Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Looking Back: The Arrival of Alexander

This is the post I have been most anticipating since starting the blog! I am excited to share the story of how my little boy came in to the world, and I am excited that we are almost caught up to where we are today. So for all of my faithful followers, we are almost at the point of being able to share what is going on in our lives now!

Let's start with a little more background to lead up to Alexander's birth. The official due date for Alexander was Friday, August 12, 2011. I discovered that my doctor only delivered babies Monday through Thursdays and one weekend a month. Since we had moved to Utah when I was six months pregnant, I didn't have a lot of options as to finding a doctor. I really wanted a female doctor to deliver the baby and had finally started feeling comfortable with the doctor, so it was scary to think of having the baby delivered by someone else. Now that I have been through it all, it wouldn't have been so bad, but I was a scared first-time-mom.

Anyway, we started taking guesses as to when the baby would be born. We thought it would be fun to see who could come the closest to being right. Well, as we got closer and closer, I made my official guess for Thursday, August 11th. I had just been called to serve in the Young Women and they wanted to throw me a baby shower, but the only time they could do it was on Wednesday, August 10th, only a couple of days before the official due date. So I kept telling everyone that the baby was only allowed to come on a Monday through Thursday schedule and after the baby shower. At the baby shower and around that week, I would joke with everyone that Alexander would be born on August 11th, because it was the day after the baby shower and I had an appointment with my doctor scheduled for 3:20 pm, that day. I kept saying I would walk in for my check-up and she'd say, "Let's do this!"

As most new moms, I had a few fears about giving birth. One of them was being uncertain about what it would feel like if my water broke. I was concerned because I went swimming so frequently. I was worried that it would happen while I was swimming and I wouldn't notice it. Well, for the record, I had planned to go swimming the day that Alexander was born. Luckily he came early enough that I didn't have to test that whole water breaking in the pool theory. Anyway, at the baby shower the day before, I remember asking tons of questions about what it feels like if your water breaks. Well, at 5:00 am on Thursday, August 11th, my water broke! I remember that I had gotten up to use the bathroom and while I was lying awake in bed, I felt this weird feeling. It felt like the little guy had punched my bladder. About 5:30, I was sure something was going on, so I woke up Scott. I told him that I thought my water had broke. It only took a few minutes before we realized that is what had indeed happened.

The next fear that I had before giving birth was the immense amount of pain I would be in. We had went to the childbirth classes and seen women screaming in pain before they even left their house for the hospital. I had seen people in movies say,"It's time!" Then you would wonder if they would be able to make it to the hospital in time. For us, it was nothing like that. My water broke, and we leisurely got together our hospital bag. I remember us driving to the hospital and the sun was rising and thinking how beautiful it all looked. I remember Scott asking how I was feeling and I told him I was feeling good and was excited to know we would be having a baby that day.

When we checked into the hospital, they had to check to make sure my water had broke. They confirmed it did and started asking me questions. They asked the same dreaded question people always ask, "Are you having contractions?" I told the nurse what I told everyone else, "Maybe...I'm not exactly sure what contractions feel like." So she hooked me up to a monitor and said, "You're having one right now." That's when I responded, " that is what a contraction feels like!" I share this with you so that you can understand how mild my contractions were when we checked in. Because my contractions were so mild, they had to give me Pitocin  to help get my contractions going.

Up to this point I had planned a natural birth. I wanted to see how long I could go without drugs. They started the Pitocin at 7:30 am and by noon I decided I was ready for an epidural. I figured if I was crying it was okay to give in and take an epidural. The best part about the epidural was how quickly it worked to relax me. I remember only twenty minutes after the epidural watching Brian Regan, one of our favorite comedians, with Scott. It was so funny that our nurse sat down and watched it with us. I remember laughing so hard and not even being able to think about the pain. The epidural relaxed me enough that I was just about asleep by the time the nurse came in and said I was fully dilated.

She had me start pushing, and then quickly told me to stop so that she could get the doctor. The doctor came in and the pushing process was pretty quick. Our doctor, Doctor Twelves, was great. She helped keep the mood light for us, to the point that she even made a mohawk of Alexander's hair as he was being born. So cute! Scott had said that he didn't want to cut the umbilical cord, but once Alexander was born he changed his mind. I think he was so in awe of it all. I was super excited to see that he did it.

Well, for all of you who haven't yet had babies, I have to say that the rumors are true. The moment you hold that little one in your arms, everything seems worth it. The six months of morning sickness, the back aches, the heartburn, and even the contractions, all seemed worth it when I could hold my little angel in my arms. I have to admit that I totally cried the first time I held him. I was just in awe of the miracle of birth and that the little boy in my arms was my little boy. It was a sweet and precious moment. Alexander was born at 3:07 pm, on August 11th, 2011. It turned out that I had the closest guess as to when he would be born. I guessed that he would be born at the next appointment I had with the doctor, which would have been at 3:30 pm. So he was just a little early! He weighed 7 lbs 9 oz, and was 19 inches long.

Well, that is the story! Scott's family came to visit us at the hospital. We stayed at the hospital for two nights. Those were a rough couple of nights, but I was blessed to have the most perfect husband to help me out. Scott stayed with me the whole time at the hospital. He helped change diapers, and cuddled with him so I could get some rest. One interesting thing to note is that the very first diaper that Scott changed was Alexander's first diaper. So cute!

Below are more pictures we had taken at the hospital.

Well, after our two day stay, it was time to pack up and head home. Here are a few pictures of us right before we headed home from the hospital:

Well, that is the birth story! Tune in next time for a few fun memories of Alexander from last year until now!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Looking Back: The Pregnancy

As many of you know, we have been blessed with the most adorable little boy in the world! So we thought we would take a moment to share some of the highlights with you from the pregnancy. So to start, I thought I would share with you how we found out we were pregnant. Early in the month of December 2010, Virginia suspected she was pregnant. She didn't think much of it because she had thought she might have been pregnant a couple times before. Anyway, early one morning, she received a text message from a friend saying that she was pregnant. Virginia thought it would be cool if she was pregnant at the same time as her friend. So, since it was early in the morning, she got up and took a pregnancy test. It was about 6:30 am when she found out that she was indeed pregnant. It took everything in her to wait a half an hour to tell Scott she was pregnant (she didn't want to wake him up too early). She woke up Scott and said, "I have something to show you." He responded, "You're pregnant aren't you?" And she said, "Just come see!" Anyway, he got out of bed and she showed him that he was right, she was pregnant. Later they laugh about that moment because she couldn't figure out how he knew she was pregnant, and he said it was because he had never seen her smile so big, so early in the morning.

There was a bit of a scare early in December where Scott and Virginia thought they lost the baby. It was so early in the pregnancy that they waited to tell everyone until they were sure things were okay. Anyway, amidst the scare Scott gave Virginia a blessing. He says that he too, was sure they had lost the baby, but as he went to give her a blessing, the Spirit guided his words and he was able to bless Virginia that she would one day be able to hold the baby in her arms and that everything would be just fine. He even felt prompted to say that this child was anxiously awaiting to come to earth and have them as parents. It was such a spiritual experience for them both and they are so grateful to have their sweet little boy now!

To tell Scott's family that Virginia was pregnant, they took a picture of the pregnancy test strip and sent it to them. It was great hearing their surprise as they called us and had figured out what the picture text was of. The best part about that whole thing is that Scott's Mom is a nurse and even she was confused by the picture. It was his Dad who figured it out!

To tell Virginia's family that she was pregnant, they decided to wait until Christmas. With the scare of losing the baby, they wanted to wait and be sure everything was fine. They found out on Christmas Eve that everything was normal, and went ahead with the plans to tell her family. (A side note: When Scott saw the ultrasound of the baby right before Christmas, he said the baby looked like a bean. For most of the pregnancy, they referred to the baby as "Baby Bean"). They spent Christmas Eve with her family and that was the night Virginia started having morning sickness. Of course, she couldn't tell them what was wrong until the next day because she had planned a perfect surprise. The next morning, Virginia woke up and was sick three times before they were supposed to leave. Scott decided to call the family and tell them we would be a little late. When they got there, Virginia's brother, Robert, who was home from the military started asking her how she was feeling. Robert is a medic and was probably trying to figure out what was wrong. She tried to avoid the subject, and just said she had an upset stomach. He then joked that she was pregnant. As they opened gifts, Virginia had sewn a baby burp cloth as a family gift. When they opened it, there was a little note on it that said, "Baby coming August 2011." It was fun to see all of their excitement. But it was a pretty rough Christmas for Virginia since she was feeling super sick.

As the pregnancy continued, Scott and Virginia started taking guesses as to what the gender of the baby would be. It was amazing because literally everyone in their life guessed that it would be a girl (all of their friends, and both sides of the family). Virginia had always wanted a girl, but was surprised that as she was pregnant, she started feeling okay with the idea that it could be a boy. So she finally decided to stick with a boy for her official guess since everyone, including Scott, was guessing the baby would be a girl. A few nights before the ultrasound, Virginia had a dream that she gave birth and said, "See! I told them it was a boy!" The day of the ultrasound her cousin even said, "Text me when you find out that you are having a girl." Virginia joked about not texting her at all if it was a boy. Anyway, they went to the ultrasound and discovered that they were indeed having a boy. It was a very exciting moment.

A few days after the ultrasound, Scott and Virginia ended up moving to Utah! It was a completely unexpected move. Virginia had already registered for classes and though they thought it might be fun to live in Utah someday, they didn't anticipate that it would happen for several years. One day, early in March, they fasted that Scott could find a better job. The next day, he got an e-mail from a company asking if he was looking for a job. The company had his resume on file for 3 years, due to a career fair he attended in college! That week he interviewed on skype, and by April 1st, they were in Utah. It was a fairly quick move,  but it turned out great for them! Scott absolutely loves his new job and works only half a mile from home. That made things a lot easier with only one car. It also turned out to be much cheaper to have the baby in Utah than Washington. It was sad to leave Virginia's family, but they were great and came for a visit shortly after the baby was born.

Shortly after the move to Utah, Virginia went on a "Princess Trip" to Disneyland with all of the girls from Scott's side of the family. She was 6 months pregnant for the trip and it was a bit tougher than she had expected. Scott had warned Virginia that his Mom, Diane, loves to see everything when she goes on vacation. How right he was! They spent two 12 hour days back to back at Disneyland, followed by a beach day and then another 12 hour day at Disneyland. Let's just say she was one worn out momma!

With the move, and the baby coming soon, Virginia didn't want to give up on school. So she changed all her classes to online classes and took them from Utah. She ended up graduating with her Associates Degree from Bellevue College, when she was 8 months pregnant. Though she wished she was further in school before the baby came, it was nice to know that she had gotten a degree before Alexander was born.

Speaking of Alexander...did you ever hear how we picked his name? Well, we had thrown around a lot of ideas. Originally Scott wanted to wait until the baby was born to choose a name. He was afraid that we would get set on a name and then when the baby was born we would think "The baby looks nothing like the name we picked out!" Anyway, they had each picked 3 or 4 favorite names. Then one day, they were lying in bed and Virginia said, "It will be fun to see what we name him. Joseph, Benjamin, Aaron...Alexander." That was the first time she had introduced Alexander as a name. When Scott heard it, he absolutely loved it and instantly started talking to the baby and calling him Alexander. We chose Scott as a middle name because Scott's middle name is Russell after his Dad. We thought it would be fun to continue that tradition.

When Virginia was in Washington for the graduation, she had a baby shower with her family, and then later had a baby shower with Scott's family. They were both lots of fun. Here are some pictures of the baby showers:

Scott was truly, the sweetest husband ever while Virginia was pregnant. When she was dealing with morning sickness, he would hold back her hair and just be there to comfort her. When her back hurt, he would give her constant back massages. But the thing that probably meant the most to Virginia was that Scott would paint her toes for her when she couldn't reach them. He was such a sweetheart!

As the months passed, they both got excited about creating a baby room. Virginia also started sewing and made a few things for the baby. Here are some pictures of the baby room and some of Virginia's projects:

As the pregnancy continued, they got more and more excited for the baby to come. Virginia ended up loving the move to Utah because it was sunny enough that she could go swimming 3-5 times a week. And being the water bug from Florida, it made the pregnancy a wee bit easier to handle. Here are a few more fun pregnancy pictures:

Overall the pregnancy went well, and the birth went quite smoothly too. But that is another story. Tune in next time for the birth of Alexander :)