January 29, 2014

Choosing Joy

A good friend of mine had her baby today! I have been so excited for her and thinking about her all day just waiting to hear the news of the arrival of her baby boy. She went in early in the morning and I heard from her that she was doing well around 10:30. I checked Facebook all day waiting for the announcement and when 4:30 came and I still hadn’t heard anything I started to have anxiety. All of these crazy thoughts started popping into my head of what could possibly be going wrong. About 15 minutes later the picture of her sweet baby was posted on Facebook. He was bundled up peacefully in her arms and it made me cry. I wasn’t crying out of happiness for her though, I was crying out of sadness for me. I’m crying right now just thinking about it. I know that sounds horrible and I felt horrible about it! That is why I had to do some serious soul searching.


Today I came to a realization…I AM TRAUMATIZED.


Giving birth, for me, has always been a day filled with sadness and heartache. Of course there is the physical pain of the actual birth but that goes so far on the back burner and is totally and completely overshadowed by the emotional pain of what my babies have had to go through. Even my 13 hour long, epidural free, pitocin driven delivery of Aidan is not what has stayed with me. The second he came out and was taken away, none of that pain mattered. I still remember that it was excruciating but those memories fade. What hasn’t faded is the emotional distress that I felt of not knowing if my baby was alive or dead. The fact that he is a strong, smart, handsome, loving 6 year old today doesn’t change the emotional scars that were formed that day.


The day that Maya was born was one of the happiest days of my life. I can’t say that about any of my other births. It’s not that I’m not grateful and it’s not that I don’t feel blessed that they were born but their birth days were sad. Maya was my one and only joyous birth. The scar from Aidan’s birth made it’s presents known when the very first thing that came out of my mouth when Maya was born was, “Is she breathing?” She was, and I had genuinely never felt so much pure joy as I did when I got to hold my newborn baby girl.

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Arabella’s birth was equally as traumatic as Aidan’s. This one left Rich scarred as well. Aidan was taken away before we could know his condition so everything was left up to our fearful imaginations. Arabella went into cardiac arrest right before our eyes. The doctor performed CPR while Rich stood there watching and pleading with God for the life of his baby girl. Weeks after her birth he was having anxiety and flash backs. How can a person not be left with scars?


Then there was Eva. Of the 3 with the condition, we were the most prepared with her. We were 100% prepared as far as the medical aspect of it went. I knew that that was the easy part. The hard part is being emotionally prepared. I did not fear for her life when she was born and that made the day so much less traumatic. Knowing that it was going to be a long road and that it was going to be hard and mourning the loss of my dream of having a “healthy” baby were all emotional hurdles that I needed to overcome.


With Aidan, Arabella and Eva, the very first time I got to see or touch them was when I was wheeled into the NICU.


After seeing my friends baby in her arms and being filled with sadness, I felt guilty. Why can’t I just be happy for her? I spent the rest of the day thinking. I realized that I AM happy for her. It’s not a sadness for her good fortune, it’s those scars that are associated with the births of my kids that brought the tears. It has nothing to do with who is pictured. Those pictures are a representation of some of the worst days of my life when for most mothers it is a representation of what I felt with Maya…pure joy. I remember crying like a baby when I held my newborn nephew in the hospital shortly after Arabella was born. It wasn’t because I wasn’t happy for my sister-in-law, it was because I longed for that same joyous experience.


I look back on how I handled each experience and I can see how far I have come. I can see that I have learned to choose joy. I am so different from how I was after I had Aidan. I felt so sorry for myself and to be honest I felt a little angry. I cried almost every single day for months. I let my circumstances define me-I had a baby with special needs thus my life is sad and hard. I don’t want to minimize my struggles because it was extremely and overwhelmingly hard BUT it didn’t help that I had not learned to choose joy.


Today, I have joy. Yes, it is hard and yes it sucks but can I choose to be happy and not let my focus be on how I wish it was? I can spend my days thinking about all of  the negatives. Counting the millions of times I have to suction her or dwelling on the things that I’m missing out on like nursing and hearing her voice. Those things all had their moment. I mourned them and I let them go. There is just too much good to be focusing on the bad.


The scars of my hardships came out for me today. While it made me sad for a bit, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to decide not to dwell on them in a negative way but instead to think about my journey and how those scars played such a big part in my becoming who I am today.

January 27, 2014

Making Progress

Now that Eva is well she is beginning to make progress. She has overcome her oral aversion and we are seeing an occupational therapist to teach her how to suck as she has completely forgotten how. She is keeping down all of her formula and we are working on getting her off of the continuous feeds. It’ll be nice to not have her attached to that darn pole 24/7. We are finally consistently doing tummy time. She’s getting a late start but I know she will catch right up.


She is such a good and happy baby! If it weren’t for all of the work that comes along with the trach and feeding tube, she would be such an easy baby. She rarely cries and is just all smiles most of the time.

Of course I noticed I was out of focus halfway through the video. It doesn’t take away from her cute laugh:D

Rich and I were a little worried that because of all of the attention Eva requires that the kids would be jealous or resentful. That has not been our experience at all. They love her more than anything and spend their day baby talking to her. It is the sweetest thing to see how much they adore her.

Maya is very attentive to her and always lets me know if she thinks Eva needs to be suctioned or if Eva is sad. She will be sitting, entertaining Eva and if she needs to leave her she will assign Arabella to entertain her. Aidan is constantly singing to her. He makes up the cutest songs and just goes on and on and on.

This video is the perfect example of our every day life. If Eva is on the floor or on the couch, they are all crowded around her. It’s about a month and a half old but nothing has changed.

Big brother with his baby sister. She is his world!


Our lives have had to revolve so much around Eva and the kids have joined in on that. As she is now making so much progress and life is changing, I’m able to spend a little more time with the older kids. I feel like my kids deserve an award or something for the way they have handled the last few months, haha! They never complained and have been so helpful. I’m thinking Rich and I are going to need to do something really special for them once life is “normal”…we shall see!

Daddy’s Bedtime Routine

Rich has taken upon himself the responsibility of putting the kids to bed each night. He makes sure they have their pj’s on and teeth are brushed. He reads a book or two and then, without fail, he does this…


They love their routine with daddy.

Momma Josie To The Rescue!!!

At the tail end of Eva’s sickness my mom called me with GREAT news! She was going to have a week off to come visit me! I had been in survival mode since Eva came home…let’s be honest, I think I’m always in survival mode, so I was in desperate need of some help and help she did!

My mom got here and got right to work. She learned to suction Eva, which was a huge help and made up for lost time with her newest little grandbaby.


We had the greatest time cooking, cleaning and doing laundry together. Sound silly but we really did! My house was on the brink of imploding, it was so messy but she got that taken care of in the first two days. We spent most of our days in the kitchen cooking delicious food which is what she does best.

She made mountains of tortillas and froze them.

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We made 3 pans of green enchiladas to freeze.

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She made a huge pot of pozole and froze it. And last but not least she made a ton of sopapillas(fried bread) for us to munch on with honey and also to make Navajo Tacos. YUM!

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It’s kind of sad that I have more pictures of food than I do of my mom but she really did just load us up with amazing food to survive off of after she left. It’s like I was at rock bottom trying to survive Eva’s long, drawn out sickness and she came in and got us back in working order and left us fully stocked up with food. I’m so grateful for her and her help and company. I can’t wait until she can come out again!


Sick Eva

My poor baby has had it ROUGH! As I mentioned in an earlier post, she came home from the hospital and immediately started throwing up all day and night. It was so hard on her and she got down to 7lbs 3oz at 2 1/2 months old. She developed a full on oral aversion and had an incredibly sensitive gag. We finally decided we needed to get rid of the ng tube and she had a g-tube placed. A week later she completely stopped throwing up and was making vast improvements. 2 weeks after getting the g-tube she got sick and again started throwing up and was just not well in general. She struggled to overcome that sickness and just when she seemed to be getting back to her healthy little self she was hit hard by the flu. I don’t hesitate to say that she has, by far, been the hardest to care for of all of our trach babies. While it’s taken a toll on me, my heart breaks to see all that she has had to endure. Here are some pics of her forever sickness.

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One night of laundrySad smile

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Sick and still so pretty.

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During her sickness she really enjoyed sleeping on her belly. I had to put down a couple of blankets in addition to her sheet because she threw up so often. I just kept a pile of those little blankets by her bed and when she would throw up I would just change out the blanket.

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The kids missed her so much because I wouldn’t let them near her while she was sick or if any of them had so much as a sniffle.

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On the mend…

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Her first day of really feeling pretty good. I was SO HAPPY!

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I’ve been so grateful to have the support of an incredible husband that does all that he can to help. He takes the night shift on weekends so that I can get some sleep and does bedtime every night with the kids(brushing teeth, pj’s, books, tickle time/snuggles) while I take care of Eva. He makes sure to get off of work early enough on Monday’s and Wednesday’s so that I can go to Zumba. Every Saturday he takes the kids out to a movie, humane society, lunch…anywhere they want to go and they stay out all day so that I can “relax” at home with Eva. He takes all of the kids when he goes grocery shopping without me even asking or expecting him to. Then, on Sunday he goes to church with all 3 kids all by himself. He helps lighten my load so much and NEVER makes me feel guilty for the piles and piles of dirty laundry or for him having to scrounge up dinner most nights.

Going through hardships can either drive a couple apart or bring you together. Our hardships have definitely brought us together because of all that he does. It didn’t happen over night and we have definitely had our moments where the weight of it all didn’t bring out the best in us but I can honestly say that we have never been happier or more in love with each other than we are right now. He is absolutely the most incredible father I know. Seeing the father that he has become makes me love him and appreciate him so much more than I ever though I could. Despite the stress and sleep deprivation, I feel BLESSED.

January 18, 2014

Quick Post!!!

You know those moments when it’s time for bed and you realize that your baby is almost 5 months old and you’ve been too dang tired and busy to blog about her life and how wonderful she is? Well, I just had one of those moments so here I sit, in a panic, feeling like I HAVE to post at least a couple of pictures so that I can rest easy.

Here are some random unedited pics of Eva’s cuteness:

~4 months old~

Christmas Day



About a month ago she started grasping toys. She was really diggin’ this ball.



And then I put Baby Einstein on…


Bath Time




Discovered her tongue…



And that giraffes are yummy!


Watching cartoons with her “other mother”


I have a bazillion other pics but I’ve got to get to bed at some point so I’ll end with this one.


They grow up way too fast.

January 14, 2014

Eva’s Blessing

Well it only took us 4 1/2 months but we finally blessed Eva. My poor, sweet girl has just had a rough little life and we couldn’t seem to keep her healthy long enough to take her to church to be blessed! We finally decided that we would not be taking her back to church during this flu season and we had better just do the blessing at home. I loved it. Having her blessed at home was so special.


My mom happened to be here. What perfect timing.


All 3 of my girls wore the same blessing dress. A few pics of my special little angel.




I am completely unhappy with our family picturesSad smile Not a single one is decent so I decided we are just gonna have to do a little family photo shoot with Eva in her dress! That will be another day though…

So very blessed to be her mommy!


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