Friday, December 31

Happy New Year!

We are in our new home just in time for 2011! We moved today and were very blessed to have many friends stop by to help us move--we were all in our new home within 2 hours and they even helped unpack!

Our family in our new home!

Friday, December 24

Home Sweet Home

My dad came to visit for Christmas--and we've been shopping and eating a lot! Tis the season! We made a quick trip over to see our new home and dad took these pictures.














My favorite Christmas gift this year! I told Ainsley I would love for her laugh for us as a Christmas gift and sure enough--this past week she has been smiling and does laugh occasionally--it makes my heart happy!




Monday, December 20

This and That...

Some random pictures from the past couple of weeks:

A few weeks ago--Ryan surprised me with a dinner out on the town and one of his student leaders watched Ainsley. Sam was so sweet with Ainsley!


Ainsley all bundled up for the walk to daycare!


Grandma & Grandpa Cohenour loving on Ainsley!


Ainsley all dressed up in an outfit from Aunt Angie--she was getting some good sleep here!


Some beautiful flowers the staff at Christian Campus House (EIU) sent us recently.


Ainsley enjoying some tummy time!


My co-workers and I with Santa--we took this after our lunch meeting at the mall!

Saturday, December 18

Whirlwind

The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirl wind--Ryan got a new job (yea--he starts his new job January 4th), we bought a house, I'm back at work, and Ainsley started daycare! We are enjoying all of these new changes--but it has been busy.

The day we made an offer on our house!


Ainsley fast asleep during the signing process!


Grandpa Bob sent some Christmas money for Ainsley and we are going to buy a fun bouncer for her, but we also got her some practical gifts too and a fun shirt for 2011--thanks Dad!




Ainsley went with me to my book club Christmas party last week--here is us before the party!


Here are some other fun pictures of Ainsley--she is such a joy for us!








Friday, December 3

Back to the hospital (take 1)

On Thursday morning, October 14th I woke up and took a bath and noticed that I was having an increase in my bleeding postpartum. We were taking Ainsley into the doctor that morning since we had just learned she was diagnosed with Hypothrydoism, so I figured I would just ask the doctor about my bleeding then.

We had Ainsley’s doctors apt at 10:30 am and learned how to take care of her with her recently diagnosed condition. She was to take a half a pill a day to assist her thyroid function. We were also told we needed to feed her every 2 hours and wake her to feed because she could be extremely sleep with this condition until we got it regulated. Our plan was to bring her into the doctor 2-3 times a week for weight checks.

After they evaluated Ainsley, I asked the doctor about my bleeding and they examined me. The said the increased bleeding was somewhat normal and to call if it increased more.

After our appointments, we went to Applebees for lunch. I knew my bleeding wasn’t stopping so we headed home after lunch. As soon as I got home I went to the bathroom and had major blood loss. This was around 1:30 pm. I immediately yelled to Ryan to call 911. I literally thought I was dying due to the amount of blood. He calmly said, I will run and get the truck and call Amy to take care of Ainsley. Amy is our neighbor and a very good friend. Ryan somehow was able to call Amy and get the truck in a matter of minutes. A couple minutes later Amy arrived at our house. I asked her to grab Ainsley (who was in a bouncer in her room) and I showed her my blood loss. She confirmed it was not normal. I was trying not to panic—Ryan then came back and took me to the ER. I arrived there around 2 pm.

When I checked into the ER, my blood pressure was 170/119. Through the roof! I was terrified. I tried to calm down once they got me into a room. The started me on fluids and started some tests. They also contacted my doctor who was teaching class at the time. My doctor arrived around 4 pm and I was SO relieved to see her. They needed to evaluate me, but they didn’t have some of the instruments they needed in the ER—so they transported me back to the Labor & Delivery unit.

Once I was there they evaluated me and I was in so much pain they could barely evaluate me. Finally after some time I was able to breathe through the pain as they evaluated me and I was then told I had retained placenta and they would need to do a D & C (dilation & curettage)—a surgical procedure to remove blood clots and the placenta. They stared me on IV antibiotics, which I needed to have in my system for a couple of hours before they did the procedure. This began around 6 pm—they had several emergency C-sections that evening so the operating room was booked. They finally did my procedure around 3:30 am. They did a spinal block so I wouldn’t feel anything and gave me some “happy medicine” as they called it to calm my nerves. They said I may not remember parts of the procedure due to the medicine, but thankfully I remembered everything and was able to talk to the medical staff during the procedure.

After they surgery my blood pressure continued to be high—so they told me I would need to remain in the hospital and be on bed rest for 24 hours to receive a treatment to prevent seizures due to my pressures. Magnesium sulfate is used to prevent or stop seizures during pregnancy. It relaxes your muscles—so they had to constantly monitor me and do reflex checks every hour. I couldn’t eat or drink during this time—I thought this would have been more difficult, but I was in no mood to eat (shocking I know)! I was on this medication from 10 am Friday-10 am Saturday. During this time I lost a LOT of fluid—which was great and helped my body to start the process of healing.

They kept me for observation until Sunday morning and then I was released. Saturday I was a little weak from being on bed rest, having all of my muscles relaxed and not eating, but by Sunday I was SO excited to go home, see my baby and get back to normal!

Miss Ainsley was cared for by our good friends Mark & Amy on Thursday night. I can’t say enough good things about this couple! Amy brought Ainsley to hang out with us at the hospital on Thursday while I was getting antibiotics and waiting for the surgery. It felt so good to hold Ainsley after the scary day that I had.
Ryan’s parents were amazing to jump in the car and come right up to help care for Ainsley that weekend. They arrived in town around 7:30 am on Friday and were able to pick up Ainsley and love on her that weekend while we were in the hospital. They brought her by to visit—and it was always good to see our baby girl and know that she was being well cared for at home.

Our baby girl in her new outfit--my sweet Mary Kay lady-Paula got this for Ainsley.


Ainsley loves to lay on our legs like this--she can see everything and work that neck out!

Thursday, December 2

A Christmas Gift

This year for Christmas my sister Angie recommend our family not exchange gifts and instead each family make a donation to their favorite charity. We all thought this was a great idea!

Tonight Ryan & I made our donation on behalf of our family to a mission we strongly believe in--Casas por Cristo. Ryan worked for Casas after he graduated in 2000 and I moved to El Paso after we were married to support Ryan and his work there. This same mission work brought us back to El Paso yet again from 2004-2006. There has been so much violence on the border recently, many volunteer teams have not returned to work with Casas. There has been a lot of news coverage about this in the El Paso area.

The wait for a new home for families in need was 3-6 months, now the wait could take over 3 years because of the lack of volunteers to fund and build the homes. A new home costs $5500 and it takes approximately 12+ people to build the home in 3-5 days.

Here is some info from their website about their work in Mexico:

Driven by a desire to provide tangible expressions of God's love and provision, we began building homes along the U.S. / México border in 1993, first in Ciudad Juárez and most recently in Ciudad Acuña. Casas por Cristo (Homes because of Christ) creates important partnerships among various groups across international borders. To date, we have provided nearly 4,000 families with homes. But at Casas por Cristo, we go beyond building. We are dedicated to growing Christ's church one home at a time by helping meet the physical and spiritual needs of our neighbors.

Casas por Cristo is more than a humanitarian organization. While building homes is what we do, our core mission is to reach the people of México with the love of Jesus Christ. Our ministry is about bringing hope to families in need. It's about a God that loves His children so much that He sends strangers to build them a home with no strings attached. It is our prayer that each individual we serve will know the saving grace, peace, and joy that comes only through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Here is a happy family receiving their home. After a week of building the home the volunteers dedicate the home and hand over the keys to the family. Ryan always said this was his favorite part--I was able to be apart of a couple of home dedications in Juarez, and it is a very humbling experience. The families feel such a great sense of thankfulness that their prayers for safety and shelter were answered.

Check out Casas website for more info! www.casasporcristo.org

Wednesday, December 1

Who knew...

So today I woke up with a sore throat, running nose, etc...this cold that keeps coming and going. I thought I should get checked at the doctor since Ryan had strep a couple of weeks ago.

I went to the doctor at 11 am--Ryan came home to watch Ainsley. Since I just thought I'd be gone an hour at most. Who knew I would be there for 4 hours! I mentioned to my doctor during the exam I had some tightness in my chest the past couple of days. It comes and goes, I just thought it went along with the cold. She said we should be safe and do a chest x-ray to rule out one of the blood clots I have traveling to my lungs (this was one of my post-preg complications which I'll write about later).

30 minutes later...we found out the x-ray showed no blood clots! GREAT news! My stomach was growling, since it was lunch time. I had promised Ryan I'd bring him lunch when I was done at the doctor, and I was around 12 noon.

The doctor then explains she recommended we do a CT scan to get a better look at my lungs to rule out blood clots. I agreed it would give us all peace of mind (including myself)--so off I went for another test.

I had a CT about a month ago with my last hospitalization and I knew that I couldn't eat or drink before the test....more stomach growling :). I ALWAYS have snacks in my purse. I took this picture as I was waiting for my tests--good healthy snacks. I was a good patient and didn't eat them :).


My CT called for contrast--so I needed an IV. Last time they put it in my arm and it hurt, so I asked the nurse to put it in my hand. She said normally we put them in the arm, since the hand is normally painful. I've had so many IVs this past month, I thought no big deal--my hand normally doesn't hurt that bad. WELL, it hurt this time. I tried not to let her know how bad it hurt, but my face said it all. I told her she was right and it did hurt...she said well the 20 gauge normally hurts. I didn't even think that they would need to use a larger needle for this procedure since they were pumping in a lot of dye for the contrast. Next time I will listen to the nice nurses!

Here is my painful IV all done.


The CT scan only took 10 minutes once I was in the room and they had a round shaped scanner, not a tube--thank goodness.

After the CT scan I went back down to the doctors office and 30 minutes later they told me the good news--NO blood clots in my lungs! YEA! I was so excited! They told me I should continue on my blood thinners to prevent my clots from traveling--but apparently they are doing their job already because they didn't travel!

A little after 3 pm, I left the hospital and went by KFC to pick up lunch. And I went by McDonalds for a fizzy diet coke--so good! As I was driving home I said a prayer of thankgiving for having great doctors that are very cautious in making sure I am healthy and that these clots don't travel and that I have health insurance. I am very greatful and say many prayers for those who don't have insurance and have to decide whether to seek medical care or not based on their finances.




Here are some pictures of little Miss Ainsley--we went to Target the other night and she was amazing--so peaceful sleeping!


Here she is with a bow I made her--it is a little large, but she looks cute!


And here is A sleeping with her dad. She loves to fall asleep on his chest, but he doesn't like to fall asleep too because he is afraid he will drop her. He did dose off this night, but I was right there in the kitchen doing dishes, so I kept my eye on these two sleeping cuties.

Tuesday, November 30

Birth story--Day 3-5

My apologies in advance—this is a long post with very few pictures. Due to the complications, we didn’t take a ton of pictures these first few days.

The day of Ainsley’s birth. About an hour and a half after Ainsley was born the doctors were finally ready to fill me in on what happened during the birth. Due to the use of the vacuum delivery tool and Ainsley turning her shoulders during the birth process I experienced third degree tearing and required quite a few stitches—the doctor said I even had some muscle tears. The doctor also mentioned that she had to manually remove my placenta since it did not delivery on its own—at the time I didn’t think much of it, again I was so happy Ainsley had arrived and was healthy. I later learned this manual removal of my placenta would land me in the hospital just five days later. I also have read that it is rare for doctors to need to manually remove the placenta. After learning all of that news, I realized I would have some recovery time ahead of me, but I was SO hungry after not eating for over a day my thoughts turned to eating!

Ryan’s parents (Larry & Linda) went to McDonalds (the only place open at 3:30 am) and brought us some food. By the time they arrived, I was no longer hungry and was feeling very weak. I thought I was weak due to low blood sugar—I tried to eat a few bites, but was just literally exhausted. The nurse got me ready to move rooms from Labor & Delivery to the Mother & Baby unit—just across the hall on a different wing. When she stood me up to transport me, I became very light headed and told her I needed some more time to rest. After resting for a few minutes, I realized I just wanted to get to my new bed and go to sleep—so I told the nurse I was ready. She pushed me in a wheelchair and I kept my eyes closed the entire time because I felt like I was going to pass out.

Once I got to my new room and met my new nurse, I asked to use the bathroom. She took me to the bathroom and I was feeling a little weak. As soon as I sat down in the bathroom, everything went black and I told my nurse I didn’t feel well and immediately grabbed on to her. I then passed out and later learned from Ryan she did an excellent job of holding me against the wall so I wouldn’t fall and hit my head and then pulled the emergency cord. The next thing I remember was waking up on the floor of the bathroom with 10 doctors and nurse surrounding me. I opened my eyes and said, “what should we do next”…they all started laughing (because I went from passing out to being totally coherent) and said that I gave them a good scare.

I don’t remember much of the next six hours. They some how got me back to bed and I fell asleep.

The next thing I remember is waking up to a young male resident doctor doing round and he came by to let me know my blood counts were extremely low..6. Normally they are 12. He said that a blood transfusion is very risky and I was young and would build up my blood volume over time. The whole time he was talking to me I was flat on my back—every time I sat up I would get light headed. I remember being confused by this news thinking how will I take care of my baby if I can’t even get out of bed. I fell asleep again, had no energy.

The next thing I remember, they brought me Ainsley and my doctor (Dr. T) stopped by to check in on us. I remember seeing Ainsley for the first time after delivery—I hadn’t seen her for several hours due to me passing out and not being able to sit up. The doctor unwrapped her blanket and I remember saying, “oh, her tiny legs”. I hadn’t seen my daughter’s legs and she had been in this world for almost 12 hours! I wanted to count her toes and make sure they were all there—my doctor immediately handed me Ainsley and I spent some time laying with her and hugging her. I remember thinking to myself—this was not what I had planned. I didn’t know that all of these complications could happen. I had packed so many outfits and cute things for Ainsley in the hospital and I could barely sit upright to hold her without passing out.

Here is a picture of Ainsley when she came to visit us--I made this tag for her hospital crib.


After holding Ainsley for a bit, my doctor talked with me about the blood transfusions. She took one look at me and said, she strongly recommend the blood transfusion. I was very pale and she explained that I had lost almost half of my blood volume. I said YES, YES, YES—bring on the transfusions, I was so thankful my doctor was there and she quickly got the orders going for my transfusion. I received two units that day and was finally able to sit up and walk without getting light headed.

Sunday
I remember taking a bath this morning. I was so thankful to be able to walk and not get dizzy or light headed. They drew my blood for testing that morning and with the transfusions I was around 7.8 blood volume—again 12 is normal. My doctor recommended 2 more units of blood. I remember thinking, I felt so much better after getting the 2 units yesterday and simple math told me I needed to keep working my way up to 12 so I said YES yet again.

I was finally able to eat around lunch time—I finally was hungry. Here are some pictures of me eating lunch—not the most flattering picture, but you can tell I have a little bit of color coming back.


That evening we were able to give Ainsley her first bath--again, no photos, I remember being really weak when we gave her a bath this night, so no pictures. We did take pictures of her first bath at home (at the end of the post). Here is a picture of her post bath--all clean! You’ll notice she has a baby IV. I was running a fever during the end of my labor—so they attributed that to an infection since I was in labor so long. They gave me IV antibiotics during the birth and for the days that followed. They also gave Ainsley IV antibiotics as a precaution.


Our new family--one of our only family photos in the hospital. This was taken on Sunday--we were exhausted, but so excited Ainsley was here!


Monday
Ainsley and I both headed home on Monday morning. I had lots of pain meds and iron pills since I was still recovering from the tears at birth. I felt weak, but was so excited to be home and to start caring for Ainsley! This is a picture of A and me Monday evening. You’ll notice I look very puffy—still look pregnant. What I didn’t know then was that my body still thought I was pregnant since I had retained placenta in my uterus which would land me back in the hospital by Thursday of that week.


Tuesday
Ainsley's first bath at home!



Ainsley's first full day at home--so peaceful!