Feb 24, 2015

an untold birth story: carter lee young 11.12.12 {part 1}

exactly a week before carter was born, daron's farfar (grandfather) passed away. the night before his funeral, i had not felt carter move and it had me worried. i woke up that next morning even more worried because i hadn't felt him at all throughout the night. i had really bad insomnia with carter my 3rd trimester. it was not uncommon for me to lie awake for hours at a time in the middle of the night. 

that night i was up as usual but carter's kicks and turns were absent. on our way to farfar's funeral service, i told daron i was worried. he tried to help me stay calm but i made the decision that if i didn't feel carter move by the end of the funeral service, i would go straight to the midwife clinic to get a non-stress test. we stopped at a gas station, bought some orange juice and treats in hopes to give carter a surge of energy and i tried to take lots of deep breaths and tell myself that everything was fine.

the end of the service came, i had felt a few movements but they were very spaced out and lacking the normal "umph" i was used to. we decided it was best for me to get the non-stress test while daron and his family went to the burial. the nurses at the clinic immediately hooked me up to all the monitors i needed and made me feel right at home. i worried they would think i was a looney from crazy town but everyone made me feel so comfortable which i really appreciated. 

about three quarters of the way through, a nurse came into me and asked, "are you aware that you are contracting?" 

whhhaaattt? i was shocked. 

she pointed to my chart and showed the up and down line showing my contractions and added with a chuckle, "yeah! they are pretty strong ones too!" 

i was so confused. i wasn't feeling anything in my belly, how could i be contracting? suddenly, bing! a light bulb went off. the entire week, i had been complaining to daron that my back was having the "oddest pains" that were really hard to describe. i just kept saying, "my back keeps scrunching like an accordion - it's so weird." the pain would come and go and so i didn't think much of it. the nurse confirmed that this odd sensation i had been feeling was indeed contractions. she also informed me that carter was okay and it's actually common for babies to get quiet to save energy for their big debut! i was surprised by all of this information because i was a little over a week out from my due date and had already convinced myself i would be late.

the next day was a saturday. daron's family was still in town and so we had dinner together at zupas. still to this day, that dinner chalks up to be the second best meal of my life. i gobbled up a full sandwhich, a salad, my chocolate strawberry, bread roll, and a whole piece of turtle cheesecake and still had room. after i finished i was lookin' around like, "so, where's round 2?" daron was staring at me in disbelief. for 3 months, i couldn't put more than 10 bites in my mouth at a time because my stomach was so squished. i didn't realize then, that that was my last meal before my son would be born!

after dinner, the family headed over to daron's and my house to watch a movie. we joked about how maybe steve and linnea (daron's mom and dad) shouldn't get on their flight tomorrow morning because i might go into labor! 

well... it turns out that's exactly what happened. except for the part where steve and linnea don't get on their flight...

during the movie (transformers), i had daron write down the times i was having contractions. i could tell they were stronger and more frequent. still occuring very randomly, i shrugged them off and fell right asleep. 

2 0' clock in the morning rolled around and i woke up to a strong contraction that shocked me. i had to breathe through it in the fetal position, there was no confusion this time of what it was. i had no idea that this contraction would be the first of a slew of contractions that would be 4 mintues apart or less for the next 34.5 hours. i had one looonngg road ahead of me. 

i laugh thinking about the first hour of those contractions. daron was juggling counter pressure on me during each contraction, trying to help me stay calm, also asking me a zillion questions like, 

"is this the real deal?"

"should i call the midwives?" 

"should i call your mom?"

"should we tell my parents?"

"do you think this is it? like the real thing?"

i had no idea what to think and really all i could think about was getting through the next contraction. no laboring woman wants to declare she's in labor to realize it's false labor. i just kept telling him i didn't know and that i needed him every contraction to put counter pressure on my back because it was killing me. after a few hours of them being consistently 4 minutes apart, we decided to call my mom and tell her to hop on a plane and to fill in the midwives. my midwife assured us that she would be seeing us later that day with my contractions being the way they were. 

my mom hopped on the first flight available and was at the house by lunch time. daron's sister, anna, picked her up and drove her to our home. at this point, i had been laboring for about 10 hours. daron was applying a hot pad to my back during each contraction. i couldn't believe the pain in my back. it was unreal. i struggled with it because it never went away. it stayed in between the contractions and just really intensified during each one. the pain in my back far surmounted the pains i was having in the front.

the doula we started working with half way through my pregnancy proved to be very helpful during this time. i would text her in between contractions filling her in on the situation. she really guided me through the entire birth. she reminded me that i needed to eat or it was going to be bad later on and she encouraged me to rest as much as i could. i was incredibly nauseous and thought i might hurl if i took a bite of anything. 

daron went to the store and bought me chicken noodle soup and crackers while my mom took over. i can still remember my mom walking down the stairs to me, embracing me and then rubbing my back. i felt like my guardian angel had just arrived. it almost brought me to tears. 

i really can't describe what it was like to see her.

i said hi to daron's sister, anna, who peeked down at me from the stairs. i remember hoping i wasn't scarring her for life from having babies.

daron was exhausted and took a very long nap once he returned from the store. my mom was really helpful putting counter pressure on my back and distracting me from the contractions. a few hours later, my dear friend nicole and her husband blair stopped by to see me. they happened to be in town, found out i was in labor and came to say hi! it was the greatest thing. seeing them lifted my spirits. it was embarrassing because i was contracting in front of them and would have to pause the conversation every few minutes to breathe all weird to handle the contractions but i remember my contractions being less intense while they were there which felt so good.

it was around hour 18 that we started wondering how long this was going to go on for. i knew it wasn't time to go to the hospital because although my contractions were intense and consistent, they hadn't increased in intensity. they had been the same since the first one i felt at 2 in the morning. but i could tell i was getting so, very tired. my doula was really worried about me laboring through two nights without any sleep. we were about to go to the hospital so i could be checked. (i hadn't been checked prior to this so we had no idea where i was at). 

suddenly, i felt excruciating pain in my back from my shirt. i started screaming to my mom to get my shirt off. so confused, my mom hurried and lifted up my shirt and gasped. i had blisters all over my lower back. 18 straight hours of a hot pad had done damage and my back was burned. the sad part is, during the next contraction i begged her to put it in on my back because i didn't care. i could handle the hot pad burning my back if it meant the pain inside was less. but my mom wouldn't. 

i texted my midwife who told me to immediately get in the bath. i hadn't gotten in the bath prior to this because the bath can sometimes make a woman stop laboring, but at this point, i hoped it did stop my labor so i could get some sleep. 

i spent one hour in the bath and it was amazing. it still is incredible to me how soothing warm water was. and to my relief, my contractions went from 4 minutes apart to 6! i can't even tell you what a different those two minutes made. i had been refusing food all day but my mom finally convinced me to eat some of the crackers and chicken noodle soup in the bath. i forced some down but still was so nauseous. 

i remember that time in the bath being really wonderful. my mom and i had so much fun talking and laughing in between contractions. she washed my hair for me and helped me get all clean. then she blow dried my hair while i laid on the floor handling the contractions. i would later look back on that time and be so grateful i got that bath in before carter came. i had no idea then how hard it would be to take a shower once he was here!

around midnight, we woke daron up and told him it was time to go to the hospital and get me checked. my midwives really wanted to know where i was at. the drive over was awful, but the hospital was even worse. laboring under those awful lights with monitors all over me was terrible. i knew inside that i wasn't far, and so i just wanted to go home. 

the nurses finally checked me and after 24 hours of consistent labor

i was dilated to 2.5 cm...

i truly wasn't surprised at all. i knew i wasn't far. i could feel it. still, i was getting depressed being in that hospital. my mom tried to cheer me up with a sees candy sucker but i didn't want anything to do with it. i was feeling down and incredibly exhausted. 

before we left, i remembered a random birth story i had read months ago that always stuck with me. the woman in the story had a 52 hour labor and took a pill that let her sleep. she slept 7 hours after taking the pill. i told my nurse and she knew what i was talking about. i told her to please give me the pill and let me go home. 

i popped the pill on the way home and fantasized about 7 hours of sleep. i stumbled into the house ignoring all of daron's and my mom's questions and headed straight for our bed. i had convinced myself i was going to sleep like a rock for a long time. 

i did sleep like a rock, but not for long...

after 2 hours, i woke up to a whole new kind on contractions.

active labor contractions... and so the real fun begins!

{to be continued...}

{are you still reading?!?!?! ha!}

Feb 19, 2015

president's day & a video!

on president's day we celebrated my sister-in-law's birthday and then explored a beach near our home. we made a little video of the day as an excuse to try out the go-pro daron and i got for Christmas! i crack up watching this video. all i can think is how obsessed me and daron are with our kid, so much so it almost makes me roll my eyes. if you happen to make it to around 1:30... you'll see what i mean! 

yesterday, we showed carter the video while eating breakfast. daron and i couldn't believe the look on his face. we thought he would like it... but he was in awe! his jaw was dropped with his eyebrows raised and his big eyes were as wide as they could be. you could tell he was feeling all sorts of warm-fuzzies inside that he didn't know what to do with! it was so precious to watch him feel loved. 

i hope as carter grows, he can look back and see a mom & a dad that love him more than he can imagine and see that his parents felt lucky and honored to have the opportunity to raise him. for me, that's the point of all these pictures and now, videos!


Feb 17, 2015

valentine's day

(^^our one picture together)

daron and i did a quick day date for lovers holiday. i had originally planned for us to hike potato chip rock since it's been on our to-do list for years but then daron gently reminded me that i am winded after walking up the stairs these days, ha! he also reminded me how i was having trouble walking from the beach to our car the night before due to some intense round ligament pain. i came to my senses and realized the all uphill 3 hour hike may not be as fun as i was picturing...?? seriously though, thank goodness for him, right?! 

we decided to have brunch at a place in la jolla called brockton villa. the food reminded us of the brunches we had in new york it was that good! the plan was to do the coast walk in la jolla after and then head home. but after about 50 yards of walking i was done (and really laughing to myself about my original idea). we plopped down some chairs at la jolla cove and people watched. 

so entertaining. 

i kept telling daron we had to go and he would say, "wait, no no, just one more rescue." 

once home, we opened the door to a smiling, giggling carter who gave us about 37 hugs each. i don't think we have ever had someone watch him in the day that wasn't family. he is mostly babysat at night so he is sound asleep when we come home and doesn't see us again until morning. i think he was in disbelief that we came home to him before his bed time.

i love my valentines...

and **happy (belated) valentine's day!** 

Feb 12, 2015

the top 6 moments of our week

#1 when daron decided to give us a v-day surprise and come home from work an hour early. 

best surprise ever. 

#2 finally visiting daron at his office and showing carter what i mean when i answer his daily question of, "mama, where dad go?" and i say "he's at work, carter!"

#3 finding a sweet hand-written note by daron hidden under the carton of eggs after breakfast. why are love notes so awesome? 

#4 the look on carter's face when he saw his first, ever "art project" hanging up on the wall. 
(finger painted paper hearts)

he. was. beaming.

#5 when this sweet boy gave daron's co-worker an out-of-the-blue hug and kiss on the cheek. carter, you are the sweetest!

#6 catching carter furiously stuffing his mouth with marshmallows before i could take them away. also, yelling at me from his car seat, "mama! stop singing!" when i try and sing along with the terribly annoying cd he is obsessed with. is he already too cool for me!? oh and then there was hearing carter say "instagam" and "oh my gosh" for the first time. he sounded so old and so... millenial? 

okay, that was like 4 things in one but i can't help myself.

#7 realizing i forgot my wallet while checking out of trader joes with a cart full of groceries and a busy toddler screaming, "let me walk!!!!" 

ooooooohhh wait... that moment belongs on a different list! ;)

Feb 11, 2015

baby bump #2: 28 weeks

over labor day weekend of 2014, we found out we were expecting! 

when i found out i was pregnant with carter, i was in complete shock. 

this time around, i cried tears of joy. 

i had been a little suspicious during mine and carter's stay in utah that i might be pregnant because i couldn't eat too much without feeling a little woozy, i was peeing constantly, and every time i went for a jog, my legs felt like lead - exactly how they felt before i knew i was pregnant with carter. however, i had convinced myself that i was pregnant a few times over the summer only to learn that i wasn't, so i was doing my best to shrug off the subtle symptoms.

once we got to the uintas for our horseback riding trip, i started to get really suspicious. i wanted nothing to do with the costco size bag of peanut m&ms the entire trip. i knew then that somethin' was up!

i expected this pregnancy to be exactly the same as carter's. all of my mom's pregnancies were similar and so were my sisters and so i figured i would follow suit. then, surprise! i quickly realized this pregnancy was very different.

the nausea was much more intense. the only way i found relief from it was while sitting in the bath. i was much more tired this time around too. my hair was falling out instead of getting thicker. (with carter, my friends all called my hair "my horses pony tail" because it was so thick and long). it also lost all of its volume in an awful way. around 15 weeks, i couldn't take the "limp hair" (as what to expect calls it - yes, there's a name for it!) and i chopped it off. i also never got that pregnancy glow or the 2nd trimester "pep in my step" i felt with carter. throughout the 2nd trimester, i was still nauseous and having really intense headaches. i kept giving myself deadlines for when i was going to feel better but the dead lines would come and go while the nausea stayed. i finally realized i should expect that i might be sick the whole time. 

i wish i could say i have handled the whole sick every day thing really well and have been positive and happy and a peach to be around but then i'd be lying. it sounds weird but i haven't felt like myself. it has felt as though someone zapped all the enthusiasm for life right out of me. a few other physical symptoms i think have played a part in this but i will spare you the details of those because trust me - they are TMI.

eventually, at 27 weeks, i woke up to a text from a sweet friend of mine (who is also expecting and has a similar due date) congratulating me on making it to the 3rd trimester! i read her text and almost cried. 

i couldn't believe it. this whole time i had been avoiding thinking about how many weeks i was because time had been passing painfully slow. i hadn't realized how far i had come! my little nauseous body felt a renewed sense of energy and i was filled with hope.  

since then, everything has been better. i feel exactly the same physically and emotionally but everything is better. isn't it funny how that works? it all seems doable to me now. i can see the light at the end of the tunnel. and it's finally late enough in the game that i can really start focusing on this little girl being here and not feel like i am getting ahead of myself. i know this change of attitude is a gift from the heavens. i feel as though God is letting me borrow some of His optimism because i was having a hard time having any on my own. 

cheers to 12 ish more weeks!

^^this picture- because this boy has my heart and this spontaneous kiss made my day

Feb 9, 2015

glimpses of spring

over the weekend, we noticed glimpses of spring have sprung up all around our new home of san diego! the blossoms are beautiful, even carter was a little mesmerized by them. he kept asking me to lift him up so he could pick the flowers from the trees. every time i lift that kid up he yells, "mommy, higher! higher!" or "mommy, i wanna be tall!" i always feel so exasperated trying to stretch these midget arms of mine as far as they can go. in the end, they never can lift him high enough! carter always has the most confused look on his face when i set him down and try and explain to him that my 5'1 self just cannot lift him that high. it's no wonder why he always wants daron to hold him, the view is way cooler in dad's arms! 

seeing these blossoms everywhere put butterflies in my stomach. for 7 months, i've been telling everyone this baby is coming in spring annnnddd it's dawning on me that spring is almost here! i'm officially feeling some urgency to start preparing for this baby. ya know, like maybe buying some diapers, a few clothes, ... wait, my mind went blank. what else do you need for a newborn again? don't even ask me which double stroller we want because i don't have a clue! i also, still, haven't decided whether i want to go medicated or unmedicated when i deliver this baby. i've sort of been in denial that i will have to push this baby out. speaking of deliveries and pushing babies out, i think it's time i share carter's birth story on this blog because can i just tell you... it is a really good one! 

Feb 6, 2015

friday favs

we had an interesting week over here. sunday was rough. i wasn't a very good mom. i vowed to do better monday. monday was one of those blissful days. then came tuesday. tuesday was worse than sunday. i plan to forget tuesday. thank heavens i have a mom who reminded me {after tuesday's events} i'm not the worst mom in the world no matter how much i feel like it. patience is a virtue that i am really working on right now and i'm afraid possibly for forever. 

now, i can't stop laughing at some of the moments from that day i plan to forget; like, when i sort of tried to hypnotize my child so he would take a nap... he was so desperate for sleep. the crazed, irrational 2-year-old was in full force throughout the day. we finally got in the car to meet daron for dinner and i knew we weren't going to make it if carter didn't get some serious shut eye. only problem was we were driving and he never, and i mean never, falls asleep in his car seat anymore. airplanes, tractors, bulldozers and crane trucks are just way, way too exciting. 

at a stoplight, i found myself typing the words, "put to sleep hypnosis" in youtube. i thought twice as i was typing those words since i was exhausted myself and driving, but the hesitation didn't last long. i felt totally pathetic. i just kept thinking, "i'm crazy. am i seriously trying to hypnotize my child so he will sleep right now???"

thankfully, the week slowly got better. this age is somethin' else. carter's new thing is to call me, "babe" and "honey." 

"babe! i need a fork!"

"babe! sit by you."

"mama, do you need a drink honey?"

"yeah, i want some nuts. thank you, honey."

and now, thanks to me, after saying my name 23 times in a row, if i haven't looked he holds up one finger and says, "mommy, listen" with a little stern look in his eye to go with it! that's when i think, "is this kid for real!?"

i'm sure glad i love roller coasters because this 2-year-old takes me on one almost every day. hi five to weekends when dad gets to ride the roller coaster with us!

oh, and if you're curious, the hypnosis video totally worked. ;) 

Feb 5, 2015

froyo dates with carter

mine and carter's froyo dates go a little something like this...

we both order chocolate.
i get peanut butter cups, he gets m&ms.
he starts out happy as a clam with his own yogurt. 

about half way through, ever so subtly, my adorable date sneaks bites from my yogurt (usually my peanut butter cups) when i'm not looking-
like, when i need to run inside to grab more napkins, dig for a wipe, or check my phone. 

after quietly snatching bites from under my nose, he eventually starts pushing his own yogurt away until mine is comfortably placed in front of him.

inevitably, i call him out...
and he yells with his sly little grin, "i got mommys!"
like it just magically happened!

after a while, i give up.
i put him in my lap and we share both of our yogurts together,
all the while, screaming things like "big bite! big bite!" & "mommy, i got chocolate!"

how come everything taste better when it's not yours?

(i ask myself this every time i am stealing daron's meal when we go out to eat. sigh... the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!)

Feb 4, 2015


we took a little trip downtown to see the uss midway museum with my parents and grandparents. the ship is in a beautiful part of the harbor and the view of downtown is pretty stellar when on the top deck. i didn't expect there to be so many airplanes on the ship. carter was in pure boyhood heaven. it's amazing to me how much joy planes, trains, and automobiles bring him. i've had to really step up my knowledge of all three! there is a really inspiring video you can watch of a few of the heroes that served on the aircraft carrier. i totally teared up. and probably for the first time in the last 7 months not because of crazy hormones making me emotional. i always tear up learning about war heroes. they are incredible.

 ^my sweet grandma & grandpa clegg
or "grandma gg" and "papa clegg" as carter calls them

 thanks to this guy, i had to play pilot of the airplane alone. carter was horrified by the fake people. my mom felt so bad for him. i thought it was quite funny. they were a little startling when we first saw them. 

i love this little interaction of carter with my dad and mom. it's so classic of my dad.

^"carter, which one is your favorite??"

and... we still think "cheese" is "cheeks." i'm not tellin' him. nope, i'm not. maybe when he is 3.

Feb 2, 2015

on the daily

a few things that carter doesn't go a day without saying or doing...

in the morning {while still in his crib waiting for me to get him}

"mom. moooOOOOooom! mom! where are ooo?" 

once i'm in his room, he makes sure he is under a blanket and as i lean over the crib he throws the blanket off while yelling, "boooooooooo!"

as i bring him upstairs for breakfast, he buries his face into the blanket on my shoulder yelling, "too bright! too bright!"

before nap time and bedtime he asks, "mommy snuggle snuggle?" and "mommy, yook at pictures please?"

we proceed to snuggle under a blanket on the couch and look at pictures on my phone and tell stories.

before he can sleep he must throw all of the stuffed animals friends he wants to sleep with in his crib. there are about 10 different stuffed animals that sleep with him. a few have top priority though. he isn't sleeping if he doesn't have his penguin, whale, mr. owl and his {ginormous} dog. 

once he's up, he throws them from his crib to "their home" - a basket next to the crib.

if i sneeze or cough, "bless you mommy!"

phrases that don't make sense unless you replace "you" with "me."

"mommy... come which you, come which you?"
                     hold you, hold you?"
                     play which you, play which you?"

{oh, i guess you need replace which with with, too! and everything is always on repeat. always.}

once daron is home from work, "daddy wrestle?"

and for my personal favorite, 

{the last thing he does before he goes to sleep}
"mommy, hugs kisses?"

i melt every. time.