Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Graham Robert: 1 Month

My little monkey is 1 month old already I cannot believe it! How has it been a month since you were born already?? Time has flown by for sure. I love smelling your little head and stroking your little feet. You curl them up as tight as you can get them and scrunch your little toes, I love it! Hilton has taken to Graham very well and loves giving kisses on top of his head. He also gives him 'tickles' on the cheek or belly which is adorable. I love to see how Hilton looks at Graham and I know they will be the best of friends later on.

Currently Graham:

  • Weighs 10.4 lbs (up from almost 7 lbs at birth!)
  • Wearing Newborn size clothes
  • In size 1 Diapers
  • Eats 2.5 oz. every 2 hours - like a champ!
  • Only waking up at 2 and 5am
  • Starting to Coo and smile
  • Loves to be swaddled and kisses from his big brother
  • Talented with his little tongue
  • Still has his head full of hair - hoping it stays
  • Hates tummy time and his car seat
  • Nicknames include Graham-ster, The Grahams, Mr. Graham, Graham-man and Cracker

And a couple more because he's just such a cute little cracker!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Graham's birth story

Our sweet Graham Robert arrived with quite the dramatic buildup to his delivery on August 3rd, 2016 at 8:56pm. He's quite the teaser. Everything was looking good up until my 38 week prenatal appointment, at that checkup my OB discovered that our little munchkin who had been presenting cephalic (head down) had suddenly decided to turn breech (head up). And he wasn't just kind of breech; he was complete breech (the most dangerous kind), which would necessitate a c-section delivery. She informed me that the best plan would be to try to turn him by performing an External Cephalic Version (ECV) a couple days later on Saturday.

Come Saturday and after a couple hours of reading articles about ECV's and c-section recovery, I was completely worried about what would happen if this babe wouldn't turn head down. With my parents on a mission and only coming back for one week to help me with Hilton I was beyond worried. How would I possibly be able to recover from a c-section and still be able to care for Hilton? Do the laundry? Lift him up into my lap to read nightime books? Let alone trying to care for a newborn and Hilton at the same time, the concept of having to recover from a c-section at the same time just seemed more than I could handle. Since ECV's are only 58% successful with breech babies at 37 weeks gestation and as I was already 38.5 weeks by the time they were going to attempt the ECV I didn't have high hopes.

Well we arrived around 7:30am, and they confirmed he was still breech and got me prepped for the procedure. My OB was the on service that day so she had to go to postpartum rounds on ladies she had delivered so we had a bit of a wait. They came in around 9 and did a confirmatory ultrasound right before they were about to start the ECV and he had all of a sudden turned head down by himself! My OB was shocked and said, "Boy, he must have quite the joking personality to pull this prank on you!". To help reduce the chance of him turning back breech and being unable to turn him we decided to induce me as early as possible. Since the earliest I could be induced was 39 weeks, we still had to wait another 4 days until he could be born so we were all crossing our fingers he would stay head down until then.

Come Wednesday morning we arrived at the hospital at 9am, got admitted and waited for the resident to come and do the ultrasound check to make sure he was still head down. The resident who came and did the ultrasound was unfortunately a first year and wasn't highly trained yet in reading ultrasounds so he had a difficult time confirming babies exact positioning, however from three classes of anatomy I could at least tell that what we were worried about had happened: baby wasn't head down. A higher resident came in and confirmed what I had figured out myself, baby had turned out of cephalic presentation however the good news was that he had only turned transverse (sideways). The OB MD on call came as my OB was in clinic and confirmed that they wanted to do an ECV before inducing me and they wanted to do it right then (10:30am). Of course I said yes, they gave me the shot and we were ready to go. Let me tell you, when they say ECV's are 'uncomfortable' they are pretty much lying. They are darn near excruciating! My belly is still sore and bruised where they pushed to turn him. But it was worth the pain because thank heaven's baby was cooperating, my fluid level was still high and we got him turned back head down.

Then I had to have towels rolled up on either side of my belly to keep him vertical and restrict his room for movement until they could get me into progressed labor. At 11:45am they finally got the pitocin started, and told me to rest and they'd be back in two hours to check my progress and break my water. Well, I was dilated to 2cm's at my 38 week appointment, and when they came back in to check me at 2pm, I was barely a 3cm and could literally not feel my contractions at all. Well they decided since I was at least a 3cm that they would go ahead and break my water. Problem was they sent in the first year resident but I was just so ready to get the ball really rolling that I said yes to letting him attempt to break my water. Well, he thought that he 'poked' a hole but didn't get a confirmation with fluid loss so he thought that babies head must have blocked the hole he'd made or something. He said he would send in the more experienced resident to break my water and we'd go from there. After he left I decided I wanted to sit up and get rearranged in bed with pillows and as I sat up the pressure I exerted must have helped break my water and all of a sudden a gush came and I could feel the baby move farther down.

My nurse for the morning was fabulous and warned me that the anesthesia team were going into a another procedure and would be unavailable for an hour or so, so as soon as my contractions did get unbearable to let her know so she could page them and possibly they could come do an epidural as soon as they were available. Well when the doctor 'broke but didn't break' my water he also told the nurse to increase the pitocin in hopes that would help my labor to progress since I was only a 3cm. Between my water breaking and the increase in pitocin the contractions got bad rather quickly. I asked my nurse to page anesthesia and let them know I was ready for my epidural, and we waited a very long half hour as the contractions were coming close and hard. They arrived by about 4pm thank goodness and had it placed and it kicked in really quickly. Thank heaven's for modern medicine. Within an hour I was finally progressed to a 5cm. which was a relief since we felt the day was going so quickly and my labor was so slow, however in retrospect it was mainly due to little man being head down and the delay between procedures and increasing my pitocin so slowly.

The resident came back to check me one last time before he left for the day at 6pm and I was still only a 5cm! Jared and I started exchanging glances because we thought for sure that by 6pm I would have been almost ready to push or at least closer to a 10cm. We had expected to have a baby around 6 or 7pm and had been planning on my parents bringing Hilton to the hospital to meet him before he went home to bed. Instead it looked like that wasn't going to happen and I was getting worried this would drag on into the next day at the rate we were going. Thank goodness after shift change my new nurse wanted to check to see how dilated I was around 7:30pm and all of a sudden I was at an 8cm! We were all relieved as I was getting really tired, which seems ridiculous but I hadn't had anything to eat since 8am and had been having a lot of stress most of the day and had been laboring since noon.

Since I was so close to being ready to push my nurse called my OB who headed into the hospital to deliver me. From then until 8:30pm when my OB arrived I felt sooo much pressure in my pelvis and starting at about 8:15pm I felt the strongest urges to push but knew we had to wait. My OB arrived and what felt like no time we were ready to push. It felt like it took forever but six minutes later after starting to push Graham Robert made his entrance into the world at 8:56pm. He cried before he was even all the way born and peed on both my OB and me, but oh his eyes were wide open and he just curled up on my chest and it was just such an amazing moment. And just like that we were parents for a second time.

Since Graham was born so late, Hilton was already in bed at home and we decided it would be best to wait until the next day to bring him to the hospital to have their introduction. Because Jared had to go to work after Graham was born, when he got off the next morning he needed to go home to sleep. Jared wanted to be present when they met so we waited to have my parents bring Hilton to the hospital until around 5pm the next day. Hilton was understandably upset and confused as to where mommy was, so I made sure that when they arrived at the hospital Graham was in the nursery so that Hilton could be comforted and calm down before they met. Hilton arrived with my parents and had a very confused looked when he arrived but once he saw me he instantly lit up and climbed up into my hospital bed and asked me very earnestly, 'mommy, you got hurt?' and I said, 'Oh no sweetie, mommy is OK, no owie's'. Once I reassured him that I was fine he wanted to play and we watched some Disney channel and gave him a quesadilla to eat.

After he seemed at ease I asked, 'Hilton, there's someone who would like to meet you. Can baby Graham come meet you?' He just said, 'yeah' and so we called for the nurse to bring Graham in from the nursery. When he arrived Hilton had climbed down and was playing with Grandma and Grandpa Mills but he came back to where the nurse put Graham's bassinet by the hospital bed and Jared lifted him up and it was just such a look of tenderness on Hilton's face and he said, 'that's baby Graham, hello baby Graham'. I then asked if Hilton wanted to see him closer and maybe hold him and he said yes so we put Hilton on the bed next to me and Jared handed me Graham and Hilton curiously inspected him closer. We put a pillow on Hilton's lap and I placed Graham on Hilton's outstretched hands and at first he said 'oh there's baby Graham', and then he started to whimper and say, 'I don't wanna hold him, I don't wanna hold him'. I think that was due to how heavy baby Graham was or maybe because Graham started to squirm but it was OK, he did so much better than I expected he would.

Granted, there have been a couple of rough days since we got home but there hasn't been any outright hate from Hilton or requests to return or get rid of him, but there has been some 'I want him to be quiet' (referring to his crying), and being a little more upset when dad takes care of him instead of mom (like putting him down for naptime or waking him up in the morning). However, we know Hilton loves Graham and he has been so precious in giving Graham goodnight kisses and wanting to check on him when Graham is napping in the nursery. I feel that they will grow to be the best of friends, it's just going to take some time to get everyone adjusted to our new normal. We are so in love with our newest addition and Jared and I are just in wonder of how we got so lucky to get a second precious little Boy to call our own.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Smith Baby #2 -Graham

I've been meaning to document this on our family blog since we announced our pregnancy but I just didn't know quite how to say what I was feeling. Obviously I'm so excited and happy we're pregnant with baby #2! It just doesn't seem real yet if that makes sense..?

P.S. this got long winded. You have been warned.

Because of all our struggles trying to get pregnant with Hilton, when we finally did I just knew it was meant to be, it was the Lord's hand in our lives, it was quickly our new norm knowing that we would finally be parents. This time around however, it's taken quite a bit longer to sink in and become 'real'. Let me back up.

As some of you remember it took us over a year to get pregnant with Hilton, mainly because I had undiagnosed PCOS. After about five months of trying and not getting pregnant I went to see my OB again and said 'something is wrong, we're doing what you told us to and it's not happening'. That's when they asked if I was testing for ovulation - which by the way they never told us to do prior to this even though I was having to have periods induced each month, a huge red flag that ovulation probably isn't happening either - and we hadn't been, so they then instructed us to start testing for ovulation during the proper time window. Well, obviously I wasn't ovulating. So I was started on Clomid.

The typical procedure with Clomid is that the first cycle you take it you only take the lowest dose (50 mg.) and test for ovulation. If it's negative you take the middle dose of Clomid (100 mg.) the next cycle and test for ovulation. If it's negative you then take the highest dose of Clomid (150 mg.) the next cycle and test for ovulation. If that's negative they send you to a fertility center. All the while each of these cycles from period to ovulation to inducing another period was about 50 days for me - almost twice as long as a natural woman's fertility cycle. The reason why is that I had to take the hormone medication to induce a period for ten days (cycle day 10), and then it took up to another ten days for my period to begin (cycle day 20). I then had another 14 days from when my period started to ovulation (cycle day 34), and then had to wait another 14 days until I could test for elevated hCG levels before starting the process all over (cycle day 48).

So basically in a year's time when most women have 12 ovulation windows to possibly get pregnant, I only have about six to seven. This is why it was such a hard experience getting pregnant with Hilton, because I was made to waste three cycles before we figured out I wasn't ovulating and another two cycles after we figured out the only dose that made me ovulate was the highest dose. Basically we wasted five cycles (10 months) until I finally got on the medication that helped me ovulate!

Since this time around we knew what was wrong, and what worked with Hilton I wanted to just skip all the hoops I was made to jump through with Hilton and just do what worked! Unfortunately, when I changed jobs after having Hilton my insurance also changed, and so I wasn't able to see the OB that delivered Hilton. In my mind he was my best chance to just start on the highest dose because he knew my experience, but instead I'd have to find someone else.

Because we knew we wanted to try for a summer-fall baby we knew we'd need to start trying in fall-winter time. So in the early spring of 2015 I started looking for a new OB; a good six months before we wanted to get pregnant because I knew it might take a couple months once we were on medication to get pregnant. I went to two different OB's, both of whom were very on-guard about my request, clearly reluctant to believe me and basically said they would require me to start from square one - the lowest dose of clomid - even though I already knew that it would be a waste of time. One OB also went so far as to say she, 'didn't think I truly had PCOS and would require me to do a full cycle unmedicated'. I kind of understood why they did that, but I didn't want to waste six months before I could even get on the highest dose of Clomid, nor did I want to see a doctor who didn't believe me even though I was telling her exactly what was in my medical chart! It was after two failed attempts at finding an OB I decided I needed to go see a doctor who knew me, and I knew would do what was best for me and not strictly follow the protocol standard.

Enter my PCP who I worked for right before having Hilton. He knew all about our struggles getting pregnant with Hilton, he happened to specialize in maternity care, and he knew me and knew I was telling the truth. He was fabulous, he didn't require me to start at the lowest dose, he also felt like if we knew what worked last time why try to find another or more difficult way to obtain the same result this time. I am so grateful for him being willing to help me when no one else would and helping me feel like asking for the highest dose wasn't like I was asking for narcotics. I also went to see a reproductive endocrinologist before I even knew I was pregnant who assured me that my PCOS was treatable with the right medications and to not lose hope, that I wasn't delusion in wanting to just take the medication I knew worked and that most OB's don't understand how to properly treat PCOS.

And that is why miraculously, we got pregnant on THE FIRST round of the highest dose of Clomid. The stress I felt this time around was so almost non-existent compared to the constant stress I lived with during the year we were trying to get pregnant with Hilton. I think it really helped that this time I knew I could get pregnant if just given the right medications, and that I was able to find physicians who listened to my experiences and formed a plan that was right for me and didn't try to make me do all kinds of weird trials of other medications just because they didn't want to prescribe Clomid.

But, it's also a little why it's taken so long for this pregnancy to sink in and really for me to start to realize that Hilton won't be our only munchkin. I wouldn't say I was in denial, I just almost felt like this time around was 'too easy'. I mean, come on, we got pregnant on the first cycle of Clomid! Compared to getting pregnant on the sixth cycle of Clomid with Hilton it just felt like it was too good to be true, that I wasn't really pregnant, or something might go wrong. So while my pregnancy with Hilton was very stress-free, this one comparatively has been so much more filled with worry. Worry if I sleep on my back I'll miscarry, worry if I go sledding I'll miscarry (I did go sledding with Hilton once and I was anxious for a straight week until my next check-up), worry if I eat only potato chips and drink root beer that I'll miscarry (the only food I could start for about two weeks straight), worry if I forget to take my prenatal I'll miscarry, etc.

Now that I'm finally in the second trimester the food aversions and morning sickness are finally going away and I'm becoming more visibly pregnant: I actually feel pregnant and truly know this is such an incredible blessing for our family. It also really helps that Jared and I have now agreed on a name that it feels more real. I can foresee what life will be like a little bit in August when this little man finally comes, and I'm getting excited for him to arrive. While it's going to be a pretty uncomfortable summer for me; I want to just savor every little bit of it as we will never be just a family of three after he comes.

I just want to conclude that I know there are so many women out there who are struggling with infertility and PCOS and that it is truly a struggle I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I also want to say that I hope you do not feel alone in your struggle. I hope you don't listen to doctor's that tell you it's impossible or not a real struggle, and that you are able to find physicians who are willing to help you and give you the right medical care that you need and is best for you. This experience in comparison with our experience with Hilton has been so night and day, because we had the knowledge and support of doctors who knew what we needed and were willing to do what was best for me instead of trying to force their protocols. I truly hope that anyone struggling with PCOS will be able to find that supportive and comforting physician who is able to really help them not just with the physical difficulties PCOS brings, but also emotionally to help them feel like it is doable and there is hope and they are not broken or defective. I'm so grateful for the support we received and I know this time around wouldn't have been as stress-free and painless without my wonderful physicians who truly listened to me and my concerns.

Lastly thank you to all my sweet mom-buddies who listened to my frustrations with not being treated well by the OB's I saw, and who encouraged me to find other solutions than a typical OB. I wouldn't have thought of that without your ideas and support to seek out someone who truly wanted to help me.

15 wks on the left with Hilton, 15 wks on the left with Graham
And because no post is complete without a couple goofy pictures of Hilton :)

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Hilton Says

I LOVE this time with Hilton. Since he started talking it has gotten more and more fun to see what he says each day. This developmental period is definitely my favorite. I wanted to capture how cute he says certain things, he has a little bit of wisp (lisp) that show his struggle with L's so far. And I find it completely adorable. And no I'm not worried about it, both Jared and I had difficulty with certain consonants growing up but...I digress. So I'm going to post little clips of conversations with Hilton just to be able to forever remember and look back at his speaking development. Plus a couple funny things he says that I love.

First, a video run down of his current words that he uses the most, which includes, mommy, daddy, puppies, pizza, crackers, and the latest his response to 'What is your name?'

And my absolutely favorite phrase he has started to say:

Love this boy, even if I he doesn't say it back every time :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

T25: the beginning

So I've been internally conflicted if I should share the whole experience with this blog of my journey using T25, and I feel like three weeks into the ten week program I have already seen such great results that it wouldn't be a fair assessment if I didn't share everything. I'm by no means a workout guru, nor am I a workout blogger. There are plenty of those out there, so don't expect that of me.

I first starting looking for a workout program because I was told by one of my doctors that I was about 20 lbs overweight (!). Granted I had stopped loosing weight when Hilton was around 9 months old and pretty much been stable since then, but I wasn't more than 5 lbs. over my pre baby weight although I was definitely not happy with my post baby body. I'm not saying that I wouldn't have a baby if I had known this was how my body would change, because I would do it again in a heartbeat, but I definitely could tell I was carrying some extra pudge in places that certainly didn't need it (love-handles, tummy, arms, thighs).

So I started looking into and researching workout programs. This was mainly because last summer I tried to get back into running and after getting stress injuries in my knees decided it wasn't worth it to do high impact activities as my sole source of working out. I hate, loathe, detest gyms and am too self conscious to workout in front of groups (plus the membership fees seem like a total rip off). I knew if I didn't find a workout program that was quick, and gave me fast results that I wouldn't finish it. I had heard of the insanity program before but felt like I needed something toned down for my needs: enter T25.

Made by the same person as Insanity, Shaun T. but a much more beginning intro style workout program geared to get people quick results with only 25 minutes 6 days a week. I was really skeptical as well, but I'm telling you they should be paying me for my review because I've a believer.

Let's get to the nitty gritty:

beginning stats:
Weight: 155.5 lbs
Hips: 39 inches
Waist: 34 inches
Arms (humerus section): 11.5 inches
Thigh (where thighs touch near crotch): 24 inches

Week 1:
Weight: 155.5 lbs
Hips: 38.5 inches
Waist: 33 inches
Arms: 11.5 inches
Thighs: 24 inches

Week 2:
Weight: 155 lbs
Hips: 37.5 inches
Waist: 32 inches
Arms: 11.5 inches
Thighs: 23.5 inches

Week 3:
Weight: 154 lbs
Hips: 37 inches
Waist: 31 inches
Arms: 11 inches
Thighs: 23.25 inches

So I will for now spare you my beginning photos, I don't want to post those until I have great 'after' photos to compare them too. But I'm telling you, this program works. I'm in no way in great shape, I have a very sedentary job and chasing my toddler for a couple hours after I get home doesn't really count as 'working out'. I don't go full blast during the entire workout, otherwise I would pass out! But along with the loss of mass around my waist and hips I am feeling so much stronger and having more energy each day. It's not hard to commit to less than half an hour after I put Hilton to bed and it is completely paying off! I'm already down from a size 10 jean to a size 8 and I have hopes to keep slimming down. Granted I know that working out shouldn't be able just loosing weight, but also getting stronger and I'm happy to note that I can finally do ten push ups in a row and not collapse between each one!

 To nutrition and calorie changes.

p.s. this photo above I will share because it was the point where I realized it was time to get serious about really loosing weight and slimming down, I want to be confident in my own skin around others to be an example for my children and I know that means working to be happy and stronger physically. I don't want to be one of those moms who hides behind swimming 'skirts' and shirts at the pool, I want to be one of those mom's who are happily chasing their kids around, not self-consciously sitting on the side watching their children make memories.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


I haven't posted in quite a while, mainly because I feel like we don't really do anything incredibly interesting that's out of the normal for our family. But I definitely want to keep posting so I can document my families life, and so I feel like even if I post about the hum drum things I want to at least do that for hubs and my little man even if everyone else might think it's slightly boring. I promise to get on here a bit more and maybe even post some up to date pictures :)


Content. Is this what heaven feels like? I'm so happy and comfortable in life currently. Not that days aren't without there challenges and it's like I don't have things to work on personally. Because I definitely have days where I know I could have done better. But I'm happy. I love and appreciate my job, and I feel that is reciprocated. I love our neighborhood and where we live. No I do not love all my neighbors, and yes there are projects around my house that are on the if-we-had-a-million-dollars to-do list, but still I love our house and area in which we live and the freedom being homeowners gives us. I have a new car that I don't worry is going to break down on the freeway or loose a tire as I'm driving home (that really happened) and is a wonderful mom car. Most important of all I have the greatest husband who just graduated from Utah Valley University with his bachelor's and is such an amazing provider for our family, and the most precious curious happy little boy to fill my days with wonder and opportunities to be the best mom I can be.

But the only way I can appreciate these things and people is because I have experiences to compare to when I didn't have them in my life and struggled without them. The first three years of our marriage we lived in four different apartments each one worse than the last. We dealt with obnoxious neighbors, ridiculous rent charges with utilities on top, and ultimately lack of control over our own living space. We recently got rid of our Subaru, which was nothing but trouble from the beginning (and a terrible purchase but don't tell Jared I said that) and made me worried driving Hilton around because I didn't feel it was reliable. I dealt with a terrible time dating, I never had a good or healthy romantic relationship until I met Jared and I truly was meant to meet him as he has made these past five years wonderful. And I feel I can still appreciate Hilton even on his terrible no-good very bad fussy days as I know what it was like to cry wanting a baby for so long. There is no way without these hard experiences that I could appreciate all the many blessings that my life currently holds. My challenges that Heavenly Father blessed me with have helped prepare me to appreciate what he wanted to give me, and I'm so grateful for those experiences. I know I have been so incredibly blessed with these people and things in my life, and I'm constantly worried that I will blink and it will be gone. My husband and Hilton are the reason I get up each day and try to be the best person I can be.

All of these things make me the luckiest woman ever, and I don't want to ever forget it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hilton's bedtime routine

Ever since Hilton finally started sleeping through the night we have developed a pretty complicated bedtime routine. Whenever Jared takes over he either gets steps out of order or forgets them altogether. But he tries which is worth a lot! Thank goodness our bedtime routine isn't completely strict and there aren't any crazy dances or tricks to getting Hilton situated. As long as he is warm and happy he goes to bed just fine. Overall though I've found that he really does notice if I don't use the lotion he likes and he definitely won't spend as much time in the bath as usual if I don't use bubble bath so I definitely rely on our bedtime products to help get to the end goal of being in bed and a good night's rest.

1. We have to use this bubble bath, it smells so good and doesn't dry Hilton out at all. It's so good and definitely goes a long way. He also loves playing in the bubbles and it makes it so he smells clean when he gets out.

2. California Baby by far is my favorite baby product line. It's a bit more expensive then the usual brands like Johnson and Johnson etc. but so worth it! A little goes a long way with this brand as well and it smells SO good comparatively. This diaper rash cream we love and I always put a little on Hilton's bum before putting on him nighttime diaper because obviously that diaper is on the longest so I definitely want to protect his sweet cheeks as much as possible for the night.

3. Burt's Bee's Baby Bee Calming Lotion. Love. So moisturizing has a nice calming smell to it that isn't overpowering at all and is made primarily from natural ingredients. Love it. I smother him in it from head to toe every night and it keeps his dry skin outbreaks to a minimum and keeps him smelling nice and fresh.

4. Carter's fleece sleepers. It's all we buy and all Hilton will wear. Definitely have stocked up in every size.

5. And lastly Goodnight Moon and a variety of other baby books. Typically we read about 3-4 depending on the night before I put him down and he loves them. He has started helping me turn the pages which is sometimes not so helpful but it's nice to know he's following along and I've learned which books he loves the most which is fun.

We love these products and I know from trying others that these are the best for little man's bedtime routine. Try them out and if you use them already then you know what I'm talking about! And good luck to all the moms with babies they're trying to get adjusted to a sleeping routine, I know how hard it is but you can do it! Restful nights are on the horizon.