Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Newborn Pictures

Thank you Olya!  You are amazing.  I loved what a great job she did.  I would totally recommend her to any Utah Valley/SLC Valley friends.

See more of her awesome work at:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Baby Emma

 39 weeks pregnant - 3 days before Emma made her appearance.

Birth Story:

Well I didn't get to have much of a birth story this time.  Tuesday, the day before my scheduled induction, I was having some vision issues so we went in to get checked to make sure it wasn't pre-eclampsia.  Everything looked okay but the doctor decided to check the baby's position by ultrasound.  Low and behold he had decided to flip breech and had one leg down and one leg up by her head in my ribs.  So my scheduled induction turned into a scheduled c-section.  I was a little bummed, but not too scared since I have gone through major surgery as a teenager.  

We had to be at the hospital at 6 am to do paperwork and get ready for the surgery.  They made the first incision at 8 and she was here at 8:11.  She weight 7 lbs 8 oz. and was 19 1/2 in long. 
 I was nervous about how Daniel would do since he gets a little woozey and uncomfortable in hospitals.  He did great and mentioned that a c-section was so much easier than going through labor.  (haha.... sure it was)  The doctors were great about just chatting it up and even had their ipod playing music.  I remember hearing Jonny Cash singing during surgery.  Once Emma was here and cleaned up, Daniel was able to hold her and I was able to touch her face as they were fixing me up. 
 We were in the recovery room  by 8:45 and I was able to hold Emma.  Funny thing: before surgery, they had me put on my gown but told me I could keep my shirt.  So I was able to wear my normal shirt all through surgery and recovery.  It was so nice feeling a little bit normal in a normal shirt instead of the yucky hospital gowns. 
 First family of 4 photo!  Rusty came that afternoon to visit.  The first thing he saw was a balloon that my sister, Rachel, brought me.  It took him a couple of minutes to realize his baby sister was finally here.  We have been talking about "Baby Emma" coming for a few months and he was excited to meet her and wanted to hold her right away.  Rusty actually picked Emma's name.  We were in between two names and when we had him say Emma, he started to chant "Emma, Emma, Emma".  She has been "Baby Emma" ever since. 
 Grandma Strong was able to come out the day before to stay with us as I was in the hospital and recovering.  Grandpa Strong came up a little later and was great at keeping Rusty busy.  It was so nice not having to worry about anything and have one-on-one time with Emma.  Thanks for all your help!  We love you!
 Rusty absolutely loves his little sister.  He always asks to hold her and worries when she cries.  He has been a great help with getting diapers, wipes, and burp clothes.  We only have to worry about he being a little too "loving".

 Coming home outfit
First day at church! 11 days old.
 11 days post pardon.  I was pretty exciting how fast my tummy flattened.  I was feeling almost back to normal at the point.
 Rusty loving his "Baby Emma"
 Emma has been a wonderful baby so far!  She has been sleeping great and has been a great addition to the family.  She brings such a sweet spirit into our home.  We love our little girl.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I think one of the main reasons I haven't blogged in a long time is because I don't really like to complain.  This has been a rough pregnancy and has effected so much of my life lately.  I really fee like I need to write this all down so I remember everything I had to go through to get this little girl here.  Don't get me wrong... I haven't been on my death bed but it has been hard enough that it has us pondering the prospect of future children.

The pregnancy started out pretty normal and non exciting.  I was pretty sick in the beginning and we figure out that I was lactose intolerant.  I had to cut out anything that had any milk ingredient.  This was hard but we got through it.  I did end up loosing 15 lbs the first trimester and lived mostly on.... um.... I can't even remember what I ate.  I do remember only able to eat turkey, sweet potatoes, and apple pie for Thanksgiving. 

I was happy to find that my lactose intolerance ended before Christmas and was able to eat whatever I wanted.  I had a couple blissful months until about February.  Now is only April, but February seems so long ago.  A lot has happened since then.

It all started with some back pain.  On a Saturday night my back had started hurting and it just got worse and worse.  I was unable to get comfortable and nothing relieved the pain.  It lasted for 4 hours and then just disappeared.  I had about a 4 hour break where I was able to get some sleep, but then woke up to it again.  It lasted another 4 hours.  It was then Sunday and I stayed home from church and tried to relax and get some sleep.  I had a doctors appointment that friday, so I just waiting to ask the doctor then. 

The appointment happened to be the lovely glucose test.  I started to feel the back pain on the way to the appointment and also started to feel pressure in my chest.  I was getting really uncomfortable during the appointment but the doctor just said it was normal pain for pregnancy and that if it got "bad" that I should go to a chiropractor, get a massage, or do physical therapy.  He didn't even give me a referral and just chalked it up to being "normal".  I have never really appreciated this office.  There are 5 doctors and I hadn't see one more than once.  They didn't know me or act like they wanted to know me. 

I had a couple more "episodes" each time getting worse and would happen every other day.  It now started as pain in my chest and radiated to the back.  I went into our family doctor that next week and he suggested a new obgyn who worked in his office.  I scheduled a physical therapy appointment as well as an appointment with the new obgyn for the next Tuesday. 

That Saturday the pain got so bad we ended up at instacare.  This doctor was able to determine that it wasn't muscular and wasn't anything life threatening but gave me lortab to help with the pain. 

I was had the pain again on Monday, and had taken half a lortab with no effect.  I put a call into my new obgyn and prepared to go into labor and delivery.  The actual doctor called me back and told me to take the other half of the lortab.  He didn't have appointments that day and just happened to be in the office to sign some paperwork and took the time out to call me himself.  I took the other half pill and it took just enough of the edge off so I wasn't crying in pain, but still not enough to be functional.

I went in the next day and fell in love with my doctor.  He walked right in and said, " I talked with you yesterday".  He knew me before he even met me.  He knew right off the bat what the problem was.  I was blessed to happen upon a doctor who also studied orthopedics.

The condition I have is called Costochodritis. To put it in lame man's terms, my ribs come out of joint and because of the inflammation around them, they are not able to slip back into joint.  The only thing usually prescribed for this is an anti-inflammatory, which I cannot take while pregnant.

This is not uncommon in pregnancy because of the hormone our body produces in pregnancy called relaxin.  It makes our joints all loose so we can carry and deliver babies.

Because of this and my history of having surgery on my ribs and sternum back when I was 12/13 it is extremely painful.  He said that many people with the condition believe they are having a heart attack. 

The hardest part was hearing that there was nothing he can really do to help and that it will get worse as pregnancy goes on.  It will also begin earlier and be worse with each pregnancy.  We were very blessed that I did not experience this while pregnant with Rusty. 

The doc put me on "restricted movement" and gave me "joint juice".  These have really helped me heal over the past month and if I strictly follow the "restricted movement" then I should be okay.  The doctor did say that it will most likely get worse closer to delivery because our body dumps relaxin the month before we deliver.

So what does "restricted movement" mean?  I am pretty much not able to do anything at this point.  Daniel has taken on 100% of the house hold duties.  Things I am unable to do: lift Rusty, cook, clean, vacuum, laundry, play with the dog, dishes, etc.  Pretty much anything where I lift over 5 lbs, bend over, or stand for more than 5 min. Doc said that even a sneeze or rolling over in bed can trigger the pain. 

This has been hard on all of us.  Daniel has everything put on him and doesn't get much of a break. I have to sit there and do nothing as my house gets messy and Rusty gets into trouble.  While Rusty goes stir crazy stuck in the house.  I am unable to go out of the house unless someone is there to lift Rusty into the shopping cart, car seat, or stroller. 

The hardest part is feeling like I can't be a Mom to Rusty.  I am unable to pick him up to comfort him when he is hurt, physically put him into time out when he has done something wrong, take him out to the park, etc. 

We are more than ready to have this little girl join our family in around 6 weeks.  Hopefully we can get there without any more "episodes".

The Big 2!

Rusty turned 2 last month!

I can't believe it.  He has just gotten so big.  We took him to his doctor's appointment and they used the big kid scale and had to stand to get measured!  I guess he isn't a baby anymore. He is now wearing mostly 3T clothes and some 4T as well as size 8 shoes.

Rusty has finally started to talk more.  He has his own little language and will just jabber away, but he has also been repeating what we say a lot more as well.  We found that it helps to have him repeat to us why he is in time out.  EX:  I...Will...Not...Hit...

Here are a few of his favorite things:

Letters:  He LOVES letters.  He can recognize and say each letter.  He has also started associating them with words. EX:  M is for Mom, D is for Dad.

Numbers: Rusty can recognize most of his numbers 1-10 and had been counting our stairs as we go up and down.  He will also count to with us as we warn him a time out is coming.  =)

Animals:  Rusty loves his pets.  He constant following the dog around.  Zoey know how to keep her distance but Rusty has figures out if he carries food around the dog will follow him.  He also love to cuddle his kitty.

Music:  Rusty has started to sing with us at bedtime as well as at church.  Sometimes we will be driving and we will hear him start one of his primary songs, or he will sing and dance to the music on the radio.  He is really good about hitting the pitch of the song.  Daniel has gotten Rusty to head bang and "raise the roof" to some of his music.

Outside:  Rusty loves to be outside.  It is really hard keeping this kid cooped up in the house all winter.  We are ready to summer and this baby to get here so we can go play.

Food:  He still loves his fresh fruit and veggies.  I love that we can pull out a bag of carrots and eat them as a snack.  He is constantly in our pantry bringing me stuff he wants to try.  Most of it is just random stuff like canned pumpkin or the veggie oil. 

Puzzles:  We got a kindle fire for Christmas and Rusty loves to play his puzzles on it.  He has gotten so good at them he gets boarded with faster and we have to find harder ones for him.  One of the ones he enjoys is tracing his letters with his figure.  I love that he loves to learn.

We love our special little guy.  He has been such a blessing in our lives and is constantly making us smile and bringing us joy.