Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pregnancy & Birth Story

The night Troy and I saw that plus sign on the pregnancy test, I remember feeling different than I expected -- I was shocked and nervous -- were we really ready to have a baby?! There was no turning back, we were going to be parents. Up until I was six weeks pregnant, I felt great! And then the nausea hit. I remember wondering why in the world women do this multiple times over. My sensitivity to smells was out of this world. Troy ate many dinners alone while I locked myself in the bedroom and sniffed lemon juice. Thank goodness for medicine that helped make my first trimester much more pleasant.

The night of November 14, 2013 we had just gotten home from our indoor soccer game when I felt a sudden gush. I ran to the bathroom and was horrified when I saw blood. I was convinced this was the beginnings of a miscarriage and we were going to lose our baby. Troy drove me to the ER where the nurses continued to tell me, "It's not your fault, it's nothing you did." But the reassurance didn't come until we saw our little babe's heart beating on the ultrasound monitor. That was an incredible and spiritual moment. She was only the size of a gummy bear, but that little heart was beating. They sent us home with a diagnosis of a "threatened miscarriage." Turns out I had a subchorionic hematoma, which is just a big word for blood clot, in my uterus that was causing the placenta to tear away from the uterine wall. We were told it would either heal itself or the pregnancy would end in miscarriage. Fortunately we were blessed and it healed.

Near the beginning of my third trimester, my pregnancy took an unexpected turn. I went into preterm labor at 30 weeks -- two months before the due date. I had woken up around 4 a.m. feeling uncomfortable and unable to sleep, but it wasn't until 6 a.m. that it hit me -- I was having contractions. I started timing them and they were coming every 5 to 7 minutes, but they were painless. Troy and I both headed to work and I told him I'd call my doctor as soon as the office opened. When I called, I was told to go to the nearest hospital.

When the labor and delivery nurse hooked me up to the monitors and saw I was having regular contractions, she checked to see if I was dilated. The look on her face when she told me I was dilated to a 4+ scared me to death. She told me to call my husband and tell him to get there as soon as possible. Things happened quickly from there. Troy and my dad gave me a priesthood blessing. The nurses hooked me up to Terbutaline and magnesium sulfate in an attempt to slow labor down and gave me steriod shots to help Avery's lungs develop faster. Our goal was to keep the baby in for at least 48 hours in order for the steriods to take full effect. Fortunately, labor did slow down and they moved me out of labor and delivery and up to maternity late that night.

I stayed in the hospital for the next 10 days. We all thought an early delivery was inevitable. Nights there were the scariest for me. Even with Troy in the room, the darkness of nighttime brought fear with it too. I remember one night in particular. I was panicking. I didn't want a NICU baby. I wasn't ready to give birth. What if our baby didn't survive?! And then the hymn "Be Still My Soul" came to my mind:

Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain. 
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change he faithful will remain. 
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

I couldn't hold back the tears. I knew my Heavenly Father was mindful of me, that he had a plan for our little family, and everything would be okay, I just had to have faith.

There were many tender mercies during my stay in the hospital:
  • Getting to hear Avery's heartbeat multiple times a day
  • Frequent ultrasounds including 3D ones, which were amazing
  • An incredible husband who was by my side every moment he could
  • Supportive family, friends, and ward members who came to visit
  • Sisters who cleaned our apartment without being asked
  • Modern medicine and experienced doctors
  • A boss who was very understanding and supportive
After a long 10 days, I was tentatively sent home on strict bed rest the night of our three-year wedding anniversary. Those first nights home were restless. Again, worry and fear filled my mind at night, but as the weeks went by and my pregnancy continued, I became more confident that our baby was going to be okay. 

And I continued to experience tender mercies while at home on bed rest:
  • A husband who not only worked, but also took over household duties
  • A mom who was my daily caretaker while Troy was a work 
  • Online shopping (I could not have gotten the nursery ready otherwise)
  • The ability to work from home
  • Friends and family who came to visit
  • Despite constant contractions I never went into labor
On June 24, I was induced at 39.5 weeks. The night before we went to the hospital, Troy gave me a beautiful and powerful blessing and we woke up anxious and excited to meet our daughter. Since I was already dilated to a 4+, the first thing I asked for after checking into labor and delivery was an epidural. Half an hour later they broke my water and within three hours, Avery was born. It was surreal when they laid her on my chest. We just stared into each other's eyes soaking each other in. She was -- IS -- absolutely beautiful. I was overwhelmed with happiness, amazement, and relief.

I quickly learned that labor and delivery wasn't the hard part of this whole journey. Being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done and to be honest, I had many moments in the beginning when I thought, "Why in the world did we have a baby?" but my love for Avery grows stronger each day as I take care of her and dedicate my time to her. Putting her happiness and well-being above my own is how I have grown to love her and it makes it all worth it when she looks at me with her beautiful blue eyes and smiles.

Now we have a beautiful, squishy little 4-month-old who loves to smile, be held, listen to music (especially daddy's guitar), get head massages, take baths, kick her legs, and sit up to take in the world around her.

Monday, June 18, 2012

2012 Update

Hopefully posting won't just be a biannual thing, but here's an update of the latest and greatest that we've been up to.
  • I graduated last December and walked in April. Troy's parents came into town and stayed with us for a few days which was fun because we only get to see them a few times a year. 
  • I got a full time job as a marketing assistant. 
  • Troy turned 23 and finished his junior core in the business school.
  • We found out we're going to be an aunt and uncle. Heather and Brad's baby boy is due October 2.
  • We celebrated our first anniversary at the Little America in Salt Lake and went to City Creek.
  • We went to the Civil Wars concert. It was amazing!
  • Troy started interning at Novell as a credit analyst. 
  • We went on a beautiful vacation to Cancun. I love hearing Troy speak Spanish and watching him interact with the people there.

 The view from our room.

 Oh, how the humid air moisturized our faces...

 The sunset looked like this almost every night!

 We couldn't go to Mexico without getting tacos al pastor.

 Troy was the captain of our two-man speed boat on our snorkeling trip.

 Troy's cheesy face and my lazy eye make for an excellent zipline photo. 

 Troy made a new friend.

Best candid from our trip. Surprise!


And already looking forward to next year's adventure, whatever it may be...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One year proposal anniversary

One year ago, my handsome husband proposed to me. Now we're almost seven months into marriage and I can hardly believe it. In reminiscing, I've decided to put our engagement story on the blog. If the task of reading this post seems daunting, feel free to skip to the last paragraph where you'll find the juice of the story.

On Friday morning while working in Salt Lake, my brother-in-law texted me and said he had run into Troy on campus and wanted to invite us to a dessert and game night. I called Troy to ask if he’d like to go. He said yes, so I let Brad know we'd be coming over around 9. I knew Troy would be picking me up from work to take me out to dinner, but he surprised me by coming in early. 

After we ate at Olive Garden, he drove me back to work to pick up my car so we could go to my house and change before going to game night. While I was turning the heat on in my car and getting situated, I looked over at Troy, who was parked next to me, and watched as he gripped the steering wheel while mouthing words. I thought it was a bit strange and it made me laugh. I rolled down my window to ask if he was alright. He said he was, so I thought nothing of it. After I changed clothes, I ran upstairs and frantically ran around trying find some games to bring. My mom asked if I was going to bring a jacket and I told her no because I thought we were going to be inside the whole time. She asked if I was sure and I said yes, unaware that in about half an hour, I would be on the top of a mountain in the freezing, gusting wind. 

We hopped in the car and Troy drove us to Heather and Brad's house. While pulling into their neighborhood, he didn’t see a speed bump coming so I warned him, but instead of pushing the breaks, he pushed the gas! I told him he needed to calm down or I was going to get car sick. Still, though, I didn't really suspecting anything because he had told me the week before that he still didn't have the money to buy a ring. I honesty wasn’t expecting him to propose for a couple more weeks. We pulled up to their house only to find their car wasn’t there and their lights weren’t on. I thought that was really strange and when we knocked on the door, no one answered (as was the plan), but I found this very frustrating. 

Troy called Brad who explained that they'd "gone out to dinner" downtown and the food had taken longer than expected so they wouldn’t be there for another 20 minutes. Troy and I were already 20 minutes late and now we were going to have to wait for another 20 for them to get there?! I expressed to Troy my frustration and told him that was very rude of them. He told me not to get too riled up about it because we had been late too, so we sat back in the car and he suggested we just go on a drive to kill some time and go to a place in Draper where Heather and Brad had taken us a few months before. I agreed. He asked me to help direct him there because he wasn’t sure if he remembered how to get there. What I didn’t know was that just a couple hours earlier, he'd driven up there to make sure he knew how to get there. For a while, I thought we were going to wrong way until I spotted a landmark I recognized. 

We pulled into the lookout point and I wasn’t expecting to get out of the car since it was so blustery and cold and Troy knows how much I hate the wind. As I Ieaned over and laid my head on his arm, I could hear his heart beating unusually fast. That’s when it hit me. I knew he was about to propose! He said he was going to get his jacket out of the trunk and grab a blanket for me. He had me stay in the car so I wouldn’t see him grab the ring as well. I was getting pretty excited at this point. He came and wrapped me in the blanket and took me out to get a better view of the city lights. He went on the explain how this was a central point in our dating life. We had memories in Provo, Salt Lake, Park City and Midway and these were the places where we had fallen in love. As he was talking to me, I heard him accidentally click the ring box. The suspense was building and he finally knelt down and asked me to marry him. I exclaimed, “Of course I’ll marry you!” and wrapped my arms around him before even looking at the ring. After we hugged (and maybe kissed), he asked if I would like to see the ring. I was so excited, I hadn't even looked at the ring yet! It's such a beautiful ring and it represents so much love, devotion and hard work on his part.

I love you Troy James! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

The ROI of a hug and a kiss

Troy and I are both taking Accounting this semester and one of us is enjoying it more than the other....can you guess who? Anyway, I like to make sarcastic comments as I watch Norm Nemrow at low and high speeds on my computer as he very unenthusiastically says, "Welcome back. It's me, your favorite accounting teacher..."

Okay, I admit, I've learned some valuable things in there about assets, liabilities, equity, debits and credits, etc. and amazingly enough some of this stuff actually applies to my life!

So as Troy and I were talking before we fell asleep the other night, I asked him, "What's the ROI of a hug and a kiss?" He couldn't have given me a better answer. He said, "Well, I invested all I have into you and this marriage and the return has been much greater. And more returns are still to come."

This is why I love this guy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"To Have Peace and Happiness"

During September 2010, Troy and I were considering marriage and although we were both undoubtedly in love with each other, we had a lot of questions and wanted to know if this was the right decision for us. The following Sunday after we had our "marriage talk", we attended a CES fireside together. Elder Richard G. Scott was the speaker and boy, was he inspired. So many of our questions were answered specifically in his talk. We honestly felt as though Elder Scott was speaking directly to us. We walked out of the BYU Marriott Center together thinking, "Well, I guess we know what to do!"

The following are some of my favorite quotes from his talk:

"You can identify an eternal companion with whom you will have a marvelous life as you both express faith in the Savior and His power and live worthily through your courtship."

"May each of us ever be tender and appreciative of the special companion who enriches our lives."

"Pure love is an incomparable, potent power for good. Righteous love is the foundation of a successful marriage."

"Marriage is so wonderful...You get to know each other very well. In time, you begin to think alike and have the same ideas and impressions. You have times when you are extremely happy, times of testing, and times of trial, but the Lord guides you through all of those growth experiences together."

"Marriage enables you to really find out who you are. It provides an ideal setting for overcoming any tendency to be selfish or self-centered."

"I have found that the best way to live life is to seek to know the will of the Lord as guided by the Holy Spirit. He knows what is best for you. As you are obedient and exercise faith in Him, He will help you realize His will for you in your life."

To read, listen to or watch Elder Scott's entire talk, visit

Friday, October 14, 2011

Musical goodness

If you ever need a pick-me-up or something to get your feet tappin', head boppin' and fingers snappin', just listen to a little Motown. This style of music is groovy and guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Motown singers have straight up raw talent - no autotunes. They're the real deal. This past week, I've listened to Motown on Pandora while getting ready for the day and have found I walk out the door with a little bounce in my stride.

Feel better? Yeah, I thought so.