Monday, December 29, 2014

Maverick's Birth Story

It has been a whole month since our IVF miracle officially joined the family. It's high time his grand entrance be shared. You may not want to know any of this information or see any of the pictures. I for one LOVE reading birth stories but I'm sure many don't. I really want to write it down and share it mostly so I'll remember it. I forgot so much of the day Canyon was born. I mean, I remember the big things but not so much the details. 

So looking back to Monday, November 24th. I had my 37 week check up that morning at 10. I had been contracting inconsistently since 19 weeks and regularly with pain since 30. Prior to that appointment I had been dilated to a 3 (starting at 34 weeks) and 70% effaced. Dr. B went over the usual and then checked my cervix. She said I was a 4 and 80% effaced (yay!) and she didn't think I'd be pregnant beyond Thanksgiving. While I wanted Mr. Mav to cook as long as he needed, I was sure ready. This pregnancy had been so much harder on me than my first. By this point all my joints ached and moving was pretty painful. I carried extra low and there was a huge strain on my back. 

After the appointment, Canyon and I ate some lunch at home and went to look at some houses with the girls. The contractions got worse and started to take my breath away. 

My water broke at 8:10 pm and I was out without Zach. I was admitted to Labor and Delivery all alone (but lucky to be with all my work friends!) and a little worried he wouldn't make it in time. Canyon came pretty quick for being induced and they had warned me that if I ever went into labor on my own it wouldn't take too long for my next to deliver. 

Canyon and Zach got a ride to the hospital with Grandma Stailey. I had half my hospital bag packed but luckily had C's overnight bag completely ready. Zach's mom picked C up a few minutes later. 

When I got to the hospital I was 5cm. I wanted to go as long as possible without the epidural (feeling like if it was moving fast I may not need it) and honestly I was handling the pain pretty well. After 30 or so minutes the contractions started to slow down. By 9:30pm they hadn't picked up so they started low dose pitocin. Just a little to get  things moving. It didn't take but a short while before those contractions picked right up and it started to get harder to breathe through them. I started tensing up and holding my breath with each one. When they checked me at 11pm I was still a 5 and I decided on the epidural. Dr. L came in and did the epidural (he's the best). He finished the epidural at about midnight but I was still feeling every contraction. Deborah, my nurse/friend, said she'd come back and check in a half an hour. She had an inkling I was going to make my move. at 12:40 pm Tuesday morning, Deborah came back to check. Feeling slightly defeated, I told her I probably hadn't changed much. Through a chuckle she told me I was complete and +2 station. After a good push and a little nudge, Maverick Michael Hawkins was born at 12:53am. He was a whole 5lbs 14oz and 18.5 inches long.

Fortunately for us, Mav was perfect. We were worried about NICU time but his lungs did great and I was able to keep him with me. 

Canyon met his baby brother Tuesday afternoon. It was wonderful. He struggled with the whole situation when they first got to the hospital but within a few minutes he was completely smitten with his little brother. There's a book we've read several times over the last year called Mail Harry to the Moon. It's about a big brother who isn't too fond of the idea of a baby in the house but eventually comes around. The last page is a picture of the brothers making a silly face. I'm so glad we snapped this photo, even if it's blurry.

Canyon so bad wanted to make Mav laugh that day. It couldn't have better.

Mav and I were discharged on Wednesday afternoon, 36 hours after delivery. Canyon walked proudly next to the wheelchair sporting his "Cool Big Bro" tee and making sure people knew Maverick had a matching "Cool Little Bro" onesie. 

What a joy they both our in our lives. We are one lucky family.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

27 Weeks

Woo hoo! We are making some serious progress. Not gonna lie, I can't wait to be in my thirties. Pregnancy wise....not so much age wise.

Things are going really well. Little Mav moves like crazy and his big bro loves to just feel mom's tummy. One of these days I'm going to record when Canyon feels the baby move, his face is priceless. He also loves to smash his face up against my tummy and talk to Maverick. I think I like these boys:)

We did some serious room swapping over the last few weeks. We have three rooms upstairs; the master, Canyon's tiny room and a guest room with a big ol' bed in it. The guest room is by far the biggest of the two (I'm pretty sure the little one wouldn't fit a full size bed). In an effort to keep the full sized bed for when Grandma and Grandpa's come to visit, we decided it would now be Canyon's bed. So we moved all the furniture out of the guest room, finished the trim work on the bead board that was left undone by the previous owners (HALLELUJAH!), and painted it for C. C was moved in last week and LOVES his new room. We sold the twin mattress and painted the little room. On Saturday we set up the nursery furniture.

I didn't get to do a nursery with mister C so this is pretty exciting for me. Also, everything in the room was either given to us at some point in our marriage or purchased at a yard sale. Total I've spent $15 on the entire room, including paint. I still have a lot to do, mainly accents. I need stuff on the walls and I have an idea of what I want but I'm a cheapskate and I'm waiting to find things at minimal cost. Here's a little snap shot of the room so far.
I told you it was a tiny room. It's nothing spectacular but I'm sure in love with it. I can't wait to get stuff on the walls and some accent pillows to tie all the colors and prints together. I did turn the armoire into a little closet which freed the actual closet up for storing kids stuff that we don't use at this time.

Now that I'm exhausted just from explaining all the fun we've had in the last few weeks, I'll give you the chance to laugh, or not, at my maternity photos. I got the session free at this amazing studio at Thanksgiving point. I really wanted to do them but didn't really want to pay to have someone take pictures of me at my worst. Most days I feel great about myself but you know, pregnancy is hard on your body. I know I will treasure these forever, seriously. This baby has been a miracle in so many ways and continues to show us he was meant for our family every week. I'm glad I got to capture it. Without further ado, I give you 27 weeks (you should be excited for a break in the mirror selfies:)

Not going to lie, I love this. I decided to try and accessorize for once in my life. The ring on my right hand was my great grandmothers who passed away a few years ago. The pearl bracelet on the left was my grandma Nancy's. She passed away the week we found out that our IVF attempt worked. I visited her in the hospital a few weeks before and she was so hopeful for us. I know this little man got lots of kisses and hugs from his grandmas before his little spirit was sent to us.

To wrap up a rather long post, we have another level 2 ultrasound on Wednesday to make sure little Mav is growing well and see how his kidney is fairing. Next week is my regular OB appointment and glucose test (YAY! said no pregnant woman ever). I'll post an update on Wednesday after we meet with Dr. Spencer.

We love you all! Thanks for your support.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What a great day.

Last Tuesday was rough. I'm happy to report that this week has been MUCH better.

Canyon man started preschool this morning. He is just thrilled to be out of the house, making friends and learning new things. I definitely had to hold back a few tears as I sent him on his way. I did snap a few shots before I did though.


 I love that he found a dandelion and told me he wanted to make a wish. What a sweetheart! 

After a very productive hour at home by myself, I got a call from my sweet husband. Zach's not really a phone talker, but he asked how dropping off C was and was overly pleasant. I finally asked him why on earth he called. Apparently our 7-10 business day wait is up (sooner than expected!). While we were prepared to love and raise a sweet angel with Down syndrome, we are very excited to report that the little man does not have an extra chromosome. Again, we both felt so at peace this last week and knew that either way, our family was complete the way it was supposed to be. I think the whole experience will help in the future as I empathize with mamas going through similar waits.

We are so grateful for the out pouring of love we felt from family and friends while we adjusted to the idea of Maverick having Down syndrome. I, more than anyone, needed the extra support as I shifted my idea of what our future held. Thank you. We both know that if the test had come back positive, this little boy would have an army of loved ones to buoy him up throughout his life.

I think I like Wednesdays.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tea Time

A friend of my mine was throwing her daughter a tea party birthday party. It was all girls, but when one backed out she invited Canyon to join. I wasn't sure he'd even want to. The morning of I asked and he went and got his best outfit on and said, "Mom, they can be the princesses and I'll be the king." Let's just say it was adorable.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The hardest update.

I've struggled with how much to share at this point, so forgive me if this post is scattered and somewhat irrational. Oh wait, most of my posts are as such.

At my 24 week appointment on Tuesday, they found 2 soft markers for Down syndrome (echogenic intracardiac focus and a dilated kidney) and a clubfoot, which increases Maverick's odds of having DS. I was alone at the appointment and I'll be honest, very very afraid. They sent an order over for me to see a perinatologist who would do a more in depth ultrasound and discuss with us our options.

Yesterday we met with Dr. Spencer, a perinatologist at St. Mark's hospital in Salt Lake. After a VERY extensive ultrasound with Zach by my side, things felt better. Everything else looked perfectly normal and we got some pretty sweet 4D shots of our baby. Dr. Spencer then told us that with the clubfoot alone, the odds are 1 in 50 that baby has Down syndrome or another chromosomal abnormality.

He gave us three options. 1. Amniocentesis. Very accurate and would give us all the info we needed about Maverick's chromosomes. Also very cheap. The amnio does pose a small risk of ending the pregnancy. 2. Free Cell DNA test called MaterniT21. A very expensive blood test that takes the fetal cells from mom's blood stream and analyzes the chromosomes. Non invasive, poses no risk to the baby and is 98% accurate. Option 3, do nothing and wait till birth. The results of tests won't change anything anyway.

Both Zach and I agreed that we would like to know as much as we could so we could prepare to welcome our baby in the best way possible. We also agreed that knowledge wasn't worth the risk of losing Mav. That left us with option #2, the MaterniT21 blood test. We went ahead and had the blood drawn. The test was sent and it will be 7 to 10 business days for the results.

Now you know the story. It's not the end of the world. Not even close. We don't even know anything for sure yet. I'm adjusting. I love my down syndrome friends. I know they are special and were sent to be in my life for a reason. I know I will love little Maverick with all I have no matter the outcome of a blood test or ultrasound.

I'm still adjusting, and I think that's okay.

To lighten the mood a little I'll share some of my favorites from yesterday's ultrasound.
 Profile. They couldn't get one the day before. I love love love it. 

 It's a little human! Seriously, I'm in love with his little features. He looks so much like Canyon I can't even stand it. 

 This is his clubfoot. It's his right ankle and will need a series of casts to fix it for the first part of his childhood.

I'm grateful for the technology we have today. Even more so the fact that this little bean is even able to grow. Thank you all for being my support. No matter what, this baby was meant to be a part of our family and lives.

See you in 7-10 business days.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

22 Weeks

22 weeks. I can't believe how time flies. We've been terrible about taking weekly photos and when we do I hate them. I end up getting a decent mirror selfie, which is definitely not good quality. Alas, it'll have to do.

So, a little update. I feel fantastic. Second trimester energy has finally hit and I've been taking on fun projects again. Most involve sewing things for this little man. I've also been on a cleaning kick, more specifically gutting. Today was the garage, last week I did the craft room. It feels so good to declutter. Weight wise I'm doing well. I've gained just a tad more than I originally wanted to by this point but that's the nature of the beast. I had been staying super active and on track but after one of our awesome hiking excursions I started contracting and dilated a tad. No more exercise for this pregnant lady. Although, in a week or two I'm going to get back into doing some prenatal yoga. Hopefully it'll be just enough to keep me sane but not too much and put me into preterm labor again.

Baby M is finally a little ninja soccer player. When we were going through all the infertility stuff, the one thing I knew I'd miss most if I never got pregnant again was feeling the baby move. I seriously can't stop smiling when I can feel his little wiggling and kicking. Get's me even more excited for him to get here. Also, baby has a name! Yay! We'll wait till we get a little closer to get that all announced, but it starts with M.

So I think I'm going to include some of the fun adventures and pics from the last few weeks. Up until our little scare, we did some pretty awesome hikes.

My sister came out and stayed with us for a few weeks while my parents took a work trip to Japan. We introduced her to our favorite hobby, hiking. This first hike was up American Fork canyon just above Silver Lake flats. It is hands down the most beautiful hike I've done to date.
Start of the hike.
 The hike was about a mile longer than anticipated so Bruce definitely needed a swim once we got up to the lake. 
 The scenery was gorgeous the whole way but the lake was the cherry on top. I could've stayed there for days. 

 Dark clouds started rolling in when we were at the top of the trail. We started heading back down and got caught in a huge lightning storm. It was pretty scary until we reached the tree line. I've never run down a mountain that fast. Not gonna lie, I was pretty sure I was going to get struck by lightning that day. 
 These two were taken in Moab at Corona Arch. Such a fun hike, but boy was it hot. 

After walking around town and eating a yummy dinner, we headed to Arches National park and hiked Delicate Arch. While the air was much cooler (we hiked it at sunset) the  hike was more strenuous than I had expected. The view at the top was way worth the hike. I started contracting about a day and a half after this hike. Bitter sweet I guess.