Love Makes Families

Love Makes Families
A family of 7 due to the blessing of adoption!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Treasure the cute moments

So Alyssa (turning 2 is just over a week) saw my dad's walking cast (boot) on his foot. My mom had also been in a boot for about 2 months just a few weeks earlier.

Alyssa looks down at Poppy's foot then comes over to me and says ow mom ow. I said do you have an owie. She says yes and lifts up her pant leg, pull off her sock and points to her foot. She says ow foot. So cute. I guess she decided she didn't want to be left out so she would have a hurt foot too. I love the little things that make me smile.

Today I make a goal to pay closer attention to all the little things that make me smile :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A very hard day.... to suffer or to die?

Today started much like any other day. I woke up at 7:50 a.m. about 50 minutes later than I should have been awake, and I beg Kevin to wake up and get Kaitlyn off to school (one of the benefits of him being out of work.) He agreed, and I decided to try to get some more sleep..... ya good luck. I finally fell back to sleep around 9:30 a.m. then my dad text me.... need you. That's it nothing else just "need you." I thought for sure something had happened to grandma and my mom was hysterical, so I jump out of bed and literally run down the stairs. My dad says when I enter the room and find everyone sitting there calmly.... "look at my foot, does it look red?" I'm not sure if it was the lighting or just bad timing, but it looked fine at that moment. Well they get up and going and decided we should take dad to the doctor. It turns out that he broke his big toe and his foot, so he got a boot put on.

This was just the start of what turned out to be a difficult day. We get to the hospital to see my grandma, and we find my mom, my aunt, and my cousin there. They had been talking and made some decisions about grandma's care. A doctor had told them that his suggestion would be to take her home and make her comfortable. He told us we had 2 options.... option 1 is home health care and option number 2 is hospice. Since nobody could bring themselves to do hospice yet they all decided to do home health care. Basically the doctor has told us that she has little to no chance of fighting off the infection that has taken over her body, so if after a week has gone by and she still isn't better, they will reevaluate the idea of hospice.

I had to sit though several meetings where her care was discussed, and where the ultimate outcome was all taken in consideration. It is even hard for me to type the word.... death..... it is so hard to know someone is going to be gone soon. At this time I am so thankful for the knowledge that this is not the end..... It is only a new beginning.

Just would I thought I couldn't get any more emotional..... I was proven wrong again.

My aunt Barbara (my mom's oldest sister who is in a care center because she has alzheimers) gets wheeled into the room. As soon as they wheel her up next to my grandma she looks up and says "She wants to go." Even my aunt who is not "lucid" knew what her mom wanted. My aunts illness is so bad that she rarely communicates what she wants, and she is rarely consistent when she does say she wants something. My uncle Roy (her husband) says that she was literally dancing in the halls this morning saying I'm going to see my mommy over and over. He asked her several hours later what she wanted and she said I want to see my mom. He asked her a series of questions.... do you want to go fishing... no.... do you want to go dancing.... no.... do you want to see your mom... yes

The whole experience was truly amazing. I couldn't contain the tears.

A hard lesson.... Honesty is not always the best policy

So Kaitlyn, age 6, walks up to me the other day while I am sitting down and pinching a fat roll in my stomach. She looks up and says, "mom, when are you going back on your diet?" I look at her curiously.... "I'm not sure, why?" (First mistake do not ask why) "Well mom, because you are getting fat!" Silence.... complete silence. I have always taught my kids to be honest, but apparently it is time for this lesson Honesty especially brutal honesty is not always best. Sometimes biting your tongue is a better option. I look at her stunned, and after regaining my composure say "honey, we don't call people fat." Let's just say I didn't get the response I was looking for "Well I was just being honest."

At this point it seemed there was only one things left to say.... "Well honey, I appreciate your honesty." Then I slowly slither away. Any suggestions on how to teach this lesson?? And how do 6 year olds already worry about weight? Now every time I sit down to eat she says "Mom, how many calories are in that??" My response "none of your business."

In my defense stress and weight loss don't mix. (my excuse of the day ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How can I make them listen? How can I make them see?
Even though you mean the world to me, I have to let you free.

I know it is not easy for us to say goodbye
But you have suffered long enough. It's time we let you fly.

They've saved a place in Heaven for an angel gone too long.
We've all learned so much from you. You've always been so strong.

Although you may be small in size, your imprint has been grand.
You've left your mark upon the Earth. Reach up and take his hand.

I know throughout the years you've had there's been good times and bad.
Don't let the bad times haunt you. We don't want you to be sad.

There is a place called heaven where you can live again.
I hope to see you there, my grandma and my friend.

If anyone has changed my world, I'd say that it was you.
You gave me joy and taught me love in everything you do.

The ones who've grown to love you will love you to the end.
Some may call you grandma, mom or even friend.

It's time to say my last goodbye to one that I hold dear.
It's time to be with God again and let him hold you near.

I love you grandma!

The doctors told us today that his suggestion is to take her home, and get her comfortable.

I've lost all control over bedtime

It took me forever to get my children on a good schedule. Since Kaitlyn was just a baby she would never go to bed at a consistent time. She could fall to bed around 11 p.m. or even as last as 3 a.m. Sleeping was something that didn't come easy for her, and once she finally fell asleep she didn't stay there for long. So, needless to say I was pretty proud when I found a schedule that worked for her.

About 3 years ago doctors put Kaitlyn on a medication to help control her anxiety and to help her sleep called trazadone. It worked pretty well, and eventually we had Kaitlyn falling asleep by about 10 p.m. Then she had her surgery in April 2009, and we were able to get her on a normal schedule. She was going to bed by 8 or 8:30 p.m. Sooooo awesome!!

We have been on this schedule for about 2 years now, but lately there as been a constant battle.... Tell me if this sounds familiar.....

Me: Girls, why are you still awake?
Kaitlyn and Brittany: Mom, we can't sleep
Me: Just try... you can not fall asleep is your mouth and eyes are open
Them: ok mom

5 min later
Kevin: How many times do we have to talk to you?
Them: 1
Him: no, this is about the 5th time... Go to sleep!
Them: ok

5 min later
Me: Girls why r u doing this?
Them: mom, we just had to go potty
Me: Them go potty and get to bed
Them: ok

5 min later
Kevin: Go back to bed
Them: But we r thirsty
me: If we give you a drink you will be awake going potty again
them: But mom we can't sleep when we r thirsty

20 mins later and several more conversations containing some of the following
Mom Brittany woke me up
Mom Kaitlyn woke me up
Mom Kaitlyn is trying to sleep in my bed
Mom Brittany is trying to sleep in my bed...... AHHHHH can I change my name yet?!?!

My solution one kid is on the couch in the toy room while the other stayed in bed.... guess what they cried theirselves to sleep.... guess I have a little control afterall

A funny story about "Targets" (Kaitlyn)

I love the innocence of children.

This was about 2 years ago a few months before Alyssa was born. A story I will never forget, and definitely worth sharing.

I had just come home from work, and went downstairs to say hi to my family. Kaitlyn (age 3) was watching tv and Kevin and Brittany were cuddling on the couch.

ME: So babe what are your plans for this weekend
Kevin: We have a priesthood event planned for Saturday morning
Me: Oh, sounds fun what are you doing
Kevin: We are shooting some targets
Kaitlyn (in a hysterical tone): NOOOOO Daddy, please don't shoot Target
Kevin: What's wrong honey? Why not?
Kaitlyn (in a more pleading tone with tears on her cheeks): Because daddy that is Aunt Veronica's favorite store, and she would be so sad if you shot Target
Kevin: No, honey I'm not going to shoot the store Target... A target is a small thing that we throw in the air and shoot it.
Kaitlyn: Oh thank goodness daddy, I was so sad
Kevin: I know honey I could tell

Wow this coming from the child who you have to say her name 10 times before she even looks up. Not sure how she even heard us, but it was so sweet.

Drama, Drama, Drama and not because I have girls

They say the Lord will never give us more than we can handle. I just wish he didn't have so much faith in me.

This seems fitting to begin this post with. When I tell people just a little of what we have to deal with they think..... no way can all of these things happen to just one family. Boy, I sure wish they had been right.

So let's recap (or complain)

2005 We have Kaitlyn YAY!!! (surgery number 2 following my wisdom teeth in 2004)
2005 Kaitlyn is sick. She has sleep apnea, laryngomalacia, GERD, and a few other problems
2006 Brittany is born. So Exciting and guess what she is happy. (surgery number 3)
2007 I have my first knee surgery (surgery number 4)
2007 we move to Utah because there is no more work in Las Vegas. As a result we lose our house
2008 We lose our baby :( (surgery number 5... in just 5 years)
2009 We have Alyssa. A full term baby at last! (surgery number 6)
So that all seems pretty average.... then 2010 came

2010 Alyssa gets so sick that she is miserable, and we are not sure what is going to happen.
2010 Mom get alzheimers which tears my heart out. We had to watch my grandpa suffer with this for a long time
2010 Mom starts having siezures
2010 I have my 2nd knee surgery (yep that's 7 surgeries in just 7 years)
2010 Kaitlyn starts school which throws her into a whirl wind (she has aspbergers, OCD, PDD and social anxiety disorder)
2010 Brittany starts to act out because she is feeling like "piggy" in the middle since Alyssa is sick, and Kaitlyn is requiring extra attention
2010 Mom falls and breaks her ankle

Yay 2011 a new house and a fresh start.... ya no such luck

2011 Kaitlyn has to go to a new school, and we lose all the progress we have been working toward for 2 years
2011 Our heater breaks during freezing weather just 1 week after we move in.
2011 Our heater breaks again just 48 hours after it was "fixed"
2011 We find out that our heater was leaking carbon monoxide poisoning into the house, and if anybody had been sleeping in the basement they probably wouldn't have survived. This is insane because this is where my parents would have been sleeping had my mom not been in a wheelchair.
2011 Ian (my nephew) gets put into the hospital with RSV
2011 Alyssa gets RSV and almost follows her cousin into the hospital
2011 We have a fire in our basement (our washer literally started on fire)
2011 Kevin gets laid off
2011 Our basement floods

Talk about a bad few years..... now onto the good stuff.

All I can think of is this Faith that is not tested is not faith at all, and what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger.... That being said my new goal for 2011 is to not try so hard to become the strongest and most faithful person around ;)

We went from 5 to 5+2 :)

It was around October 2009 when I got this very strong impression that we were supposed to move my mom and dad in with us. I wasn't really sure why, but the prompting came many times. Our lease wasn't due to end for another 6 months, so I thought I would just wait and see what happens. We knew for sure we wanted to move when our lease was up because there were a ton of electrical problems in the house we were renting. The strange thing happened when not one, not two, but all 3 of the other adults who would have to agree to the move came to me at separate times and mentioned all of us moving in together. Well obviously this was meant to happen since all 4 of us (Kevin, my mom, my dad and I) had all felt it. We sat down and discussed some "ground rules." After this talk, we started looking for our new home. Only 6 weeks later with the help of my grandma... we were all moving. The week of Christmas was not the time I would have chosen to move but the deal was just too good to pass up. We all moved out to Herriman into an amazing neighborhood with a ton of awesome people. I met some people out there that I will be friends with for the rest of my life.

About 6 months after we all moved in together, we began to see a small glimpse of why they needed to live with us. My dad is already disabled, and my mom has taken care of him for many years. She held down a very physically and mentally demanding job for over 20 years. Just a few months before we moved in together she lost her job. Her health began to slowly decline then took a drastic turn for the unhealthy. She because having trouble performing daily tasks and would "space out" often. Her memory got worse and worse, so she went into the doctors. This is when her medical roller coaster began to take off. She got diagnosed with 2 or 3 different types of siezures, alzheimers, dimentia, parkinsons and a few other things all within about 6 months or less. They kept adding medication after medication, and her care became one of my main "duties" (for lack of a better word). Then... just when we thought things couldn't get any worse.... We were getting ready to go to church the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and it had been snowing all night. She hit the steps wrong, and guessed it... she falls. She broke her ankle in 4 places, chipped a bone, and dislocated her ankle. We had to call an ambulance to take her to the hospital, and she had to be taken in for an emergency surgery. She had a 7 inch metal plate and 12 screws put in place to basically reconstruct her ankle. This left her wheel chair bound for about 2 months and then restricted to a walker. Well that left us with another problem to face.... Our house was definitely not wheel chair or handicap accessible. We had to move again!! So exactly one week after Christmas on New Years Day we moved again. This was something I never wanted to do, but after only 4 months it has already proven to be a great blessing.

Let me tell you that year was about as insane as they come. I had my 2nd knee surgery on my left knee. Our basement flooded just a few short weeks after my knee surgery while my parents were out of town. This is when Alyssa got sick. Let's just say moving into a new house with a fresh start for the new year seemed to only bring promise..... wrong again.

Alyssa.. the first year

I honestly think it would be too much to ask for to have a completely healthy kid. Alyssa seemed to be doing really well when we left the hospital, but that changed at her first doctor's appt. She was a couple weeks old when we went to see her regular doctor the first time. Her doctor discovered a heart murmur, and noticed that her hip was out of place. She did some exercises to work it back in, and set up an appointment for us to get an ultrasound done at Primary Children's hospital. We went in for that appointment, and they assured me that her heart and hip were both fine :) YAY!! A clean bill of health for a few more months... she was gaining weight like she was supposed to, and everything was going well. Then in mid-January 2010, we took a trip to Las Vegas for Michelle's wedding. We were there for 10 days total, but about 4 days into our trip Alyssa got really sick. We took her a quick care down in Vegas and they told me she had RSV.... I was a little familiar with this since Kaitlyn had it once. She never got better... she just got sicker and sicker. I took her back in to another doctor since she was throwing up, diarrhea, and didn't want to eat (she lost about 2 lbs in a weeks time which is a lot for a 7 month old). The doctor gave her some antibiotics, and told us to follow up with our regular doctor. This was just the beginning. We came home, and my mom looked at us and said "What have you done to our baby?" She looked horrible.... she had black eyes, her face was sunken, she was pale, and she was so fussy. We immediately took her to see her regular doctor who decided to get some blood work. The blood work showed that she had extremely high platelets. They were 1.283 million which is over 3x the normal high for an adult.... something was wrong. They continued to test her blood everyday and her results were much of the same. They sent us in for a ton of blood tests and even tested her for CF. If you have not ever experienced the cystic fibrosis test... all you are missing is torture. They put a chemical on her arm, then they put these metal things on 4 places on her arms, and basically send electric shock through her arms. The shock is supposed to cause her to sweat. The take the metal cuffs off and wrap her arms in gauze, then ace bandages, and then hot towels. They then make me hold her, and they wrap us both in warm blankets. I don't know why they needed the chemicals or electric shock because I'll tell you what.... I was sure sweating they could have done the test on me. Well after all that you'll never guess what happened..... ok maybe you will.... the test results were inconclusive and had to be redone. So a few days later we had to redo the entire test. Luckily all of her tests came back negative... she didn't have CF, celiac, collidus, and so many other things. Well then the dreaded work came out of the doctor's mouth, and I couldn't handle the thought of it..... CANCER. All I could do at this point was hope and pray.

A few weeks before all of this happened, I was sitting in the mother's room waiting and the speakers were on for the sacrament meeting that was going. A man was speaking, and I could hear the sadness in his voice. He was explaining how it had been hard watching his son suffer, and he didn't know why this had happened to him. Just a while later a woman got up and began to tell about how prayers had been answered. She was telling about how her son had an inoperable brain tumor, and he had to go to the hospital everyday. It was Sunday and they were on their way home from the hospital, and the little boy said all he wanted to eat was a muffin. Apparently they had run out of muffins the day before, and it was hard to find things he actually wanted to eat. They did not want to break the sabbath, so they were going to go home and see if they had any muffin mix. Well guess what they saw on their door step when the pulled in the driveway.... muffins. Someone had been a tool in the Lord's hand, and had know that this poor sick child would need something to eat. I didn't know why this story stuck with me so strongly, but I was hoping it wasn't because I would be going through something similar.

A few days later, We got some amazing news.... she did NOT have cancer. We went to an allergy specialist, and gastro doctor, and a oncologist/hematologist... After all of these doctors, an exploratory surgery, and hundreds and hundreds of tests..... still we had no answers. All they knew was that after another 5 months of weekly testing, she still had high platelets. They had no explanation, and they still don't. All we know is that our baby who was born at 9 lbs 3 oz and was over 18 lbs at 5 months is turning 2 is just over a week and she is only about 20 lbs. She has been having troubles ever since that horrible week in January. She gets sick at the drop of a hat (luckily nobody else in the family seems to get her minor sicknesses). She has had croupe 4 or 5 times and RSV 3 or 4 times. She gets black eyes regularly and sometimes seems miserable for no known reason. The doctors say she should have been about 20 lbs by 6 months and close to 30 lbs by a year, but that is not the case. Our angel who started out as our biggest is definitely our smallest. I guess so long as she is "healthy" I will be happy no matter how big she is. We love our baby girl, and we are not alone. She has many people around her that love her very much.

The baby of our family....Alyssa

After the loss of our baby, we were told that we had to wait a few months before we could try again. So we began trying again in July. My sister Peggy came to visit for Labor day weekend and we were both due to "start" within 1 day of each other. We had both been sick, and since Kevin and I were trying to have another baby I decided to take a pregnancy test on Sept 6, 2008. It was still a few days before I was supposed to start, but I had a feeling. I went and got 3 pregnancy tests and took one. It said I was pregnant. I was so happy, but also a little nervous because I did not want to lose this baby too! My sister had been on birth control, but I jokingly said to her.... hey, you have been sick too, Maybe you are pregnant. Just to satisfy my curiosity, she took the test. Since she was supposed to be done having children, she was very shocked when it said "pregnant". I was excited!! I have always been pregnant at the same time as one of my sisters, and it was great to be able to share this experience with my sister. We were due only 1 day apart. I was due May 16, 2009, and she was due on the 17th. We literally had our doctors appointment on the same days, and hit every milestone together. You can't get any closer than 1 day apart. We all assumed that I would have my baby first due to my history of 2 pre term babies, and when I went into labor at work (I was a waitress at Golden Corral, a buffet) we thought I was right. The main problem is.... I was only 24 weeks along the first time I went into labor. I was having regular consistent contractions by the time I got to the hospital. I was so scared..... would this baby even have a chance at this point??!!?? I prayed harder than I have ever prayed in my life. Lord, please let me hold this baby and raise this baby. My prayers were answered. The labor stopped, and the baby looked great. After a few hours, they let me go home. I had to follow up with my doctor the next day, and he said everything looked great. I was able to continue working which was nice since my husband was out of work at the time, and I was the only income in our home. I went to work, and everyone there were so amazing. They did all my heavy lifting, and helped me to take it as easy as possible. There was not a single person there that made me feel guilty, or that didn't take care of me like I was their child. It was such a different experience from the place I worked prior to this. Everything seemed to be going well until 2 short weeks later.... I started having contractions again, and this time I thought I was leaking amniotic fluid. So, back to the hospital I go.... they stop labor again, and this time they decide to give me the steroid shots. I had to return to the hospital 24 hours later to receive the 2nd dose. I went back and saw my doctor, and he said he didn't see any point in putting me on bed rest because it doesn't usually make a difference in someone with my history. So, I continued working until I went into labor again in March (about 32 weeks pregnant). This time the doctor said..... bed rest!! Well it worked... I never had another single contraction.... not ever!!! I had my first 2 babies via c- section, so they scheduled my c-section for May 8, 2009. I thought to myself I will never make it that far, but this breech drama queen wanted to due things on her terms. She wanted to come when it wasn't safe, but as soon as it was ok for her to come out.... not a chance!! She was already more drama than my other 2 and she wasn't even born yet. If I would put my hand on MY stomach she would kick and kick until I would move them. It was as if she was saying.. this is my space back off!! She is the only child that I didn't go into labor on my own with and that my water didn't break with. I had high fluids (about 24-26 cm of water..... normal is between 10-19 cm). This was a change from Kaitlyn where I had low fluids (5-8 cm). So on May 8, 2009 we went to the hospital at 8 am to have our baby. The c-section was scheduled for 10 a.m., but 10 came and went with nobody coming to take me back. Finally, they came in and told us that a lady was having twins, and there were some complications, so I would have to wait. I was so hungry, but all I could think to do at this point.... pray for the mom and her twins. Around 1 p.m. they came in and told me it won't be much longer, and they were right. Alyssa made her entrance into this world at 1:34 p.m. She was a whopping 9lbs 3oz. She was so chunky. Right after she was born, the doctor peeked over the sheet and asked if he could tie my tubes.... I wanted more kids, so I said no. Apparently he didn't have time to explain the reason he asked because immediately he and another doctor went to work talking in hushed tones. I heard things like.... It keeps tearing, I'm not sure we can save it, maybe a hysterectomy would be best. After about 30 minutes of sewing my uterus back together the doctor informed me that my uterus was torn to shreds (most likely the result of a bad D&C) He told me I was lucky that Alyssa and I had survived the pregnancy and told me that I couldn't have any more children..... NOOOO I want more kids. For now, I will enjoy the 3 angels I can hold. They wheel me out of the OR and down the hall to recovery. I look up and see them wheeling my baby toward me. Amazing.... I had to wait at least 6 hours for my other 2, and in Utah where Alyssa was born, they bring her to me in the recovery room. Well she had low blood sugar and needed to eat. She latched right on and ate for a solid 30 min on the 1st feeding. Her blood sugar went up and she was a pro at eating!.... to be cont...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The baby that I know, but nobody else got to meet

Sticking with our plan we wanted our kids to be close in age. So, the plan was to have another child in early 2008. So in late 2007 we began trying to have our 3rd child. I found out I was pregnant right around Kaitlyn's 3rd birthday in Feb 2008. We were so excited! I had been sure with Brittany that I was having a boy, but this was different. Almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant I was scared for no known reason. I was considered high risk immediately since I had already had 2 premature babies, so my doctor saw me for the first time when I was only 6-7 weeks along. I had an ultrasound and saw the one thing that makes every mom smile... that little heart beat. I was so happy, but still felt nervous. I asked my bishop for a blessing to try to calm my fears. He blessed me that my baby boy would be well taken care of, and that Gods plan would be hard on me. Keep in mind at this time there was nothing medically that would cause anyone to think that our Angel would not survive. I was shocked and over the next month received 1-2 other blessings that all said similar things. My son would be cared for, but not by me. About a week or 2 later March 17, 2008, we received a phone call that Kevin's grandpa had passed away. It was in that moment that I knew... as soon as we walked into the hospital I began bleeding. This was when I knew that The Lord had been preparing me to be able to accept this.... the loss of my only son. I went to the hospital the next day, and they did an ultrasound. They put my tiny baby on the screen and showed us the heartbeat. It was weak but it was there... they checked everything else, and by the time they went back to his heartbeat it was gone. The doctor looked and me and told me my baby was dead. He little died while we watched him on the screen. I didn't know what to think or what to do.... I didn't want to believe it. I couldn't believe even though I knew in my heart that he was gone. I went to another doctor and got a 2nd opinion. Exactly a month later with all the same sadness in my heart I went to the hospital for a D&C (April 18, 2008 just 4 days after my birthday). That was one of the worst experiences in my life. As soon as I was out of surgery the doctor told me that they almost lost me during surgery, so they didn't get to finish the surgery. I had already lost more blood than I should have, and I was still hemorrhaging. They still sent me home less than an hour later in miserable pain. I didn't stop bleeding for over a month. After only 2 days of bleeding, I was so weak I couldn't even stand on my own. Kevin took of work for 3 weeks to help take care of me and the girls. I was passing blood clots the size of golf balls several every day. It still stands as the worst experience of my life. Not only did I have to grieve the loss of a child, but my children almost lost their mother. To top it all off, my work said I had to come back to work after just 4 days. I tried, but could barely stand on my own. I basically lost my job for asking for additional time off, and had to find a new job. I got called selfish, rude, thoughtless and every other name in the book because people had to cover my shifts at work. As if what I was going through wasn't hard enough. This event in my life has only made me a better mother and a stronger person. I know that I will get the chance to raise my child someday. I still think of him often, and know that he is not gone. I will see him again and for that I will be eternally grateful. I love all 4 of my children even though I only get to hold 3 of them!

Brittany... the first years

Life got a little crazy having 2 little ones, but Kaitlyn absolutely loved HER baby. Brittany seemed so easy compared to Kaitlyn. She didn't have any health problems, and she slept through the night better than her sister. I think I lost more sleep over my 17 month old than I did over my newborn... although Kaitlyn still had sleep apnea so she still had to be monitored closely. So, for the next few months Brittany slept in the bassinet next to me while Kevin set up a King mattress on the floor in Kaitlyn's room so he could monitor her breathing. Brittany grew at a pretty normal rate unlike Kaitlyn who grew like a weed. She had her cousin who she absolutely loved being with. Even to this day they protect each other like nobody's business. She brought tons of joy to our lives, and she still does to this day. She is the caring one in our family always trying to keep peace and so sensitive to the feelings of others.

The Plan for Brittany

Around September of 2005 we decided we wanted our children to be about 18 months apart, so we stopped preventing pregnancy. Tables were turned this time around when Veronica came into Kevin's mom and dad's house crying one day and informed us all that she was pregnant. I was the one trying, and it was her that came up pregnant. I was sad because I wanted another baby, and I was still wondering in the back of my mind IF I could have any more..... The answer was yes.... only a short 2 weeks later we found out I was pregnant also.... SOOO we got to share the experience of being pregnant again. At this point people began asking us if we were scheduling this, but in all honesty the answer was no. It was fun having someone to complain to that understands what u are going through. I also got to share some of this experience with Peggy (my older sister) since she didn't have her first daughter until December. This pregnancy was much different, so I knew I must be having a boy. I was so sick all the time :( My morning sickness never went away I only gained like 8 lbs or so during the entire pregnancy. I was miserable the entire time, but I was ready.... About 8 weeks before my due date I had my bag packed, and I was ready to go. I was not about to make the same mistake twice. Ian was born 5 weeks early on July 4th. We were so thankful he made his debut safely into this world since there were some complications during his delivery. Within a week I went into labor for the first time, but they gave me terbutaline shots to stop the labor and eventually put me on pills that I took daily (after several visits back to the hospital). Apparently those didn't work either because the entire day of July 24th (about 35.5 weeks pregnant) I was having contractions every 5 minutes. I promised everyone I wouldn't ruin the fireworks since we were all in the hospital with Ian on July 4th, so I waited until after the fireworks to go in. That was a mistake because it was close to shift change. The nurse on duty didn't even call my doctor. She stopped the labor and sent me home. I didn't have any contractions at all on the 25th (my dad's birthday), but at 6:40 am on the 26th my water broke.. She was born about an hour and a half later. She was about 4 weeks early, but I was prepared this time around. So my kids ended up being about 17 months apart which was pretty close to the plan.

Pics of Kaitlyn... the first year

my sleep study... hooked up to a lot of machines

My bili light blanket.... not fun!

Dad holding me while I was on my bili light

My first day home. mommy holding me

my hospital pic... 1 day old

1 day old hi everyone

about 10 hours old my first feeding

Kaitlyn... the first years

So, I finally get to see my baby for the first time 8 hours after she was born. They said that since she was born so early they had to monitor her for a while before I could see her. Kevin was with her most of the time, but I wanted nothing more than to know what was going on. Finally I get her at about 8:30 in the morning (after not having slept the entire night), and held her in my arms for the first time. I looked down at her, and my heart instantly belonged to her. We struggled with the normal things first time parents do. I tried to feed her with little or no success. Right after one of her feedings that same day, she had fallen asleep and suddenly stopped breathing and turned blue while I was holding her. I screamed at Kevin, and he ran her to the nurses station. By the time he got her to the nurses she had resumed breathing and regained her color. The nurses told us we were paranoid first time parents..... So the journey began. We took Kaitlyn home 3 days later, and everyone in our family had shown up to welcome her home. During our hospital stay a few little cleaning fairies (my mom, dad, Peggy and Curtis) had gone over to our house.... They did all the laundry, cleaned the whole house, and put the nursery together. I was so relieved because I could barely walk let alone clean. We had a rough first night since Kaitlyn continued to have difficulty breathing during sleep. We went to the doctor the following day, and discovered she has jaundice. The doctor ordered a billi light to be delievered and she spent the new several days attached to a machine 24-7. That made feeding even more difficult, and required I have someone with us around the clock. After my c- section I was not allowed to lift more than 20 lbs... The machine she was attached to weighed about 30, and I could not lift the machine and Kaitlyn in order to mover her. My parents stayed with us for about a week. I took care of Kaitlyn during the day, and my dad stayed up all night long and held a very fussy Kaitlyn all night. Others began to realize I was not paranoid, and that Kaitlyn was in fact not breathing regularly during sleep..... The road continues to get harder to travel, but my angel is so worth it. We had to have Kaitlyn around us constantly because we discovered that is we shook her softly when she stopped breathing she would resume breathing. She slept upright in a swing next to our bed with my hand resting softly on her chest. We woke up about 100 times per night to softly jostle our baby awake. She continued to fuss regularly and projectile spit up became a constant scene in our home. Finally at about 5 months old and 3 pediatricians later Kaitlyn got sent to see a few specialists..... She went to a gastroenterologist and a pulmonologist. The pulmonologist set her up with a sleep study around July 23, 2005 where she was hooked up to about 35 electrodes all over her face, head, legs, feet... they were everywhere. The nurse comes in between 5 and 6 am and begins ripping these electrodes off of my sleeping child. Kaitlyn wakes up wailing in pain, and had bruises for days due to the harsh treatment of this nurse. She didn't sleep through the night again after that night until she was over 4 years old. Later that day we get a call to go over her results. She had stopped breathing 266 times in a 6 hour period. So, I discovered I wasn't a paranoid mom afterall. My precious little girl had all 3 kinds of sleep apnea, a disease called laryngomalacia, and acid reflux. She got put on a special formula, an acid reflux medicine, and some medication for her bowels. Life started to get a little less fussy, but every bit as stressful.

The surprise of Kaitlyn

3 years later....One night we were sitting around the table at Kevin's mom and dad's house and they were bugging Kevin's older brother and his wife about making them grandparents (they had been married a year and a half longer and were also told they couldn't have children) when suddenly I realized that I hadn't had my cycle in almost 7 or 8 weeks. I made some excuse for us to leave early and told my husband to go straight to the store. He immediately began asking me what was going on since it was a Sunday and we never shop on Sundays. I explained what I thought was going on, and he was every bit as excited as I was. Around 11 pm on July 18, 2004 we found out that I was pregnant!!! So awesome... I remember feeling more excited in that moment than any other time prior to then. We decided to wait until the following weekend to tell everyone since we already had plans for everyone to be together at the same time, and it was my dad's birthday. Wow that was the longest week of my life!! We told the family be giving my dad and his dad also gifts that had bibs, bottles etc. At first they looked at us in shock until Kev's mom screamed really loud..... "REALLY!" Everybody was excited and happy for us except Troy and Veronica who did their best to appear happy, but I knew they were sad because they had been trying for a while. So, it was super exciting when on Labor day weekend Veronica found out she was pregnant too! We were thrilled to have someone that we loved so much to share our first pregnancy with....... On Feb. 17, 2005 I went in for my regularly scheduled fetal monitoring appointment just 2 days after my doctor had put me on bed rest/ light duty. I had a few complications during the pregnancy mostly just Kaitlyn growing so fast, and me having low fluids.... She really didn't move much mostly because she didn't have room to. So at fetal monitoring I was having some pretty intense contractions which were registering on their monitors.. I told them they hurt pretty bad and asked them if I was in labor. They told me that it was most likely braxton hicks since she was my first and it was over 5 weeks until my due date.... That was about 2 p.m. at 10:50 pm I was laying in bed getting ready to go to sleep when I wet the bed.... Well at least that is what I though happened. It turns out it was my water which I realized after about 5 min... since it didn't stop. I was not even close to prepared to go to the hospital. I had only had my baby shower 5 days before, and nothing was put together. I threw everything in a bag (except my camera... duh!) and rushed to the hospital. She was born less than 2 hours later via c-section. Those 2 house were some of the scariest in my life because I was sooooo not ready. I had 5 more weeks, and nobody goes that early with their first.... Well at least nobody but me lol. She was 7lbs 7 oz, but she still had a lot of problems... to be cont.

A little history

I met my husband when I was only 12 years old, but I could not stand him even though he followed me around like a little lost puppy. He was then and still is a person that doesn't believe in giving up. After a few short years of him always being around (since he was smart enough to become friends with my dad, so he would get invited over by someone other than me.... my dad only had daughters, so Kevin quickly filled in as his son), we became best friends. We were always together hanging out at my house or his.... playing pool or video games at my house, or playing cards or board games at his. The only problem was that he liked me as more than a friend, but I always had a boyfriend which was never him. Finally after a while he decided (with the encouragement of his parents) not to hang out with me..... After about a year of that I realized that was something I couldn't live with, and told him how I really felt. We were engaged about 3 months later... Christmas of 2000, and married on May 26, 2001. We were happily married for about a month when the doctors found cervical cancer, and I was told that I would never be able to have children......