Monday, November 8, 2010

Ella - One month pictures

For a baby shower gift a woman in my ward gave us a free photo shoot, thanks Angelina Marie Photography! We kept postponing the photo shoot hoping in vain that Ella's baby acne would clear up (sorry Ella, like mother like daughter), and Ella refused to take a good nap on picture day, so we didn't get very many happy baby shots. But Angie did a great job with a not very cooperative baby.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Labor and Delivery

I have always had a desire to experience natural childbirth. I think part of this desire came from my love of endurance sports and putting myself through physical pain, part came from my nursing professor Catherine Coverston who pretty much taught us that you're not a real woman if you get an epidural, and I think most of my desire came from the fact that my mom delivered six babies without any pain relief, and if my mom can do it, then dang it I can too. But while I had the desire, I was never completely committed to epidural free childbirth. And since I live in the small town of Roseburg, OR there aren't a lot of childbirth class options, so my plan going into the birth of my first baby was that I didn't have a plan. I was going to see what labor was like and go as long as I could without an epidural, but I figured I would end up with one much for plans.
It all started at my routine weekly doctor's appointment. My due date was five days away and I was only dilated to 2cm. My midwife asked me if I wanted her to "strip my membranes," which she said might help to move things along a little faster. I shrugged my shoulders and said why not (I guess I didn't see Brannick frantically shaking his head no in the corner). Plus we had a race to win. Brannick's sister Kristi was getting induced the next day with her first baby, and we had been talking to our baby in the womb that she really needed to beat her cousin being born (I just can't help my competitive nature). So the midwife stripped my membranes (ouch) and instructed me to go for a nice long walk. I got home from the appointment, Brannick went to work, and I went for a walk to our post office, probably just over a mile round trip.
Pretty soon I started to have small little cramps, and by the late afternoon I could tell that something different was going on. I called my mom and sister and told them that maybe I was starting to go into labor, but didn't want to call Brannick and tell him to clear his schedule the next day just in case I was wrong. But by the time he got home from work at 7:30 that night, I was fairly certain I was in labor. Brannick wanted to take me in to the hospital. But I told him no, that first labors always take a long time and people always say to stay at home as long as possible. Plus I had dirty bathrooms that desperately needed to be cleaned before I had the baby. So I scrubbed tubs and toilets while Brannick read through all of the handouts from our childbirth class (doesn't he know that cramming before the test never works). With bathrooms now clean, I suggested that we go to bed and try to get some sleep and we would go to the hospital in the morning. So Brannick fell right asleep and I tossed and turned with increasingly intense contractions.
I finally got up and tried to distract myself by watching recorded episodes of Glee and Dancing with the Stars. Then I got a brilliant idea to call my friend Jennie who is a labor and delivery nurse in Utah. She works night shifts so I took the chance that she would be up at 2 am, which she was. After catching up for a while, I described to her my contractions (which were about 4-5 minutes apart, lasting a minute, and pretty intense), and she agreed with me that I could wait a little longer to go to the hospital. I thanked Jennie for distracting me through an hour of contractions and decided to get in the bath tub to see if I could rest a little bit, which is where Brannick found me about 3:30 am. He again tried to talk me into going to the hospital, but the stubborn nurse in me wouldn't give in. I kept thinking that I didn't want to have to wake up the doctors in the middle of the night, and more importantly I didn't want to be that first time mom that always thinks she's in labor and goes to the hospital but gets sent home because she's really not. So I told Brannick to go back to bed and we would go to the hospital in the morning.
But as Brannick went back to bed and I got out of the bath tub, I knew I was in trouble. The contractions got incredibly more intense, and I didn't think I was going to be able to make it out of the bathroom to go get Brannick. After what seemed like an eternity I made it to our bedroom to tell Brannick I was finally ready to go to the hospital. He asked if he had time to take a shower before we left. This time the kind compassionate wife in me took over and I knew Brannick probably wouldn't get a chance to shower or shave for a while once we went to the hospital, so I said, "sure take a shower, but make it quick". So while Brannick was showering I finished packing our hospital bag, and after what seemed like hours Brannick was finally ready to go. He frantically packed everything in the truck, and at 5am we were finally on our way to the hospital. On the way, Brannick called his sister Kristi, who was just checking in to a hospital in Lincoln, NE for her induction, to let her know that we were going to win the baby race.
We got to the family birthplace all the staff were running around, it had been a very busy night for them. So they put me in the last empty room they had and the nurse got me hooked up to all the monitors, all the while I kept telling her that I wanted an epidural. She checked my dilation and I was between 6-8cm, and she said she didn't think I would have time to get an epidural. I started to panic and told Brannick that I couldn't do it. Then my nurse midwife came in, luckily she was already at the hospital with another laboring woman, and she said, "You're a first time mom, you'll have time to get an epidural." So the nurses started an IV and preparations for an epidural. And about that time I started to feel lots of pressure with each contraction and naturally started to push a little. The nurse noticed and asked, "Are you pushing!?!" I told her I couldn't help it, and so she checked me again and I was fully dialated. She said, "I knew you weren't going to have time for an epidural!" and then the room started to frantically fill with people and equipment. My midwife came back in and I started really pushing. After about 30 minutes of the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, my beautiful baby girl was born at 5:58am. We had been in the hospital a whole 45 minutes. Ella Ruth Adams was born October 6th and weighed in at a whopping 6.0 pounds and was 19 inches long.
So I ended up up experiencing a natural childbirth after all, I am officially a real woman, my nursing professor would be so proud. And apparently I inherited my mom's genes for having fast labors, which now I totally understand when she describes the process as, "being hit by a truck." The nurses at the hospital kept joking with Brannick that if we had waited at home any longer he would have been delivering the baby. Which is why he says next time we have a baby he is taking me to the hospital the second I start having contractions.
Brannick was an incredible coach and support during the whole thing (at least the parts he was awake for), and it was so cute to see him turn into an immediate proud and loving daddy. We are so happy and grateful that our baby girl arrived perfect and healthy and we are loving life together as a new family!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer 2010

This summer has been busy but a lot of fun. It started with my Aunt Karen coming to visit us in the middle of May. But you would never guess it was the middle of may by all the cold weather, rain and snow that we encountered during her trip. Karen was a good sport though and we were very lucky that the blizzard cleared long enough for us to catch a quick glimpse of Crater Lake!
The next week in May Brannick's parents came to visit us in Oregon. After Brannick worked them over in his dental chair, he put them to work outside planting beautiful flower baskets around the office. We let them have a little fun too on a jet boat ride down the Rogue River and a trip to the fish ladder (where big fish swim upstream to spawn, and then die).

After Brannick's parents left I started a new job in the ICU of our local hospital. It feels great to be a real nurse again, and luckily I haven't gotten too rusty in my skills, but going back to working 12 hour shifts was quite an adjustment, especially being pregnant. And starting a new job really made me miss my old job and friends at UVRMC in Provo.
Brannick and I went to Nebraksa for the 4th of July, but once again brought the rain with us and ruined all attempts at harvesting hay. We still had fun setting off fireworks, feeding the animals at Cody Park, going out on a lake with friends, and especially attending my first baby shower thrown by Brannick's mom and sisters (It was a great duel shower for Brannick's sister Kristi and I who are due a week apart).

At the end of July Brannick and I went to Oceanside, CA for a vacation with my family at the beach. My brother Aaron just returned from being a missionary in Veracruz, Mexico and it was Brannick's first time meeting him. Although I wasn't able to enjoy the ocean as much as a normally do (thanks to pregnancy), Brannick had a blast bogey boarding, snorkeling, and playing in the waves. We also went to an Angel's game on "Mormon night," and the Angle's won! Coincidence? I think not. The week ended too quickly with Brannick running a 5K race along with my sister Allison and brother Aaron. The greatest part is that Allison beat both the guys, way to go Allie!

Now that all of our trips are over, Brannick and I are trying to prepare ourselves for the next big stage in life, parenthood! We are getting ready for our baby girl who is due to join our family October 10th.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finally Growing Up

It's rare for me to post more than once in a six month time period, but these past few months have been pretty exciting for Brannick and I. Since I accidently put up the baby countdown ticker a little early, I guess it's time to announce that we are having a baby! I have finally entered my second trimester and am due October 10. And for all of you who were wondering, yes, I was six weeks pregnant when we were in Hawaii, and I did thorough research that it was safe to skydive in the first trimester (as safe as skydiving ever is). We don't get to find out if it's a boy or girl until June 15th, when I'm 23 weeks! I've felt fairly good so far, and am just struggling with having an expanding waistline and slower running times.

5 Weeks

8 Weeks

12 Weeks

The second exciting event for us is that Brannick has taken one of the final steps in becoming a grown up and has finally bought his very own dental practice! He is now the proud owner of the Harvard Dental Group, which is the office he's been working at for the past five years ago. So we are going to be staying in Roseburg for quite some time now, and hopefully we can soon take another major step towards adulthood and become homeowners (got to have room for the baby). We are both pretty sad to not be living closer to family, but are very excited for this great opportunity.

Signing papers, scary!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

One Year Anniversary

Brannick and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary last month. It has been such an amazing first year, filled with lots of fun, love, adventure and excitement. And in keeping with that theme, Brannick thought it would only be fitting to celebrate our first year of our marriage in the same way, with a week long trip to Hawaii! Now I know this may come as quite a surprise and shock to our family, but Brannick thought it would be fun to take a "secret vacation," so we didn't tell our families we were going. But I can't keep the secret any longer, I should have never gone along with Brannick's crazy secret idea, because what fun is it to take a cool vacation without being able to tell anyone about it. So family I'm sorry we kept you in the dark, but now you will know all about it.

We spent our first day at Pearl Harbor, and were surprised by how many Japanese tourists there were (probably more Japanese than Americans), except for on the USS Missouri (where the Japanese surrendered to the Americans to end WWII) we didn't see a single Japanese person, very interesting.
On our actual anniversary, Brannick was nice enough to go against his better judgement and let me fulfill one of my life's dreams, to go SKYDIVING! We met up with a group of kids from our ward who are going to BYU Hawaii and had so much fun! I was the last one to get on the plane, not realizing that you got out of the plane in reverse order, so I was the first one to jump. Since we were the first ones to go and there wasn't much room, my instructor and I were just sitting on the floor of the plane and just rolled out of the door, which was terrifyingly awesome! If you look closely in the plane pictures you can see us sitting on the floor, and then right as we're going out the door. The drop zone is right on the coast so the whole time you falling (we free fell for almost a full minute) and floating (a very peaceful and gentle return to the ground) you got to see the beautifully clear ocean and lucious green coastline (the company claims its the world's most beautiful drop zone). Brannick had no desire to jump, but rode up in the plane with us to be our photographer, and he ended up having a scarier ride down than we did jumping!

We spent the rest of our anniversary at the Polynesian Cultural Center, which was such an amazing testament to me of the truthfulness of the Gospel and the prophetic foresight of the leaders of the Church. Our night ended with more excitement, Brannick left the head lights of the rental car on all afternoon, so we had to be rescued by our friends Abby and Tommy and the great security guards, it was very amusing.

Our last day on Oahu we went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and did a crazy hike up Koko crater. There isn't a real trail to the top, just old army rail ties going straight up, and remains of bunkers and stuff from WWII at the top. And because I always like an extra challenge, I forgot my shoes at the hotel, so I hiked up in flip flops.

We flew to the island of Maui for the last few days of our vacation. We drove the very narrow and winding road through the jungle to the remote town of Hana, where we stayed for one night in a sketchy cottage, but got to go to beautiful white, black, and red sand beaches, all within a few miles of each other.

Then we made the same long windy drive back to civilization and stayed our last two nights on the desert side of the island in Kihei. While in Kihie we found an amazing snorkeling spot and even saw two sea turtles! I also introduced Brannick to one of my favorite beach activities, boogie boarding. He got the hang of it pretty quick, and only got slammed by a few big waves. One of the highlights of our time on Maui was going humpback whale watching. We could see lots whales from the shore jumping and blowing air, but we wanted to get closer. So we took an afternoon ship ride and saw tons of whales, baby whales, and dolphins up close. It was pretty neat to be out on the boat in the middle of the ocean and be surrounded by these huge animals (even though I got a little sea sick by the end).

We had an overnight flight out of Hawaii and when we landed the next morning we heard about the earthquake in Chile and the Tsunami warning in Hawaii, we got out just in time. We had an amazing trip which was the perfect celebration of such a wonderful first year of marriage. I truly am the luckiest to have Brannick as my eternal companion.