Thursday, January 29, 2015

Life changes

So much going on these days, so little time to sit and spill my guts to my computer!

First – Vivian is the sweetest little addition to our family! She is somehow going to be 6 weeks old on Saturday and that just blows my mind. I think we are finally figuring each other out and in fact, miraculously, both her and Aleesia are sleeping right now (which means they will wake up any second, right?) so I was able to eat and get some important things done (like this blog, clearly).

Second – Aleesia is going to be TWO on Sunday! Again, unbelievable. But she is seriously awesomesauce. I love toddlers!

Third – I am officially a lady of leisure for the next few weeks as I transition out of my previous job and into a new one in March. I’ll be able to work from home and there are about 10,000 other things that swayed my decision when this company came looking at me. I’m looking forward to the new adventure.

Fourth – I have heard (and said!) the saying “life happens” probably a million times. But life has really been happening around us these past 6 weeks. Here’s a recap:

  • Vivian was born (12.20)
  • We came home (12.21) (and Mike was able to have the week off of work!)
  • Gianna, Aleesia, and I all got sick with whatever virus was going around all of Northeast Ohio (12.22)
  • Christmas! (12.24/12.25)
  • Everyone is feeling betterish, but Mike gets sick worse than anyone else had (12.27ish)
  • Mike goes back to work for the day (12.29)
  • My mom is gets sick so we changed our New Years day plans and we all went to my one sister’s house.

This is when life really happened – on the way home, my little sister and her husband (& their puppy!) got into a very bad car accident.

If you have ever been the (un)lucky person to receive a call from a person whose car just literally got slammed into and pushed into a tree, take my word for it – it will shake you to the core. I was thankful to be the one that she called because I am blessed (thanks, Mom!) with a  calm personality especially when things are not good. I was also thankful to be the one to stay on the phone with her until help arrived because it helped me to be there for her and to feel like I was “doing” something when I felt so helpful. (can someone please invent teleportation for situations like these?) It was very scary, and I have had several nightmares about it since then. The scared sounds and descriptions I heard on the other end of the phone are not something you quickly forget.

But we are so blessed to have each other – blessed first of all that they are all alive; blessed that she could remember my phone number when a witness handed her a cell phone; blessed that every single person in our family mobilized and took care of each other without so much as a breath of hesitation. They were not far from my sister’s house so her husband rushed to the scene of the accident just in time to be there as I hung up and the firemen were cutting them out of the car (and to take care of Sami, their dog). My sister had a broken foot (and a toddler at home) so she couldn’t go with him. I was unable to go to the hospital (newborn, and all) so Mike went and met them at the hospital. My stepdad was at work (he is a firefighter, ironically) but he left and got my mom.

My sister ended up with 4 broken ribs. My brother in law had a brain bleed which required him to be monitored in the ICU, but was sent home with a bad concussion and stitches in his face. Their puppy broke her little leg and has an external fixation device on after it was surgically repaired!

When I finally saw her after the accident I squeezed her so tight that I thought I might break her other ribs and finally let all of those pent up tears flow because she was okay and I COULD squeeze her! My sister’s family and mine all pitched in to stay with them, drive them around, do whatever they needed and it wasn’t even an issue or a question – that is what we do. I never take our closeness for granted, but this was a time when it just shined so strong.

Their accident was caused by a car coming the other direction going left of center. It happened in literally the blink of an eye. The tow truck driver who took away their mangled car was amazed that they were alive, THAT is how badly the car was damaged. The offending driver? No insurance, driving someone else’s car, and “doesn’t remember” going left of center – how you don’t remember literally nearly killing someone is beyond my ability to understand. This is my soapbox moment for the week – don’t text and drive, don’t drink and drive, don’t do drugs and drive, be aware of what and who is around you. I know that I have taken driving for granted on multiple occasions and not been as focused as I should be but you can bet I have become more cautious than ever after this experience.

So, in the blink of an eye our lives changed – thankfully they are all being put back together now.

Everyone in our house is finally not sick, someday Gianna will actually go to school for a full week (she has had a lot of snow days!), and we count our blessings a little more these days.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

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Gianna LOVES Vivi. She calls her "my Vivs" and always wants to hold/hug/kiss her & see her pretty eyeballs. 

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Aleesia loves to talk to the baby. She usually says "oh hiiiiii babeeeee! You cuuuuute babeeee". She is also fascinated with how soft her hair is and making sure she has her binkie and blanket. 

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Overall big sister feelings after one month: they like her and think she can stay!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Here she comes.

{{Go here for the beginning. As a reminder, Christine from Bella Rose Photography took these fantastic pictures for us, some of them are a bit dynamic.}}

I don’t remember my contractions being as frequent or as intense with Aleesia, but they were no joke at this point. I was managing them ok, but my focus started to waiver some. I had a few back to back with no break and I actually cried a little during them – not something I remember doing last time.
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There was a lot going on in my room, too (you can probably tell in some of the pictures) – for some reason some of the nurses decided that would be a perfect time to restock supplies. I was too busy to say anything then, but they were super distracting. Theresa had to go deliver another baby and I was feeling like transition was approaching. I couldn’t explain it to anyone at the time but I felt pukey, shakey, and I needed to sit down right now!
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I had Theresa check me again when she got back (thankfully she wasn’t gone long!) and could have died when she said not much change. I remember thinking “no fucking way” and just UGHHH.
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She told me it was time to change positions because however she was laying in there (mostly to the left) wasn’t working and she warned me that it was not going to feel good at all. DIxonBirth2 311(2)
At least the restocking frenzy was over though so I could concentrate better. Although, my brain was super foggy for some reason and totally in labor land. I probably would have done anything she told me to at this point because things were intense. Painful in a different kind of way.

She wasn't kidding when she said it was not going to feel good at all. I laid on my right side and went through 2 contractions thinking I was going to squeeze the arm rest off of the bed off. DIxonBirth2 313(2)
There was a lot of pressure – almost pushy pressure – I couldn’t explain what I was feeling, but I knew things were happening now. But to my major disappointment, there was still cervix there. Theresa told me that we were getting this baby out now as she had me put my left leg up on this stirrup thing while I was still laying on my right side.
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It was the most uncomfortable, yet helpful, position you can imagine but I busted through transition in the next contraction. (I don’t even remember Mike standing behind me, to be honest. I was concentrating THAT hard). And the contraction after that, I felt her flip over, slide down and crown. There was no question about it – that baby was coming out!

This is when things got a little blurry – I had to wait for everyone to be ready and NOT push (you know, the one thing I had been waiting to do all day!).
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I know I said “I can’t wait” as I was breathing through the pushing contractions. It felt like an eternity for them to get things ready. My mom and Mike, taking their respective sides of the bed, kept telling me that I could, in fact, wait a few seconds longer!
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The upside? She was already crowned at that point so no ring of fire – I totally skipped that part. Getting her head out was a piece of cake.The downside? I lost my focus for a minute and had way too many people talking to me at once telling me to spread my legs so my pelvis would open up to deliver her shoulders.
DIxonBirth2 350There was one particular nurse who was very NOT helpful and I remember being annoyed at her (I remember thinking, shut up lady!), again, not helping the focus issue. I had my eyes closed and tried to focus on Mike's voice instead of Annoying Nurse but I did open my eyes and focus on Theresa who calmly told me I needed to open my pelvis and get this baby’s shoulders out.
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I was finally able to do what I needed to do and out she came – quietly.
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Vivian Marie finally made her entrance at 8:53pm.
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I opened my eyes again and she was gone – and I realized just how many people were in the room (no wonder I couldn’t focus!) and probably looked like a deer in headlights because WHERE IS MY  BABY? Theresa reminded me that they were going to take her if she wasn’t crying and it felt like the longest time of my life until I heard her. I calmed down, let the tears of joy flow, delivered the placenta and waited for my baby!DIxonBirth2 391(2)
Vivian had to be intubated before she started breathing on her own, but was quickly just fine. No mec past the cords (good!) – someone yelled “you’re doing it wrong” at one point which was a little frightening, though.Her face was a little bruised but she was here and she was fine!
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They told me how big she was (I could hardly believe it!) and how much hair she had (I believed it!).
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And finally after what seemed like a very very long time, they brought her to me.
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We snuggled and bonded in the finally quiet room. Mike and I just stared at her. Soaked in all of her beauty and those squishable cheeks.
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I fed her.
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I passed her off to Mike and my mom to snuggle.
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I talked to Theresa a little later who apologized for the craziness that went on and all the people in the room, assured me I did a great job, and that everything went just fine. She was seriously fantastic. I wish I would have tried that right side torture position sooner, but in the end, Miss Vivi arrived just the same.

At the end of the day - I remember looking at her, kissing her nose, and totally forgetting about all the hard work that just went on to get her here.
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