Friday, September 20, 2013

Sometimes I Wish...

Sometimes I Wish I was a mom who didn't have to wear a hospital band and be buzzed through locked doors in order to see her baby. Who didn't have to carry cords, tubes, and wires when she wants to hold her baby. Who didn't have to watch a monitor like it's an enemy or worry that her son is not breathing.
Sometimes I wish I was a mom who didn't know how how to put a onesie on a baby without going over his head, because you can't unplug his oxygen. Who didn't know the trick to getting tape residue from an IV out of your baby's fine hair. Who didn't know 4 positions to try to relieve the pain of her son's reflux. Who didn't know what a bradycardia is. Or a desat. Who didn't know what the acronyms NIPPV or CPAP stand for. Who didn't know the pit thar forms in your stomach when the hospital calls you during the few hours you are away from the bedside.
Sometimes I wish I was a mom who didn't hear alarms going off in my sleep. Who didn't eat more meals in a hospital room than at home. Who didn't panic when an unknown number calls your phone because it's probably a nurse.
Sometimes I wish I was a mom who knew what it felt like to leave the hospital with her baby. Who knew what it's like to put in a car seat. Who knew what it was like to wake up to comfort a crying baby, instead of turning off the alarm reminding you it's time to pump.Who had at least one picture of her baby without anything taped to his face.
But if my wishes came true, I wouldn't have seen the beautiful reunion between a Dr. and a former preemie patient in the hall this morning. I wouldn't have met so many amazing, strong men and women who are good examples to me. I wouldn't have felt the outpouring of love from dozens of friends and family members who keep me going. I wouldn't have strengthened my testimony of the power of prayer, fasting, and the Priesthood.
If my wishes came true, I wouldn't have learned about the amazing work that goes into one functioning human body. Or know the gratitude that I feel when that body works correctly.
But if all my wishes came true, I wouldn't be this little guy's mom. And he really makes it all worth it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Baby Kent

Fair warning - this is a long post. This is what I wrote in my journal about the day Kent was born.

11 August 2013

I woke up early morning August 11, 2013 with some major back pain. It was sharper than normal, but I wasn’t sure what to make of it. My doctor had told me to expect the back pain and at only 29 weeks, I figured this was just a new norm. I was in some pain all morning, but got ready for church and headed out. Austin left shortly after I did to go pick up Kevin. They were both headed to California to pick up Logan who had been working at Catalina Island all summer. Dad was in Bangkok and Mom and I were starting school the next day, so Austin agreed to pick him up. At the last minute, Kevin worked it out to go with him. I am SO grateful he did.

I sat through sacrament meeting and had to get up and walk around in the middle. I was so uncomfortable! During Gospel Doctrine, I drove home to get the birthday candy for YW’s that I had forgotten. While home, I drank a few glasses of water and ate a snack to try and distract myself. I got back before class was over, so I sat by Becky and mentioned to her that my back had started hurting much more.

I taught my MiaMaids during third hour. I started the lesson off by telling them that I may need to stand up for a while or sit kinda funny because my back was hurting bad. (It was getting progressively more painful, but still slow at this point). But I made it through class and it was a good distraction.

After church, I got home and made lunch (tuna fish sandwich - I remember because when we got home from the hospital a few days later, the kitchen stunk so bad). I researched solutions for back pain online, but nothing really seemed to stand out to me. I went upstairs and put our massage pillow under my back and tried to fall asleep. Once I took the pillow away and switched for my body pillow, I actually managed to fall asleep for about an hour. I had to wake up for presidency meeting and the pain was back and even a little more intense than before. I sat on the bed and tried to figure out what to do, but ultimately decided I would try and hack it. No one would have a problem if I had to leave.

At presidency meeting, I was sooo uncomfortable. I couldn’t hardly sit down at all. I just stood at Becky’s table rocking back and forth. She asked a few times if I was ok and I said, I think so, I just have had really bad back pain lately. I had to leave during the meeting at one point and I went into her bathroom and just sat for a minute. I tried to stretch and alleviate some pain, but nothing was really working.

The meeting ended and I headed to my car to go home. She lives maybe 3 minutes from us, but I was having a hard time just sitting that long. That night, we were having Baxter family dinner, and I was planning on going, even though Austin would be out of town. Austin texted me saying they had arrived in California and I responded, letting him know that I was still in pain and didn’t know what to do. But I knew he couldn’t do anything, being in another state, and didn’t want to worry him. The thought NEVER crossed my mind that I could be having contractions or labor pains.

I got home from my meeting around 3:20 and was hurting bad. I went upstairs and changed clothes to get more comfortable. I sat on our bed trying to figure out what to do, just crying because it hurt so bad! About 20 minutes later I called my mom in tears trying to get advice.

(***side note: The district my mom and I work for opened 3 new campuses this summer. This all happened the day before school started, so my mom was super busy and at the new campus trying to get things in order when I called her. I had tried to avoid worrying her too, because she had so much going on, but I couldn’t take it anymore!***)

She recognized that I was in pain and said she was on her way home and that I should come over. I protested saying that I was supposed to go to the Baxters’ and had already agreed to bring fruit salad and work on a project for the baby with Clarissa. My mom convinced me to come over, at least before I headed to Tempe. I have to say, it wasn’t hard to convince me because at this point I just wanted my mom to make it better!

I picked up the car seat and fabric Clarissa and I were going to use. I put my sewing kit inside it, and my fruit salad and put Indy on a leash to come with me. Still, I had no idea what was going on. I just was trying to figure out how to manage this pain before school started! I thought, there is no way I can stand in front of a class and be smiley all day tomorrow!

While driving to my moms, the pain got even more intense. At one point, I remember being stopped at a light and saying out loud, “Man, if I can’t handle a little back pain, I’m going to die when I’m in labor!”

When I got to my moms, she had a heat pack out and I put it on my back and tried to lay down. I couldn’t lay on my back, but I could handle it on my side. After watching me for a few minutes, she said you could be having contractions. My sister was there too (thank heavens! Because she was supposed to be with her husband’s family as well!) and so at 4:20 we started timing them. They initially were 20 minutes apart, but after that first 20 minutes they got closer and closer. Around 5 pm, I went into the bathroom and realized I was bleeding. I called for my sister and Janie said, we’re going to the hospital right now. We got into her car and I laid on my side across her back seat. She decided to go to Banner Gateway hospital, which took about 20 minutes from my mom’s house. Janis was so calm and took everything in stride. I am so grateful she was there, because from this point on, I started to lose my awareness of what was really happening. The pain was becoming more than I could handle. We walked into the maternity entrance and found the admitting room. Janie told the woman, she’s 29 weeks and is bleeding. She’s had at least 8 contractions in the past hour. The lady responded, Well, there’s a woman out there who is literally about to give birth. Let me get her back first. (little did we know, so was I!)

So this woman who was “literally about to give birth” and her husband went back into to the ward, but her mother (or at least I assume it was her mother) was still sitting in the waiting room. Janie and I sat on a couch and waited. In those 5 minutes (if that) I had three more contractions. They had definitely moved from my back into my uterus. I said to Janie, “I don’t even have a hospital bag!” She kinda laughed and said, Sarah, we can take care of that. I still did not realize, even at this point that I was going to have the baby. I think my brain was trying to protect me by not thinking about it, because if I wasn’t going to have the baby, there could have been something very seriously wrong. The other woman’s mother watched me and said, she’s scaring me. She went back to the woman in admitting and said, you need to get this girl back right now.

So admitting called us in. I think Janie had grabbed my purse, (I don’t remember bringing it) and I pulled out my license and insurance card. I had another contraction sitting in the chair in front of this lady. She said, Ok, I’m going to have her (meaning Janis) fill these out. You come with me.

She put me in a room where a nurse could check me, just beyond the first doors. The nurse told me to leave a sample in the bathroom and put on a gown. I was barely aware of what I was doing and couldn’t leave a sample, but I grabbed the gown and started to get it on. The nurse checked in on me and realized I was struggling, so she helped me on the bed. She started talking loudly and asking me some questions. I know I answered her, but I have no clue what either of us said. She was talking to people outside the room as well. All of a sudden I realized she was helping me move into another bed. I asked her, “What does this mean?” She replied, “It means you’re going to have this baby. Like right now!” That is when it finally hit me what everything meant. I started crying and said, “I can’t! My husband is in California! This baby will be way too early!” She responded with something to the effect of, honey, it happens and it’s going to be fine.

Janie walked back right as they were wheeling me into a delivery room and took my hand and stroked my hair the whole time. She was my rock. She and Kent will forever have a very special relationship J. It didn’t take very long. I was on a monitor for 9 whole minutes. I’m very impressed with the nurse who put an IV in me. She was so fast! Everything was so fast. I know there were people everywhere, but I had my eyes closed most of the time. It was like a foreign experience. It was so not how I thought it would be! None of this was. But it was all alright. Janie was there. She took care of me and the staff took great care of me and the baby.

Kent was born at 6:01 pm. Although he didn’t have a name at the time, he was doing well enough that they let me see him and kiss him before he was taken to the NICU. His apgars were 5 and 8.

Janie had called and sent messages to Austin and Kevin while we were on our way to the hospital. She also messaged my mom and told her I was going into delivery. My mom arrived shortly after Kent was born. Janie started calling the boys over and over again. There was no answer until about 7. Austin called my phone and Janie answered. I was talking to one of the NICU doctors and she told Austin that I would be done in just a minute. She didn’t tell him what all had happened, just that we were at the hospital and there had been some unexpected circumstances. When the doctor was done, I got on the phone with Austin and just started crying. I didn’t even know where to begin, and I’m not positive what all I told him, but I know I finally said He’s here. Our baby is here. He was shocked. He said, what?! I said I’m at the hospital and I just had him. He’s so beautiful! But he’s ok, just so early. Austin just sounded shocked. He says that Kevin could hear what was going on and really is the one who pulled him into reality.

My aunt and uncle, Misty and Duane, live in Queen Creek and thank heavens were in town. My mom called them and they made it to the hospital while I was still in a delivery room. Duane was able to give me a blessing of comfort, which helped a lot. Misty was looking up flight information and sending that to Austin and Kevin so Austin could get on a plane as soon as possible. She found a 9:30 US Airways flight.

While all this was going on, Austin called his family and told them what happened. As it has been relayed to me, everyone was (of course) shocked! I guess Ciara (who also started her first day of school the next day) was working on a project and Clar was helping. When Mom Baxter told them what Austin had said, Clarissa repeated, Sarah? Sarah Baxter? We have to go! She stood up and project pieces flew everywhere! She, Mom and Grandma made it to the hospital also while I was still in the delivery room. (I have no idea how long we were in there. I know that Austin didn’t know until 7, then called his family and they made it into the room before I was moved into a post-partum room.)

Once I had moved rooms, I was able to go over and see my baby. I had seen him for a moment and given him a kiss right after he was born, but this was the first time I could really look at him. He was in the NICU, which was just across the hall from my room, and in this little incubator with the lid up. That was a moment I can’t describe. It was so wonderful to meet him. Duane was able to give him a blessing as well, and I am very grateful for that. He and I were the first to be able to go meet him. Kind of fitting that Duane’s middle name happens to be Kent.

After I had seen my baby, I was back in my room and Austin was supposed to arrive soon. Though he had planned on taking the 9:30 flight that Misty found, upon arriving at the airport at 8:00, he and Kevin discovered that Southwest had a flight leaving at 8:30. They booked it through the airport, Austin running in bare feet so he didn’t trip on his sandals, and made it on time. The airline gave him an A boarding pass, so he was able to sit right up front and disembark immediately. His mom picked him up from the airport and drove him strait over. He walked into the door of my room and I just started bawling. He came straight to my bed, sat down and hugged me. I sobbed into his shoulder and tried to tell him a little more about what had happened. He had so many questions and I had so much to explain, but after a few minutes, we went to the NICU again to see the baby.

He had been doing so well. They had him on a little machine called a CPAP (one we would become very familiar with). It helped him keep the pressure in his airways so he didn’t have to work so hard to re-inflate them every time he exhaled. But he did not need a ventilator and he wasn’t even being given extra oxygen. He was breathing room air (or 21% oxygen) just like we were. He was so strong and amazing everyone.

By this time, it was getting late, we were both downright exhausted and emotionally spent. After spending some tender moments with our first child, we headed back to the room to get some sleep.

The next morning, first thing, we went to see our baby again. Still this little guy was doing fantastic. He had a good night and the nurses were just struck by him. He was strong! He weighed more than they expected for a 29 week baby and was pretty long, all things considered. He was just doing tremendously. He had a lot of growing to do and a long road ahead, but really was in the best possible condition for that. Ordinarily, Banner Gateway did not keep preemie babies born before 32 weeks. But because he was doing so well, they made an exception and allowed him to stay until I was discharged. At that point they would transfer him to Cardon Children’s at Banner Desert.

Although people had asked me repeatedly the night before what his name was, I of course could not decide without Austin. As we looked at him together, Austin said, So how do you feel about the name Kent? I said I love it. Do you think that’s the one? He replied, Well, he is a little Superman. I smiled and teared up and said, yes that’s definitely his name then. It was perfect.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Silverton, CO

Last week, we were able to spend 6 days camping up in Silverton, Colorado. It was beautiful! We went with Janie and Kevin and my parents (my brothers are all away for the summer). We camped in a place called Cunningham Gulch, about 15 mins outside Silverton. We used to go when we were kids and it had been a long time since we were last there. It was a great escape from the AZ heat!
 This is Cunningham Gulch. Beautiful! The creek runs all the way through.
We spent the Fourth of July in Silverton. We started by watching the parade. It was funny to see all the vehicles that qualified...

 There were dozens of ATVs decked out for the parade
 Old half-track
 Silverton Brass Band

 Even unicycles!
 This steam train runs between Silverton and Durango. It was neat to watch it come in and out.
 On Friday, we hiked up to the Highland Mary Lakes. It was absolutely gorgeous.

 Unfortunately, I didn't make it all the way to the lakes. The last 2 miles of the trail climbed significantly (more) feet in elevation and was scrambling over this rock. I decided baby and I wouldn't make it without some strain, so we played it safe and turned back. Janie and my mom were nice enough to wait with me :)

What a great trip! It was a tediously long drive, but really it was worth it. It was hard to come home! A week of beautiful weather, amazing scenery, a cute, small town and family. Couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer time!

I haven't blogged in quite a while, because, let's be honest, my mom is the only one who checks this :) (thanks mom), but my sister reminded me that it's a good way of keeping a journal (which I need to work on too!) So, since it is now summer time and I have a little more freedom, we'll see if I can keep up posting.
I can't even begin to catch up on everything that has happened since my last post in December, but of course our biggest news is that we are having a baby boy! He is due in October and so far is very healthy and doing great. We are so grateful for that and pray that it continues. I have been very blessed as well. I have not been sick much at all. I quickly figured out a routine that works for me and by 7, when I arrived at work each morning, I was not having to leave to be sick. I have been able to keep moving full steam ahead!
And man, we sure have kept busy. I just finished my first year teaching fourth grade at Benjamin Franklin Charter School. I had a great year and a great group of kids. Unfortunately, I won't be seeing many of them next year, but I know they will have a wonderful fifth grade experience! I worked out at our Mesa campus, which closed at the end of May. I still have a job, thankfully, and I will be teaching fourth grade again next year, but out in Queen Creek at the Crismon BFCS campus.
In our ward, I am also working in Young Women's with the Mia Maids and am the ward camp director. Our theme for camp is holidays and my girls and I have Veteran's Day. I have been crazy busy tracking down all things armed forces, making camo pajama pants, and all the other fun things I learned you have to do before you go to camp! Good thing I saw my mom do this just a few times :)
I am taking 2 classes this summer for work (both Spalding training classes which I actually enjoy!), but Austin is happy to be done with school for 3 1/2 months! He still works full time, but an early shift so he is home by 2 every day. It has been so nice to have more time together!
Yesterday, we took a day trip up to the Payson area so Austin could fish and we could get out of the heat. He has recently learned to fly fish, so he was busy in the water, but I spent the day in a camp chair reading :) both of our favorite things!
Telling my parents about the baby (it's their first grandkid!)

These are the first baby clothes we have gotten. One of the parents from my class gave them to me. So cute!
Fishing behind Kohl's Ranch
 For some reason these images are kind of skewed. I've never seen Austin looking so small in pictures before!

I greatly enjoyed the shade and my books. I am happy to go fishing again anytime! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Life with the Baxters

Wow, what a crazy semester we have had! But it's not over yet. Between Austin's projects, papers and sketches, my rather large group of fourth graders, our callings and various other events we've been a part of, I'm surprised we're alive and kicking! Fortunately, we both work well under pressure.
Austin is in his second year of Architecture at ASU. While last year was mostly hand sketches and models, this year he has transitioned mostly to computer rendering. He hasn't decided which is easier yet... But he is very much a pen and paper guy. He was very encouraged when he met a guy in our stake who just got a job doing only hand renderings at a Phoenix firm. That is basically Austin's dream job!! We weren't sure if that really existed! But this man said that clients still want simple, instant sketches and he's pretty comfortable with job security. We hope so!
I have a BIG class this year. My 32 10-year-olds keep me moving. My weekends are spent grading, grading, cleaning and more grading. I have enough to keep me busy during the week, so I pile up all my assignments throughout the week and take them home. Fortunately, I have an awesome sister (and often brother and brother-in-law!) who enjoy "grading parties". On Sunday nights, we all sit and grade and watch past seasons of Downton Abbey. :) What could be better, right? haha
We moved into the Chandler West stake this summer and are enjoying our new ward (Well, we enjoyed both of them. Several wards split shortly after we moved in). I was called to be the first counselor in young womens and Austin is the bear den leader. We are both happy to be working in these new callings, but we have had to quickly learn how to manage time appropriately. There are very, VERY few lazy moments around the Baxter house. We just don't have time for it! And as such, when I do have a down minute, I haven't been searching for pictures and blogging about it... Well, this is about as close to a journal as I come, so my goal is to update far more regularly. We shall see how that resolution goes.
Here are a few pictures about our past 6 months...
This is the maxi skirt Janie and I made during fall break. Looks simple, but sewing something correctly is a big deal in the Macdonald family!! We were quite proud.

We lived at my parents for a few weeks this summer in between leases, and Quinton and Indy became very good friends. They get up to all sorts of shenanegans.

Apparently I only take sideways pictures of Jan. This is my classroom, all shiny and clean before school started

My room is full of owls and Harry Potter :) my favorites! (Dang, this is definitely before school started. You can actually see the empty top of my desk...)

Bulletin Boards and more owls

Over the summer, one of Ciara's mission companions, Laura, came from France to stay with the Baxters for a month. It was a blast getting to know her! Here she is with almost all our family. Mom Baxter isn't in this picture due to that scary hospital stay. We are happy to report that she is doing so much better months later

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Elder Macdonald

My brother Kyle left on his mission to Nagoya, Japan on June 13. He is doing very well and working so hard! I am incredibly proud of him :) We all are! Kyle says that after just two weeks in the MTC, they are only speaking and practicing teaching in Japanese! But despite the hard work, he says he is loving it and knows he's in the right place. He is such a good example to us!

Kyle flew up to Utah day day before with his friend Trennon who happened to go into the MTC on the same day. My grandparents picked him up and held a small open house for UT family and friends to visit. Kyle said it was great seeing so many familiar faces again!

 Preston will be on his way to the MTC soon!
 Brianna and Lilly
Pat and Frank

 Pastrami burgers at Crown Burger before MTC
Grammy and Grandpa
At the drop off
Last shot!

I know Kyle will be a fantastic missionary. He is a hard worker with a strong testimony. The people of Japan are very blessed!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I'm a terrible blogger

My mom pointed this out to me yesterday :) But she's right! I always feel like I have nothing to post, but honestly there has been plenty going on this past month!
At the beginning of May, we were in California for Janis and Kevin's wedding. It was a wonderful, but very busy weekend. Their sealing was Friday morning. It was a wonderful service and so many of our family members were able to be there! We then took pictures with family at the temple (San Diego Temple!!!) and then headed over to the luncheon. Maybe if Janis Shoemaker updates her blog too, you can see the pictures here :). (at least I'm not the only horrible blogger!)
After the luncheon, we all jumped in the car and raced back to AZ to finish setting up the wedding reception for the next day. Fortunately, we have a great home ward who helped TREMENDOUSLY.
Saturday was just as eventful. We were back at the church that morning, putting on finishing touches, printing wedding pictures and, oh yeah, Graduating!

As luck would have it, my graduation was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on the same day as my sister's wedding reception. Fun! But my parents were great and very willing to come and support me as well. I'm very thankful :) Completing my Masters degree is so important to me! I am very proud of my achievement.
Then it was back to Chandler for the reception. It was a great day, and night!

SO that was the beginning of the month. Since then, I have also gotten a job!! I will be teaching next year for Benjamin Franklin Charter School, likely fourth grade.

 I'm so excited!!! I went to Franklin as a student and I can't wait to return as a teacher. I actually got the job before I graduated and as I sat in the arena looking at the thousands of other graduates, I was immensly grateful that I would not have wait in anticipation like so many others. We have been very blessed :)

And even more excitement is coming up in the next few weeks. My brother leaves on his mission to Japan in just 4 days. I can't believe it... more to come.