Sunday, November 18, 2018

Nursing School

When I gave birth to my sweet Cosette last year, I enjoyed every moment I was in the hospital. I loved the environment, the nurses, the knowledge they had, and the kindness of their hearts. I wanted to be just like them. Within a week of bringing Cosette home I started thinking about nursing school and how strongly I felt about it. They were very intense feelings. I wrestled with the idea for a month straight, mostly thinking it would be absolutely impossible. However, I had this constant spiritual nagging telling me this is what I was supposed to do. Even with the promptings I felt so hopeless with the idea of leaving my kids to go to school and eventually, to work. It was especially hard to think about this while holding a tiny baby in my arms. Everyday I would research and learn everything I could about nursing school, but I still felt utterly overwhelmed and I was terrified of letting God down because I truly believed I couldn't do it. I didn't feel smart enough or strong enough. But as hard as I tried, I could not get rid of the thoughts of going to nursing school. It was constantly on my mind and deep down I knew it was something I needed to do. So I made the choice, I was going to go to nursing school. I had no idea what I was going to do with my kids, but I knew if this was what God wanted me to do, he would provide a way.

It took some research but I found the perfect program for me. Weber State University was the only school in the area that would accept all the work I did from the degree I earned from BYU-Hawaii. They have a bachelors of nursing program, and I would be able to get into the program sooner than any of the other schools around. I was so set on this school and knew it was the right one that we even moved to be closer to the campus. This was an act of faith considering I hadn't even applied yet!

I had several prerequisites to do, but was blessed with the ability to take all of them online so I could still be with my little baby. I remember even taking some psychology tests while nursing Cosette! There was lots of anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and pathophysioloy, but for the first time ever, I was absolutely loving what I was learning. I thrived in my classes. I remember my first anatomy and physiology test I got a 100% when the class average was 64%. More people failed that class than passed! It was a HARD class. I worked my butt off, but I really attribute my straight A's to reading the scriptures before I studied, and never studying on a Sunday. I'm grateful for the blessings I received for doing those things and showing my Heavenly Father the priority He is in my life. 

Weber State University has graciously accepted me into their program and I couldn't be more excited (or terrified)! January is when it all begins! I still feel guilty thinking about being away from my kids, but I hope someday they will be inspired by me doing this. And just like I said earlier, if this is what God wants me to do, then He would provide a way. And provide a way He did, in ways we never could have imagined a year ago. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Little Ivie #3

It's hard to believe it has been two months since having our baby!  

If you don't already know, much to our surprise I gave birth to a baby GIRL! Even though we didn't find out the gender, we were pretty sure it was going to be a boy. The original name we were considering for a girl just didn't seem to fit her, so it took us awhile to find one that did. After a day of getting to know her, we finally named her Cosette. (No, we didn't name her from Les Mis. We just love the name plus my husband speaks French. He even says her name with a French accent!) We also call her Cosy. 

Other then an extremely painful false alarm trip to the hospital a week prior, her birth was wonderfully uneventful. It was incredible, and just like the twins birth, I wish I could relive the day again and again. It was also nice that I didn't have to give birth in the OR in front of 10+ people again! She came out with brown hair just like Boston did. The first thing my doctor said about her is that she looks just like the twins. She is a perfect combination of them. 

It was so sweet when the twins got to meet her. They were curious about this new place they were in, but even more curious about this new little baby. We gave them each a baby doll to take home and care for. 

My doctor and nurses were the best. After we got home from the hospital I would just cry and cry because I missed them so incredible doctor, nurse Jeanie and nurse Kara to name a few. I missed being in the hospital and getting enormous trays of food. I wanted to do it all again. I was unaware that my husband audio recorded the whole birth. When he shared it with me my heart leaped. What a gift it was to hear what was going on in those precious moments and to hear Cosy's first cry again. 

Cosette is a wonderful and happy baby. She even gained a whole pound in her first week. She is a GOOD eater! I've been able to breastfeed her which has been a wonderful blessing. The twins wouldn't breastfeed, so I wasn't sure how this would go, but I love it. I will definitely take it over exclusively pumping again! That was flat out awful. 

We've also discovered how hard twins really are. I'll say it again and again: I rather have two toddlers and a newborn than have two newborns! Thank goodness we didn't know any different at the time. I feel for the parents that have twins after having just one! 

Life hasn't been too eventful since Cosette was born. We blessed her at church a few weeks ago. I distinctly remember from the blessing that Cosette was told she is a miracle. She certainly is. Sometimes I look at her and can't believe that she really is mine. She's perfect and fills a void we didn't even know we had in our family. I love that each of my children are wonderful miraculous gifts from heaven. It took a little adjusting, but Boston and Lyla are great big siblings. Boston loves giving baby "Coo-sette" hugs and kisses. Lyla loves to help take care of Cosy by getting me burp cloths and bringing me a diaper after Lyla announces that Cosy is poopy. It's crazy at times having three kids under three, but I'm loving the challenge. 

Cosy is my little sidekick. It's been wonderful to have a baby that I can tote around. That was very difficult to do with the twins since I only had two hands. She smiles and sleeps well and is growing so fast. My favorite thing about her is that she laughs in her sleep! She even joyfully snorted while sleeping yesterday. I simply adore this little girl and I am so, SO grateful to have her. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Chris's Reaction to the Amazingly Great and Wonderful Surprise News!

I thought it would be fun to have Chris type out his reaction to the positive pregnancy tests I gave him, especially since it was hard to read what was going through his head. This post is all from him!

It's Thursday evening and I'm excited to be home. I'm always excited to come home. My kids are especially playful and momma has a smile on her face so I'm on cloud 9. We're all downstairs playing and having a great time. There's extra levity in the air and it's turning into a memory I would remember regardless of the bombshell or not... but oh was there a bombshell.

Babe gets my attention and says she has something for me and pulls out a wrapped box. It's not my birthday, Christmas, anniversary (yes I remember our anniversary), nor any other occasion I can remember and we aren't really the couple that surprise each other with gifts, so obviously I'm curious. (Rach has a video of this but she won't show it because of something I say right when I open it, which is a funny anecdote.) To paint the scene we're in our bedroom downstairs, I've just tickled the twins like crazy and jumped around the bed making a mess of the bedding but it's all in good fun. We're catching our breath and momma hands me the gift. I'm surprised and intrigued but can't really remember what I thought it might have been, but I can say that I wasn't expecting what it actually was.

I unwrap the gift and see a thermometer, well what I thought was one at first (and I think I touched it before realizing what it was) but only a second or two later I realize what it really is. I quickly look up at Rachel (without reading the result) and now I immediately think she's got to be pregnant otherwise she wouldn't show me this. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but I can do deductive reasoning! I look back down and see that it's positive. I'm happy, I'm surprised, I'm ecstatic, I'm every positive emotion for like 3 seconds until the doubt sets in...But we didn't do IVF, and the last time we did it didn't work. I got my hopes up before and I wanted to keep myself in check before I'd let myself get them up again, which to be honest is a little sad, well it's very sad because I'm purposefully repressing hope to shield myself from the pain again. The pain I felt back in November when what I really wanted, and what I really thought was going to happen...suddenly didn't.

So I process she's pregnant, I'm hopeful, but then I put my guard up. "How? Are you sure?" She shrugs her shoulders with a smile, "I think so". Neither of us believe the third positive pregnancy test I made her take. Both of us remember the repressed pain and try to repress it further by putting our guard up and letting doubt win. To my recollection we celebrated but it was a hesitant celebration, like we kind of let ourselves believe it might kind of sort of be possible and how great and amazing that would be, but we didn't really believe it at the same time. We got to talk a lot on a drive up to Idaho for a friend's wedding that weekend, but we mostly didn't bring it up. Even at the wedding when Rachel had an upset stomach we both thought it was because she ate too fast. Neither of us felt we could blame it on a miraculous parasite. 

Flash forward to the following Monday morning at the doctor's office, with the nurse walking into a hilarious scene. You could cut whatever weird mix of emotion was in the air with a knife. I still remember the thought in my head when the nurse congratulated us for being pregnant on our third, "Shut up with your congratulations until we see a blood test or ultrasound or concrete evidence." And what was weirder was neither of us really said anything, needless to say it was awkward. Which we have since cleared up with that same nurse. I couldn't believe it and my guard was up fully. I was ready to hear the tests were a mistake, multiple false positives, that Rach had a funky pee probably from asparagus. It messes with the smell and color so maybe it could do this. I didn't really let myself have the hope. It was too much pain last November and the subsequent months that followed. I had buried that hope for now, buried it good and deep.

Then the moment. I saw it. The doctor said it. Rachel saw it, said it, and confirmed it. But still I took a minute before I let my guard down, before I believed it. Even though they'd both said it I had to dig that hole open and let the hope run wild. But when it did... oh boy was it fast and overwhelming. I still feel like I asked at least 5 times in 5 different ways if the doctor was sure. When I pray for the twins I thank God for our two little miracles and this feels like it eclipses miracles. 
Those 3 seconds of joy and happiness I felt on Thursday was all I could feel now. Once I let my guard down it was down. I let myself believe. I opened myself up, I remembered the pain vividly from when it didn't work but it seemed to be erased little by little. The more I let myself believe the more that pain didn't matter anymore. It hurt like the dickens but now it didn't, now it doesn't.

I'm so very happy for this baby. Everyday I thank God for our new miracle, for "new baby" (we don't know the gender and I feel weird calling him or her 'it'). I was still skeptical, and I asked repeatedly what the odds of losing the baby could be, to what percentile confidence was the doctor? How many standard deviations? I needed the reassurance, I needed to know. The hurt was that deep, but by now my doubts are gone. This baby is coming and I'm so excited. Sometimes I even feel sorry for Boston and Lyla because I think they love my attention but this baby is going to get a lot of cuddles because I'm full of over a year of wishing I could have them. So ready or not New Baby, Daddy is bringing the cuddles!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

I'm Pregnant?!!

How did I find out I was pregnant, especially since I wasn't expecting it?

I have to thank our local McDonald's for that. Every time I saw that McDonald's I had to fight every fiber of my being not to go and order a greasy double cheeseburger. For someone who doesn't eat fast food, this was very unusual. I guess I should mention that I had been feeling "off" as well due to extreme lightheadedness and some nausea.

I was concerned there was something wrong with me, but I also knew that what I was feeling could be signs of pregnancy even though it would pretty much be impossible. So the morning of October 6th, I took a cheap little .88 cent pregnancy test just to excuse that very unlikely possibility. When I looked at the pregnancy test there were two very clear lines. A quick review of the instructions confirmed that two lines meant positive. My pregnancy test was positive.

Even with a positive pregnancy test in my hands I didn't believe it. I immediately googled all the possible reasons for a false positive. Nothing I could find really explained it so I just chalked it up to being a cheap little test. However, I was feeling weird and I had been having the most ridiculous vivid dreams...

Two hours later I found myself in Walmart looking at a shelf of pregnancy tests, but this time I was looking at the fancy expensive ones. I had no idea what I was doing so I grabbed one that had 2 tests and had a $2 off coupon attached to it. (Score!) I also bought the twins plastic pumpkins to hold their Halloween candy in because it's impossible to go to Walmart without picking up something you weren't planning on buying, am I right?

I got home, fed the twins lunch, and peed in a cup.

I think the video below pretty much explains what happened. It's embarrassing and my voice is annoying, but this is real life people!


I'm pregnant!

No hours and hours of doctors appointments, no needles and medications, no ultrasounds to check on my follicles, no daily blood draws, no stressful bills, no ovaries the size of tennis balls. Nope. Just a beautiful miracle from God.

I couldn't wait to tell Chris, so when he got home from work I gave him a gift box with my two positive tests inside. I was still in utter disbelief, clinging onto a small bit of hope that this was really happening when I gave him the box. We were both so shocked, he made me take another pregnancy test. (Spoiler alert: it was another positive!) I actually asked him to type out his reaction so I could share it here on my blog, but it's so long that I'm going to make it my next post. He's an overachiever :)

I'm pregnant!!!

*Special thank you to McDonalds and Clearblue ;)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Part 5: The Year 2016

This is Part 5 of a series of posts telling the journey to our third little miracle baby.
Click the links to read Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4.

It's crazy to think that the previous parts of this story were written between August and November of 2015. Now it's the year 2017 and I'm trying to bridge the gap of what has happened since then.

After we found out the frozen embryo transfer didn't work I tried my best to cope around my pregnant friends and family. The holidays were especially difficult with one sister-in-law having a beautiful newborn and another sister-in-law announcing her pregnancy. I was happy for them, but in all honesty it was hard with the timing of it all. It was hard to know I could have been pregnant along with them. However, a couple weeks after we found out about the negative pregnancy test, a fire started burning within me to fight back. But I wanted to fight back on my own. I wasn't interested in going to fertility doctors anymore, or running more tests, and the last thing I wanted was the stress of another IVF. I started diving deeper into research that relates to me and my reproductive issues. I have never had a regular period in my life. The number of periods I've had without fertility medication can probably be counted on one hand. (You probably think having so few periods would be amazing! It kind of is, but definitely not worth the trouble and numerous hormone imbalances behind it.) But somehow I managed to have 3 periods within the first 8 months of 2016 all on my own. I didn't know if I was ovulating, but for me this was a huge step. Huge.

Somehow the stars all aligned and the timing of everything just worked. Turns out I got pregnant naturally in September of 2016!

What changed? What happened? Did going without any added sugars in my diet for 6 months do something? Did my body finally start to understand how it's supposed to function after I had the successful pregnancy and birth of my twins? Maybe those things helped, but I actually know the answer. It was my Heavenly Father and I know that to my core. It was so difficult exercising patience and moving forward with faith and hope in God's timing. I am very aware of all the intricacies that must happen for pregnancy to occur and with my reproductive issues, this pregnancy was nothing short of a miracle. I personally believe every pregnancy is a miracle, but this felt extra miraculous ;)

Waiting for my miracle wasn't all sunshine and roses. There were tears and sadness. I could sense my husband's yearning for another child stronger than ever. He kept asking when I would be willing to go back to our fertility doctor, but I didn't want to back...I didn't want to fail again. I started thinking about adoption, which is something I still really want to consider in the future. There was also a trial I faced that impacted me significantly, but now I can see God's hand in what happened and I believe its outcome helped me on the path to getting pregnant. However, that's a story for another time. I do want to share it, but I still feel too sensitive to talk about it.

Another important part of this journey is a priesthood blessing I received. Even though it was my sweet husband's voice I heard as I received this special prayer and blessing, I knew the words were coming from my Heavenly Father. The love I felt from my Father was so strong, especially as He told me I would have more children. I believed it. From that moment on I knew I would...just when was the question. That was September 4th, 2016. Two days later I conceived this precious child I am carrying, and 4 weeks later I found out I was pregnant. This might not mean much to you if you're not religious, but to me it just strengthens my testimony that much more of a loving Father in heaven.
I sent this to my hubby Oct 10th!

I remember reading stories of couples that went through IVF, had a baby, then went on to conceive naturally. I always wished their story could be my story, and now it is. Those stories gave me hope and now it's my wish that this journey of mine can do the same for others.

In the next post I'll share about finding out I was pregnant!

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