Monday, August 31, 2015

Tad Herschel Leavitt.

i really thought this pregnancy was going so well.
i really thought this time i might actually make it to full term.
but, alas, i was wrong.
Tad Herschel Leavitt is here. 8 weeks early and adorable as ever.

The Story:

On Wednesday, August 19 the boys and I were all dressed and ready to spend the day at the lake. We just had to stop to run one errand along the way. As we left the store, I picked up Holden and we all started walking to the car. And, along the way, my water broke. Total surprise. I hurried the boys to the car and buckled them in in a panic. When my water broke with Holden, I had literally just a couple minutes before he came out, and I was terrified that was what was going to happen there in that parking lot. But the minutes passed by and I felt nothing. I called Matt at work and he hopped in  his truck and headed home to meet me. When I got home, I plopped the boys in front of a show, got changed, and threw a couple things in my purse for a possible hospital stay. And, when Matt got home, we headed out. Matt's parents took the boys for us while we went to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital, I still wasn't showing any signs of labor. They checked me into triage and began interrogating me asking me a billion questions about what just happened. And after a little while, I started questioning if my water had actually even broken after all! Perhaps I had just peed my pants!? Shoot.. that would be embarrassing. They did an official test to make sure my water had, indeed, broken and knew immediately that I wasn't lying after all. Phew!

I was admitted and, since I was still not in labor, the plan was to do everything we could to help the baby before it arrived. I was given 48 hours of antibiotics by IV to prevent infections that can occur after prematurely rupturing your water, and 2 doses of steroids to help the babies lungs develop. Those 48 were boring and I longed to go home. But I survived, and on Friday, August 21, I was released. The plan now was to try and keep the baby in for 2 more weeks. At 34 weeks gestation, the baby is developed enough that a premature birth is less dangerous then the baby staying inside a ruptured sack. I would be visited daily by an at-home nurse and would follow some basic rules to take it easy.

The day I was released, we finally bought a carseat for baby, new seats for our boys, and a stroller - something that I had been meaning to do for months!

On Saturday, I had my first visit from the at-home nurse. She got me all set up with the paperwork and gear I needed to monitor the baby. It was kinda weird having a checkup on your couch.. but it sure beats being stuck in a hospital. Little did I know, that first checkup would also be my last!

I woke up on Sunday, August 23 at 7:00am to contractions. Real ones. I hadn't felt those in a while! I snuck out of bed and counted them on our couch. They were very consistent but not too uncomfortable. I counted them for just over an hour before going to tell Matt the bad news. I really didn't want to head back the hospital.. I just got home! As soon as I told Matt, he was up and getting things ready for us to leave. I, on the other hand, was taking my sweet time. I guess I was in denial and hoped that things might turn around... but the opposite happened. As I was dilly-dallying along, the contractions instantly became more uncomfortable, and I was all of a sudden more motivated to pick up my pace! Matt woke up the boys, packed them a bag, and organized for his parents to take them.. again. We dropped them off at about 9:40am and got to the hospital by 10:00am. The boys were so sad being dropped off that time. They always have a blast with grandparents and cousins (which was the plan for them that day) but they were worried about me and our goodbye had lots of tears. Not what I needed! But, of course, we were told that that they recovered from that very quickly!

Back to triage we went. This time, I was definitely in labor. I was only about 2cm and 70% along, but they were not sending me home. I was moved to labor and delivery room #1, and the fun officially began.

At that point, contractions were still very doable. I was actually considering going without an epidural. I don't have anything against an epidural, but I had gone without one when Holden was born and thought I might be able to do that again. That changed quite quickly once the pain picked up though! By 12:00pm, I had decided that I did want the epidural. I was checked for progression at that point and had only gone from a 2cm to a 3cm in 1.5 hours. I felt like I had to be much further along, considering how uncomfortable I was, so they called in the anesthesiologist and she took away basically all my pain. What a saint!

When they sat me up to place the epidural, they had me lean on Matt (who stood beside the bed) for support. Neither of us had eaten at all that day, so we were hungry. And the hunger got to Matt in that moment! As they were inserting the epidural, Matt started to feel very queasy and ended up having to be helped to his special dad bed by the window for a lay down and some orange juice. He felt super embarrassed haha.. but I don't blame him for getting queasy, knowing how hungry I was!

Although the epidural didn't work 100%, it was such a blessing. It made me much less stressed. But it also made me soooo shakey. For the remainder of my time in labor I was shaking uncontrollably. 

During the rest of labor, they had to really monitor the baby's heart rate. Every time there would be a contraction, the heart rate would drop quite low. They tried filling my uterus back up with fluids, but that didn't seem to help much. So, instead, my nurse was just constantly rolling me from one side to the other when baby wasn't doing well.

Side note: I think the most common phrase I used this delivery was, "I'm not ready". Because.. well.. I wasn't. Neither of us were. And I was super stressed about how small this baby would be. I like teeny little newborns just as much as the next person, but they told me to anticipate him being less then 4 lbs, and that just seemed way too small.

Anyways, back to the delivery story.. When they first checked my progression, at 10:00am, I was 2cm. At 12:00pm, I was 3cm. So when they checked me at 2:30pm, I assumed they would tell me I was 4cm... but I was 10cm and apparently ready to push. What?! Umm.. I was so not ready for that news! But, despite the fact that I wasn't ready, things went incredibly fast at the point. All of a sudden my bed was transformed into something for me to deliver a baby on and the doctor, resident, nurses, and team of 6 from the NICU gathered in my room for a baby party. 2 pushes was all it took and our handsome boy was here. I suppose that is a perk of having a tiny baby - it sure doesn't take much to get them out! His official time of birth was 2:46pm on August 23, 2015. 4 pounds 1 ounce, 17 inches. He was crying when he came out - something neither of our others did - so that was pretty exciting for us. And, for the first time in 3 kids, there wasn't a huge panic to get him on some sort of machine to breath for him so Matt was able to cut the umbilical cord. After that, baby was handed over to the NICU team and toted off to the NICU.

Matt left for the NICU too. He came back to my room with pictures and details about how our little fellow was doing and then, about 2 hours later, I was able to go see him for myself. He spent the first day on a C-pap machine but since then he hasn't needed any help breathing. And he only needed to have feeds through his IV for the first 3 days. Since then, he has been taking all his feeds by bottle and gavage (feeding tube). He is such a trooper! He has done so much better then Chet and Holden did in their first week and we feel very blessed. Unfortunately, even though he is progressing very well, he will most likely be in the hospital for about 4 weeks. Tad was born at 32 weeks + 2 days gestation and babies don't usually get to go home until they are at least 36 weeks. Bummer. I want him home so bad it hurts.

We didn't officially decide on the name Tad until the next day. We are always a little slow to figure that part out. But Tad Herschel Leavitt is the perfect name for that sweet boy. Chet has cleverly give him the nickname Tadpole and we love it.

Recovery was pretty smooth. I had really bad cramping after, that I have no recollection of from my previous deliveries, but that's about it. I could totally do that again! Not that I am..

It has now been 1 week since Tad joined our family. Tad has been moving forward everyday. We have never had any bad news - it's nuts! And, heck, we are pretty 'good' at this whole NICU thing, in the sense that this is our THIRD round. We know the drill, and have mastered the art of being patient. But, despite all the good, this time around has definitely been filled with the most tears. And I have no idea why. I am pretty good at putting on a show when we are around others, but most of my time at home and at the hospital is very teary-eyed. I am sad, and frustrated, and ridiculously needy for Matt. Our boys used to ask why I was crying and now they just expect it! Hopefully it will pass soon. I decided to try going for my first post-baby run today (almost 1 week to the minute after Tad arrived!) in hopes of that cheering me up. Because, in the words of Elle Woods (Legally Blonde), "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't shoot their husbands, they just don't." (Not that I have had any desire to shoot Matt.. quite the opposite!)

I am so grateful for our new family member. I was having serious doubts about wanting our family to change over the past couple months - I was scared to mess things up. But, as cliche as it may sound, our family wouldn't feel complete without him now. Tad is 100% sweetness. I love snuggling him and staring at him. I can do it for hours. And I have loved seeing the excitement and love that Chet and Holden have for him. It amazes me how tender their hearts are for him. It will be so much fun when they get to spend more time together.

Welcome to the world Tad Herschel Leavitt. It's a much cuter place with you in it!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

i am regressing!

i figured, since i have absolutely nothing else to do at his moment, i might as well blog!

chet was born at 34 weeks.
holden at 33.
and yesterday - at 31 weeks + 5 days - my water broke with baby #3.
come on!

i was carrying holden through a parking lot and *bam* it happened.
this was my first time having it happen outside of a hospital setting and i gotta say it was really quite icky.
i am just glad no one else saw and, since i was in a parking lot, i didn't have to deal with cleaning it up!
i called matt and we headed over to the hospital.

the good news is i am not in labor.
my water definitely broke, but contractions have not begun.
so i am currently just hanging out at the hospital getting steroid shots, and oodles of antibiotics via IV, to help our baby develop a bit quicker.
since there are no signs of active labor at this point, i should be sent home tomorrow afternoon.
(that makes me really happy - hospitals are boooring!)
after that, it will just be a waiting game.
every extra day that we can keep the baby in will be a bonus.
...until 34 weeks.
either way, at 34 weeks, the plan is for me to be induced.
apparently, at 34 weeks the risk of keeping a baby in a mom who's water has broken is higher then the risk of having the baby early.
so we have 2 weeks, or less, until this little fellow joins our family - one way or another.
part of me thinks being induced sounds terrifying.
i would really just rather have labor pop up and surprise me, instead of knowing exactly when the horror will begin!
but i suppose that is not really up to me.. 
ideally, the induction won't be set for 34 weeks on the dot because that just so happens to be chet's very first day of school.
and i am already a big, ridiculous mess about his first day!
dropping him off and then heading over to deliver a baby seems like a whole lot of emotions for one day, don't you think?!

our baby is still doing really great.
he moves all the time, and he is measuring right where he should for how far along he is.
the ultrasound we had yesterday estimated him weighing in at a whopping 3 lbs 13 oz.
(perhaps 'whopping' isn't the best word to describe his size!)
i do hope he gains a bit more weight before he arrives because that is still pretty small.
chet and holden were small (at 4.8 and 4.10) so i can't imagine snuggling with something smaller!

we feel really blessed to have lots of family and friends who are happy to help us out.
and, although i am bored out of my mind, and want nothing more then to go home, i know things are actually looking very optimistic.
wish us luck!

and for kicks, here is a picture of our little dorks doing 'silly faces':

is chet wearing a mesh back with a pom-pom on the top?!
umm.. yes. he sure is.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

eight years.

we celebrated our EIGHTH anniversary this weekend.
can you believe that?!

matt's oldest sister, melissa, treated us to a kid-free date night.
we dropped the boys off on friday night at 5pm and picked them up at noon on saturday.
it was the perfect little escape.
thanks melissa!

the first thing we did after dropping the boys off was go carseat and stroller shopping.
haha it sounds like the worst thing to do once you finally get a night away from your kids, right?!
but we reeeally need to figure out our carseat/stroller situation fast - time is ticking! - and doing that with chet and holden is just not as smooth.
by the way, if anyone has a good suggestion for fitting 3 kids across the back of a small SUV, please let me know.
and don't tell me to get a van.. not happening!
after shopping, we went to the keg for dinner and then out to a movie.
on saturday morning, we headed downtown for massages and breakfast.
it was a dreamy 19 hours of matt & pam time.

matt is my absolute favorite person.
i LOVE him. (obviously)

and, in honor of our 8 years, here is my favorite picture of our wedding day.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

long weekend.

long weekends are the bomb.
3 whole days of family time? yes please!
we played at the lake lots, went to the saskatoon farm to pick strawberries and saskatoon berries, watched our nephew, morgan, play in his provincial championship baseball tournament, went to the zoo, and tried to get a little bit more ready for this baby of ours - although we still basically have nothing ready!
i am 30 weeks now, so we really need to get on it.
this is holden's personality lately - a goof.
if they had to choose, the boys would say their favorite animals at the zoo were the black bears (chet) and the hippos (holden).
but, in all honesty, the animals, in general, weren't their favorite part of the zoo.
they liked playing at the playground, riding the carousel, and getting a slushee... none of which you need to be at the zoo to do!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

our trip to arizona.

our trip to arizona was basically perfection.
it was just what i needed.
we spent 8 whole days just playing and relaxing as a family.
i was really sad when it came to an end. like, really sad!
we stayed at my parent's house in gilbert but, since they are currently serving as missionaries in BC, they weren't there.
it would have been so much fun to vacation with them again, but we also felt pretty cool having our own private vacation home and pool!

this is how i would sum up our trip:

1. pool time. and more pool time.
chet did not pass his most recent swim class.
i don't know what happened.. he loved his previous class.
he had just got it in his head that this class was scary, and there was no convincing him otherwise.
i basically had to bribe him to go to every class, and it took all the fun out of it.
it made me sad, especially because i knew our arizona trip was coming up fast and i had planned on the boys spending all day in the pool and he was wrecking my plan.
luckily, things were completely different once we got to arizona.
chet and holden spent every waking moment in the pool.
we could hardly get those boys out of the water!
holden was a crazy kid. no fear!
holden was jumping in on the first day.
chet wasn't ever quite as crazy, but he did get super good at swimming and floating, and we even got him jumping in after a couple days too!
i loved watching them playing in the water all day and being exhausted from all that play come bedtime.
it reminded me of my summers growing up.
in my mind, kids + water + sun = a perfect summer day.
i definitely want to have a pool someday.
my mom says i come by that desire honestly - she grew up with a pool, i grew up with a pool, and, naturally, i want my boys to grow up with one too!

2. having fun keeping cool.
honestly, most of our time was spent in my parent's backyard.
it was so easy to just walk outside and play - no packing up bags of towels and toys and snacks.
and the pool was all the boys really needed.
but we did spend a few days doing other things too.
there are 2 splash pads within walking distance of my parents place, we made our way to those a couple times during the week.
it was a fun way to cool off.
but, by the time we walked the few blocks home, we were always ready to cool off again in the pool!
we also spent one full day at a big waterpark called 'big surf'.
it was matt's idea.
i wasn't sure if our family is at the right age for a waterpark but figured it couldn't hurt to try.
and, turns out, matt was right! we had a lot of fun.
we split into 2 teams for a lot of the day:
team chet & matt and team holden & pam.
chet and matt went off and rode almost every slide in the park that day.
we couldn't get over how brave chet was!
holden and i hung around the kiddie areas and slides.
i would definitely do another waterpark day with our boys next time we are down there.

3. hotness.
one of my very favorite things to do is lay out in the sun.
the hotter, the better!
and, boy oh boy, was it ever hot.
we used oodles of sunscreen and still all came home with wicked tans.
i tried waking up early enough to beat the heat on my morning runs but turns out that is impossible in phoenix in july.
no matter how early i woke up, i was still a sweaty mess by the end of my run.
but i will take that over cold weather any day.
i have been craving the feeling of that hot sun soaking into my skin ever since we got home.

4. eating out.
eating out is always a highlight of our US trips.
we never go anywhere special - we just have some favorites that we can't get up here.
plus, it is sooOo cheap down there.
i swear everytime i looked at a menu i was blown away by how cheap it is to eat out down there!
we got a lot of sonic drinks while we were there.
personally, i think the food at sonic is revolting. but the drinks are my favorite.
one time we stopped for sonic drinks and then took them with us on a walk around the temple.
we also stopped at cafe rio, chik-fil-a, and paradise bakery.
aaand krispy kreme.
 (haha it sounds like a lot of eating out now that i am writing it down. oops.)
i expected our krispy kreme trip to be pretty quick, but we ended up staying and watching donuts fry for a pathetically long time!
the boys found it very fascinating.

5. kid-less time.
once we put the boys down for bed, matt and i always went back outside for one last kid-less swim/hottub of the day.
it almost beats staying in a hotel or resort when you can sneak out to your own private pool!
we didn't get to do any official dates out of the town without our kids, but it seemed like we still got a lot of time to ourselves.
our boys just played so well together this trip. it was adorable!
they are honestly best *BEST* friends.
matt and i are both kind of having baby regrets these days (don't tell the baby!).
but really, why are we having another kid when the ones we have are finally at this perfect stage?!
this next kid better be pretty dang cool ;)

other bits.
- despite the fact that our flight there was disgustingly early, and our flight back was disgustingly late, our boys were amazing little travelers. they are pros at it.
- we went to see the minion movie as a family. i haven't seen despicable me so i didn't really know what a minion was. but, turns out, they don't talk - they just make super annoying sounds. oh my goodness! that movie was painful.
- my plan was to spend a whole bunch of time in target on our trip, but it didn't happen. i have been having serious target withdrawals since target got booted out of canada a few months ago. but, for some reason, we just never had time/need to go there. i only spent about 20 minutes and $10 in a target.. which is actually probably for the best.
- on the first day of our trip, we saw 2 scorpions (one of which matt battled to the death), the biggest spider i have ever seen outside of a pet store, and a praying mantis. it stressed me right out! but, after that, we didn't see anything creepy.
- it only rained on us for a few minutes one night - the rest of the trip was dry. but we did see lots of lightning. there were several nights that we watched crazy lightning storms brewing on the horizon while we sat in the hottub.
- our baby turned 27 weeks old while we vacationing.

perfect form, right?!
A for effort?!
the gilbert temple.
big surf waterpark.
i like how holden's hat is upside down by this point..
my phone had the same problem a few times!
this is me in all my 27 weeks pregnant glory. chet took the picture.
i am so not into pregnant belly photos but figured i should have some documentation. this may very well be all you get!
on our last day, we did a quick nudey photo shoot.
i couldn't resist snapping a photo of those tan lines!
zonked out on the late night plane ride home.

matt and i have always had full intentions of moving back somewhere south in the near future.
this trip made me want it even more.
calgary is nice and all, but i can't stop daydreaming of our future somewhere else. it's bad!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

a complaining post.

i am 26 weeks pregnant, have a cold, raging pink eye, intolerable heartburn (my typical 3rd trimester pregnancy symptom - so gross, right?), i am barely recovering from my lack of sleep from when matt left me for his work conference last week (at 29 years old, i really need to learn how to be alone at night!), and he is leaving me AGAIN tomorrow for a scout camp.
matt is YM president and has spent countless hours planning this camp.
so it seriously drives me nutty that everyone else isn't supporting him like i think they should.
they are absolutely messing with the wrong pregnant girl's husband!

to say i am ready for our arizona trip to be here, is an understatement!
4. more. sleeps.

i can hardly wait for a solid week of *just us*.
i think i might steal matt's phone and hide it away so that work won't have any way of bugging us. shhh!

but, despite the stress i have been feeling, the only pictures i have on my phone from the past week portray my life as anything but stressful!
haha dang it.
so perhaps it is my pregnancy emotions that are making everything seem worse then it is.
because, in all honesty, we have lot of fun this past week too...
minnow catching, bike rides, more lake days, we took the boys to see the stampede fireworks, and so on.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

summer has begun!

summer is the BEST.
and this week has definitely been summery.
we spent wednesday, thursday, friday, aaand saturday playing at a lake.
sometimes it was just me and the boys, sometimes we went with cousins, once we preluded our lake trip with a backyard pool party, once we followed it up with a hotdog roast, and *every time* it was awesome!

matt has been gone on a business trip to chicago since wednesday morning, so it couldn't have been more perfect timing for a gorgeous week to bless us with its' presence.
the hot weather was the perfect distraction for me - the boys were happy all day and totally pooped, come bedtime.

friday was holden's official 3rd birthday.
i debated whether or not i should even tell him (since he had already gotten all the fuss/gifts/cake/etc. at his party last weekend) but i went ahead and told him because *I* wanted to.
we spent 6 solid hours playing at sikome lake that day and grabbed a happy meal on the way home.
he was one very happy birthday boy.

oh my word, being a mom is so much fun (and easy) in the summer.
anyone who disagrees is a nut!