Friday, June 20, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

First couple of days

Just a few pics of Ruby in the hospital.
I loved her little turquoise bow and all of her wild hair!

It took us two whole days to agree on a name.  I had wanted Ruby all along but it had to grow on Wade a bit.  

Love this sweet baby! So fun to have a little one again!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lucas' Quilt

Right after Lucas' funeral, I asked Gabi if she would like me to make a quilt using his clothes.  She immediately said yes.  I am no seamstress but have made several quilts.  My niece Christina also wanted in on it.  We got together and started making our plans.  We knew we wanted to do it as quickly as possible so that Gabi could have the comfort of Lucas and her memories of him back soon.  We didn't know however, how it would turn into one of the most amazing, spiritual, and difficult experiences we would encounter.  I'm sure that because it was right after Lucas passed away that created a lot of our emotions, but I also believe he was there with us so many times- guiding us and helping us know how to create a special keepsake for his family, and in my mind, especially his mommy.  

As we laid out the clothing, I will be honest in that we shed many tears.  Even my daughter Sommer cried herself to sleep that night after seeing all of Lucas' clothing.  There were many memories attached to each article.
I had this idea that I wanted the back to be minky fabric- so it would be super soft and comforting to hold.  I knew this quilt would not just go on display.  It would be held, squeezed, and loved.   I was planning on looking for a turquoise minky until Gabi said she'd love there to be giraffe print on the back if possible because Lucas' favorite blanky was giraffe print and it was buried with him.  Gabi gave us only a few requests.  She mostly wanted it to be a surprise.  I went on to to look for giraffe fabric and to my astonishment, they sold giraffe minky!!! We were so excited!

The next thing I was conflicted about was how to match the giraffe print with all of his clothing and also how to incorporate his favorite color- turquoise.  Christina and I were ecstatic when we found this darling giraffe print fabric on as well with those exact colors.  It was such a perfect way to tie in the design and colors.. And the fact that this print also had hearts! Too perfect- since Lucas had heart surgeries and was literally our "sweetheart baby."
And this print was super cute! It was perfect!  
(Like it was made just for him!)  

These were the beginning stages:

We had notes and diagrams drawn out everywhere. 
The ideas were flowing.  :)

We really wanted to use as much as we could to represent Lucas' short life but big personality and his favorite things.  
We made appliqu├ęs out of clothing scraps:

 Because Lucas drowned in his favorite Superman shirt and it was torn, the idea came to us simultaneously to make a cape out of his clothing to represent Superman- which we all called him.  He was such a strong little boy with a big heart! With a little pair of underoos with it.  Gabi had requested we put some undies on there .  :)  The Superman emblem has his favorite turquoise shirt underneath. 
Gabi also asked that we leave some of his clothing in tact.  She wanted to keep the collars on his polo shirts because they were so cute on him.  Years later, she wanted to remember what each square was for.  Some shirts became blocks of fabric, but some were sewn onto other squares ( like the polo shirts and a few pair of shorts and pants).  I wasn't sure how it would turn out at first, but wanted it to be what Gabi wanted, and I think it turned out cute having little collars and pockets on there, etc. It also helps us to remember just how little he was when he passed away. 
We also had some photos screen printed.  When we picked those squares up from the printer, the man that owned the store was in tears and said he cried as he printed them.  Lucas definitely touched many hearts.
This quilt was very different and unique, but we were happy with the way it came together.
There were times we would be so confused over what to do about something and then the answer would come to us both at the same time.  I really do believe we were helped along the way.

One day some of the squares kept turning upside down after we had sewn them.  We would unpick, redo, double check, and set it aside, to then look and find they were flipped again!!! My mom also began helping and all three of us were in hysterics as we had all double checked the work and yet it kept changing on us.  We wondered if we were all going crazy!!!  As we were laughing and trying to figure out what was going on, all of a sudden, Livvy, who had just turned 5,  yelled out for me in a cry from the other room. I ran in to see what was the matter.  With tears running down her face, she said, "Mommy, I just have the strongest feeling that Lucas is here."
We had not said anything of the sort, but we all felt that she was right.  Lucas was definitely with us at times.  And we even think he played some tricks on us.  :)

 Because we used so much of his clothing, the quilt ended up king size.  

This is how it looked completed.  I was so happy to give it to Gabi, but also sad.  I felt so close to Lucas during the process and I didn't want to give it up. 

The quilt was so big we had to do squares on the back as well.  We couldn't afford enough minky for a king size quilt.  

As soon as we gave the quilt to them, Nicholas (Lucas' big brother and best friend) fell immediately asleep.  I was so choked up to see the comfort it brought him.

 Sommer and Nicholas

I will cherish the chance I had to be part of such a special project.  It wasn't easy but was a wonderful labor of love.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ruby's Birth Story

The story of Ruby's birth:
(that ends with one sweet baby and about a million pictures)

40 Weeks- Just hours before having Ruby

Since I hadn't gone into labor on my own, and probably a good thing too since Wade had to travel for work the week before my due date, I was admitted for an induction on my due date.  
We were initially told to come in at 6:30 but the hospital called me at 5:30 and said they had had a busy night and didn't have a room for me yet and to call back and check at 7:30.  When I called at 7:30, they were still busy.  I was told to call back at 9:30.  I had a terrible headache all that night, so I took some tylenol and tried to lay down and rest.  Finally they called me about 9:00 am and said to come on in.  After we got there, they took a while at the admit desk, and then finally admitted she was stalling because they still were working on getting me a room.  Shortly after, we got a room and got started.  I actually needed 4 hours of an IV antibiotic because I tested positive for group B strep so they started that and said they would start pitocin later.  However, my Dr came in a while later and broke my water.  I told them my labors go fast and was concerned that breaking my water would speed things along too quickly, but they didn't worry since I wasn't in labor yet or on pitocin.  

Me & My Big Belly
After breaking my water, they discovered there was meconium in the amniotic fluid and a lot of it.  Later I would learn that the cord was around the baby's neck and causing some distress.  My nurse was wonderful but did prepare me for what would happen after delivery- the baby would need to be suctioned out by the breathing team and I wouldn't get to hold her right away.  And there was the possibility that she would need to go straight to the NICU because the meconium was thick and not a good situation.  They did an ultrasound too to make sure she wasn't breech or in further distress.  The baby was doing great.  I on the other hand, was starting to get emotional.  Mainly in part because during my pregnancy, I kept having this recurring nightmare that my baby would end up in the NICU and I wouldn't be able to be with her.  As soon as my Dr and nurse stepped out, I leaned on Wade and cried.  I also was still battling my terrible headache and was feeling sick.  

Wade is always such a great labor partner.  
And sure enough, even without pitocin, I did start into labor on my own since my water was broken.  My nurse also became concerned since they wanted me to have the complete 4 hours of antibiotic and I was dilating too fast. They decided to put fluid back in to the baby to flush the meconium out and that also helped slow things down a bit.   

I think the photo above is kinda funny.  We were watching the monitor in between contractions and you can see the pain in my face and the anticipation on Wade's.  

Wade rubbing my back through contractions.
I really had wanted an unmedicated birth but they did start some pitocin at the end and although I was handling the contractions fine, honestly the worst pain I felt was my headache! Each contraction would make my head just pound- so much so that it made me throw up and feel soooooo sick.  I never have had a labor that I felt so bad as this one.  I was worried after a while that something was wrong because I felt so awful- that feeling where something doesn't feel right, but you don't know what or why.  It was not fun. I received an epidural hoping it would help me feel better but it only numbed my left side.  My right side could feel everything.  Luckily, only about 30 minutes later, I yelled at Wade to get the Dr now because I needed to push!  I did love not being so numb that I could feel my body's cues.  Minutes later my sweet little baby was born.  Unfortunately, Wade didn't get to cut the cord because the Dr wanted to get her to the breathing team as quickly and gingerly as possible.  

Born January 29
2:59 pm
Lots and lots of hair!

My nurse told me after she was born that she thinks the meconium had just happened and thats why it appeared thick because she didn't sustain any of the normal complications they expected.  Yay! No NICU! 

 Getting cleaned up by the nurse

On her way to be weighed

7 lbs 9 oz

Because I didn't know when I would get to hold her, when they finally brought her to me, I cried.  I was just so happy and relieved to see and hold my sweet baby finally!

I ended up crying off all my makeup.  So much for wanting to look nice for pictures.  haha

Wade was so happy to get his turn as well.  :)

I had only seen the baby for minutes when all the family came in. And with all the tears I didn't get a long enough look at her. 
The kids were so excited.  Braydon and Sommer immediately started taking pics to post on instagram.  I said to them, 
"Can I please see her before all the world does on instagram??"
They just said, "Too late."
It was quite funny actually.  
Everyone was taking pics with every kind of device you can think of:
camera, phones, leap pads, and Wade's parents pulled out their iPad.
My nurse laughed and said she had NEVER seen a more photographed baby ever.  :)

Once upon a time, Sommer thought we should be done having babies.  I think she changed her mind. :)

Sharing pics on IG

Our first family picture as a family of SEVEN!!!
Welcome Sweet Ruby!
We all love her so much!

*thanks to my niece Gabi for being my photographer that day!