February is one of my most favorite months of the year. Not only is it Valentine's Day, the day for lovers, it's also Birthday Month!! Yes it is my birthday,and those of you that know me would think the whole month would be dedicated to my birthday, but it's also Josh's birthday! Parrttaaayyyyyyyy. Other good things going on this month...Superbowl, tax season, one year since we bought the house, and it's really the last real month of winter ( I say that because I live in Indiana and it could snow in April). Anywho, there's a lot to celebrate this month.
I am big on lists and need to make a to do goal list for February. This way it keep me on task, ground and most importantly, accountable. Here goes nothing.
Goals for February:
Decorate for Valentine's Day: Yea this has to be this weekend. If I don't do it quick, St. Patty's day will be here
Make special vday breakfast
Get quotes on some remodeling we want to do. There is so much I want to do to the house over time. I just want to get a good wrap around what it's going to cost and what we can do ourselves. Post coming up about all the house projects.
Taxes..aaaa yea we had to schedule a meeting with an accountant this year. I usually do our and take pride in completing such a big tax. However this year we have house, baby, disability, day care, medical....etc etc etc. No bueno for me to do. Good decision.
Start Riley's playroom
refinish the bathroom vanity
Make one new recipe
Finish wall gallery
So let's just see at the end of month what goals I accompish. Since it is now out in cyberspace I have to complete it...right?
Riley's nursery is my most absolute favorite room of the house. We put the most thought into making sure her domain was relaxing, cute and everything a baby would as for. There is something special about a baby's room. Something that you will always remember. The little touches that you put into your baby's room will last lifetime. This is Riley Mae's domain through Instagram (sorry I don't have a better camera...Yet).
Most everything was from Hobby Lobby (big surprise). I absolutely love her crib and changing table. I love the sleigh look and it is very dramatic in person. I have problems with cribs because I think they all look like jails. I wanted her to feel like a princess...like she was in a cinderella sleigh.
Crib and Changing Table: JC Penny
Mobile: Pottery Barn
Valances: DIY (thanks to my bff Leslie Buike)
picture frames: Hobby Lobby
Diaper Box: Hobby Lobby (this is a MUST have)
Care Bear: Mine growing up
Purple Lamp: Hobby Lobby
Mirror: Hobby Lobby
Rocking Chair: My grandma's old chair
It is hard to tell through the photos but the wall color is a soft mint color with wood trim. I started with one theme and the colors kept on going and going. Pinks, blues, purples and all types of pattern. We have a jack and jill set up so her playroom will be on the other side of the bathroom. There will be pictures to come....I'm taking on a stencil wall. Check out our stencil here. Got the idea from a great mom designer. Check out her playroom here. It is amazing. I don't know what I would do without my blog moms! They give me such inspiration.
Well there you have it...the nursery. I loved every minute off it and already have baby #2 (God willing) nursery ideas going in my head. DIY heaven!
Let's start right off with the doctor getting me prepared for the c section....
Josh was taking a nap because we really didn't think anything was going to happen anytime soon. I mean...we were already in labor for 13 hours and no action yet. To tell you the truth, I hadn't even really thought of a c section. I didn't think that was possible. I kinda freaked out under the circumstances.
I had to wake Josh us and get some support. They really weren't "making" me have a c section or it wasn't an emergency or anything they had a point. One, Riley's heartrate was dropping and Two: I had some fertility issues and this could be my only child. When the doctor tells you that it puts it all in perspective. THIS WAS REALLY HAPPENING. I was going into surgery.
Once Josh got dressed and right before the surgery, we did a family prayer to keep us strong and to put this all into perspective. I felt like God was with me this whole pregnancy and he has played such a big part in our whole journey. I knew he would get us through anything.
I was ready to go it was about midnight and before I knew it, there were like 10 people that came running in the room. Yup...all the oncall nurses, recovery, and surgery help. It was kind of crazy how everyone just came in with one phone call. We went to being the only two on the floor, to it being pretty busy.
Next thing I know we are in surgery and they anesthesiologist was there giving me a pep talk and making sure I couldn't feel anything. Thank God for that! Josh on the other hand was kind of freaking out when I was just confused on everything that was happening.
I felt pulling, pushing, pressure. I was scared, excited, exhausted, worried. Then it happened. A cry that would melt your heart. I cry that I would hear day in and day out when she needed her mama. She was here! She was finally here.
The worst part of the whole experience was the recovery. Josh was on cloud 9 helping with Riley. Getting her cleaned up and loving her. I, on the other hand, was in recovery and all I remember was so much pain. They put me on the patocin to contract my uterus and the epideral wore off. From the surgery to the uterus all I can feel were contractions and more pressure.
Then they finally were able to give me my little angel. Riley Mae was finally here and ready to take on the world. It was a long road but the moment I saw her I knew everything was going to be okay. My life was forever changed. We got to meet our sweet baby girl, our miracle baby, our world.
"Umm Josh. Josh. JOSH WAKE UP! I think we should go to the hospital. My water just broke!"
To say he jumped out of bed is an understatement. I think he jumped out of bed, got dressed, and we were at the hospital in 10 minutes. Mind you it usually takes 20 minutes just to get to the hospital.
Since I am the planning mom that I am, I had my bags all packed (5 weeks in advance) and already to go. Josh, not so much. Everything was fine with me except the obscene amount of water that was still going everywhere. I had no pain, no contraction, no nothing. It was like a normal day in the neighborhood. Except I was going to have a baby in the next 24 hours. I called, texted, emailed everyone on my call list and enjoyed the ride. It was a perfect fall day. I rememeber thinking.."this is a great birthday". Fall was in full affect. It was beautiful.
When we go to the hospital I just wanted to walk right up to the floor and get in bed but they had to wheel me up there (hospital policy). The more I stood waiting for the wheelchair, the more water was everywhere. By the time I go up to the floor, my pants where covered and the wheelchair was soaked..
I got into my room, got dressed and was ready for some action. Except...there was no action. Nothing was happening. Still no pain. If this was labor then I could definitely handle this! haaaaaaa
Nurses came in, got me hooked up, checked me, did what they do and nicely told me..."Your going to be here for awhile". I wasn't even in labor yet. I was 1 cm dialated and baby was not engaged at all. They were going to call the on call doctor and let him know what was going on. Which he was NOT my regular doctor. Not the doctor I had for 35 weeks and helped me in the process of getting pregnant. No Way! This was someone that I never even met. Great.
This was around 1:00pm when they decided to put me on petocin to get things moving. Boy did that work. It took about 2 minutes for me to start feeling something. A lot of something. It was no joke and it was painful. Every 2 minutes another contraction and I would scream. Josh was say "breathe", and I would scream. That went on for about 7 hours.
The nurses checked me and I was still 2 cm dialated after 9 hours of contractions. I was ready for some pain medicine. I couldn't imagine what 10 cm felt like. I am glad I actually got to "feel labor" because that is what I wanted. I wanted to feel my baby being born. I wanted to experience that pain that mothers experience. Well I did that and I was ready for the epidural.
The edipural went fast and painless. It was such a relief that I had to sleep. We had time to rest. Nothing was happening. Josh took a nap. I was talking to my mother in law and facetiming with my brother like it was another day in the park.
In the meantime Riley was still kicking away and was not engaging at all in the birth canal. The nurses would all run in about every 20 minutes and change my position because of her heartrate. I was laying on one side. Laying on the other. Sitting up. Her HR would be steady, then go back down. Only 4 cm dialted.
The doctor finally came in around midnight to check things out. He came and introduced himself and explained a little what was happening. He wanted some background on my situation because he saw from my chart that I had some fertility issues and wanted me to expand on that. Everything he was saying to me was sort of a blur until the last sentence.....
I took a slight break from my birth stories to do a fun link up. I haven't really been doing much socializing wth my fellow bloggers because I have been pretty busy with our little baby girl and her implant process. However there is always time for Pinterest....here's what I've been loving on.
Ok so I have already been planning her first birthday party. Sue me! I think that this is going to be such a special/tough/rewarding year that I can't wait to go all out for it. It's a CELEBRATION! Or just a good excuse for a party:)
This is A D O R A B L E. nuff said
I'm also trying to redo some things to the house on a small (nearly non existant) budget.
Just for fun.
Happy Pinteresting! What did the world ever do withOUT pinterest????
I figured since my precious daughter will be 4 months soon, I should probably write out her birth story for the world to read. Some say I should write it before it becomes a distant memory and it is a blur. I don't think it will ever become a distant memory. I remember every. single. moment. as if it was yesterday.
There is something special about a birth story. It's remarkable. A miracle. Something that you will have with your son or daughter forever, it can never be changed. Every story is different, and no experience is the same. Birth stories are so unique and life changing that every detail puts toghether such a special day.
Sit back and enjoy because I am telling you the most important day of our lives...
It was saturday October 6th and I was supposed to work a New Student Orientation at Ivy Tech but new that I was too bloated and puffed up to really do anything that day...
Well let me back up a bit. October 30th was my due date and I was over the moon for that we would be having a Halloween baby. I planned everything down to the first birthday party. I had everything washed, rugs picked out, nursery all together at the beginning of October because let's face it, baby Riley could come at anytime. Little did I know that would really happen.
Started about the beginning of October I started to get really bloated and retained a ton of water. I mean you could literally make a handprint on my ankles. I was worried. I was anxious. I was MISERABLE. It got so bad that I just walked in my doctor's office one day and hoped to see her immediately. Well it worked and she did all the routine things. Checked my cervix, took my blood pressure, checked for protein etc etc. Nothing strange. Nothing out of the ordinary. My blook pressure was a little high for me, 126 when it is normally like 117 but still nothing to worry about. She said to go on with my day and see you in 5 weeks. 5 weeks! Are you kidding me? There was no way I was going to last 5 weeks. I gained 15 pounds in one week.
See my plan was to work all the way up until my due date. Everything would go as planned and it would be all smooth. Right? Wrong! I made arrangements to have the week of October 8th be my last week of work and put myself on bedrest for the last couple weeks. Good thing I did because my plan didn't work out how I thought. Miss Riley Mae had her own plans.
That brings me back to October 6th. It was a great Saturday because there was some good football on TV and I didn't have to work like I thought I did. Josh was working the church breakfast that we have at our church every first saturday of the month. I thought I would go up there and get some breakfast and say Hi to everyone. I went, ate, came home and was going to study and relax for the rest of day. Nothing had changed, nothing had happened. Did a load of laundry and was watching television while Josh took a nap before the Buckeyes and Bulldogs played.
I had been studying for my GRE because I am planning to go back to school for my PhD so I thought I would get as much studying in as possible. I bent down to get the book out of coffee table and thats when it happened....
Water. Or pee. I wasn't sure. I ran to the bathroom and got on the toilet. They say the test is if you can not stop the water then it's your amniotic fluid. Well water just kept coming and coming. Like ALL OVER.
"Umm Josh. Josh. JOSH WAKE UP! I think we should go to the hospital. My water just broke!"
Well as most of you know...waiting is not my forte. I get something in my mind and I have to have it done now, like right now. I don't have a lot of patience and I am very fast to do things (well except my laundry). I guess now is as great of a time as ever to learn how to WAIT...
Yesterday we drove 2 hours to go to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis to meet Dr. Yates who is one of the two cochlear implant surgeons at their ENT center. I will have to say that I was very impressed with Riley's hospital and IU Health in general. Everyone made me feel so welcomed and Riley Mae was a big hit..duh!?
You may know from talking to me or from my past posts that I was a little nervous about going to Riley because I heard that they do not do implants before 12 months since it is not FDA approved. I was in the process of calling Chicago Children's Hospital and really just thought going to Indy was a formality. I had to do it because it was in Indiana and I would probably look like a full if I didn't.
DON'T BELIEVE WHAT YOU HEAR! I think that phrase is one of those...."things you learn in kindergarden" that you should live by but never really do, like sharing, or talking to strangers. Anyways, Dr. Yates was awesome and I think he was almost affended that we thought he didn't do them earlier. My lovely husband, if any one knows him they know that he is blunt and doesn't always sugercoat things, just came out and said "I heard you had to be part of a research project to get the implants done ealier that 12 months?" That was like 5 minutes after we got there, yea, good way to break the ice.
The Doc knows the benefits of having them done as early as possible. The earlier she hears, the better chance of her being mainstreamed and hearing with her peers by age 4. He has also been doing tons of research on early implantation and has protested to the FDA to have them done earlier...YUP, that's our Doc.
So here goes...At 6 months of age we go for a full evaluation. This includes orientation, CT scan, MRI, genetic testing, picking a device and meeting the whole implant team. This is a two day event which I am looking forward to because we will stay down there and hang out in the big city! woop woop.
During that time we will also have to schedule the surgery date. He is hoping to have them done (or at least one) between 9 and 11 months. Most of it depends on insurance and since it is not FDA approved it is going to be a fight. Each ear is about $60,000 so it is a fight we are willing to put our dukes up for. Doc said he will deal with the insurance companies so that is not a stress on us. We have enough going on already...amen to that!
We still have a lot to decide: Do we want to do bilateral at one time? What device do we want? What company do we go with? ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so much to think about and these are the kinds of decisions that change a childs life. I guess that's what parenting is....right?
So that brings me to my first thing.....AND NOW WE WAIT. We wait a couple months and go through this hearing aid trial and just LOVE LOVE LOVE on this little girl. How could you not with those cheeks:)
Most families get really annoyed by the Verizon commercials "Can you hear me now....can you hear me now?" Well this is reality in our family. This saying is becoming one of the most used phrases we say. The weird thing is...it's not annoying at all.
Things are moving right along in project hearing. Ms Mae received her hearing aids this week and since then, I feel like things are moving quickly. The way I like them too. Her hearing aids are super cute, very tiny and pink. It was amazing when we first put them on. She got all big eyed and started smiling right away! It was actually an amazing moment. However since then I have been trying to test her ever move to see if she hears things and the results are inclusive. Do I think she hears something? Yes. Is she hearing enough to produce speak and language? No.
Next week we go to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis to meet and have a consult with their cochlear implant team. This is just a meeting where I can ask questions and see we want to get our implants from Riley. Well here's the thing...the earlier you get the implants the better. The auditory nerve needs to be stimulated to keep working with the brain and the earlier you can implant the children, the better success rate they will have to develop language and speech up to their peers level. Riley is known for waiting until 12 months to get implants (thats the youngest the FDA approves) but many hospitals or doing them earlier and earlier because of the benefit for the child. Chicago children's hospital in one of them. They are implanting as early as 6 month....Halalluhah. I see the light. Next week will determin alot in our future.
We have been very fortunate to work with our Early Intervention program, First Steps, to help us financially with a lot of this process. They have introducted us to some great resources and great people that I know will guide us along the way. Meg is our "parent mentor" and she is awesome. She has a son that is 9 years old and has bilateral implants. He got his first implant at 9 months old and his second at 3 years old. She shows us videos of him and he is doing amazing. She gives us guidance and talks to us about the whole process. She comes to the house once a month.
Jeannie is our Developmental Educator, Speech Pathoglist, Deaf Educator, Friend, and many more things that I am not really sure of her exact title....but she is awesome. She work for iHear and it all done through the internet, kinda like facetime. She answers any questions we have and we have learned a ton from her. She is great to work with and very positive...I mean come on, she's a Buckeye..DUH of course she's great.
I can already see the benefit that Riley's hearing loss has brought to our family. I am more aware, more focused and have met some great people that have helped me with her disability but also being the best mom I can be. I have gotten such great support from my friends, family and other blog moms. I couldn't do it without you. Thank you.
Riley now has a YouTube channel where I am going to post all of her videos. I thank god for technology everyday and seriously feel like I can take over the world with my iPhone.
As I sit here and think about you first 3 months I have a whirlwind of emotions. We have already had so many highs, lows, exciting and some scary. Most parents write about how they can't believe it is already 3 months...I feel like you have been in my life forever. How could it ONLY be three months that you have been a part of your dad and I.
This month was a huge month of firsts. Your first Christmas and New Year's which was very exciting for everyone. You got to meet all your aunts, uncles and cousins and I will have to say you were a big hit. Your first cold and flu bug that was NOT fun for anyone. You smiled and laughed for the first time. Your first trip to the store was a success (it was Walmart but still). I think you will get the hang of that real soon.
You have a bunch of nicknames: peanut, pumpkin, stinkerbut, honey munckin and my favorite Ms. Mae. I call you Ms. Mae almost regularly and think that is the one that will stick. I mean, you might die of embarrassment if I'm calling you stinkerbut in high school.
You are starting to get the cutest little rolls on your legs and arms. This makes me happy because you are packing on the pounds. Last doctor's appointment you were 9 pounds and that was a month ago. I would say your are probably up near the 11 pound mark. You are 10% for your weight and not quite on the growth chart for your height...don't you worry baby girl, being tall isn't all its cracked up to be.
You love love love your wabbanub and your hands. I think your the only baby that sticks her whole hand in her mouth. I don't think we are going to have any problems when it comes to food, you like to stick everything in your mouth.
Today was a big day because you received your hearing aids. The are cute, pink and you definetly heard something. Your eyes popped wide open and a BIG smile can across your face. It was the most amazing thing in the world. I can only imagine what the Cochlear Implant is going to do.
Riley I love you more and more everyday. You make this world a better place with your stregnth, charm and sweet smile. I love you more than coffee, more than pizza....to infinity and BEYONE.
I'm usually not one for resolutions because one: I don't really keep them, and two: I really do try to step back and better myself on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. So this year I am NOT setting resolutions and calling them "goals". I like it. That's really what resolutions are...right? Goals you set for yourself. If I call them goals then I know I will complete them because if you know me at all, I love a good goal challenge.
I think this year is going to be a big year. I'm not sure how it can even come close to trumping last year but there is something about 2013 that has a good ring to it. I like it.
This year is going to be about family. I am going to focus on becoming a better wife to Josh and mother to Riley Mae. Not that I am bad at these things but sometimes other things, superficial things, get in your way that don't really matter. Our little family of three is what matters this year.
This year I really want to work on my fitness! I need to loose 30 pound and my goal is May. I know, I know...this is so cliche but I really need it. I want to get back to pre baby weight and start doing more fitness. I am starting by teaching 4 Spinning classes a week...YIKES!
This year I am not going to sweat the small stuff. I worry alot...I mean alot about things that are out of my control and let petty things get to me. Why? Who knows. I do know that I have everything I want and I don't always have to have more. I'm happy. Which brings me to my next thing...
This year I'm going to be happy. Why would anyone be negative by choice? Be happy for others. Be positive for others. Your attitude is a choice. I want to more acts of kindness and truly be happy. I am going to stay away from negativity in my life and teach my daughter to be positive. Be a role model.
This year is going to be a big year for Riley's Cochlear Implants and her development. My goal is to try and get the surgery by 10 months if we can get into a research project. I am not going to stress about this process and take it one day at a time. My little girl and her hearing is going to be the focus of 2013. I think I have focused on ME for 32 years and I couldn't be happier to give all I got to Riley.
Who know what else this year will bring. I wouldn't have ever thought I would this time last year that I would have a 3 month old daughter that is deaf in her left ear, an strong mother that battled breat cancer and is now in remission, and losing my grandma. These things weren't even a thought ringing in 2012. After last year I don't think there is anything I can't tackle and conquer.
Happy New Year. May this year be a bright fullfilled year with health and happiness.