Friday, June 1, 2018

Rest of November

What I didn't fully talk about in my Italy/Greece post was what was going on at home while I was gone. Rog had me give him lessons on how to do Peyton's hair and practiced for weeks before I left. 

Before his mom got there, he worked from home as much as he could and took one day off. The kids had those days off of school because of Parent Teacher Conferences (one day for teacher prep and two days for the conferences). Erin watched the kids while he attended Peyton and Corbyn's Parent Teacher Conferences and then I believe he returned the favor for her watching Kinley and Emery while she went to Emery's conference.

I went through Rog's phone and found a few pictures from those days. Dinner at Chick-fil-A.

Headed out to go swimming at the North Clackamas Aquatic Park.

Things got a lot easier for him when his mom got here to help. She was there a week - hanging out with Logan during the day, picking up the kids from the bus stop, cooking dinner, and all that mom stuff. The kids also had that Friday off, so she had all 3 kids home that day. They went shopping to give her an idea of what they would like for Christmas from her. Then she went back when Rog was home, bought the gifts, and wrapped them.

Logan at church. 😂

This was actually her first time visiting us in Oregon. I cleaned the house really well before I left and Rog did his best to keep it clean before she got here, but I wished I had been home for her first time seeing our house. She flew back to Colorado Sunday after church.

Then Rog had one more day working from home (but with only Logan home that day) before I got home.

The next days were a blur of jet lag and grief, but also immense joy finally being home with these 4 again.

Chipotle had an Oregon Trail night, so we went to that with the Martyns. It's always nice to have an excuse not to have to make dinner, but it was especially nice that time.

Friday night we had a movie night to watch Cars 3.

I knew there was no way I could stay awake if I tried just watching the movie, so I made these Thanksgiving blocks.

And then I ended up cuddling with the kids on the love sac and falling asleep for the end of the movie. 

On Saturday morning we went to Biscuits Cafe for brunch because I needed something happy to take my mind off everything. We stopped at the Disney Store on the way home and I ran in to exchange one of the gifts Dixie had bought Logan for the big Buzz toy we knew he'd love, but that we had been hesitant about getting for him. It was Mickey's birthday and they were giving out pins. This might sound silly, but it was another tender mercy for sure. 

I'm pretty sure this was Sunday night FaceTiming with grandmas and grandpas. Love these babies even though they are all getting so big and are definitely not babies anymore.

Corbyn had to make a box about himself and present it to his class back in October. He brought it home in November and I got a picture of it then.

Thanksgiving morning we introduced the kids to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Rog's uncle had kind of recently sold his house and now is living in a trailer on some property they bought while they are building a house there. So they had Thanksgiving at one of Rog's cousin's houses and they ended up inviting us to join them at the last minute, but I had already bought all the food and was already prepping it, so we turned them down. It felt nice for it to be just our family for Thanksgiving dinner this year. 

I didn't want to skip anything, so I made everything including an appetizer, cranberry punch...

...Salad, mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, cranberry sauce, rolls, stuffing, green bean casserole, and 2 pies. (Maybe I'll come back and link the recipes for these at some point, but I'm feeling too lazy tonight!)

I did well prepping as much as I could in advance, so Thanksgiving day actually wasn't too crazy for me. Everything (except the peach pie - I used cheap canned peaches which was a huge mistake!) turned out wonderfully and it was a nice dinner. And of course we had leftovers for days!

In between dinner and dessert (with the Yates), we watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. I think I killed them. 😉

On Friday the kids got to pick out toys to donate at our ward Christmas party.

That evening we went to Lowe's to buy Christmas lights for our house. The kids had the best time playing with these musical toys while we were there. Video here.

On Saturday Rog hung our lights. Peyton, Corbyn, and I helped assemble all the clips.

Rog borrowed a huge ladder from a neighbor to get up to our second level.

Thankfully he didn't die in the process!

Where's dad?!

He got them all up and then we realized that we had purchased cool white lights when we really wanted warm white lights. (Hand-to-forehead emoji.) He did a great job and they look so much better than the meager display we had last year. We'll live with the cool white for a few years and then buy what we really wanted when we can justify the expense again. After taking this picture I decided they look better with our outdoor house lights off, so those stayed off most of December. 

I usually decorate for Christmas soon after Thanksgiving if we're in town, but this year with Thanksgiving being so early, I waited until December 1st (other than these outdoor lights of course). I just wasn't ready for Christmas yet.

I had forgotten about doing a Thankful Tree being gone the first half of Thanksgiving, but Peyton insisted I make one the week of Thanksgiving and I'm glad I did. So much to be thankful for even during a tough time!

Peyton was the spotlight at school the week after Thanksgiving. She was so excited about it and did almost the whole thing herself.

Our ward Christmas party was early in the month, December 2nd, and Relief Society was in charge of it. Among other things I was in charge of making 50 biscuits for the breakfast portion. I made them a few days before and then froze them for a few days.

What a month! It was definitely one of the hardest months we've experienced as a family, but we survived and we were able to see the good that was there in spite of all the bad.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Pregnancy that Wasn't Meant to Be

Miscarriage is one of those topics that lots of people just don't talk about and if they do, it's usually pretty vague (especially when it comes to the physical aspects of it). As I was experiencing a pregnancy loss for the first time this last November, I really wished it wasn't such a taboo topic because I really had no idea if what I was experiencing was normal or not. For that reason, I'm not just going to say, I had a few rough months, and move on to more pleasant topics. I know I don't have a ton of people who read this blog, but maybe something I say can help someone sometime, so here we go. If you're just looking for fluff and happiness, feel free to skip this one.   

After I ran Hood to Coast, we started trying to get pregnant and like with my previous 3 pregnancies, I got pregnant quickly. I was a little concerned at first because my "pregnant" line was on the faint side, but then I got this good, strong line, so I stopped worrying.

At 5 1/2 weeks, I had a (pretty pointless) visit with one of the OBGYN nurses where they took my weight and blood pressure and went over all the dos and don'ts of being pregnant. They couldn't get me in with my doctor until I was on my cruise, so I had to wait until after.

But I was feeling sick enough to feel confident that I was actually pregnant (although not sick enough that it was a huge problem), so we slowly started telling people. We had Logan wear one of Corbyn's Big Brother shirts from when he was Logan's age one Sunday while we FaceTimed our parents and then I took this picture to send to the rest of our family.  

When we had our Ghoulish Feast I wore my skeleton baby shirt from when I was pregnant with Logan to share our news with the Yates and Willes families. 

When we carved pumpkins, we took this picture to use when we made our big announcement after my cruise and my first real baby appointment.

Then I headed off on my cruise. Like I said, I was sick, but not too sick to enjoy myself (as long as I didn't let myself get too hungry - not a problem when we got on the actual cruise, but a bit of a struggle when we were traveling to the cruise and not wanting to spend too much money on food).

I ate pineapple any chance I got on the cruise because it always sounded good even when other things didn't.

The motion of the boat always puts me to sleep on cruises, but this time I had even more of an excuse as to why I was falling asleep reading Conference talks before bed. (Diana took this super flattering picture one night.)

Since I was feeling about the amount of sick I was when I was pregnant with Peyton, I thought (hoped) it was a girl and bought this dress for her. 

But alas when I got home and went to my first baby appointment the next day (Tuesday), I found out all that sick and tired was for nothing. The very second they put my "baby" up on the screen I knew there was a problem. I knew an 11 1/2 week baby wasn't supposed to look like that. There was the sac, but there wasn't anything in it. My doctor said that I could just be not as far along as I thought I was, but I knew that wasn't the case. He handed me a box of tissues, but I didn't need them. I was in shock. When we got out to the car I texted Rog that there was no baby, but that I was ok. I had brought Logan to the appointment with me and he was just a perfect angel the whole time which was a tender mercy.

My doctor wanted to do a more fancy ultrasound to confirm and scheduled that for two days later (Thursday). As it approached I got more and more irritated. It just seemed like a waste of time because I already knew there was no baby.

 The day after that ultrasound (Friday) my doctor called to talk about the ultrasound. He wanted to do some blood tests and see if my levels were continuing to increase and another ultrasound in a few weeks to make sure this wasn't an early pregnancy that was going to progress to be a normal pregnancy. I convinced him that I knew that wasn't the case and we decided a D&C was the best option since I was almost 12 weeks pregnant and the sac had only measured about 6 weeks - meaning my body had had 6 weeks to take care of this on its own and had failed to do so.

We scheduled that for the following Monday afternoon. We arranged for our neighbor, Erin Martyn, to come stay with Logan while he napped and then pick up our kids (and her kids) from the bus and watch them at our house while we were at the hospital. Someone (we still don't know who) had these flowers delivered while we were there. They were a nice surprise when we got home.

The surgery went well with no surprises. My doctor had already been scheduled for something, but said he would come do it if he finished early. I figured no way would he remember, but at the last minute he came in and did the procedure for me. Before getting pregnant I met him only once for my annual appointment. When I saw him for that awful appointment the day after my cruise, he remembered a lot of what we had talked about at our first meeting and made me feel like he had been my doctor for years. My friend, Melissa Yates, is a L&D nurse at our hospital and works with him. She had told him to take care of me after we told her I was pregnant. I don't know if it was because of that or if he's just this great with all his patients, but I feel like he's gone above and beyond my expectations through all of this and still is. That was another tender mercy to have found a great OBGYN, Dr. Michael Traynor, on my first try.

My Relief Society President, Dale Johnsen, brought us dinner soon after we got home. Peyton had dance, so Rog took her while I sat on the couch and the boys watched a show.

The next day I posted about my miscarriage and D&C on Instagram and the outpouring of love I received from that was overwhelming. So many people commented, liked, and texted after reading it. My friend, Jennie Giotta, offered to pick Logan up and take him to playgroup that morning, the bishop's wife brought us dinner that night and my friend, Shannah Tanner, brought us dinner Wednesday night. We were well taken care of for sure!

I was feeling pretty good those first days. My pain was mostly just like regular period pain and I hardly even felt like I needed medicine for it. I made a full Thanksgiving dinner for our family and went out shopping on Black Friday (Thursday night). The bleeding was light too and I was thinking, "That was no big deal!" But then Friday night my bleeding increased and continued to increase through Sunday. By Sunday afternoon I was passing clots like crazy and started to worry that it was too much. I called the nurse advice line and then later when it got even worse, my L&D nurse friend, Melissa, and my sister who is a midwife. I don't know why I didn't just call Diana first because she unfortunately has experienced many miscarriages, so in addition to having medical knowledge, she has personal experience. She was able to assure me the clots were normal and just my body's way of getting rid of all the stuff it had built up for 12 weeks to grow a baby. I thought that part of the D&C was to clean everything out, but apparently it is just to remove the actual baby or in my case, the sac.

***I'm sorry if that paragraph was TMI, but I wanted to share because no one talks about that part of a miscarriage. All I had heard was that it was like a bad period and I felt like had I been warned about all those clots, it would have been so much easier and a whole lot less scary!***

About two weeks after my surgery I felt like I hit rock bottom physically and mentally. The bleeding was mostly done, but I was having terrible acid reflux, back pain, and a sudden increase in anxiety. (I'm pretty sure most of that was related to the changing hormones.) I weathered that for a couple weeks before I finally started to feel somewhat normal again.

They tell you to expect your first period to be weird, early or late, but then, at least from what I've read and heard, your period should go back to how it was before - typically within a few months. My periods were always very regular, but that hasn't been the case since my miscarriage. I've had very long cycles, some that were pretty close to normal, and one that was weirdly very short. We've been trying to get pregnant again, but it hasn't happened yet. Since I always have been able to get pregnant quickly, I figured that I would certainly be pregnant again by the time my "due date" came on June 3rd. Since I was induced at 39 weeks with Peyton and Logan, I figured I would have this baby around May 27th or 28th (since the 27th is a Sunday and they don't always induce on Sundays). That's just days away and I'm not pregnant yet (at least to my knowledge 😉).

I had a video appointment with my doctor about a month ago and he suggested we do an ultrasound just to make sure there isn't anything causing these irregular periods. They want that ultrasound to be between days 5 and 10 of your cycle and they called to schedule it when I was on day 8, but they couldn't schedule me in the next 2 days, so I've just been waiting. I'll call on the first day of my next period to get that scheduled and we'll go from there. 

My doctor suggested that we could try Clomid and I'm open to that, but Rog and I agree that we don't want to do much more than that. We watched our sister-in-law, Martha, go through hell and back (and pay thousands and thousands of dollars) to get their second baby and while I definitely would have done whatever it took to get a first, second, or even third baby here, I don't feel like we need to put me or our family through that to get a fourth. After Logan (and the crippling anxiety I experience after he was born) I debated if I should just be done and we ultimately decided that I could do one more. But if we only end up with 3, that's ok too. 

Logan is very much past the baby phase in so many ways - he's out of his crib, he's potty trained (during the day, unfortunately we're still working on night), he's very independent (sometimes too independent), and he's starting preschool in the fall. At times it feels like it'd be so easy just to be done and not go back to all that baby stuff, but then of course I remember how much I love that tiny baby phase and I'm back to wanting just one more.

Part of me really wants to take a break from trying, so I can enjoy this summer with my kids and run Hood to Coast in August and then start trying again, but there's also a very loud, ticking clock going in my head because I don't want a huge gap between these last two and if I don't have this fourth baby before the end of August 2019, there will be a five year school gap which just seems too long. 😱

Throughout this experience, I have felt the whole range of emotions - sadness, disappointment, anger, irritation, fear, and anxiety. I always thought that if I ever had to experience a miscarriage, I would just be overcome with sadness, but that wasn't necessarily the case. I was definitely sad, but because I saw in more than one ultrasounds that there never was a baby, the sadness wasn't as crippling. If I had seen a beating heart and then lost that baby, it would have been much more difficult for me. Mostly I have just felt a great deal of gratitude for the 3 beautiful babies I already have and am so grateful that if I had to go through this, it was after I already had them. And I'm much more aware of how blessed we were to get those 3 so easily.

As the months have gone by these emotions have come in waves. I'll be doing fine and then something happens to send me into another wave of emotions - someone announces they're pregnant, someone has a baby, I'll have a weird period or some spotting, or probably the hardest thing was when our ward boundaries got changed AGAIN and we were moved back into the ward we were in when we first moved here (although not exactly the same ward since the boundaries are very different). That didn't have anything to do with babies, but at the time it was like the Happy Valley ward, our callings, and our friends in that ward were the things keeping me from completely falling apart. When that changed it felt like losing the pregnancy all over again (and more) and for a few weeks it felt like nothing in the world was ever going to be right again. I'm in a good place now, but there's no telling what waves are ahead.

I'm not going to say I'm grateful I had to go through this (at least not yet), but I guess I needed to learn firsthand what it is like to lose a pregnancy and have trouble getting pregnant. I'm trying to live with faith and not let fear overcome me. I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for me and our family and if we are meant to have another baby it will happen when it's supposed to happen.

Hopefully the next installment on this topic will be an announcement that we are going to be having a baby (for real this time)!

Friday, May 18, 2018

6 Years

Peyton's 6 year stats:

Weight: 57 pounds, 9 ounces (93rd percentile)
Height: 47.5 inches (86th percentile)

Peyton at 6 years:

*Is absolutely thriving in Kindergarten. She has become quite the reader and is doing well in math, writing, and basically every aspect of school. Her teacher told me she's her favorite at parent-teacher conference. We get that a lot from Peyton's teachers (school, church, dance).
*Has good handwriting and loves that she can write words. Sometimes I think she writes better than Corbyn does. 
*Loves to dance - particularly tumbling. She can do rolls (front and back), headstands (tripods), bridges, and cartwheels. She is constantly upside down practicing some trick. Her combo class has been good for her, but I think she is ready for more. I'm excited for her to move on the the classes where they spend the full hour focusing on one type of dance.
*Is kind to everyone. It wasn't a mistake that she was chosen as student of the month when they were focusing on the character trait of tolerance and acceptance at her school last October.
*Makes friends very easily. Kinley Martyn is probably her best friend because she lives 2 doors down and they get to play almost every day.
*Loves to create. She is always making something!
*Has a hearty appetite. We've been working on portion sizes and not eating too much. She has a few meals she really doesn't like, but other than those, she always devours dinner and will have seconds and thirds if we let her.
*Doesn't request to watch shows or play on her tablet all that often. She likes when we have movie nights as a family, but she doesn't have to constantly be looking at a screen like the boys.

Things always have come easily to Peyton and that continues to be the case. Hopefully we can keep her humble as she gets older and realizes that she's pretty dang good at most things she does! 

As I did with Logan, I went through all my pictures from the last year and picked my favorites of Peyton. Some I have posted already (or will post later). Here they are in no particular order.

The school picture that I really had to earn with many calls to the photographer, driving into downtown Portland for retake day at the studio, and then more calls to the photographer when it didn't show up in the mail long after they said it would. 😳 Possibly worth it because this is a pretty great picture of her.

Lorelai Gilmore - I mean Peyton! 😂

Jedi training at Disneyland. She a girly girl, but doesn't want to be left out and can hang with the boys too.

Twinning with (free) matching face paintings from the Lunar New Year Celebration at California Adventure.

Spotlight for school. She did most of it herself.

Saddest picture, but I love it because she was crying because she was so incredibly sad Grandma Lori was going home. 

Cousin love. I love that she loves her girl cousins even though they are all younger than her by a few years. Cousin Mae.

Cousin Skyler.

Cousin Madison.

(She also has a Cousin Ivy that's not pictured.)

I had a suspicion that she was coming into our bed every night because her bed was a cheap, low-quality mattress ordered on Amazon. We upgraded her to a nice mattress from Costco and she rarely comes into our room at night anymore. So glad I was right because I never would have heard the end of it if I was wrong!

Her cute friend Wren Tutt reminds me of me when I was little and Peyton reminds me of my best friend, Amber, when I was little. Best friends a year apart in school.

She was the only one brave enough to hold a crab!

This was her signature pose for awhile after her Arabian dance.

Daddy-daughter dance. 😍

Old lady Peyton for her 100th day of school celebration. 

Pulling off these glasses like no one can!

Hanging with the boys. A frequent occurrence for Peyton!

She of course has her moments, but overall she is such a good girl and we're so grateful she's our Peyton girl!