Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hero's in a world of havoc

So I have to admit, I never watch the news. I get so discouraged with violence, accidents, natural disasters.... and then there is what happened two days ago in Connecticut. I have read the many posts, comments, and news reports regarding it but no matter what you read, it doesn't get better. The world can be scary, the people can be even scarier.

I hope this doesn't sound awful but it makes me grateful for how I lost my two boys. It makes me grateful that I'm alive to hold my daughter so close to me. I take comfort in my knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen very sad things in my life- through the media, news, etc. but also in my personal life. I have also seen miracles. I have met genuinely good people. There is so much bad in this world but there is also so much good that maybe doesn't get the attention it should. Here is one of those stories...

I have a younger brother with Down Syndrome. He is turning 16 in the next few days and is a sophmore in high school. He just joined the wrestling team! The coaches are one thing. They accepted Alex immediately and think of him as a member of the team. They treat him like any other athlete, they make him do the work outs, but they also understand that this boy is stubborn and requires a little more attention. It has been amazing for me to see.

And then there are the members of his team. These boys are hero's. They are kind men who really like and care about him. They treat Alex with compassion. They make him work hard! I have been priviledged enough to watch two matches and have cried through both of them! I don't even know how to describe the feeling I have to see these boys so willing to wrestle him. How they cheer him on and teach him while wrestling. He has a great team, full of boys that I look up to so much.

And then I was shocked to see how the other schools treated him. They don't know Alex, they could easily reject him and not want to wrestle him... but that is not the case. These boys will forever hold such a special place in my heart for being so kind to my little brother. They put up a real good fight, but explain to Al what to do. They make him work his hardest but don't just give in. And they let him win and then cheer him on. I watched as he ran down the sideline of the opposing school's boys giving out high fives and they all wanted to congratulate him.

Unfortunately the world we live in has violence and bullies. But I have had the opportunity to meet some real hero's and am proud that there is still so much good in this world. I hope I can raise every single one of my kids to be the hero and stand up for any that may need it...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The blank mind

I have tried to write this post for exactly one week. Most of the time I just sit here. Other times I try to look up words that may describe how I have been feeling... but there aren't words. I may make one up.
Saturday morning I woke up on the other end of the phone. This time the phone call wasn't about me, but I wish it was because no one should ever have to lose a baby. The call I got was about a neighbor I grew up across the street from, Sonja. She was due with her fifth baby on the 9th of this month and last Saturday they were unable to locate the heartbeat of her sweet son Daniel. I went and saw her in the hospital, I visited her later in the week, I attended the funeral. 
I needed her to know that she wasn't alone, I wanted to help. I wanted to hold her kids. I therapeutically shopped for anything that may comfort her. My Mom held me up- literally- as I watched Sonja's heart break and mine all over again. I don't sleep at nights. It's all back. The memories, feelings, hurt in my chest. Not that it ever went away...but it's just back in the front of my heart.
Sonja's family is amazing. Her Sister is battling cancer, her son battled cancer, had his leg amputated and that boy still smiles and runs! Everytime I see him, I fall in love with my life. Her other kids are so sweet. They are kind and they have gone through things no one should have to. Her daughter is weeks younger than Mac and Sonja let me hold her in the hospital when she was born. Something that I will never forget and touched me more than she knew.
She is stronger than me. She spoke at Daniel's funeral, she has already blogged about what happened. This week has been full of emotions. But this I know. Everything that happens to us, good or bad, is a part of us. But it doesn't get to define who we are, we get to decide that.
My Sister-in-law came over the other night for a homework assignment but what she did for me, again, I don't know how to express. She let me talk, about my feelings, about all the repercussions, about Oakland. I'm not good at thanking people in person because I get choked up and stumble over words.
 I remember my parents, Josh and Oakland- at most every visit they came to in the hospital, after the first few days. Other visits are scattered but a memory I have a lot of is of this Sister and Brother-in-law. I don't remember details but I remember them there. My first major outing, they were there helping with Oakland and I. She texts me all the time to check in on me, and always follows up with how I'm doing- always at the right time. She does this with everyone in the family- she's great and I love her.
Josh and I are getting close to having our names published on lds family services site for adoption! So if you know anyone that is expecting, I would love to meet them.

On one last note. I attended my last scheduled doctors appointment on Monday. I have had one at least every week for the last 5 months. I'm off Coumadin, my blood thinner. They'll be running tests to see if I have any other clotting disorders to determine if I have to be on thinner the rest of my life. So... I have to wear a compression sock. :) I have chronic pain in my right leg and headaches because of the lacking blood flow. But I am here, alive, and enjoying every moment with Oakland and Josh. I am deciding how the good and bad will define me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Live all the days of your life...

Tim McGraw sings a song... "Live like you were dying". I'm sure most of you have heard it, I heard it plenty before my accident. But today, it made me cry. Hard enough that I had to turn the radio off in order to drive. The situations in my life have taught me to love life no matter what the circumstances. And not only love life, but actually live all the days of your life. This song is me. I'm not living like I'm dying, but I'm living like I got that second chance. It made me realize all the things in life I wanted. Don't wait!

Be a better friend, a better son, a better worker, a better Mom. Quit your job if you hate it, go back to school if you want to. Be happy with your life and have no regrets. Do the next right thing, help a neighbor, think about someone else every day before you think of yourself. Write thank you or love notes, be spontaneous, kiss, create memories that you would be sad if you didn't have. Turn off your phone while talking to your kids, actually play with them.

My sister will love me for quoting Dumbledore so... he tells Harry, "It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices." It doesn't matter what has happened to you, it matters what you do with what has happened to you. Live your life like you got a second chance. Trust me, there is no other way to live...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Banner vs. the HULK

Sometimes I can't write. The emotions I feel are too strong to share and I'm pretty sure I've shed more tears in the past 5 years than I have in all my life. Today is one of the "dates" I'll remember for the rest of my life. I would have been induced two weeks early with Quincy. Today. I told myself I wouldn't think about it and it wouldn't hurt but it does. My heart hurts... This month will be hard, Quincy's due date, pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, General Conference. That's when I'm glad for my 'seen and unsean rescuers'. Family, friends, acquantinces, books, talks, all of it has a huge impact on my life right now.

I consider myself the Hulk. (Yes, I will quote him later and yes, Oakland is in love with him). In the Avengers Banner talks about how he has control over his anger, his... transformation? Anyways, later on he says, "That's my secret Captain... I'm always angry". On days like this I feel my secret to not bawl my eyes out every second of the day is just that... I'm always on the verge of tears, I'm always sad. I've learned to contain it, hide it, but it's normally always there weighing on my mind. Right after Dr. Banner says that, he transforms into the hulk- it's a super awesome part! Well, you just watch out because on my "days" I can transform from Dr. Banner to the "crying, sobbing, hysterical Hulk" within a matter of seconds. So how do I make myself feel better?

With this sweet thang!

I've been trying to keep myself busy this month so here are some fun things we have done... 7 peaks! 
Yes, he was stuck.

Baseball games.

Bird show at Tracy Aviary

Camping (see the deer in the background!)


Kissin, I mean 'holding hands cousins'.

Best Moab jeeping trip ever! 

Hiking (Oakland took this picture! Good huh?)

Hanging at Daddy's work! 

Liberty Park date

Lunch with my siblings

Hanging out with Nieces.

Lovin this gal!


Girls date

Exactly four months ago, we weren't sure I was going to make it. Like literally my family was praying I would make it through another day, another surgery. I can't imagine the feelings they went through, especially my immediate family. Their courage, strength, love, and prayers help me through these hard days. I was hanging on by a thread and last weekend, I rock climbed.

Marjorie Pay Hinckley said, "Everything you are learning now is preparing you for something else". I keep this quote on a journal that I carry everywhere with me. I know it to be true. I think the Lord has put different trials in my life to help me with those that seem larger than I can handle. I hope to be able to look forward with hope, rather than look backward with despair as Elder Bowen reminded me in Conference.

“The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.” -Joseph Smith

Friday, August 31, 2012

11 week update

I realize that I have not done a very great job at updating on how life has been the past few weeks. Mostly because I have been enjoying every possible minute I can with Oakland! But here is a rundown of everything;

Oakland- Is still my little guardian. She makes sure I don't work too hard. Every morning Josh reminds her that she needs to take care of me and she does an exceptional job. She has taken over my jobs of doing the dishes and vacuuming and does quite well for a two year old! Her stutter is going away, she only does when she is overwhelmed (meeting someone new or around a lot of people), she still asks a lot of questions. Most of them are really hard for me to answer. Partially because she is two and I don't know what detail to go in to, other times because I don't know the answer for myself yet. She LOVES to tell people about the two brothers she has in heaven and we are working on explaining adoption to her. She went back to my Mom's this past week so that I could return to work and has ended up sleeping in my bed every night since then because neither of us want to part when I get home. :)

Josh- Honestly, I can never read this guy. :) He is just strong for me. I realize that he is in my life to keep me going. He's so positive and has such a great outlook on life. He's still working hard at Alder Construction and loves every minute of it. I think we are both just really glad to have each other at this point!

Me- Physically; I'm almost back to normal! I sneezed the other day and it didn't even hurt my stomach. :) I walked away with a few scars, but I kinda like em. They remind me of how lucky I am. I have the one on my stomach from the hysterectomy, one on my neck and leg from when they put in and took up the ivc filter, my arms are covered from various IV's, and I have a big one on my neck from the pick line. My heart, brain, other organs are undamaged as far as we can tell. I have had some trouble with short term memory loss so I write stuff down a lot. We are still working out my blood clots, I get my levels tested once a week to evaluate the blood thinner I am on. I'm hoping to only be on that for 3 more months and then we can run some more tests to determine if it will be a life long thing for me.

Emotionally; Let's just say it depends on the day, no hour, ok minute. Some nights it takes me a really long time to get to sleep so I only end up with a few hours before Oakland wakes up for the morning. Other times I have nightmares through the night but I can't recall them once I'm awake. And then there are the days when I am just so exhausted that I sleep like a champ. I've always been really great at crying so that happens frequently. Oakland stopped asking me what was wrong and instead just holds my hand or lets me cry to her. But then there are my happy moments. Happy to be alive, happy to have friends/family that I do, happy about who Oakland is, just really happy with my life!

Other; I went back to work this past week, only on a part time basis. I miss Oakland SO much while I'm gone. We thought it would be good to save some money for... Adoption! We are hoping to be assigned a case worker really soon and then the process will begin. I'm really excited. A lot of people have asked if it's too early, but I am not trying to replace Quincy. Of course, I want a baby. I want Oakland to have siblings to play with, I want our family to grow and I want a ton of kids! Josh and I both feel really good about the timing, and everything has gone smoothly so far, so we are hopeful. So... If anyone knows an expecting Mommy out there, I would love to meet her. :) I know that is a huge sacrifice and when I think of birth parents, I cry every time. Having nephews that were adopted and meeting their birth Moms is such a humbling experience for me. They are the most selfless ladies I have ever met and I have such a great love and respect for them.

I'm so grateful and overly satisfied with life right now. The next post will be all pictures so that everyone doesn't just get tired of my blabbing and can see how stinking cute Oakland is!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Get to

A man by the name of Frank lives by two simple words. These words have been my past month and a half, even though I didn't realize it until I heard them. I know when you experience life changing moments, you live differently for a time. I hope I can always live my life around these two words as it has made me happier than I could realize- even being hospitalized, bed ridden, sore, sad, hurt, and scared.

Get to.

They remind us to be grateful for everything. "Instead of saying, 'I have to go to work today', Frank tells himself, 'I get to go to work'. Instead of saying, 'I have to get groceries,' he gets to. Instead of saying, 'I have to take the kids to baseball practice,' he gets to. It works for everything". I have done this most with small tasks that are harder for me than I think they should be. I get to. And aside from the smaller things- I get to watch Oak grow up. I get to be a mom and all that comes with it, cleaning, cooking, laundry, taking the kids to practice, shopping for them. I get to teach Oakland how to pray, serve, love. I get to have two perfect little boys...I get to adopt.

Every day I'm getting stronger. I don't sleep as much, I get to help Oakland with a few things throughout the day and even have done some laundry by myself. I know they seem so small but to me they are huge steps. Josh and I have "story time" each night because I am so curious about everything. When did people arrive at our house- police chief, paramedics, air med, our Bishop, his wife who took Oakland for us- what was Oakland's reaction, who did he call first after 911, how he made the decisions he did, who spent the most time with him at the hospital, was he scared... The more I learn, the more I realize how close I was to not coming back. A lot of people know more about the situation than I do, I simply don't remember. From being sedated, maybe. Maybe from being protected as most things you would not want to remember. My body went through a lot.

I got a miracle. And I'm not wasting a minute of it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

My life...forever changed.

Josh turned to me the other day on the ride home from one of my hospital visits and just started laughing! I asked him what was so funny and he said, "You are not even supposed to be alive right now and here you are, holding my hand..."

I don't quite know how to put in to words what has been going on the last month. I feel a whole bunch of emotions that I don't know how to place, I'm still focused on my physical health, I'm worried about everyone around me, and I still don't have a great memory of the events that happened. I remember Saturday night at the lake with my family and then dinner that night with Josh and Oakland, after that I couldn't say what happened until around Thursday. And even then, it's foggy. Everyone says that is a good thing- that I don't remember- but it's frustrating. I have a hard time watching my family re-live it. I wish I could take those memories away from them.

I watch Josh talk about everything and wonder how I got so lucky as to have him and the respect I feel for him. He literally saved my life and then was there with me during every hard moment I had to face from there on out. My parents dropped everything they had going on to be with me at the hospital, to make sure I wasn't scared, to talk to me, to help me. I think of family that watched Oakland, checked in on Josh and I. Neighbors that made meals, everyone that helped out with the yardsale, cards we received, flowers, things to cheer me up and make my hospital stay so much better. Prayers, fasting, blessings, service... all I can do is cry. Out of thankfulness, out of loving admiration, how I will always cherish those people.

My past few weeks have been filled with words like; amniotic embolism, cardiac arrest, flat line, blood clots, loss, transfusions, surgeries, IV's, cat scans, x-rays, ultrasounds, ICU, oxygen, medication, blood work, healing, scared, seizures, unstable, needles, life flight, nurses, doctors, emergency, physical therapy, bruises, and hurt.

They have now turned in to; miracles, blessing, prayers, love, affection, unforgetable, appreciation, fondness, respect, friendship, tenderness, family, memories, caring, help, support, cherish, adore, eternity, consideration, unselfishness, service, trust, the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment.

I still have such a long way to go, both physical recovery and emotionally. I miss Quincy, Mac, not being able to have anymore children. I want them both so bad. I want to have a baby to hold and love. I'm scared of what the future will bring. But then I think of all my friends and family and know I can do it. If Josh and Oakland can be as strong as they have been through all of this, I can pull through. I'm not saying it won't be tough. But I have the greatest little family. I'm so in love with Josh. I think the world of Oakland. I'm crazy about my two little boys. So... somehow I know we'll get through. While Josh was in awe over me being alive, able to hold his hand- I'm just grateful that I have the priviledge to live another day, watch Oakland grow up, be able to kiss Josh anytime I want. My outlook on life has forever been changed. I hope I can make it for the good.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fundraiser Yard Sale

Come show your love and support for Josh & Cali by donating items and/or coming to this yard sale.
Visit for more info.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Prayers Needed

This is Josh's sister. Cali is not doing well. I've posted about it on my blog here and we ask for your prayers on her and her baby's behalf.

Friday, May 25, 2012

It is a...


This is the picture from his 15 week ultrasound, because todays was a very in depth ultrasound so you could see bones, kidneys, etc. and his... other part is a little bit harder to see. :) But he's definitely a HE!

Oakland has been super happy to have a brother, Josh is completely excited. I have to be honest... and don't get me wrong, I'm really happy. I am just a little anxious. My little man intimidates me. My sister in law explained it really good, I'm nervous to hold another little boy. One that is not Mac. And it's all really familiar, having a boy....

So the full anatomy ultrasound went really well, the pool of blood wasn't there any longer. They measure every inch of him- bones, brain, distance between eyes. Looked at his heart, stomach, kidney... all of it. They then looked at my uteras, amount of amniotic fluid, and everything looks amazing. And not just amazing for me- but things are looking up. I'm 18 weeks and 1 day pregnant and he was actually measuring 19 weeks and 2 days, but they won't move my due date until he's measured that way a few times. I had a few contractions while they were doing the ultrasound but nothing I could feel and they didn't seem worried- just told me to watch it.

So unless there are more complications, then I'll have another appointment in 4 weeks. I can already feel him kick, but only when I'm sitting really still and no one else can feel it yet. We need help deciding on names- and we better hurry or my Mom and Oakland will continue to call him Carl! Thoughts?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

124 days down, 156 left…

Tomorrow I will be officially 18 weeks pregnant and 2 weeks blood free! I started my blood thinner this past week and so far things are going really well… besides the fact that I’m a complete nut case and check the baby’s heart beat at least 4 times a day (and I will not disclose how many times I normally do). :) Sorry I waited so long to update- I have turned in to a pessimist so kept thinking the “no blood” was “the calm before the storm”. No honestly, I’ve had some great support from Josh who has tried to keep me busy and have just been trying to relax and not stress myself out. Josh and I decided that I needed to cut back on my full time job so I resigned as the call center manager (here’s the posting in case anyone is interested! and am going to only be working 2 days a week once I can get someone trained for my position. 

I have my 18 week appointment on Friday that I’m hoping to learn more about the pool of blood they found in the last ultra sound and will actually also meet with my maternal fetal medicine doctor to ensure things in that realm are going well. We found out 3 weeks ago the gender of our baby, but since I was only 15 weeks I’ll wait until Friday to ensure nothing grew or fell off… any guesses? :)

I keep wondering/wanting to know when I’ll understand what I need to learn from these trials right this second. I have learned that most women have scary moments, trouble, or anxiety during pregnancy. Not a lot just go 100% smooth. I’m also still very grateful that I can have kids but am more grateful to those in my life that are unable to, but still seem to be my biggest support- sometimes without knowing it. But besides those, here is a list of things that have changed my family and I during all of this.

11.    Oakland will be a Doctor as she knows more about giving/comforting during a shot than any nurse I've met and checks her sibling’s heartbeat more than I do!
22.   Family means more than the world to me. I found myself willing to give up my health, strength, comfort, anything to protect this little one.
33.   I need to focus more on my family that I have here. I terrified Oakland, and she aged 20 years just to help me, comfort me, and make sure I was happy daily.
44.    I have some exceptional friends and family members.
55.    And “… dark times and trials are important. Trials show us the beauty of God’s comfort. It’s through the comfort we receive from God during our difficult times that we learn how to comfort others. Sometimes the process of growing closer to our Heavenly Father comes along the path of heartache and pain.”

                        And last... I have the most extraordinary little family and wouldn't change a single one of them.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Update? - after 2 years it may be called something else?

Well it has been almost 2 whole years that I have posted anything! Why? Because life is crazy, I have a two year old, work full time and honestly almost always just sit here and cry when I start to blog. I don't really know why? It reminds me a lot of Mac is the only conclusion I can think of. I am blogging today because... I need to. I haven't written in a journal and this is the easiest way for me to document all that is going on. And this week a lot is going on.

I am pregnant! 15 weeks and 1 day to be exact. With Oakland and this pregnancy it always started out with fear. I get anxious, I'm nervous, and my portable heart beat monitor is my best friend. I know it's not likely that something similar to my experience with Mac will happen but I still have so many feelings that re-surface or magnify when I'm pregnant.

With this pregnancy, I've had to add on the concern of getting a blood clot. Josh and I had to plan this pregnancy because that meant going off of my current blood thinner, coumadin. I've been taking a shot known as Lovenox since September in preparation to have a baby and in January, found out I was pregnant! My OB dr. is quite the amazing guy (to say the least). He got me in early, scheduled me to meet with a fetal maternal medicine doctor and they got me prepared on a perfect does of Lovenox to prevent clots but also to not cause damage to the baby.

Taking the shots twice daily has been hard for me. I'm terrified of needles, the thought of inflicting pain twice a day is just not something I love. I sometimes feel like it's taking over my life too, I am bound to taking this or something will go wrong. However, I have learned a lot from my OB and fetal medicine Dr. about why I clot, more tests they have run and I get lucky to have a few more ultra sounds to ensure everything is still cooking right so it's had it's benefits... in a weird way. :)

I've been terribly sick this pregnancy. Had two liquid IV's to hydrate me again, been on Zofran for the past 2 months and relied a lot on my two year old. Sad, but she's actually quite the helper and super understanding. Since my first appointment until now I have lost a total of 4 pounds, but the baby is growing good, so that's not an issue (and better than the weight I gained with Mac :) )

On Monday morning I woke up with some slight bleeding (sorry this may be rated PG-13). It was only in the morning so I thought I would monitor it to see if it continued througout the day and it didn't. I was able to find the babies heart beat so I assumed it was just one of those off times. Tuesday morning at 2:00 a.m. I woke up with a lot of blood and immediately called the Dr on call to see what I should do (go off lovenox- would that even help?!) He told me to call first thing in the morning and set up an ultrasound.

That morning felt like a million years. All Josh and I could do was look up details on miscarriage and what to expect. Oakland woke up about 3 and climbed in to bed with us and could not understand why we were awake (and offered us some comic relief with her early morning grouchy comments). She kept asking what was wrong, why I was crying, and why the lights were on cause it was making her not sleep. We finally turned the lights off and when we thought she was asleep Josh told me that he would take her downstairs to watch Mickey Mouse if something happened, and she replied, "Dad I don't want to watch Mickey Mouse, I'm so tired, I just want to sleep". :) We all did, but I couldn't. So I laid there until 9:00 when the Dr. office opened.

We went in to meet with the Dr. (still was bleeding) and was actually scheduled to meet with another Dr. in the office because my regular Dr. was booked but he saw us and immediately told the nurse he would take us from here on out. We did an ultra sound and everything looked ok, baby's heart beat was strong, there wasn't any blood pooling... so he guessed it was just regular pregnancy bleeding but since I was on Lovenox it may seem stronger and last longer but to watch it and if it didn't slow down to come in on Thursday.

It didn't slow down... Wednesday I felt like it was the second day of my period. It was new fresh blood and lots of it. I continued to find the baby's heart beat throughout the day and at 4:30 my Dr. called me from his cell phone.

We decided it was time for another ultrasound and he scheduled me an appointment for 8:30 in the morning. I continued to bleed and check the heartbeat the rest of the night and this morning we went in again.

We did an ultra sound and this time were able to locate a pool of blood in the Uterus, just next to the water sac but not with the baby. That is definitely where the bleeding is coming from but still no sign of why I'm bleeding. The Dr. can see it's not coming from the baby but from me. It's still a concern though if the bleeding spreads or worsens. It was decided to take me off lovenox until the bleeding stops, in hopes that my blood will clot just enough to stop the bleeding and heal whatever the cause of the bleeding is from and risk the chance of a clot. I can't go on bedrest because I chance clotting now that I'm off blood thinner, so I'm on limited activity. Nothing strenuous activity, no lifting, no bumpy rides, or sitting in one place for a long time and lots of small calm walks to keep my blood a movin.

It's a waiting game. Right now there is over a 40% chance I will have a miscarriage, I'm still bleeding, I'm trying to not dwell on the worst but have to prepare myself for it. I want to hope for the best but am terrified to get my hopes up. I've re-lived my experience with Mac at least 1 million times. I'm trying so hard to not let Oakland see my emotions because she's having a hard time understanding it all. She tells everyone that I was very scared and am kind of sad. She asks me all the time if I'm ok, if I'm happy, if I'm healthy... this morning she told me she wants to hold the baby really bad. Me too Oak, let's pray for that 60%...