Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Jude Alexander Foote

Our sweet son, Jude Alexander Foote, was born on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 7:15 pm. He weighed in at a whopping 4 lbs 11 oz and he was 17.25 inches long. He was born at 33 weeks 6 days and about 19 hours (close enough that I'm going to say I made it to 34 weeks.)

It is now Wednesday, May 4, 2016 and the past week has been a crazy whirlwind that I definitely want recorded while all the details are still fresh. This pregnancy has been so difficult from the very beginning. After the cerclage was placed and I spent the past 3 months on modified bed rest, I was actually getting hopeful that I might make it to 36 weeks when the cerclage would be taken out.

Last Thursday morning (April 28) I woke up feeling a little funny. I wasn't in a ton of pain or having obvious contractions, but I felt a little bit off. I took the girls to get an oil change in the car and then to library story time and lunch with friends. We got home around 12:30 and I told Steven how I had been feeling. He told me to call the OB because I have a history of not going in until things are too late. So, I called the OB and they told me to go to labor and delivery. I told Steven that everything was probably fine and that I'll call him when I knew more. I drove myself to Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem, Utah and got there around 1:30 pm. They hooked me up to the monitors which showed that I was having contractions. Dang.

My MFM team that put in the cerclage came in and did an ultrasound that showed my cerclage was still holding my cervix closed even though I was actively contracting. Because of my history they decided to admit me, gave me the first round of steroid shots, some shots to try and stop my contractions, and other medicine to do the same.

By Thursday night, I was pretty scared because I could feel the contractions, they were not stopping and I was terrified to deliver even earlier than I had with the girls. I just kept praying that I would make it to 34 weeks. The next three days were horrible. Steven was mostly with the girls trying to keep things working on the home front, and so I was alone in the hospital. I was constantly contracting day and night. They gave me some more shots to stop the contractions, I got the second steroid shot, and I was constantly on Procardia but nothing seemed to be stopping the contractions. However, every time they checked my cerclage was still holding on. So for three days, I was in so much pain just waiting and wondering how far I could make it. Those three days felt like forever.

By Sunday, the contractions were getting pretty intense. My very nice nurse came in around 1:30 Sunday afternoon and gave me a shot of morphine so I could sleep and get some relief from the constant pain since they had not really given me anything else, and I had barely slept in over three days. I woke up at 4:30 to blood and told Steven he better come because that was not good. I was really scared of my cerclage ripping through my cervix. They came in and decided to hook me up to a magnesium drip as a last ditch effort to buy some more time. Within about 30 minutes of that my water broke with the cerclage still in, and I was rushed to an emergency c-section.

The whole time I was pregnant with Jude, I was so worried about having a c-section. I did not want the horrible recovery a c-section brings at all. Jude had been breech for so long, but I thought that he would flip. However, by the time it came to deliver he was breech and so c-section it was. They rushed me in, took out the cerclage before it ripped, and Jude was born at 7:15 pm. He came out crying, and breathing on his own with Aapgar scores of 8 and 9. The critical time for delivery is to make it 48 hours after the second steroid shot. My body held on for 51 hours, just long enough.

We love our little Jude and he (along with the girls) are truly little miracles. My pregnancies have been very difficult, they were all born premature, and that has come with a lot of guilt and questions. I saw so many doctors and tried so many things, yet my babies always came early.

While I was having my c-section, the doctors discovered that I only have half of a uterus. It is an extremely rare birth defect called Unicornuate uterus and by all accounts I should not have any children. Most women with the defect take years to get pregnant, or they lose many babies. Getting pregnant was never that difficult for us, I never had any miscarriages, and even though my babies came early, they made it far enough to lead healthy, normal lives.

Jude (and Aubrey and Cora) just ran out of room! Poor Jude, especially. He was stuck breech with no room to turn for months. His legs are all bruised and it took him a while to relax into a normal position. I'm so grateful that he is here and safe. He just needs a little more time to grow and get stronger and then we will be able to take him home.

This week has been emotional and full of gratitude as I reflect on motherhood and the plan that Heavenly Father has for each of our lives. I have three miracle children. I'm grateful and blessed. I know the NICU weeks we have ahead of us will not be easy, but soon Jude will be home and our little family of five will be complete.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Pregnancy #3

I'm not writing much on this blog lately, but I do want to record how crazy and hard this pregnancy has been so far. We are so excited to be expecting a little boy into our family. He is already so loved. The girls ask daily about "baby brother," and Cora is old enough that I'm excited to welcome another baby into our family. He is due on June 13, but we will see how far I make it :)

Honestly, I felt like he was a boy from the beginning, because literally the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was horribly sick. Way worse than with the girls. I had morning sickness with both of them, but this time I could barely function and spent a lot of time throwing up. I was finally starting to get over the worst part of morning sickness around Christmas. We went to Canada for Christmas, which was a great trip and we all had so much fun.

When we got back to Utah at the beginning of January, our whole family kept getting illness after illness. I was around 17 weeks at the time when I ended up with morning sickness, a sinus infection, an ear infection, and a really bad stomach flu all at the same time. I was so weak by the time we got to the doctor that I could barely stand. I was able to get IV fluids, and start to recover, and I thought that things would get easier after that...

When I went in for my 19 week appointment with the high-risk specialists, then told me that my cervix had shortened a lot from the prior check and that was not a good thing. A normal pregnant woman has a cervical length of between 4-5 cm before about 30 weeks. Anything above 3.5 is good, and they start to worry below 3 cm. At that appointment, I was at 2.9 cm. I was told to take it easy, and come back in a week. Steven was supposed to be going out of town that week, and so I did what anybody would do... I called my mom! She came and helped out because taking it easy and small children do not go hand in hand.

I went back for my 20 week check-up, and my cervix had shortened to 2.7 cm. Now, I was told to be on modified bed rest and pelvic rest. I was so stressed and scared that our little guy was going to be born way early.

One week after that I went in for my 21 week check-up, and my cervix was at 2.55 cm, it was starting to funnel and open. Most doctors take a "wait and see" approach until a cervix is under 2.5 cm, so I was borderline, but my doctor told me that he thought the best thing to do was to have an emergency cerclage placed the very next day. A cerclage is a surgery where they basically stitch your cervix closed. I called my poor mom again, and she booked a flight for the next day.

For the few weeks before that, I was pretty much a mess. I was so scared. But when he talked about the cerclage, even though there were a lot of risks to having the surgery, I felt really calm. I knew it was the right thing to do, and the best option we had. Some of the biggest risks are that the surgery can break your water and you can go into labor right then. Scary stuff, but obviously doing nothing was not working.

On Thursday, February 11, Steven and I got up early and drove to Salt Lake to St. Mark's hospital. I first met with the MFM doctor for an ultrasound and consultation, then went to admitting, then to Labor and Delivery where I had an IV placed and a bunch of blood work taken, then to the Operating room. Steven and I were very impressed that with all those transfers, we never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a doctor.
In Labor & Delivery after many attempts at placing the IV.

I chose to be put under for the surgery instead of the spinal because I just didn't want to know what was going on. I really do not freeze well. They told me they had to give the amount of drugs for a man to get me to knock out! The surgery itself only took about 30 minutes, and after recovery we were discharged home late that afternoon.
I was still pretty out of it in this picture

I had to spend 3 days on very strict bed rest, then pretty much bed rest for the rest of the first week. My family was nice to come have picnics in bed with me, and I read the girls hundreds of books. I'm so grateful for my mom and Steven who took care of everything for me.
And... you can see my super cool "shower chair" in the background, because I wasn't even allowed to stand in the shower for a while.

For the rest of my pregnancy, I'm pretty much on "modified bed rest." Which, for me means I can't lift anything, can't sit or stand for long periods of time, pelvic rest, no exercise, no baths or swimming, etc. It is pretty rough. I love to exercise, and it is hard to feel like a good mom when I can't do so many things. But, I keep telling myself that this is just temporary, and our little guy is all worth it.

At my follow-up appointments, things look stable. The cerclage has closed my cervix back up again, and the length is hanging out around 3 cm. Still not great, but stable. I really have no idea what the next few months will bring. I'm optimistic that I will at least make it to 34 weeks like with the girls, but we will see. Many women lose a baby before they are diagnosed with incompetent cervix. While Aubrey and Cora were born early, they are doing great, and because of their early births I was monitored closely enough to do something. And, our little guy is doing great. Everything with him looks healthy and perfect- it is just me that we are worried about!

I'm grateful for a family who is so amazing. Steven gets up at 5 am every day now to do all the things that I cannot and still work a full day. He is tired, but never complains. My girls are being so patient with me, and my mom keep flying in all the way from Canada to help. We are blessed and I'm just having faith that things will work out. I'm 24 weeks now, and we are just taking things a day at a time.

Friday, August 28, 2015

New Life in Utah

Other than house stuff (which there has been a lot of), we have spent the past six weeks settling into our new life here in Highland, Utah. In reverse order because that is how the pictures loaded and I"m too tired to change them...

 Aubrey was at preschool for this outing today, but we are so excited for these friends. The Jones family is moving in across the street from us once their house is done and they have girls both Aubrey and Cora's age (the two on the left.) And... Sammie (their mom) and I get along super great too. 

We love living close to so many temples. Steven took this on his bike ride this morning. We also love the biking and running we have been able to do. There are 5 running trails within a mile of our house. 

I always thought that my kids were not great a playing by themselves. It turns out they just needed SPACE. They have been playing so well together. Yesterday, they made a picnic in our empty room (we have an empty bedroom because I still wanted the girls to share) and it was so cute. They even put their dolls in time-out for bad behavior...

Cora's first day of school...

Aubrey's first day of school...

Aubrey and Cora both had their first days of school. I miss them like crazy, but we are all so happy to be getting back into a regular routine after our crazy extended summer. Aubrey goes three mornings a week and Cora goes once a week. Their school is really cute and just a few minutes from our house.  We have also started swimming lessons and gymnastics back up again. I love having lots of stuff to do.

Swimming and splash pads to beat the hot weather. Lots of time spent at Seven Peaks. 

We bought a pass to Thanksgiving Point and we have gone there quite a bit. They have a children's museum, farm, and dinosaur museum.

 Pony rides at the farm were a big highlight.

This is the place park. 

 Tour of Utah. Steven loves cycling and was pretty excited to see a professional bike race.

We were good fans and walked all the way to the top of the hill. They still zoomed by in about 30 seconds.

 Highland Fling Days parade. We are small town folk now. I really actually love it. The parade was down the street from our house and the girls were very focused trying to get as much candy as they could.
Lots of playtime in the playroom.

We were lucky that my parents already planned a trip to Utah this summer, so we were able to see them again. My mom was great at helping me decorate the house and these girls are quite attached to their grandma.

California friends came to visit! We loved seeing the Hutchinsons, and then Natalie, Max, and Lucas came to visit too. The kids loved playing in our dirt piles and I wish we had taken a picture.

 We hiked the Y. Aubrey hiked the whole thing by herself, and I carried Cora up. She kept telling me, "Mom, you are sweaty." But it was hot and she is pretty heavy now!

We all ran the Temple to Temple 5K on Pioneer Day. I was really impressed with how far the girls ran. The race was all downhill from the old Provo temple to the new Provo temple. Then Steven I ran back up the hill to the car after the race. That was hard.

My mom and Kimmy ran the race with us too!

My old roommate, Heather, lives about 5 minutes from our house. We are excited for our kids to all be friends. They came over the week we moved in, and the kids all ate quite a few chocolate chip cookies.

I love living at the top of a cul-de-sac. They are building all the houses around us right now, but once that is done, I can't wait for the kids to spend their days riding bikes around the street. Cora has the balance bike down really well now, which is awesome because she is the s-l-o-w-e-s-t walker ever, so we just have her take her bike on our walks now. 

And... that is our life here in Utah. We are still adjusting, and making friends, but I am glad that we are here. We were not planning on moving this year at all, but I feel at peace and know that we made the right decision for our family.

House Progression

We left Canada and spent a few days up in Wallsburg before our house closing. We celebrated my actual birthday, and did our final walk-through. Then, on July 9, 2015 we closed on our first house! It was a crazy week as the girls got super sick the day after we moved in (of course!) but things finally feel like home now.

We were pretty excited. When we first took possession things looked like this...
Girls bathroom

Railing. That thing was so expensive.

Family Room.
Awesome mountain views. Our exterior will look much better once we have a yard. We are working with a landscape architect and hopefully that will be happening in the next month or so. 

My turquoise front door. Everything else was pretty neutral, but I love the fun pop of color.

We have been working very hard. We came from a two bedroom duplex and we gave away most of our stuff before we left California, so we have pretty much had to furnish and decorate an entire house. Things are not "quite" how I want them yet, but here is a sneak peak. I will take some better (not phone) pictures once I have everything done.

Playroom. This is probably my favorite room in the house. Because of this room, the rest of my house usually looks pretty good. I just shut the door, ignore the mess, and we are all happy.

 Family room. Those shutters make me happy. The design center when we built our house said it would be $12,000 to put shutters on the house. No thank you. We ordered them from and installed them ourselves for less than half that price. Steven is getting pretty good with his drill. 

Another view of the family room. 

Girl's room.


Eating nook with my table that I love. 

View from the kitchen, through the nook, to the family room.

Piano. We just got the piano last week, and I am so excited. I took piano lessons for 10 years growing up, but I haven't had my own piano to play in over 10 years. The rest of the living room is currently empty... we are working on that.

Steven and I have had a great time making this place feel like home. I love it, and I love having our own home. I feel blessed.

Rest of Canada

It has been over two months since I blogged. I know that personal blogs are no longer a "thing" but I love having a record of our life with pictures, so I'm going to try and catch up. It has been two months because things have just been crazy. We moved into our new house and have spent almost all of our spare time moving in and working on projects.

But, first... the rest of our time in Canada!
We went to the Stampede. Calgary summers = stampede, and I was so glad that we were able to take the girls. It was a hot day, and we all had a great time.

The girls were pretty excited about their pink cowboy hats.

Face painting, animals, dressing up, dog show, BMX show, Buckaroos, and lots of mini donuts. 

We celebrated my 29th birthday a few days early. Ice cream cake is my favorite. 

The other part of my summers growing up was swimming in my grandparent's pool. The girls really enjoyed it... especially when uncle Trent was around to throw them in the air.

We went out on the lake almost daily. Steven took advantage of working from home and did paddle board rides on his lunch hour. We swam across probably 4 or 5 times too. 

This girl lost her first (and second!) tooth while we were there. I can't believe how fast she is growing up.

My mom was great and took us on many different outings. Here we are at the Telus Spark science center. I love Cora's face when we were supposed to be acting like "a winner."

Calgary has some pretty incredible sunsets. It didn't get dark until after 10 pm... so my normally early riser kids were going to sleep super late and sleeping in. Aubrey even slept in until 10 am one day. That is definitely a record. 

And... one of my favorite pictures of my dad with the girls. We had a fun Canada Day celebrating our heritage.

I'm so grateful for my parents and Steven's parents who let us live with them while our house was being built. I know it wasn't always easy for them, but we made so many great memories!