Monday, April 28, 2008

the one about Quayd's birth... part 5

So here is the last part of my story.

Once they knew what was happening to me, they were giving me tons of drugs to help my heart, remove fluid and whatever else. In the first 24 hours, I lost like 80 pounds of fluid. It was crazy. They were dumping my pee bag very often! One night, my friend Marcie (who lives in SLC) and her little Brother Allan stopped by to see me. I was SO uncomfortable because I felt like I had to pee SO bad! But I knew I was on a catheter and shouldn’t need to pee. But I was about to EXPLODE! I was so embarrassed because my nice visitors were there to see me and I could focus on nothing but how bad I needed to pee! I finally had to apologize to them and call a nurse. She checked my bag and the hose was kinked. Well I over flowed that bag, then she connected another and I filled it clear up too. What can I say? When you gotta go, you gotta go.

I know I keep mentioning my “papers” a lot, but there are some crazy things that really stand out. I just can’t leave them out of my story. One of the things I wrote really gets me every time I read it. I seriously get all choked up and teary eyed whenever I look at it. Let me give some background first. I have this WONDERFUL friend named Hope. She has just always been someone so special to me. When I was pregnant, I was emailing her lots and I got so close to her again. She was living in SLC at the time. I had a day planner with my address book in it and I had told Brett and my mom all of the people I wanted them to call when I had the baby. I didn’t have them call Hope when I had the baby, because she knew I was having him, and I knew I would be on the computer to tell her all about it in no time. Once I got in Salt Lake, I just couldn’t stop thinking about Hope and how badly I wanted her. So one of the first things I wrote to my Dad when he got there was this, “I want someone to call my friend Hope T. Her number is in my day planer.” Of course, it didn’t take her long to get there and she will never know how much it meant to me to have her there. She came to visit me a few times and brought me a cute book that I still love and cherish. I was SO happy when my mom came in and told me that Hope was there to see me. It was just so weird that I had so much family support, but I really wanted that “friend” support from Hope.

On Thursday night, when all of my family headed off to the Hotel for the evening, I was still on the forced air thing. I had not been able to eat yet, and I still had the catheter. I think I still looked pretty rough, and when everyone left, they still looked worried and upset. I must have had a good night, because I remember the Doctors and nurses coming in Friday morning at 7:00 to take me off the forced air breathing machine and putting me on a regular nose tube oxygen thing. They asked if I felt like trying some food, and I was like, “Sure!” So I was sitting up in bed, eating when my mom and Grandma came in. I will never forget the looks on their faces. They were so excited and they both started to cry. At that point, I knew I was going to be just fine. I was so excited at this time too, because since I was able to sit up, I was able to see my feet, and I could see they were back to their normal size! YEAH!!! I remember telling everyone to look at my feet because they were cute again. Later that afternoon, I was moved into a room on the cardiac floor.
It was weird, and I really don’t understand why this happened, but I wasn’t in that room for very long. It was a room for two patients, but the other bed was empty. It was a nice enough room. They took out my catheter and I remember being SO tired. I am pretty sure I had a nap. But before I knew it, they came in and told me they were moving me again to my own private room. I didn’t understand what the big deal was, but they were so excited to move me. Once I got into this room, they explained the whole thing. They told me that the hospital has “family sponsored” rooms. If a family or group decided to sponsor a room, they take care of all of the decorating and they can even request who they would like to use their room, when possible. So let me just tell you, this room was AMAZING! It was so big and decorated so classy! It had recently been redecorated. The family who had chosen to sponsor this room had quite a story. I might be off on the details, but it went something like this... They had a daughter who had a heart problem, ended up having kids, and died very suddenly. So when these wonderful people took over this room, they said that whenever possible, they would like this room to go to someone with small children. It was a pretty big room and had lots of places for people to sit. It had an amazing view of the Salt Lake valley. It actually overlooked the Primary Children’s helipad. That actually really bothered me. I hated to think of what was happening to change someone’s life every time the choppers landed. Anyway, I was so grateful for this wonderful family that chose to remain annonymous so I never got the chance to thank them. And I was also grateful for the gutsy nurses that moved the dying old man out of there so I could have the room! When they were telling me about the room, they said that on the cardiac floor, they don’t generally have young patients. They are usually older people. So they were so excited for me to have this room and finally have some bonding time with my brand new baby.

(that is my mom standing by my bed. and I have to say, she still has that shirt and still wears it all the time!! love ya, ma!)

(this is my dad.)

No sooner than I got all settled in this room, and I realized that my armpits were sweating like no other. Like dripping sweating. The hospital didn’t have deodorant, so Mike went and found me some. Well it still didn’t work. I was SOAKING WET! And it was everywhere. And man, oh man did my boobs ever hurt. I was so annoyed by this, but a little embarrassed to tell anyone that I was sweating so badly. Suddenly I realized what was happening. MY MILK CAME IN! Are you kidding me? I seriously thought, “Give me a freaking break!” So my good old mom headed off to find me sports bras and I had to fight through the miserable pain and moisture. Ew. Thank goodness it didn’t last more than a day or two, but my boobs were so sore and they were constantly putting their cold stethoscopes all over them to check my heart. If I were to nurse at this point, the medicine I was talking would go straight to the baby’s heart. Remember how I said it was a miracle that I couldn’t nurse? Brett told me that as they were getting me ready to life flight, they asked him if we needed to pump something for the baby to get him by, because if I had not made it.... well. Weaning him would have been tough. Anyway. Miracle.

Here are some of my visitors in my nice big room.

One thing that happened while I was in this room, that I will never ever forget. One morning, it was just Brett and I in the room. My nurse that morning was kinda rough and gruff and ornery. She brought in like 13 pills for me to take. I made a comment about how many pills there were. She so casually said, “Well, you think this is bad? Wait until you get your heart transplant.” When she left, I looked and Brett and started to sob. I was so upset that he hadn’t told me I would need a heart transplant. He assured me that I did not need a transplant. How could he not tell me this!?!?!? Were they just trying to protect me? Well, I thought about heart failure, and I just got so upset. I was sure he was lying. When my Doctor’s came in awhile later, I did the same thing to them. I kinda freaked out on them and told them that they better start being honest. They too, assured me that I did not need a transplant. If things don’t improve for me, it could get to that point, but for now I was fine. (And still am, if you are wondering.) Brett told the Doctors what had happened with the nurse and they had a talk with her. I think Brett told me that she got in a bit of trouble. Needless to say, I never saw her again.

It was a very open room, and I always had visitors. Brett, Quayd and Mike were my die hards! By Sunday afternoon, I was doing better and everyone headed back home. The excitement was over and it was time for everyone to get back to work. We were pretty sure I would be released in a few days, so there was no reason to have anyone else stay. Mike, my lifesaver, (literally) stayed right by my side all of the time. The nurses came in CONSTANTLY to check my C-section wound and give me heparin shots in the belly. If you have ever had to have these shots, you know they just shove it right in there. No warning, and no regard for the patients comfort! They just threw up my gown and did what they had to do. Also, if you have ever had a baby, you know about the “surf board” and mesh panties... Nuff said. Anyway, Mike saw more of his poor daughter-in-law than any man should ever see. Mike and I actually bonded SO MUCH over this whole experience. Mainly because he truly is the reason I am alive today. He was persistent and made sure I was receiving the best care at all times. He insisted I go to the Doctor that morning, and I be life flighted and he insisted I go to the University of Utah. He also insisted that he drive Brett and Quayd out there. He was just so in tune with my needs at a time when there was so much chaos, nobody else was really able to figure it all out. I know he coordinated parking, rooms and meals. Sometimes he was probably driving everybody crazy, but at the same time, nobody else was really capable of making those decisions. If you know Mike, you know the health trials he had to face during his life on this Earth. He knew what I was going though. He knew that I could hear them that day. He knew what kind of “experience” I had on that helicopter. We talked about it in deep detail on many occasions. I really felt like he was the one person that truly understood what happened to me at that time and he didn’t think I was a freak when I wanted to talk about death, and near-death experiences. I LOVE to read books about this stuff and we would always have to talk all about it and compare stories. I really miss that. Of all of the things I miss about Mike, that is my top one. Our creepy death talks!

Anyway, I thought I would get to come home Tuesday, but to everyone’s surprise, I was released on Monday. I called a few people to tell them I was coming home, but I also didn’t want to waste time on the phone, I just wanted to get on the road. I had no clothes, so Brett went down to the hospital gift shop and bought me a U of U T-Shirt and scrub bottoms. Aunt Debbie had insisted they drive her new SWEET Cadillac out to the city so they could bring me home in comfort and style. I was so grateful for that! It was such a comfortable ride! I get very carsick, so Brett offered me the front seat, but I declined. I wanted to sit by my baby. I seriously sat in the back seat, cried and stared at him the whole time. I couldn’t believe he was mine and how beautiful he was. It was awesome. Finally... the bonding I needed.

We came home that night and I just wanted to sit in my living room by my baby. I wasn’t able to hold him for awhile, I was too weak. So I just had his little carseat beside me and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He was so good and never fussed. He was having some pukey things going on still, but he was so good! We finally had to put him on soy formula then he was fine. Tara and her family had been taking care of our house and pets while we were gone. We got home that night and hadn’t even called to tell anyone yet. We were just exausted. Well Tara comes pulling in to check on things. I realized that she had no idea I was home. So we just sat in the living room, so casually. She walked in and FREAKED OUT when she saw us sitting there. It was so cool! I will never forget it. I was so excited to see her! I also couldn’t be left alone for awhile, so I had to have babysitters. They came and sat with me all day while Brett was at work. Actually, they played with the baby while I rested. I am sure it was a tough job. My family all took different shifts. It was so awesome. I had such great support. I never could have made it thought with out them. My Grandma came a lot, Grandma Galley, Grandma Lane and Aunt Debbie, Mike, and a few people from my ward. My mom always came in the morning before work and helped me shower and bathe the baby. It was so important to me to be able to give Quayd a bath everyday and get him dressed in his little clothes. After a few weeks, I was able to do it all by my self. Then eventually I was able to drive again. So I felt like I had freedom. I still got tired very easily so I couldn’t do too much at a time, but I got stronger and stronger all the time. I still don’t feel like I am back to normal because I still get tired easily and once I am done, I am DONE! So I just had to find a new normal. And that normal ended up being a 23 year old mom with Congestive Heart Failure. Who also has to take medication for the rest of her life, but also has the most amazing son in the world. She doesn’t handle stress like she used to and gets very overwhelmed and stressed much easier that before, but she also realizes how lucky she really is and wouldn’t trader her life for ANYTHING!

Today, I am a 29 year old mom and I feel like I have taken this situation and tried my very hardest to make the best of it. I don’t feel picked on or unfortunate in anyway. Although, I struggle at times, I know I am blessed. I like to host pitty parties occasionally, but I try not to invite to many to join me. I struggle all the time with the fact that I cannot have anymore children. It breaks my heart. But I also know how lucky I am. I was so blessed to be able to experience pregnancy and childbirth. For that, I am forever grateful. I am also blessed, to have closure. That may sound strange to you, but I know SO many women who don’t know if they will even have that experience. I know that I was blessed to have it, and I will not have it again. I am truly so grateful for that. I don’t have to wonder. I was inspired to journal every single moment of my pregnancy. I have that journal still today and I will treasure it forever. I do not feel like my desire and dedication to that journal was a coincidence or accident. I also know that there are other ways for our family to grow, and we are not ruling that out in anyway. We have actually explored MANY avenues. But for now, we are content and happy. You really can’t ask for more than that. I am so grateful for this experience, and for finally taking the time to record it. This is my trial. And had I not chosen to accept it, I wouldn’t have Quayd. Then I wouldn’t have anything.

The End.

(Recorded April 2008, by me. Mandy Lane.)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

the one about teasing my little Kandice

I did something today that has NEVER EVER EVER been done before!!!!

I left a partially eaten food item in Kandice's bedroom!!!! he he he he he he

She hates stuff like that. Really. And while I was at her house for her Modbe party, Tara, Gleneita and I were in her room trying on swimming suits. I had a cookie in there with me. (I know, strange combo. Trying on swim wear and eating cookies.) I jokingly told Tara that I bet there has never been a cookie crumb in that room before. Then we decided it would be funny to put one there! It is sorta hidden, but she will find it tonight. And it will irritate the crap out her.

That is so mean that I get so much pleasure out of teasing my friends. But I can't help it. Sorry Kandice. I love you to death!

I have this thing when it comes to Kandice, and I know I have mentioned it before... I feel the need to protect her. Like she is my little sister or something. But she really doesn't need protected. Infact, when it comes to "needs," I need her MUCH more that she really needs me. I depend on her so much. I just love her to pieces.

She was a stress case today with her first Modbe party. She did awesome by the way. But I feel a little guilty for planting a half eaten cookie in her room, but hopefully by the time she finds it, her stress level will have dropped considerably and she can laugh it off. Have I mentioned how much I love this girl?

Anyway, I wish her all the luck in the world with her new business adventure. I am having a party on Thursday, May 22nd. It is AWESOME stuff. I love it! You will too, so come to my party. Check out their cool stuff... this is Kandice's web site.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

the one about Quayd's birth ... part 4

So I was going to finish this thing up in this last post, but it was crazy long, and I have a lot of pictures at the end. So I decided to break it into two.

I do have to say, though, I have never written all of this stuff down before. i have always wanted too, but just found reasons not to. I talk about it occasionally, but I have never just sat down and put it all together. It has opened so many emotions and brought back tons of memories. I seriously just type and cry. But it has been so therapeutic for me. It has felt so good to put it all out there.

And get this.... Remember how I told you that Brett never reads my blog? Well he worked late last night (late, as in 6:00. so not very late at all!) and he called me crying. I asked what was going on, because he NEVER cries! He said he just decided to look at my blog. He knew I was writing this stuff and he was curious about what I had to say. He said he was surprised at how I viewed some of those events. It makes sense though. I saw it from my point of view. And that was it. His view was totally different. Well it inspired him to write his story down in detail and I think he might even let me put it on the blog!!! Can you believe that? I am so excited. He is planning to start it this weekend.

Anyway, thank you all for your nice comments. It means so much to me that you all care about our story. Most of you that read my blog didn't even know us then so this all might be a surprise to you. But some of you did know us, and I am so grateful for all that you did to help us through that crazy time. (Tara, didn't you guys kill our fish or something? Refresh me.)

Anyway, here is part 4 of 5...

This part of the story is mostly stuff that happened while I was unconscious. I remember tiny bits and pieces, but most of this comes from what I was told after the fact.

I was loaded on the helicopter and I do remember the sound of it. I also remember this... (I actually had nightmares about this for a LONG time!) I don’t know if it happened when I was leaving our hospital and going to the helicopter or going from the helicopter to the U of U. But I will NEVER forget the scary feeling I had. In between hospital and helicopter, they have to unhook the ventilator and squeeze a bag so you can breathe. I remember laying there, and I had been give drugs to paralyze me, so I couldn’t move or talk. Anyway, they would squeeze the bag and it seemed like forever before they did it again. I would be laying there thinking, “Squeeze the BAG! I can’t breathe! I need more air!!!!!! Squeeze it!” Then they finally would. Then it would happen again, “SQUEEZE IT PLEASE!” I am going to die right now because they won’t squeeze the bag. SQUEEZE IT! SQUEEZE THE DAMN BAG!!!!!” Then they would again. I seriously get so upset thinking about it. It was horrible. It has actually affected me a lot. I don’t like to swim under water anymore because I think about it, and I will never be able to scuba dive. I just get so upset and nervous even thinking about it. I don’t like to kiss for a long time because I get freaked out that I might not be able to breathe. Its weird. Anyway, enough of that.

Two things, “miracles,” happened on the helicopter that changed everything. At some point, one of the flight team noticed how huge and puffy I was. Also knowing about all of the fluid on my lungs, they decided to give me Lasix, which helps your body get rid of excess fluids. It immediately relieved some of the pressure on my heart and lungs and they started to see a tiny bit of improvement. Also on that ride, I had an “experience.” Now don’t get freaked out on me. This is a very intimate and personal part of my story, so I don’t want to get to deep into the details. But I will say this. I had to make a choice. I had “visions,” “daydreams,” “active imagination,” call it what you will, of my sweet husband holding our new son in the nursery we worked so hard to prepare. I decided at that moment that I would endure what ever I had to so I could be with these two boys. I am guessing that those two events happened simultaneously. And not by accident.

In the meantime, Brett, Mike and Quayd were driving to Salt Lake City to meet me. Did I say “Driving?” I meant “FLYING.” Yes, they were going WAY to fast and got there way sooner than they should have. I am glad I didn’t know this part until later. I think another miracle may have gotten them there safely. I try to think of how scary that must have been for Brett. Knowing that his wife may or may not have made the flight, but going on blind faith that all would work out. I hope I never have to know how he really felt. Since I married Brett, we drove to Salt Lake twice as Mike was being life flighted. Not really knowing what we would find once we got there. Scary.

Again, I don’t really know the details of this part. I was in and out, but this is how I understand it all happened. Brett, Mike and Quayd got there and they let them come back into the ER at the University of Utah to see me. Now this part is weird... I don’t remember anything else about being at the “U” until I was in my own room, except this part... I was totally drugged and paralyzed and they brought my boys in. I heard the Doctor talking to them in the hall. He explained to them how badly I looked and that I would not be able to hear them. (I was hearing every word of this!) So they walked into the room and I could hear that they were on my right side. Brett had asked if they could give me a blessing and the Doctor said “sure,” and he left them in there alone. I could hear them, and Mike said, “Even though the Doctor said she can’t, she can probably hear you. Talk to her. She needs to know you are here.” I was SO happy that Mike had that insight. I wanted Brett to know I could hear him, but I couldn’t move or talk. It was so frustrating! I remember trying ANYTHING to just twitch a finger or an eye or ANYTHING! I just needed him to know I could really hear him. But I seriously couldn’t move. Brett told me that they were here, and my mom, Grandparents, brother, and Gleneita were on the way. Also, my brother had called my Dad and they had just gotten back to work after their vacation, but he was on a plane and on the way. He told me that Quayd was fine. He slept most of the way out and that he was right there beside me. I was so relieved to hear those things. Brett’s voice was shaking as he spoke. I just wanted to relay to him that I could hear him. I was so happy, sad, scared, frustrated and over-joyed all at the same time and I had no way to let him know. Then a tear rolled down my cheek. I didn’t feel it, but Mike pointed it out to Brett. He said, “See. I was pretty sure she would be able to hear you.” Mike began to talk to me too, and they told me that they had ruled out pneumonia and a blood clot, and they were still trying to figure out what was happening. Then they gave me a blessing. I wish I could remember it, but I don’t. Brett did tell me later though, that during that blessing, he was able to say that I would be ok. Then, even though he had to watch me suffer, he felt like the worst was behind us and there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I think that I was so relieved to hear the news they had given me, that I just relaxed. I do remember though, after they left, I was really agitated and I was starting to move a tiny bit. The Doctor told someone to give me more of something. Then I was out again for awhile.

The next thing I remember I was in ICU. I was still on the ventilator. I actually don’t know if this happened in ICU or what, but as I was coming out of the drug-induced coma, I remember as I woke, I would automatically try to pull the tube out of my throat. The nurses and Doctors would tell me that I couldn’t do that. I KNEW I couldn’t and shouldn’t, but like my reflexes took over or something. They warned me that they would have to restrain my hands, and after I had done this a couple of times, I got one of them to look me in the eye and I somehow relayed the message that I wanted them to restrain me. They were like, “You want to be restrained? Are you sure?” And I shook my head yes. It may seem like nothing to you as you read this, but that was so hard. I didn’t want to be restrained. It made me feel like some kind of monster or something, but I just wanted to get better and be done with it. I couldn’t control myself as I was waking up, so I just had to be tied down. It was really hard. And I am sure it was hard for my visitors to see my hands tied to the bed like that.

I am not sure when, but at sometime it was finally decided what was happening to me. It is really complicated, so bear with me here. Plus I don’t really understand it all. Thank goodness I have Brett to explain it all to me. And you need to know, I am no kind of medical genius, so this is total Mandy terms. Nothing scientific here. K. When you are pregnant, your heart works over time to supply blood to both mom and baby. Well, my heart was working even harder because of the Pre-Eclampsia. It was having to take these huge pumps to get everything circulating through all of my body, all the way to my baby. As you know, the heart is a muscle, so as mine was working so hard, it became enlarged. Once the baby was no longer in my body, my heart finally had the chance to relax a little. It didn’t need to take such huge, hard pumps and it just kinda gave up. Then the beats became very sporadic and out of rhythm. Since there was so much built up fluid in my body, and my heart wasn’t pumping it all through the way it should, it all backed up and finally started spilling into my lungs. This is what was happening to me at my house before I was life flighted. Once the flight crew realized I had too much water on my body, they gave me a medicine that pulled it off my body and into a pee bag. (What did I tell you. No medical terms here!) Once I was in SLC, the Doctors ran several tests and realized just how bad my heart had been damaged. When a normal, healthy heart beats, it pumps 85-90% of the blood though with each “pump.” Mine was only pumping about 22% through. Yet, my body was still making all of the same blood and fluid as before, it just wasn’t working through my body. Thus, causing all of the water retention, eventually filling my lungs. Brett explained it to me that my lungs were the only open area for more fluid to go, so that is where it went. I was officially diagnosed with Peri-Partum Cardio myopathy. That means “pregnancy educed congestive heart failure. At that time, I was the 94th documented case of Peri-Partum Cardio myopathy in the United States.

I really lost track of time, but I think I was in the ICU for about 2 days. I flew in on Wednesday morning and went to ICU that evening, I think. Then Friday afternoon I was moved to my own room. While I was in ICU and on the ventilator, I got very good at writing on a clip board while laying down. I love to talk, so it was really hard not to be able to. I asked a lot of questions, and told a lot about what I had experienced on Life Flight. My dad actually kept some of the papers I had written on and he gave them to me a year later. Nobody knew he had them. It was strange to see what I had written. I really don’t remember much of it. But when I look at those papers today, I still get very emotional. They are actually quite a treasure and I am so glad I have them!

The “U” is a teaching hospital and since my condition was so rare, I was VERY popular. On that first night, when I supposedly couldn’t hear what anyone was saying, I heard some people in my room. I had nothing else to do but listen, so as I drifted in and out, I caught bits an pieces of what they were saying. It was a group of students and a teacher talking about my case. I didn’t know what was wrong with me yet. My family did, but not me. I was still in pretty serious condition and in a drug-induced coma, so they hadn’t told me yet. Well, I heard these people talking so I got out of their group discussion that it was something with my heart. I remember being surprised by that. But the part I heard that I will never forget was this. One of them asked about future pregnancies. The instructor told him absolutely not. The chance of the same thing happening to me again is guaranteed. I was just SHOCKED! And there I lay with nobody to talk to. Nobody to comfort me. And I was so worried that I had let Brett down. As soon as he got there the next morning, I wrote on my little paper, “No more babies.” (That is actually on one of the papers I have.) He just looked at me and said, “I know. It’s ok. We have Quayd, and he is perfect.” What a great guy. I love him so much!

One time when Gleneita was in the room, I asked her (in writing) to please take care of my baby. I knew she would do a great job, and I just needed to know that she had that part covered. Then I didn’t have to worry about it. In the ICU, I wasn’t able to see Quayd. (Although, shhhhhhh... they snuck him in to see me for a few seconds a couple of times.) (my dad took this picture of Brett and Quayd in my ICU room) Remember how I told you that I didn’t really feel like I had that “motherly instinct” to take care of my baby? I still didn’t at this point. As weird as it sounds, I just didn’t care. I mean, I loved my baby, and I felt bonded to him, but I just didn’t worry about his needs. Besides, I knew Gleneita was on it. As selfish as it sounds, the thing I was worried about at that point, was me. Also on my papers, I asked several times about Quayd, and how he was. He was getting a little bit of cradle cap before we went to SLC so Brett was telling me that it was looking better. I wrote, “Did you bring his scrubby brush?” Brett said, “No.” So I told him to go to the nursery and ask if they would give him one. I was worried about such random things. Quayd was also having a hard time with the nipples we had bought, so Mike took it upon himself to go to ShopKo and found some new nipples. Quayd LOVED them and Mike was so proud of himself. But they ended up being very challenging to find later. We made several trips to that same ShopKo when we would come out to the city for my follow up visits just to find those nipples. He also got spoiled by his Grandma right away. He was so tiny and his clothes just drowned him. Gleneita went to the malls and found cute premie clothes. She wanted me to see him looking cute and she wanted his clothes to fit him very nicely. He did look so cute. Also on her shopping adventures, Gleneita and Brynn got me the cutest Build-A-Bear. It is dressed in doctor clothes and says, “We all love you and hoe you get feeling better soon.” It meant so much to me. I slept with it and wouldn’t let it out of my sight while I was in the hospital. It is still something I cherish. It sits in my bedroom right by my bed everyday!

Quayd was so amazing through this whole ordeal. Seriously, he was the BEST baby. He rarely fussed, and he was content to be held by anyone, or just to lounge in his car seat. He was having formula issues at this time, and was not just spitting up, but projectile vomiting CONSTANTLY! But he never cried. Brett tells me that there was just something amazing about him. Through all of the stress, Quayd was always comforted. He was always at peace. He would kinda gaze off and look at things, and I am so sure it was special helpers sent to us to help him. Don’t get me wrong, he was very well cared for, but not only by the people who surrounded him in the hospital waiting room. I know that he was protected and surrounded by angels.

Another thing that I remember and I know was really hard for my family to see (ask them, and they will tell you) is when I had to cough. I don’t really remember much about it, but when I was on the ventilator, I had to be able to cough up the mucus stuff that would build up in my bronchial tubes. It was kind of part of the healing process I guess. But they would send this vacuum thing down the vent tube and at the same time, I had to cough really hard. Which hurt like no other, by the way, because I had a big hose thing blocking everything. At the same time I would cough, the vacuum would suck the crap out. After it sucked the junk out, they would pull the tube out and it would hit my gag reflex and I would gag for awhile, which again, hurt like no other. It was awful. I started to be able to feel when I needed to cough, so even though I knew how much it would hurt, I would ask the nurses to come get the sucker thing and help me cough. It made me feel so much better after I did it, and I knew it was going to help me so much. So I just had to suffer through it. In one place on one of my papers, it says, “I need to cough.”

I was only on the vent for like a day or so, I think. Then they put me on another horrible breathing machine. It was this mask thing that went on my nose and it forced air into my lungs. I didn’t have the tube in my throat anymore, so I could talk, but because of the forced air of the machine, it was really difficult. I had to breathe in rhythm of the machine. So if I said too much, I would get out of rhythm and it was hard to catch back up. So it was just easier to not talk. Plus, I looked like a total idiot. My dad was camera happy and wanted to take pictures of me throughout the ordeal, but I threw a total fit. Also, Tara came to visit one night and offered to take pictures and I said NO WAY! I didn’t want to remember it and I knew I looked terrible and I didn’t think I would ever want to be reminded of it. Well, I kick myself now. I would sorta like to see it and I would even post it on my blog. I did let my dad take some later on, so stay tuned for those. I really wanted a picture of my baby and my husband in my room so I could show the nurses. My sweet cousin Brooke brought me a Polaroid camera and took a few pictures for me.

These are scans of the actual pictures I had in my room in ICU. I just held them and looked at them all the time. I was so proud to be married to such a great guy, and to have such a cute baby. (And I still am!)

the one about Quayd's nasty ear

ok, another funny thing that Quayd just said.... Sorry if this stuff gets annoying, but I have to write it all down somewhere!!!!

So the other day, his ear was really bugging him. We looked in it and Brett and I could see this HUGE chunk of wax. We tried to get it with q-tips and stuff, but it was too big and hard. I even had Gibler look in there with her super earwax removal tools, but no luck. Well I knew just what he needed! (Are you with me here?)


So we did the candle and got the hugest chunk ever. It was insane. Well that was last weekend and I kinda forgot about it. He just randomly came up to me and said, "Mom. Remember that huge chunk we got out of my ear? Like, that was crazy. I mean, how could a chunk that big come out of such a little boy?"

He is too funny. Of course, I still have the chunk, so we posed this picture. Isn't he cute?

Brett just came home from work and looked aver my shoulder at what I was typing. He started laughing and said that last night in the shower Quayd, out of NOWHERE, said, "Wouldn't it be cool if you could put a watermelon up your nose?"

Brett said, "No. Not really. I don't want want a watermelon up my nose. I think it would hurt."

Quayd said, "Well, I think it would be cool."

Then Brett picked lint out of his belly button (I know, sick) and Quayd asked why he got lint in there. Brett said, "Because I am fat."

Then Quayd said, "Wouldn't it be cool if your belly button went all the way to your back?" Brett just looked at him and said...... "Yep."

Funny stuff. Like, you can't make this stuff up! Love that kid.

the one about poop and farts

Oh my goodness.... Quayd is so funny. I am sitting at my computer reading blogs and email and he just bearly came walking in here to tell me this.

"Mom. I just went in the bathroom to go poop, and when I was squeezing it, a little fart come out. Weird huh?"

He is too much!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

the one about my fun afternoon/evening and getting the crap scared out of me

I had such a FUN day and evening! But it ended with a terrible scare and a near BM in my pants.

I have to tell you all about it. Besides, I feel like I need to break up the "birth story" thing. It is getting a little depressing! And obviously you know the outcome because here I am and I have a great kid to show for it! Anyway, onto my afternoon/evening...

So I came home from work and I just wanted to relax. I put on some ugly cut off sweats and left my lunch lady scrub top on. My hair, for some reason, had totally fallen flat today, so I was just uglier than a big wet dog. And I didn't really care! I called Janice to see how the big marathon went and I got a update from her. It was nice to visit with her for a second so she could tell me all about her Boston experience. They were flying home and they had a layover in Cincinnati so we only got to chat for a second. But still nice!

So I worked on my blog, worked on a digi-scrappin' project that Kandice needed some help with. (Looks great, btw, K). As I was finishing up with that, Jamie gave me such a pleasant surprise by stopping by to visit. She had some time to kill so we just sat on my couch and laughed about our crazy boss at work, Emily. We LOVE to tease her and it is so easy to get her. I have pulled two GOOD pranks on her in the last couple of days, and I am getting nervous thinking about the possible repercussions. Anyway, it was fun visiting with Jamie. (And even funner to watch her try to start her scooter in my driveway!)

Then Quayd and I ran over to visit with Grandma and Grandpa Lane. Brett met up with us there. They are doing some remodeling and we looked through books of doors to try to help Grandma choose one.

As we were driving home, we stopped at Quayd's friends house, Randon. He stayed there and played with Randon and their other buddy Peyton. As soon as I got home, Gibler called me and asked me to meet her at Maurice's to pick out some pants. She was worried that the girls that work there were just trying to make a sale and not being honest if her butt looked big. (Gag me!) So we stayed there awhile and tried on tons of clothes. We both left with a treasure! (wink, wink)

Then I came home and my sweet husband had made dinner. Kraft macaroni and cheese. I was off playing so he had to fend for himself. Sorry babe! Quayd came home and immediately went over to Brennen's. He is suddenly Mr. Social and doesn't think he needs to hang out with mom and dad.

Kimmie stopped by again and she asked me to go with her to run a few errands. And get a Diet Pepsi. (That was the most important errand!) We also had to go into the grocery store to get some Gatorade for Kayle. We were both a site, by the way. We were pretty embarrassed to even go into a store. Well our checker-boy was this high school looking kid. He was cute and just trying to be nice and do his job. So he says to us, "You just getting off work?" We just looked at him, then each other and giggled. Kim politely said, "Yep. Just gettin' off work." We got outside and cracked up. We were like, "What in the heck did that mean?" It was so weird. I know he was just trying to make conversation, but what a weird thing to say to two homely women in a grocery store buying Gatorade at 9:00 pm on a Tuesday. Yah. That is the only weird thing about that trip!

When I came home, Shae (my new BF) was here helping Brett do Ipod stuff. (These pictures were actually taken last night when she was here helping Brett with Ipod stuff. She is a genius, by the way! We had gone swimming with Shae and Amelia for Family Home Evening and Shae really wanted me to stress that. She didn't want anyone to judge her appearance from these pictures. I thought it was a good idea since I have so many teenage boys checking out my blog in search of a date! Goofy girl!) She was stumped with a silly questions so she called her big brother Garrison to come and help. In the mean time, Shae and I decided to run to the movie theater for popcorn. (This story is about to get really scary...... be prepared.......) I told Shae to tell Garrison that we would stop by and pick him up, but unbeknownst to me, he had already walked down. Shae and I are just chatting away and get in my car. Thanks to road construction, our driveway is a mess and very narrow, so I back in to my brother's driveway and turn around when I am leaving, then I can see where I am going better. First of all, as I flipped my car around, there stood Garrison, looking all creepy-like and I almost ran him over. Like, he wasn't scared for nearly losing his life by my careless driving, he wasn't waving, moving or even smiling. Just standing there. Well it freaked me out and I let out the most horrifying scream. It was so awful! Well we laughed and laughed about it, then Tara came down. we were telling her all about it and we decided to do a re-enactment so I could share it on my blog. Honestly, the pictures are pretty accurate!! Serious!

K, so wouldn't this scare you if you saw it in the dark after you nearly ran it over?

This was my reaction...

All of that, for this. Yummmmmmmyyyy. It was worth the scare!

Isn't that crazy? I was so scared. I don't know why. Garrison is harmless. But after we all had a big laugh, he ever-so-calmly said, "Maybe you should look behind you better when you are backing up." Oh. Yah. I guess I should. His dad is a Drivers Ed instructor, after all.

Crazy. Anyway, I had such a fun afternoon/evening. It was so nice to visit and hang with some of my awesome friends and family. Thanks to all of you for making my day so fun.

theone about Quayd's birth... part 3

Ready for more?

You know, I have this whole thing typed up, I just don't want to overwhelm you so I am posting in pieces. And I felt bad that I didn't have any good pictures to go with this part, so I found some off the internet.

So everything went pretty well at the hospital. I tried to nurse, but it just wasn’t happening. I was really frustrated about that, but finally decided that I am not a terrible person for not being able to do it. (Looking back now, I realize that me not being able to nurse was actually another miracle in the making.) I delivered on a Friday and got to go home on Sunday afternoon.

Monday was Labor Day, and probably the first day of my downhill battle. Brett didn’t have to work, and neither did my mother-in-law. I was really stressed about my dirty carpet and Gleneita offered to come and help Brett clean it. Mike came too and he was on baby duty. It is so weird looking back, but I was so sick at this point. We should have caught on. I had NO desire to hold my baby or anything. I slept all day on Monday. And I really don’t remember much of the day. The baby would cry, and I should have had the mother instinct to help him, but it just wasn’t there. I didn’t really care. Isn’t that terrible? I just felt like crap. I didn’t know that what I was feeling was abnormal. After all, I had never had a C-section before. I was much more worried about how I was going to take care of this baby all day Tuesday. Alone.

Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling even worse. I was all alone. I should have been ecstatic to be home with this cute new baby. But I didn’t even care. Another miracle happened on this day. Here is this brand new baby needing so many things from his mother and she couldn’t pull herself off the couch. I really don’t even remember if I fed him that day. He never really cried. I never really woke up. Some friends from my ward (Jamie and Michele) stopped by to see us, and I hardly remember it. I remember them being all excited that I had a baby, and I’m like, “What baby?” It wasn’t really that bad, but pretty much. Brett came home from work and I couldn’t wait to go to bed. I had started this annoying cough and if you have ever had incisions on your belly, you can imagine how badly this hurt. I would hold a pillow really tight on my stomach and try to cough a little. Ohhhh it was awful. It got worse and worse through the night. I was sure I had caught some kind of a cold or something. Early in the morning, I felt like I should go to the hospital, but we decided to wait until my doctor was in the office because he knew everything that was going on with me already. I was sure I could wait until then. Brett called Mike to see if he could come and stay with the baby while he was at work. I stayed in bed and hacked and coughed. As soon as the Doctor’s office opened, Brett called to get me a prescription. My OB was doing surgery that day so he wasn’t in the office so we he called the family/friend Doctor that told me I was pregnant in the first place. She was hesitant to call anything in without seeing me, so I had to go in. I was so bugged! Her office was on the second floor and I really didn’t think I could make it up the stairs. There was an elevator, but just walking out to Mike’s truck was bad enough, I knew I couldn’t make it that far. So sweet Mike went in the building, found a wheelchair, brought it out for me, loaded me in and put Quayd’s car seat on my lap. He pushed me to the elevator and we went in the office. I was hacking and coughing away and they took my pulse-oxygen level. It was 23. (It should be in the 90's) So they were panicking all around, and I seriously had no idea what was happening. They rushed me down to the hospital to have some chest X-Rays, but then had to get past all of the technicalities and check me in and stuff. It was so stupid. So instead of having me out in the hospital where people could see how sick I was, they decided to put me in an outpatient room and I swear, I waited there forever. They just wheeled me in there and left me. I actually found out later that Mike was out in the hall chewing them all out for just leaving me. He was trying to get them to acknowledge that something was seriously wrong. I am sure the nurses were scared too. It was crazy and I was seriously just sitting there dying. I could see a phone across the room, and thought I better try to call my mom. I didn’t want to bug her and I didn’t want her to feel like she had to come down, but I was pretty scared and I wanted my mommy. Mike had already called Brett. But looking at that phone across the room (probably only 5 feet away, max) I just got so upset because I didn’t think I could wheel my self over to it. I was so weak and sick and not at all in my right mind. I didn’t really have any pain, just weakness. I just wanted to lay down. I did call my mom. I wish I could remember it. I do remember telling her not to freak out and that I would let her know what was happening. I am sure at that point she was already out the door. I finally got to go back for my X-rays. It was so hard to stand there. I just wanted it to be over. Then I think we went to the ER. I remember being in one of the ER rooms, and seeing Mike out in the hall freaking out at the nurses. I was half embarrassed wondering what in the heck he was saying to them. (If you knew him at all, you know he was a bit of a hot head!) I also remember seeing my sweet baby in his car seat on the floor in the hall. All alone. Really there were people right there by him, including Mike, but I couldn’t see any of them. Mike was out there telling the Doctors that he wanted Life Flight on the way RIGHT NOW! I didn’t know all of this though. My blood pressure was so out of control that they didn’t want to talk in front of me and get me upset. They were afraid I would have a stroke. Anyway, I was so upset seeing Quayd out there and I finally got the receptionists attention. I didn’t know her, but I asked her to PLEASE hold my baby. I was so upset that he was on the floor and I just wanted him to be held. He wasn’t crying or anything, but it just really bothered me. She was so sweet. She went out there and got him and held him in the hall where I could see her holding him. That was such a big relief for me. I actually saw her in the store several months later and she asked if I remembered her. I just started crying and hugged her and thanked her for holding him. She cried too and told me how scary the whole thing had been. I agreed.
Anyway, they were hooking me up to millions of IV’s. After seeing all of the fluid on my lungs from the X-Rays they weren’t sure what was going on. Life Flight was coming, and they wanted to do a CT scan. At this point they had already ruled out pneumonia. Now they were thinking blood clot to the lugs. I was really drifting in and out of consciousness at this point. Also, by now, a lot of my family members were there, but they all had to be briefed in the hall not to cry or say anything that might upset me. The high blood pressure was still very risky. I remember being wheeled back for the CT scan. I also remember laying there on that table being so scared, but finally being at peace. I was pretty sure I was going to die. Seriously. I remember thinking, “This is it for me. I have a brand new baby and I will not get to see him grow up. I am totally going to die right here.” I made it out of that horrible room. Bearly. After this, my OB had caught wind of what was happening and he came into the ER to talk to me. I was so glad! Everyone was trying so hard not to upset me and it was so tense and scary in there, I had really felt all alone. He sat down on the edge of my bed. Held my hand and told me that they weren’t sure what was happening. My lungs had a lot of fluid and my blood pressure was out of control. He also told me that Life Flight was there and they were going to take me to Salt Lake. I asked what hospital and he told me the University of Utah. He also said that the flight crew was going to come in and put a tube in my throat to help me breathe. That really upset me, so I asked if I would be asleep for that, and he assured me that I would. He gave me a hug and told me that I was in good hands. Right after that, Brett and Mike gave me a blessing. Brett told me later that he wanted to be able to tell me that I was going to be fine, but the spirit wouldn’t let him say those words. At that point, nobody thought I would make it. Even today, nurses and Doctors from the hospital remember me and say to me now, “Wow... We were so sure you were going to die.” They put me out shortly after that.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

the one about Quayd's birth...part 2

So, here is a continuation of my baby story. I need to warn you (Kristi) that there are pretty graphic pictures of my C-section here. Remember I told you that one of the nurses offered to take pictures for me? Well there are 4 of them on here. I think they are SO cool, but maybe you won't. Consider yourself warned.

I wasn’t due until September 16th. By mid-summer, I was going to the Doctor twice a week. Tuesdays and Fridays. After each visit with the Doctor, I had to go to the hospital and have a non-stress test and blood work. A few of the times, my Doctor made me stay at the hospital over night because my blood pressure was so high.

My dad and step-mom came to visit from Tulsa in August. I hadn’t seen them since my wedding, nearly 4 years earlier so I was pretty excited. Except I was stuck in bed. I couldn’t do anything fun and I was SO mad! They went and did fun things with my nephews and I didn’t get to leave my house, except for a couple of hours on Tuesdays and Fridays. ERRRRRRRR!!! They were pretty good to come hang out though, and they actually spent a good share of their vacation doing my laundry and cleaning my house. They drove, so their schedule was flexible. We hoped they would be here for the birth, but it was time for them to head back. We knew I was probably going to have the baby early, but we weren’t sure how early. They left on Wednesday, August 28th. For some reason, my regular Friday appointment was changed to Thursday (the 29th). Brett came with me to this one and I was 37 ½ weeks pregnant. We discussed the options, and decided it was far more risky for me to stay pregnant with my Pre-Eclampsia than to have the baby 2 ½ weeks early. My Doctor decided the baby was ready and it was time. He had been “checking” me” but I was no where near ready. He said I could have a C-Section and get it over with, quick and easy or he could start my labor, but it would be LONG and HARD. At this point I was so sick and decided a C-Section sounded very nice. So we scheduled it for the next morning. Imagine how excited we were! It was such a great day! We went to Wal-Mart and got the last few things we would need. I was so huge and puffy and I waddled through the whole store. But I didn’t care. I was about to be a MOMMY! Brett also took me to my favorite Mexican restaurant. His Grandpa Galley came over that night and helped Brett give me a blessing. Surprisingly, I slept pretty well that night (Thank you Ambien!)

We had to be at the hospital around 10:00 or something. After they prepped, poked, prodded and yes, shaved me, I was finally ready for surgery. My mom was there, Mike, and Talia (she got checked out of school to be there). By the time we had a baby, Our Grandparents came, my brother, Brett’s brothers and several other people. The support was AWESOME! Since I had spent so much time in the hospital the weeks prior to this day, I had become friends with many of the nurses. One of them, Megan, was not going to be working on me or Quayd during the surgery, so she offered to take my camera and get good pictures of the birth. It was great!

My goofy husband was right there by my side. I remember them wheeling me towards the OR and Brett was escorted to a room to change. They started my spinal block and got me all ready for surgery. Once they were ready to start, they brought Brett in. He was so funny. I could see the color in his face starting to change. I finally asked a nurse to check on him. She took him outside and he nearly passed out. She took him somewhere and she was fanning him and stuff. She had him eat some cookies and juice. Wherever it was that they took him, Mike could see him, and thought it was so funny. I was in the OR, about to have a baby and thinking, “Where is that pansy!” I was wishing I brought Mike in the room instead! After just a few minutes, Brett was feeling better and came back in. He was just in time for the birth.

I felt no pain. Not even a little. I just heard the Doctors talking back and forth and I heard them slurping the water and goo. It hadn’t been long at all when they told me we would have a baby in just a few seconds. So many thoughts and emotions went through my mind. I wondered if he would be cute, if he would be healthy, if he would really be a boy (still), I wondered if he would like me, if I would like him, if Brett was going to make it through the birth, if the baby was scared, or in pain, I wondered if after all of the health issues I had faced if he would still be ok, if I would be a good mom.... then I heard his cry. And I knew we would be just fine.
That was one of our miracles. They held him over by me so I could see him and he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Even though he was covered in blood and slop. But man, was he ever mad! He cried like nothing I have ever heard before. They did his APGAR stuff and he scored a 9. (Then when they scored it a little while later he was a 10.) They wiped him down a little bit and Brett brought him over to me. It was such a cool moment. I looked up and Brett, he looked at me and we just cried. We have a picture of that exact moment and I just love it. Brett then had to take Quayd down to the nursery. I just laid there and relaxed while everyone else had to watch all of the mean things they did to my baby. They called from the nursery to tell me his weight and everything. 6 lbs 12.5 oz. 19.5" long. They said he was great. I couldn’t wait to see him. It seemed like forever before I got down to my room. In recovery, my blood pressure was high and it took awhile to get it down to a safe level. Finally, they let me go. When they wheeled me to my room, there were so many people there to greet me. It was amazing. My baby was perfect and healthy. I was amazed and sort of surprised that he had been so healthy and perfect. He was definitely protected in my belly. That was another miracle in the bank.

This is me a few hours after surgery. I really thought the puffiness would go away, but it didn't. You will have to stay tuned to find out why. And this is us the day we left the hospital. Man, my coloring was just terrible and I looked awful, huh. It's ok. You can say it. I looked pretty bad. I know. I can handle it.

Anyway, there is SO much more to this story, so you will have to check back. I hope you aren't getting bored yet.....

the one about rearranging furniture

My name is Mandy and I am addicted to rearranging furniture.

It's true. I get this sickness from my mother. She is just as bad as me. If I feel like I need to deep clean something, I just don't feel like it is really clean unless I move everything around. Sometimes just moving 1 or 2 pieces of furniture helps, but other times I have to tear up the whole room. The weekend was a good example of both. Let me explain...

Kandice, Janice, my Mom and me have decided to have a yard sale. (It is Saturday, May 3rd at Janice's house, by the way.) So I have been trying to deep clean and get stuff ready for the big sale. I have been going from room to room and organizing as I go. Friday was Quayd's room's turn for a cleaning. It was a total disaster! I got rid of so much stuff. But his room is pretty small so there aren't a lot of options for rearranging. But I did switch places with the dresser, big toy cabinet and his Lego table. Just being able to really get under everything and clean super good helps me feel like I have my life more together. I know, I know... It is all in my head. I am a freak, what can I say? (notice the Nim's Island poster.. Shae works at the movie theater and hooked Quayd up and he is so excited! She has also promised him the Horton Hears a Who poster.)

So today I decided to tackle the living room. I still had Easter decorations up. That is against everything I stand for, by the way. Well I knew I wouldn't be satisfied unless I moved EVERYTHING! Brett even helped me, and it was quite a project. Pianos are really heavy. But now I know that everything is nice and clean and smells like Pine-Sol. Yummy! It actually smells like Cucumber Lime right now because the Pine-Sol smell has started to fade and I just put new blocks in my Scentsy.
This is my little computer corner. It has everything I need. , my Ipod and Diet Pepsi.
Ok, well that is another glimpse into my world. And I am glad to say that today, my world is a little bit cleaner. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Saturday, April 19, 2008

the one about Quayd's birth... part 1

I have been inspired. Several of you have been writing about the birth of your children. I LOVE reading these stories. I have mentioned in my blog that I would tell my story some day. Well, someday has finally come. A lot of you know... I had quite an "experience" having my little Quayd. I have wanted to write it all down for quite sometime, just never really got around to it. It was a strange time for me. It was the most wonderful experience of my life, but as a lot of you know, it was a very hard time too. I experienced such highs and lows. Our family was so blessed through this time and I witnessed MANY miracles. It is something I hope I will never forget. But I have been worried about forgetting some of the small details, that is why I have wanted to record it all. It is a LONG story, so I am going to post it in parts. The first part will be about my pregnancy.

I am worried about you getting bored with it all, so don't feel obligated to read. As I have said many times before... This is my journal. I write for me and I try really hard to express my true feelings. I don't like feeling like I have to write for an audience. Also, my story will get really deep in parts. Don't get freaked out. I will really try to tell it how it is. I am not afraid to talk about it, so I guess I won't be afraid to write about it either. If you ever have questions, its fine to ask. I am an open book. And I am not freaky or over sensitive about it, so really. Just ask.

If you know nothing about my story, you are probably wondering what in the crap I am talking about. Well, it might take a couple of posts, but then you will see.

And now, one last thing before I start... I am in NO WAY WHAT SO EVER seeking for sympathy. This is just a crazy story I want to tell. Pah-Lease, don't feel like you have to feel sorry for me. I am very content with my life and I know that this happened to us for a reason. I don't want to be one of those people who over tells their story, so I will tell it this time, but that's it. So here goes nothing....

I got married to Brett when I was 19, almost 20. I know. I was a BABY! And so was he, at 18. We were not pregnant at the time, so stop wondering! Because we were so young, we knew we didn’t want kids right away, so we didn’t start trying for about a year an a half. Once we started “trying,” it didn’t came as easily and quickly as we had thought. Now, looking back, I realize it came pretty quickly after all. Especially knowing what would happen during and after pregnancy. It is easy to see now how Heavenly Father prepared us for the trial we were about to endure.

I had this crazy fertility tester! My friend found it on the Internet and it was this experimental thing from France or something. It is called “The Donna” and I still have it! How they ever figured it out is beyond me, but somebody discovered that you can detect fertility and ovulation from your saliva. So this little lipstick shaped tool had a type of microscope in it. You remove the lens and lick it, then let it dry completely and look through the microscope. Certain patterns on the lens told you if you were ovulating. If it just looked like random dots, no ovulation. If you had a “Fern” pattern, that meant ovulation. So my usual routine was to lick the thing in the morning before I showered then within about ten minutes it was ready, so I would check it as I stepped out of the shower. (Seriously, SO many HORRIBLE diseases in the world and some freak figured out that fertility is detected through saliva. CRAZY!) I got this tool about a year before I delivered Quayd. I had been using it, but noticed that I didn’t ovulate very often. I was still young and not extremely worried, so I had not gone to a Doctor or anything just yet. After a few months, I had decided that the silly thing was a hoax and there was no such thing as a “fern pattern.” Now this is getting into the almost TMI (too much information) section, but I will keep it clean. Brett LOVES to give this part of the story, but I just get a little embarrassed. So, please know I am totally blushing just typing this part! Anyway, we woke up on Christmas morning, 2001. I licked the dumb Donna. We went to Brett’s mom and dad’s house for the usual Christmas morning festivities. We came home and, well, you know! We just spent the rest of the morning relaxing and stuff. We had another family dinner later that afternoon, so we finally got moving and showered and stuff. I am a creature of habit and as I got out of the shower, I looked at Donna. Well, boy oh boy, did she have a surprise in store for me! Unmistakable fern pattern covering the WHOLE lens! This is so cliche’, but we knew at that moment that I was pregnant. We just felt it. Well, of course, you can’t take a pregnancy test that soon, so we had to be patient.

About a week and a half or two weeks passed and I knew it was getting close to period time. I had a pregnancy test at my house, because, as I mentioned, we had been trying. I got up one morning and decided I would try it. Brett and I were both getting ready for work. I peed on the stick, and NOTHING! Dang. We were so disappointed, but also knew we were sorta jumping the gun. We decided to try again in a couple of days after we had prayed long and hard for NO PERIOD! Well I came home from work that afternoon and went to the bathroom. I noticed the test in the trash can. I pulled it out, and I couldn’t believe it. One line meant not pregnant, and 2 lines meant pregnant. Well the first line was VERY bright, that means the test is working. But I could see a very faint second line. HOLY CRAP!!! I didn’t want to call Brett and get him way excited and he wouldn’t be home for a little bit, so I remembered I had another test in the cupboard. Brett and I had a deal that I wouldn’t do a test without telling him first. We wanted to be together through the whole thing. (Except the actual peeing thing. He didn’t want to be in the bathroom with me for that.) But I really hated to get him excited, so I went ahead and peed on that test without telling him. OH MY GOSH!! Again, one bright line, one really faint line. Now I didn’t know what to do. Do I tell Brett and risk him being mad at me??? I decided I better tell him when he got home. In person. But first, I needed more tests!! I quickly ran to the store. I bought another 2-pack. Once I got home and looked at the test again, I was really baffled. Brett came home and I sat him down and broke the news to him. HE WAS SO EXCITED! He said, “Well, we need more tests!” So immediately I pee on ANOTHER one! Same result. We decided to wait a day or two before we did the last test. Well by 9:00 that night, we couldn’t stand it and I peed on that one too. Two lines, one bright, one faint. So I called my friend Tara and told her to come over right then! She did, and when she looked at the 4 tests, she laughed and said, “Well, what do you think?” I was freaking out and said I didn’t know what to think. She was so calm and said, “Well, I think 4 positive tests is a pretty good indication.” Well, I still felt like I needed a positive answer from a Doctor, but it was Friday, so I would have to wait until Monday. We ended up going to Payson for the weekend for a baby blessing. We went to Costco in Provo in search of an economy pack of pregnancy tests but couldn’t find any. So we bought some bouillon cubes instead. First thing Monday, I called our family Doctor’s office. The receptionist said I could just come in and do the test. I probably wouldn’t be able to see the Doctor. I didn’t care, I just wanted an answer. So I went in and took the test. Brett was at work, and I was supposed to be at work but I left. I couldn’t stand it. So I did my thing and they told me to wait in the lobby for 5 minutes. Well, that was the longest 5 minutes EVER! They finally call me back, put me in a room, and asked me to wait for the Doctor, who happens to be a good family friend. I thought that was a little weird. She came in and was so excited to tell me the news! I started crying, she started crying, and it was just great. She doesn’t do OB, so she recommenced me to another Doctor in town and told me to keep her posted. I couldn’t wait to get to Brett’s work and tell him. As soon as he saw me, he knew and we hugged and cried and jumped around and yelled and all sorts of stuff! It was amazing. I will never forget the happiness I felt at the moment. It is hard to forget because when ever I look at Quayd today, I get that same feeling.

About a month after I found out, I was going on vacation. Brett’s aunts Debbie and Glenda had invited me to go to New Orleans. This trip had been in the works for several months. I was excited to go, but the morning sickness was just starting to set in. I did fine though and we ended up having a great time. When I think back of that trip, I just think of how annoying I probably was. I was still on a pregnancy “high.” This trip was planned during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Brett had actually got a temp-job doing security for the Olympics. (He had just finished Police Academy in December.) It actually worked out great because I was gone while he was working out of town, and when we flew in and out of Salt Lake City, I got to see him. Kinda Cool. Anyway, a few days after returning home, I had the dreaded pregnancy exam. Ewwww. But all was well and I was SO excited to be able to hear the heart beat. That just made it so real for me.

I did have little spells of morning sickness, but nothing to major. I gagged myself brushing my teeth a lot, but I do that anyway. I never really threw up, I was just super nauseated. I could usually tone it down with crackers and stuff.

I had my ultrasound to determine the sex on April 17th. (I know it is weird that I know that, but I remember freaky things. Besides, that is Aunt Rhonda’s Birthday, and I just always remember that date. Weird. I know.) We had talked about names A LOT. We were excited, what can we say. Soon after I found out I was Pregnant, Brett was looking at my scrapbook magazines while in the bathroom. He had found a page with the name “Quayd” on it. He asked me what I thought, and I just knew that was the name, if it was a boy. For girl names, we had it narrowed down to two names, Chloe and michaela, but neither of them sounded quite right. We were so sure we were having a girl, by the way! So the Quayd thing was in the back of our minds, but we were really struggling with the girl name. We also knew we wanted to incorporate “michael” into the name, after Brett’s dad. Besides Brett and I, he was the most excited for the new baby. So once we knew it was a boy, and he was gonna be named Quayd, we knew Michael would be the middle name.

(I am so embarrassed to post this picture. It was taken the day before I had Quayd and it has been in hiding ever since. I hate it! But I want you to get the whole effect of how puffy I was. Crazy huh!)

By this point in my pregnancy, I was starting to get REALLY swollen and puffy. At each Doctor’s visit, my blood pressure was higher than the last visit. I was also showing signs of gestational diabetes. I had to have all of the test for it, but was never considered to have it; I was just borderline. It was controlled with diet. But a little while later I was diagnosed with Pre-Eclampsia, therefore, my pregnancy was considered high risk, and I was put on bed rest. I was working as a secretary at on oil field office at the time, and since my job was very low stress, I was still able to work. I just had to stay down as much as possible. That only lasted a few weeks before I was put on strict bed rest. By this time it was summer, and HOT!! Probably the hottest summer in the history of summers. I would just lay on the floor under the swamp cooler for hours. I was miserable. Truly. I was so swollen and disgusting. Its weird, but looking back, I really don’t remember a lot of this time spent in bed. I don’t know if subconsciously I blocked it out, or if I was sicker than anybody really realized. As this story played out, I think it was more likely the latter.

K, that is all for today. You will have to keep checking back for more of my soap opera!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the one about Shae and my-pod

You know, I am NOT a total idiot. I consider mysef pretty smart. Not intellegent or anything, but smart enough. I do pretty well on computer stuff. I learn quickly and I catch on easily. But I just can't wrap my head around this Ipod stuff. Seriously. I just don't get it. Like, where does the music go? Or come from? And how does it fit on that tiny little thing. I mean, it's smaller than a CD or cassette tape, so, like, really. Where does it go? And if its 1GB or 17 million GB, it makes no sense. 2 ipods look exactly the same, but one is 4GB and the other is 8GB. What does that mean, anyway? And how does more music fit on one that the other? THEY ARE THE SAME SIZE! It confused almost as much as fax machines. I just can't figure out how they get that image through the phone line! And satelite TV. WOAH... Don't get me started.

K, I really don't expect answers to these mysteries of the world of Mandy, because lets face it. If you answer it, I am still so dang confused.

But anyway, onto the real purpose to this post. At work, I sit in a corner and do my work. We visit off and on, but it is usually pretty quiet. Emily, that I work with, listens to books on tape, but the CD player is far enough away that I can't really hear it, and I just can't get into it. I finally did something I never thought I would do. I invested in an Ipod. Yes, an Ipod. The very thing that has caused me so much stress and confusion in my life. The way it all came about, though, is pretty funny. Allow me to expand...

I talked to Brett's cute little cousin Shae the other day about Ipod's. I told her my needs and she gave me some suggestions. She is a crazy 15 year old girl, who is a genious by the way.She had an old Ipod Nano that had a cracked screen. Cute colr, huh. It worked fine, just the screen was messed up. She let me use it so I could decide if that is what I wanted or not. I spent most of Sunday afternoon with her making a playlist, downloading songs and getting it all set up. I was super excited to have a real live ipod! Well guess what... I am to stupid to work it! It was just too much! I couldn't figure it out. There were just too many buttons and such. I am so grateful for Shae though, because she totally hooked me up and it made up my mind of what I wanted. I loved having music at my fingertips, but that was all just too complicated so I called her again yesterday and made her come with me to Wal-Mart and I bought the perfect, user-friendly, idiot proof ipod. A shuffle! And its even cute and purple! So I was back at her house, adding some songs to my playlist and transfering it all over to my very own ipod. I feel so up-to-date and high-tech. Even though it is a sorta dorky shuffle!

But i do have to give a shout out to Shae. The coolest girl ever. She has been so helpful to me. I even made her a ton of yummy cupcakes to begin to pay her back. We have been hanging out for 2 days doing this stuff, and I really appreciate her. A lot. She is like my new BF. She is the cutest girl ever and I love her to death. THANKS SHAE!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the one about my missing ring

Remember how I lost my wedding ring? Well we have still been searching for it, but we were just waiting for one last heap of snow to melt so we could check the only place we haven't torn apart.

I noticed the other day that the snow was melted. I just had this great feeling tonight that I was going to find it. We took some rakes and flashlights. The park was really lit up, I was surprised. It's definitely not that bright in the winter when you are searching for a lost ring in the foggy cold snow. Errrrrrrrrr. Anyway, we searched and searched.

No luck.

We did find some mushy sidewalk chalk, a lapel pin of an eagle wing or something, a few broken Christmas decorations and lights, a beer bottle cap, tons of cigarette butts, a quarter, and a dime. As Brett and I were searching, Quayd got a hold of the sidewalk chalk. Unfortunately, he wasn't helping much in the ring search, so we told him to do whatever to keep himself occupied. He said he wanted to help, and I think he did.

This is what he did, all by himself. (ring lost)
How sweet is that?

Monday, April 14, 2008

the one about 2-Wheeled vehicles

Hip Hip Hooray!!! Brett FINALLY got his motorcycle back. Some of you know this story, and some of you don't, so I will tell it anyway. To those of you who know already, I am sorry.

K, here goes. Brett's dad passed away last August. The 29th to be exact. That was on a Wednesday. Quayd's Birthday is on the 30th. (Sad huh, and totally irrelevant to this story.) Mike's funeral was Monday, September 3rd. The very next Monday, the 10th, Brett was driving home from work on his motorcycle, and was hit by a truck. It is complicated to explain in words, but I will try my best. He was coming home and he was on a road with 5 lanes, the middle lane being a turning lane. He was on the outside lane heading North. A truck with a trailer was in the lane next to him, also heading north. A car or van or something was pulling out of a store and wanted to get in the same lane as the truck. I don't know if she didn't see the truck or what, but she nearly hit him. The truck swerved to miss the lady, and smacked Brett. The mirror on his truck hit Brett in the head giving him a MAJOR concussion, among other minor injuries. Of course, the impact knocked him down, he laid down his bike and totally messed it up. He was pretty banged up, knocked out for a few minutes and got to have a ride in the ambulance to the hospital which was only about a block away. He has still been having terrible headaches, memory loss, back aches, etc. It has been a total NIGHTMARE! I have decided that our insurance and the other people's insurance have done everything possible to make our lives a living hell over the last 7 1/2 months. The motorcycle was undriveable after the accident. I am not even sure what all had to be done, but it is finally ready. Now, I know what you are wondering, so lets just get it out there. No he was not wearing a helmet. Does he wear one now? ABSOLUTELY! He was actually pretty good about wearing it, but there was a reason he didn't have it on that day. When we found out that Mike has passed away, Brett was in SLC for a work training thing. He had taken the motorcycle. I was so worried for him to ride the bike home being so upset, so his little brother Cory and I met him halfway with a trailer. We loaded the bike and came the rest of the way home. Brett left his helmet in the truck and the truck disappeared. That is all I am going to say about the truck, so don't ask. But for the record, he was somehow able to get his stuff out of the truck after it was "taken," and we have recently received the helmet. Yes, he learned his lesson, so no lectures, PLEASE!

Anyway, Brett has been so happy to have his bike, and the weather has been perfect for riding. He loves his motorcycle so much. He had wanted one for years, and when we finally decided we could afford it and stuff, I was all for it. I knew it would be something he would love and use a lot. It is his primary means of transportation. It is such a great looking bike and he looks pretty good on it! Quayd LOVES it! When we first got the bike, Quayd was pretty little so he would ride in front of Brett, but now he is big enough he has to ride on back and hold on tight. It freaks me out to see him ride on the back. This picture was taken the first day Brett got his bike. He is pulling it off the lot in May of 2006.

So on Saturday, Brett was going to the local race track to watch the car races and to be on standby for the fire department. Quayd loves to go watch, so off they went. On the motorcycle. Aren't they cute?
They have matching leather jackets! Look how much Quayd has grown! Crazy. Brett said that when they were coming home, Quayd was SO sleepy! Brett was pretty sure Quayd was dozing off on the back of the bike, which is scary, cuz he could fall off! So Brett kept talking to him and making sure he was holding on tight. He just gets so comfortable! Cute huh!

Ok, now for the second part of my two wheeled vehicle story. Obviously there must be something else or else I would have called it "the one about the motorcycle."

So I have mentioned before that my friend Jamie has a scooter, and so does her daughter, Brandi. Well sweet little Brandi lets me ride her scooter from time to time and this Saturday was the perfect day! My boys were gone, Jamie's boys were gone so we hit the town. We are such losers, though and we didn't have any money between us. Jamie was hungry and I wanted a diet Pepsi, so we scrounged through our husbands change jars and gathered enough to cover a burger, large fries and 2 diet Pepsi's. We rode to Wendy's, then went "browsing," (not shopping, remember we had NO money!) at all of the scrapbook stores in town. We were just silly and crazy and I had more fun than I have had in a long time. On our way back to her house, we took the scenic route. We just drove through a few nice little neighborhoods. We would stop and visit, take pictures, laugh and then drive some more. By the way, it was still just a tiny bit cold. We really had to bundle up. Our hands were like ice. We were joking about scrounging up some more change and going to the dollar store to buy gloves!

We weren't on any kind of a time schedule, so we just lived in the moment. It was a blast. Thanks again Jamie for all of the fun! As we were cruising, we came to an intersection and saw this huge, scary, python-like, man-eating snake. (Ok, maybe I exaggerated on the size.) It was probably just a water snake, but equally scary. We were pretty sure it was dead, but it scared us so bad. Jamie told me to take a picture, but there was NO WAY I was getting close to it, so she did. She is so brave. As she was snapping the photo, I yelled, "EWWWWWWW! GET BACK!" I thought I was so funny. She called me some colorful names and then we laughed it off. Then we look back at the "dead" snake and it started to move. We were screaming like little babies. It was so funny! A little while later when we drove by there in the car, we looked and the snake had slithered away. EWWWWW!

The road up to Jamie's house is pretty steep. Well these little scooters are only like 50cc, so they really don't go much over 45 on a flat road. You really have to get a run at it and it is still tough to make it up there. Once you get about half way up the hill you really lose all of your speed, so we were taking pictures on the way up.

We were such dorks and it was so much fun. What a fun day, and a great memory. Thanks Jamie, Brandi, Brett, Casey, Honda, Weatherman, Wendy's and everyone else who contributed to out crazy fun day!