportunity" being the operative word here. Sam has managed to muster enough awkwardness in that facial expression that I will be forced to show this photo to future girlfriends.

And finally the good old fashion door to door candy collecting. I love our community. People really go all out for holidays as you can tell.

Did I mention Hank was around for all of this?! With him working so much it's such a treasure to have him for a few hours here and there, so having him around for a holiday was an absolute delight...mainly because he's a delight to have around.

Sam isn't a big talker when it comes to Trick or Treating. He is mostly interested in ringing the door bell and trying to push his way into people's houses so he can go upstairs. What he hopes to find that is better than a bowl full of candy I just don't know.

Sam is investigating a mailbox. Currently he is on a quest to find every mailbox in the Rocklin area and is very disturbed if I don't acknowledge him when he has found one. He's tried to escape from stores filled with toys just so he can show me another mailbox he has found. When we get to the mailbox he usually just stares at it and tells me its a mailbox over and over. Then he'll investigate the outgoing box. Even the enticement of free all you can eat candy did not detour him from his mailbox mission. He has the same obsession with smoke detectors, or as he says "'nother fire smoke ma'dector". By the way isn't my husband dashing?