Monday, May 27, 2013


Eli had his first boat ride on Memorial Day.

I dare you to try not to laugh.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Reaching New Heights

For those of you who don't know, I've had chronic pain in my left leg since I was about 16. Well, many miracles later, I have the opportunity to get a Spinal Cord Stimulator to fix my pain.

Part of this procedure is getting a trial stimulator, which I had implanted exactly three weeks after I had Eli. This trial went so well that I was able to do something I haven't been able to easily do in six years.

I hiked the Y.

Garrett didn't even have to carry me back down this time.

Want to see pictures?

I get the actual implant on June 14th. It's been hard going back to being in pain, but the end result will be incredible. Here's to waiting.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Birth Story: Meeting Eli

This is the third, and final, part of the birth story. If you want the first two go here and here.

So, we left off at the part where I'd made it to a 10 at around 11:00 a.m., remember? Now it was time for pushing.

Six pounds even.
My nurse taught me how to push while we waited for the doctor. Can I just say that pushing with an epidural is the weirdest experience. It's not like you're contracting your muscles — you're sitting there going, "Brain, I want you to push the baby out. Hope you know what you're doing."

Somehow, the brain does know what to do.

The doctor arrived at about 11:15 a.m. and things really got down to business. As we started to watch the monitors, we noticed Eli's heart rate dropping rapidly each time I pushed.

"Don't worry," the doctor said. "The cord is probably just wrapped around his neck. It'll be okay."

I'm actually quite proud of myself with how I reacted. You see, there were two options with how drugged I was. One, I could panic and think my child was going to die. Two, I could remember that this actually happens quite a bit and my child would be fine.

Surprisingly, I chose the latter.

Anyway, by about 11:30 there was some crowning going on. I was able to catch a glimpse and both Garrett and I are in agreement: the top of a babies head looks like a brain. The skin is so squished and purple that you really have no idea it's a head.

E.T.'s antenna. We told you he was an alien :D
With crowning happening at 11:30, you can probably guess what happened next. At 11:52 a.m. little Eli Thomas was born. The doctor unwrapped the cord and this little, purple, alien-like creature captured my heart.

(Also, for all those that did the math, I only pushed for 35 minutes. Don't hate me. I have so much respect for those that have to push longer. I was exhausted!)

The rest of the hospital stay was kind of a blur. I had a fever after they broke my water, so both Eli and I were put on a series of antibiotics. Because of this, I didn't see Eli for hours and hours after we moved to the Mother and Baby Ward. Luckily, he had his awesome dad to keep him company while they poked him 6 times in an attempt to put in his IV — finally ending up with an IV in his head. We affectionately referred to it as his antenna.

We couldn't be happier to have such an amazing little boy in our lives. He's already taught us a lot and we can't wait to watch him grow and mature. We are so blessed to be parents.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Birth Story: At the Hospital

I'm doing this whole story in parts, so if you want to read about how I got to the hospital, go here.

Getting back to the hospital was pretty uneventful. I was pretty apprehensive — I must admit. You see, it's not like the movies at all. Garrett wasn't speeding dangerously while I yelled out angry and threatening words in the back seat. We didn't get rushed into Labor and Delivery with me getting pushed in a wheelchair. I wasn't sweating profusely and screaming obscenities.
This hat was so small. We had to take a pic.

In fact, I felt pretty good. And that made me pretty nervous. I did not want to get sent home.

Just as we were about to close the elevator doors to head up to L&D another couple came waddling in. Garrett held the elevator for probably forever so that they could make the trip with us. We subsequently let them go ahead of us to check in.

This probably added another 5 minutes to our trek. (As I said before, remember these things.)

I was certain at this point that no one would believe I was actually in labor. Let's be honest, I looked like I'd come to the hospital for one of their Oreo and blackberry shakes, not to have a baby. Even worse, I was pretty sure I hadn't felt a contraction since we left home

To make matters worse again, when they checked me I was only one centimeter dilated. I'd been one centimeter for the past three weeks. This was not going over well.

Our check began at 11:30 p.m. In other words, I had until 12:30 a.m. to progress or else I had to go home. Let me tell you — this was not a fun hour. My contractions hurt quite a bit. I guess I'm kind of a pansy.

About 40 minutes into this whole ordeal I was certain my water had broken. We called the nurse and had her check. It hadn't.

After this I took a moment to go to the bathroom. Without my knowledge, Garrett asked the nurse if I had progressed at all.

"Well, I didn't really check, but no," she said bluntly.

Even though I didn't know this little fact, I spent the next five minutes in tears because I was sure they were going to send us home and I was in enough pain that I didn't know what I was going to do.

Remember all those extra minutes we added to our trip that I told you to remember? We're officially on borrowed time right now.

15 minutes later the nurse came in to see if I had progressed at all.

Success! I was a two.

Now, let's do that math. Priesthood blessing + letting other couple go ahead of us = 15 minutes.

Without those precious 15 minutes, I would have been sent home.

This is when it gets exciting. Okay, not really. It actually gets gloriously boring. You see, they gave me an epidural. With all due respect to those who choose to go without meds, I'd like to tell you that epidurals are the best invention ever. I felt nothing. Nothing. Garrett and I would watch the contractions on the monitor and be like, "Woah, that's the biggest one you've had yet!" and I would be blissfully happy.

With that in mind, I slept as I progressed from a 1 to a 7. How awesome is that?

I had been progressing about one centimeter an hour since 12:30 that morning, but when I hit 7 at around 10:00 on the morning of the 25th it's like something connected. In another hour I'd made it to a 10.

... to be continued...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Birth Story: Getting to the hospital

This is kind of a long story, so I'm going to break it up into pieces. Here we are with part one: Getting to the hospital. Just an FYI, at this point, Wednesday, I was 38 weeks, 5 days.

The last picture we have of me preggo.
I'm 37 weeks, 3 days.
We'd already had two false alarms where the contractions stopped right before we were heading to the hospital. Because of this, I knew the contractions I was feeling at Grandma and Grandpa McCoy's on Wednesday night weren't anything to be excited about.

I also knew they hurt. A lot.

It was about 10:00 p.m. when Garrett noticed I was probably in more pain than I was letting on. However, he also knew it was nothing to get excited about. They would stop.

On the way home from Springville, with just Garrett and I in the car I was finally able to let my pain show. It was at that point that I made a decision I thought I was saving for the hospital.

"If this isn't labor I'm definitely getting an epidural. There is no way it can be worse than this."

I continued to have hard contractions that wrapped deep into my back and around my front all the way home. They weren't very regular though, so I thought I was just in for a long night.

By the time we made it home I was convinced we needed to go to the hospital.

"45 more minutes of this and we'll go in," I told Garrett. We may have started to get a little excited and I started to become a bit bi-polar.

During contractions I was convinced we needed to go to the hospital immediately. I was sure the baby was going to pop out any second. However, in between contractions I'd decide it wasn't really that bad — I was just being a hypochondriac and needed to toughen up.

Well, we finally decided to head to the hospital at around 11:00 p.m. I felt a little bit ridiculous, because I was sure they were just going to send us home after charging us an arm and a leg for the visit, but away we went.

We live maybe two minutes from Utah Valley Regional Medical Center if we hit all the lights wrong. About a minute and a half into our drive (yes, we could see the hospital) Garrett remembered a request I had made earlier for a Priesthood blessing before going to the hospital. Because I have an awesome husband, we turned around to go back home and have Garrett and his cousin's husband give me a blessing.

This added about 10 minutes to our trek. (This is an important point. Remember it.)

... to be continued...