Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Feet

I love the clogging thing. It has become quite contagious and makes me HAPPY. Once you start your feet won't stop!

On Saturday we had our Spring Clogging Show. Austin and I each clogged 2 songs. Plus I had a small group of singers sing 2 songs ("Folk Song Hand Jive" and "We've Got the Beat!") I also ran around back stage to get the right kids on and off and generally keep the program going back stage. It is a lot of work putting a show together. But I love being able to tap into that creative, musical, performance side.

Austin is officially done with clogging. He does not enjoy it any more :( and has been counting down the remaining classes and knew the performance was the last thing he'd have to do. Naturally is makes me sad. I love seeing him up there. And it also means that I won't have any kids on the stage.....(don't worry Spencer and Ruth are coming....!!!!....) Austin has just found other loves, mainly reading. We've done a few piano lessons together and we'll focus more on that this summer. He has learned Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and he randomly sits down and plays it. I LOVE it! The logical, memorizing part of piano will come easy for him so we're going to run with his current interest level.

Don't worry I'll continue clogging as long as classes are offered! I spent a lot of extra time practicing the past 2 weeks trying to get ready for the performance. I felt confident and was ready to dance. I made some major mistakes during our first song. I'm taking major, like I've NEVER danced it as badly before in my life. And I was center stage. AHHHHHHHHH!!! I kept on smiling and moving my feet so I wouldn't draw too much attention to the mistakes. AHHHHHH!!! Mainly it just makes me disappointed in myself. I worked hard to learn the dance and I really wish I could have shown that in the performance. Yet another humbling experience (funny how I seem to need those a lot!) But I'm happy that the second number was better, much, much better!

Austin clogging to "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Disney's Mulan.

Cloggin' Buddies

After the Show:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

nothing to do with 04.17.03

Apparently I have nothing to say since Austin's birthday has come and gone.

So not true! Its kinda been a busy week.

Spring has arrived and is in full bloom. This is the last season I have to experience in my new-to-us home. There is a plum tree in the front yard with gorgeous blossoms that I'm in love with! Another favorite and quite random thing is a tulip coming up in the loose gravel of our driveway. We've spent some time outside weeding, spraying and mowing but more time being overwhelmed with what needs to be done in our very large yard.

We finally got our calves this week also. I've been wanting to get calves again this spring b/c it seems like we've been really laxed in the kids chores since we moved here. Calves are a perfect way to fix that!;) We made a deal with our neighbor: Kurt will take care of their lawn & garden in exchange for using their pasture to keep our calves. I know Kurt is getting the raw end of the deal. He has A LOT of yard work now! And then Emma's calf (Ariel) has been very feisty and wild so the kids haven't been able to feed by themselves yet. Great. One more thing for Kurt to do. Hopefully Ariel will get with the program so the purpose of our calves will be received.

Kurt took Ruth to the DR Tuesday morning while I was teaching preschool. She cut 2 more teeth last week and that teething brought her straight back to being sick. Another ear infection and bronchitis again. Since it's been less than a month since her last ear infection they gave her a different antibiotic (stronger) and we bought a nebulizer since the bronchitis seems to be a very reoccurring thing. My allergies kicked in this week (love spring!) and as always went straight to my sinuses. I even used the nebulizer one night! I think it will be a well earned investment. The DR also wanted us to watch her closely for asthma. I'm not sure what to watch for but we're watching...and the guilt (that preschool is making her so sick all the time) continues...

Spencer has turned into an escape artist. He bolts, very quickly, before you even realize it. It is NOT a good thing and it usually makes me very mad! At soccer yesterday (at Emma Lynn continues to do so well. She would run over to give me high fives and then go back. It brings so much joy to see her taking steps to gain confidence and overcome the extreme anxiety and shyness. I'm SO proud of her!) Anyways Spencer thought it was too cold (and it was) and didn't want to participate and I didn't want to force it since Emma was doing so well, that was enough of a victory for me! I was watching Emma and the next thing I know Austin told me Spencer was gone. I look over and he is completely across the field (these are large fields) at the fence ready to leave and run along the busy road to where our car was parked. He looked back at us and then ran straight to the car. It was not a good situation. I am threatening to put him on a leash OR never take him out of the house again!

Oh yeah, we also had our camp fundraiser dinner on Wednesday night. Ruth was still not feeling well at that point so it made preparations a little more difficult but we survived. We did a carnival theme and silent auction again (we did it last year also.) It was a great family night and I felt like it went very well.

On Thursday I pinched my sciatic nerve in my lower back. When I was pregnant with Ruth this happened (b/c my hips were out of place from my pregnancy with Spencer!) I went to the physical therapist a few times and it helped. When it happened before the pain would come and go with certain movements. This pain is not going. It is radiating down my legs and going numb. It has been pretty constant. At some point I might need to do something about this.

I let Austin play hookie from school on Tuesday. He said his cough was hurting followed by 2 weak coughs. He slept until 9:45. Next time we'll have to do it on a day I don't teach preschool (only 3 weeks left and only a month of school for Austin. CRAZY!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday Awesome Austin!

Posting my journal entries proceeding Austin's birth in 2003 has made me more sentimental and emotional than normal (birthdays are always bitter sweet.) But what a flashback. Life has changed so much since those early days of first-time-parenthood 6 years ago. Austin (and all children in general) are truly miracles. To remember the process of being pregnant, the delivery and then the life-long-eternity-long journey of raising them (or them raising us!) And I thought labor was hard! ;) How grateful I am that I at least kept a journal with all the spare time on bed rest (if only I could say the same for the present day!)

Austin's personality has it's moments when it challenges and frustrates me. But I love him endlessly. I wouldn't change his personality for a minute! It makes him Austin! He brings me so much joy and I'm loving growing through life with him. I've realized I have everything I've wanted. He is my son and my best buddy.

Austin I love your mind. It is so sharp and always anxious to soak up knowledge. I love that you have the need to know why and how things work (it makes your father proud!) I love your success in school. I love that you are an AMAZING reader in kindergarten. I love that you are unassuming about your abilities in school and simply, purely just want to learn. I love that you are friends with everyone. I love your art work. I love your prayers. I love your knowledge of the gospel and scripture stories. I love that your favorite book is the Encyclopedia of Animals & you just want to be a missionary when you grow up. I love your excitement for life. I love that you are excited for me to come to your class and give me kisses and hold my hand in the hall. I love when you tell me the details about your day or the book you just read or a very important fact about dinosaurs. I love that non-fiction rocks your world. And you, my little buddy, rock my world!

I love you!

One Month Old (the day your came home from the NICU)

6 months Old

1 Year Old

2 Years Old

3 Years Old

4 Years Old

5 Years Old

6 Years Old (Bionicle Birthday)

Making the Bionicle for his cake

Happy, Happy Birthday!

Bionicle Birthday

Austin wanted to invite a few of his school friends over for his birthday. I gave in to the idea. He invited 6 people since he was turning 6. He planned for a Bionicle (from LEGO's) birthday party. I really wasn't sure what to do with the Bionicle theme but we made masks and I had a foam sword for each of them and that was enough. They went wild and had so much fun together. The weather was beautiful so they were able to "fight" outside. We don't have toys like that so that and the combination of a bunch of his friends and Austin was having a great time! The boys also played with Austin's Bionicle collection and made new creations.

We had lunch (pizza and pop) and then cake and ice cream. We used the preschool room for all the events (have I told you that I LOVE that space?!!!) Austin got to music cards (it plays a song when you open the card.) So we all had to dance, a lot! I told him next year we're going to have a dance party for his birthday! ;)

Boys are easy and it was a fun way to celebrate.

Party Friends:
(back row) Amy Trotter, Emma Lynn Romans, Jacqlyn Albert, Spencer Romans
(front row) Trent Aldred, LeBraun Albert, Austin Romans, & Harold Saunders

Bionicle Cake

Bionicle Kids

~~~ April 17, 2003 ~~~

I will never forget this day as long as I live. Today William Austin Romans was born. Our joy has increased a million fold. What a handsome baby, our baby, and moreover he is doing so well! It truly is a miracle. I don't think he could be more perfect. I wish I could be with him every second and I'm thinking about him every moment we're not together.

Kurt is such a cute dad. I love watching him. He is just beaming with pride and love and joy. He is about a thousand times more handsome to me. He went with Austin to the NICU straight after he was born. He would check back on me to make sure I was still alive and then run back to the NICU to see Austin. It was adorable.

Okay labor was straight from hell! It was the worse, most terrible pain and hard work I could EVER imagine. I don't know why people have more than 1 child because I definitely never want to do it again! It is nothing like you can imagine or prepare for in your mind. I struggle right now to find the right words to express the agony I went through this morning. Maybe details are better left unsaid. But I know if I don't record them I'll end up in the same situation (LABOR) a few years from now. I'm not ready to think about that yet!

Here are the events that brought my precious baby into the world:
~ Kurt left for Pella around 10 pm. He needed to get more clothes and stuff from the house.
~ I was having mild pain and cramping while he was away.
~ He had only been back from the apartment and sleeping for an hour when I HAD to wake him up.
~ They had restarted Pit @ 1 am. I could feel the difference right away. Kurt took a shower to get woke up and then started some music to help with my breathing and relaxation through labor.
~ I told the nurse, Mary at 2:30 am that the pain was a lot sharper and more severe than yesterday. My contractions really weren't measuring on the monitor which was really frustrating to me. I asked her to check me to see how dilated I was. She did and I was at an 8! I totally would have taken an epidural if I wasn't too far along!
~ Mary gave me some fentenyl but it barely touched the pain and lasted a half hour.
~ I was breathing through most of the contractions but they got really bad. My whole body was shaking with pain, I really couldn't control it any longer. My breathing was completely forgotten as I just tried to survive the pain!
~ At 5:40 am I COULD NOT take it any more!!! I knew that if I started to push and get the child out of me all the pain and agony would STOP! I was feeling some pressure to push but it was not overwhelming. I was exhausted and knew I couldn't take it any more. It was TIME for Austin to come.
~ I was completely effaced on one side and had just a little more to go on the other so my first couple of pushes were to get my cervix completely effaced.
~ Pushing was so painful! I always thought that labor was the worse and the pushing was small fries compared to labor. I was so naive about the whole thing! It was brutal.
~ Mary called Dr. Mangsager when I was close enough. Pushing the whole time. It felt like I was going to rip into shreds. I told the Dr. and he already had the scissors in his hands to do an episotomy. I could feel him cutting but compared to all the other pain it was nothing.
~ After the episotomy I gave 2 strong pushes and he was out. The head and then the swishing of the body. He came out kicking and screaming (at least we know his lungs are developed!) Dr. Mangsager suctioned him and then passed him over to the NICU staff.
~ The pain stopped the millisecond he was out. It was heavenly and so greatly needed. AMEN!
~ I watched them fuss and work on Austin while Dr. Mangsager stitched me up. Kurt was hoovering over him, taking lots of pictures like a proud daddy.
~ Just before they took him to the NICU Kurt brought him over for me to hold. He was all bundled up with a hat on and an oxygen mask that covered his whole face. I could barely see him. It was so good to hold him. And then they took him away. As they stitched me up I lay there in complete awe and gratitude for a healthy little preemie son.
~ Austin weighs 3 pounds and 15 ounces and is 17 inches long. He is so much bigger than we had ever hoped or anticipated. It was sweet joy to my ears. And he is doing so well.
~ Kurt went into work at a quarter to nine and I slept. I was exhausted by that point. I woke up close to noon, had lunch and moved into my new room on the 3rd floor at 1 pm. I had visitors, a shower and started pumping my milk by the time Kurt returned at 3:30. Together we went straight upstairs to the NICU to see our son, William Austin Romans.

The tape is holding his feeding tube in because he kept riping it out!

The picture gives a great measurement of how small Austin was in compasion to Kurt's hand.

The joyful and very blessed Romans family on Easter Sunday in the NICU - Austin is 3 days old.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

~~~ April 16, 2003 ~~~

My baby still isn't here.

Its been another long day but not as bad as Monday and Tuesday since we are activitly trying to get Austin here. This morning at 2 am we started the Pit IV, nothing real exciting started to happen until 9:30 am. I still wasn't able to get a real good nights sleep because my mind was racing and that piece of slab they call a bed was SO uncomfortable. Not to mention I was contented to a million different machines. I started having heavy cramping followed by "contractions" that lasted 30 seconds 1-2 minutes apart. This lasted until noon. Dr. Boyle came in to discuss the plan. He was very surprised I hadn't gone into labor yet especially since I was dilated to a 4 yesterday. He said they would try a different labor inducing med if I hadn't made any real changes. Noon came and went without any excitement or difference.

Time for plan B. Stop the Pit and an hour later start Citotex which is a pill that they insert directly into the cervix. It is a set of 3 pills given 4 hours apart. It is meant to soften the uterus and they hoped the combination would start me into "real" labor. They gave the first @ 1:30 pm. Nothing. The second at 4:30 pm. Nothing.
The third at 7:30 pm. Nothing. My body just isn't working with me (probably b/c I'm suppose to be pregnant for 2 more months!) The second round of Pit is schedule for 1 am tomorrow morning. Let's PRAY it works because a C-section tomorrow at noon is the next option.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

~~~ April 15, 2003 ~~~

Its now 9:35 pm and I have made a huge transition today. I'm now on the "other" side. I've moved rooms over to the labor and delivery side. YEAH!!! I woke up early this morning to ultrasound knocking at my door, they were ready for me. The baby was doing good but my fluid had dropped down to 1.8 cm. Dr. Mangsager came in around 10ish and said that I didn't even have enough fluid to do the amniocentesis so we'd better induced TODAY! Sounds good I was ready yesterday! He said things were CRAZY in labor and delivery so we would have to wait until there was a free room. I thought, no problem we're good at the waiting game. The day continued to roll on without any news or events. It was very cruel to wait in such agony. Monday we waited and waited and nothing happened. It crushes all hopes. And then the same thing happened today. It was almost too much. When I thought I was going to break Dr. Boyle came in near 6 pm and said that we would still have to wait but hopefully we would still be able to induce early the next morning. He checked to see how dilated I was so he would have an idea what to expect. I'm dilated to a 4. AWESOME! That was a surprise to everyone but by far the best news I've had all day. My night nurse came in around 8:30 and said they had a room for me in Labor & Delivery. Oh, thank you! She worked miracles (too bad she wasn't here earlier!:) They have started the IV and will start the Pit (labor induce med) at 2 am. So we are finally on the long awaited road. It feels good.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

~~~ April 14, 2003 ~~~

And I thought yesterday was a long day! Sometimes I wish I had more patience. We were planned to have an amniocentesis today. We waited and waited and waited for Dr. Mangsager to come on the floor and make his rounds and start the test. He didn't come until 10 minutes to 4 pm. I knew as the day wore on and we didn't see him that we wouldn't be able to do the test. It takes about an hour for the results to come back and I knew the lab would be closing sooner than later. It was really hard to wait all day for something that didn't even happen. Patience, my friend. When he finally did come he asked if we could reschedule until tomorrow since it was getting so late. I completely understand that you have to be flexible and understanding - we are not the only people in this hospital. But I was disappointed. I spent all day trying to be calm and relaxed about the whole thing and it didn't happen. I started to feel like Kurt with a major stomach ulcers. So we're scheduled first thing in the morning for the test. I pray it happens. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high just in case (you never know what will happen, that is proof of that!) I feel bad for Kurt because he went into work at midnight so he could be here all day for the events that never happened.

Monday, April 13, 2009

O Happy Day!

Today, on Elaine's 25th Birthday, my newest niece, Molly Romans was born. She weighs 7.8 pounds and is 22 inches long. We are beyond excited, we are at peace, we are over joyed for Jeff and Julie to bring a healthy baby into this world. While I know it will still be hard for them we are so, so happy that they will be able to raise her in this life and "find JOY in their posterity." They deserve all the happiness in the world.

Welcome to the world sweet Molly! Your arrival was greatly anticipated. We love you!

~~~ April 13, 2003 ~~~

Happy Birthday Elaine!

I think I am losing my mind. I have been so loopy ALL day! I know I'm going insane. The day was SOOOO long, I honestly didn't think it was ever going to end. I have to tell you, it is very hard to keep the Sabbath day holy on bed rest in the hospital. It just makes for a long day.

Kurt went to church in Des Moines this morning (and I was so jealous of the fact that he got to go to church!)

Dr. Mandsager said that we'll do an amniocentesis tomorrow (they insert a large needle into my abdomen and with draw some amniotic fluid. They test the fuild to see how developed the lungs are.) Depending upon the results we'll induce labor after that point. It depends on how mature the lungs are and the risk ratio of fluid still left and possible complications. So tomorrow's a big day. I have had way too much time to think today so I've been a little more nervous and anxious than usual.

Kurt gave me a blessing and it truly is amazing how much that helps. Once again my mind and soul is calm and at peace. We'll be able to get through whatever happens tomorrow. I am so grateful to have a righteous husband who holds the priesthood.

Kurt just left at 10 pm to go to work back in Pella. That way he'll be around all day tomorrow for anything and everything that will happen.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

I'm so grateful for the spiritual renewal this Easter season has been for me. With an amazing conference last week, a commitment to try a little hard to be a little better, lessons each day on the last week of the Savior's life, opportunities to teach my children and the young women it has been a true feast. My spirit has been strength and energized in the fact that I know Jesus Christ LIVES today. He was resurrected and so will I. What a message a hope. What a reason to celebrate and rejoice! I love my Savior.

Saturday Visit

The Easter bunny has always come to our house on Saturday morning so that we can celebrate the true meaning of Easter on Sunday. We had soccer at 9 am so mom had to wake the kids so we would enjoy the baskets before it was time to go. We didn't search for eggs until after we got home. The kids were happy and had lots of fun. They were all excited about their new books, a great tradition.

Ruth also found Austin's chocolate bunny. She was too cute for me to take it away (bad I know but look at her!!! You would be able to take it away either!)


My brother Sam finished up his semester at BYU-Idaho this week. He was flying home to VA for the summer and I wasn't sure when the next time I'd see him was so I decided to drive down to Logan. His plan was to stay Thursday night with Elaine and Ben and then fly out Friday afternoon. After Kurt and Elaine agreed I made the plans.

We left as soon as preschool was out on Thursday (right after our fun Easter parties!) Did a few errands and picked up Austin early from school. We were out of Vale by 2 pm. We only made one stop in Boise to gas up and then we drove like the wind. We arrived in Logan by 7:30. Not bad, not bad.

Sam didn't get there until 9 pm. It was good to see him. As he was walking up the steps Spencer said, "Hi Sam. Where's your brada?" He is so funny. It was good to see everyone, the time was short but I'm glad we did it. A few weeks ago in school Austin had to journal about one of his relatives that he loved. Most people chose their grandparents or cousins. Austin chose his uncle Sam. He drew a picture of the two of them complete with labeling and arrows. Then he wrote, "I love my uncle Sam. He lives far away." We DO love our uncle Sam & wish him the best of luck this summer.

We said good-bye around 12:30 pm on Friday. The kids and I then had a picnic at a park for about an hour. After another errand and more gas for the van we were back on the road by 3 pm. Almost immediately Ruth, Spencer and Emma Lynn fell asleep while Austin continued to read Magic School Bus Chapter books (we've found the perfect combo of fiction and non-fiction for him! He read 2 books on the trip.) I listened to Glen Beck to say awake. :) My kids were fabulous little troopers and we were back in Vale by 8:20 pm. We didn't stop ONCE on the way home!!! Can we say amazing travelers?!!! YES! Now that I know that I've got a lot more day trips planned! ;)

Cousins and Best Friends

~~~ April 12, 2003 ~~~

I just had my first baby shower in the hospital. That will always be a memorable experience. Lorraine Allen, Amy Christensen and Sherrie Brady put it together for me. It was really so nice and so thoughtful that they would put so much effort into it. I know its hard to do a baby shower when the mother is in the hospital. I feel so overwhelmed with their sincere kindness.

They sent out an email letting the sisters in the ward know they were having a video baby shower for me. They had a couple of questions that they could choose to talk about, stories or advice and then their well wishes. Lorranie had a candy game that we played - it was a matching game - a name of the candy corresponded with a baby item (for example diaper was raisinettes.) We watched the video (which was so touching and thoughtful) had lots of good food, talked and opened presents. We received so many nice things - I'm so grateful! We even received 6 preemie outfits which I'm SO happy about since I don't have any of that stuff. I tried to have Kurt go shopping for a few things this afternoon (especially for preemie things and a quilt to put over the incubator.) But he isn't a big time shopper and wanted to be done as soon as possible. I aprpeciate his shopping efforts. :) So I had a wonderful baby shower. I'm just so grateful and feel so endebted to their kindness.

We had another ultrasound this morning. Kurt always gets excited about it (and rightly so!) We saw a big yawn and close up of his eyes. Kurt's favorite is the hear beat especially watching the valves and different chambers pump. It's pretty cool. My fluid level remains the same.

I had some notable contractions this afternoon. But they were no where near regular. All things considered its still pretty quiet which I am really grateful for but a large part of me really hopes that the labor process will happen naturally. It would be nice to have something be natural in this process. But its out of my control now, leave it in the Lord's hands and go forth in faith.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

~~~ April 11, 2003 ~~~

Each day is seeming to blend into the next. I can't really think of anything much to say that is different or distinguishes this day from the rest.

I had a TON of phone calls today. It seems like the phone was constantly ringing. But after Thursday being quiet and with no visitors I appreciated it. I talked with my mom, Cindy, Elaine, Grandma Karen, Lorraine, Sonya and people from the area (Ames and Pella). Brother and Sister Bartlett came and visited in the evening and also some missionaries (the Bartletts saw them in the parking lot and told them to go visit us. It turns out we knew one of them. RANDOM.)

Kurt is staying in Des Moines all weekend with me. I'm sure I'll be spoiled. They say I've had a few contractions but nothing that I've noticed. There is more pressure down there but that's the only thing I've noticed. Come on body kick into gear! My colostrum has started to come in also so I'm dealing with leaky breasts. I guess I'd better get use to it!

The Dr. lets me take a shower every day now - I love it - simple pleasures. The plan to induce early next week is still intact. Other than that I'm still sitting here.

~~~ April 10, 2003 ~~~

I had another ultrasound this morning around 10:15 am. There really wasn't anything new. They said there was about 2.9 cm of fluid. I waited all morning for Dr. Boyle to come and finally he did around noon. It was really good to talk with him. He talked more about the long term goals and outcomes which is what I wanted and needed to hear.

There is basically no fluid in the womb. They want to wait until I'm 32 weeks (which will be the end of this weekend) to give enough time for the antibiotics and steroids to take effect. But he explained that after 32 weeks the risks out weigh the benefits of staying in the womb, especially in my case since there is no fluid. There is risk for the cord to prolapse, there is lots of pressure on the placenta and the ever increasing risk for infection. We really just can't take the risks (in my case.) The Dr. feels that he would do better in the NICU than fighting the risks of staying inside. He said if I don't start labor this weekend we should strongly consider inducing by early next week. Its hard to know because I'm not an expert on the subject but I trust our Dr.s they specialize with this daily. Kurt and I feel good about this, we continue to feel calm and peaceful so we press forward. Both of us have felt all along that we wouldn't be going to stay for weeks and weeks. I was praying we could make it through the week to give us enough time for the medicine to help. Its another few days and then we'll be in the clear. Honestly I hope that my body will naturally start with the contractions this weekend so we don't have to induce early next week. We'll just let nature take its course I guess.

It was another set back for me, just something else I wasn't prepared for. It blows me away to realize I'll be in labor and pushing in a few short days and then my little baby Austin will be in the world. Am I ready for this? I guess its too late for that now!

We also got a tour of the NICU late last night. That was hard for both of us. A slap in the face of reality. He is going to be so small and so helpless. They like to keep the babies in the NICU until their due date. That's going to be a long time, 2 months of a long time. I just hate to think of him being in there and not being able to hold and touch and love him all the time. It hurts my heart. I wish with all my heart that he didn't have to come right now - that he could wait until June 8th and we could take him home like normal parents. But its not to be this time. I'm just so scared. I'm leaning on Kurt. I know TOGETHER we can make it through. Oh, how I need him.

~~~ April 9, 2003 ~~~

[Note from 2009: I made a very spontaneous 24 hour trip to Utah on Thursday/Friday thus the delay in journal entries. Sorry!]

I slept so much better last night. I've been taking a sleeping pill. I really hate to but I know its so important to get sleep while I can. My mind can go crazy especially at night so until things start to settle down I'll probably keep taking it.

I have been so tired today (even after I slept better.) There have been lots of phone calls and visitors today. Its good because it helps keep me busy and my mind preoccupied. Amy Christensen & Josh, and Sherrie Brady & Taylor came to visit this morning. They are such great people! They want to throw me a baby shower, I'm not quite sure how that'll work but grateful they want to make the effort. Aunt Dawn called, Ilundria visited for a while before class and Sister Bartlett & Robin, Sister Jorgensen & Brooke came by with flowers and cross stitch bibs. Everyone is so thoughtful to bring stuff to keep me BUSY. Ben Oviatt from Ames also stopped by after work. His dad has willingly offered to let us stay at their house in Des Moines whenever we need to. We might take him up on that offer after Austin is born. I know I won't be able to leave him in the hospital without one of us here. My poor little baby. Its amazing how the members of the church pull today - you always have a family whenever you need it.

I was in the bathroom (sponge bath) this morning when the Dr. did rounds this morning so I missed him. But I got some new orders: I can take out the IV tubing tonight around 6 pm. Which means I'll continue the antibiotics orally for the next 5 days. They also discontinued the fetal monitoring during the night so hopefully I'll be able to get some sleep. Again such simple pleasures that make my life a little more enjoyable.

I've been having terrible back pain ALL day! They had me on the monitor (just to make sure it wasn't contractions, it wasn't.) They gave me an air mattress last night and ordered a heating pad for tonight. Hopefully that'll help. Plus one of the antibiotics makes me so nauseous - I hate it! I really haven't been feeling top notch today. I'm realizing already the sacrifices a mother willingly makes for their child. The unconditional love for a special spirit I haven't even seen yet. But I would do anything to have Austin born healthy and okay. I would gladly be on bed rest for months to ensure his safe arrival into this world. We're going one day at a time, each day inside is a huge success and we focus on that.

I hate not knowing the definite outcome. Like how long I'll have to wait or how Austin will be when he's born, etc...I don't know what I can do but take it one day at a time.

I really worry about Kurt. He is so stressed out and is just having a hard time dealing with everything. He hates going to work because he feels bad leaving me all alone in the hospital but I know he'd go plum crazy if he was stuck here like me. Plus I'm doing OKAY! He doesn't have a million vacation days to spend fruitlessly. We'll need them later on when Austin comes. Its so important that he continue to get his rest and keep his strength because we'll both really need it, in the days to come. Not to mention he is driving back and forth to Pella constantly. Its just too much. His stomach has really been bothering him (can we say STRESS?!!!) So I told him to get a blessing today(I made him promise!) Plus he bought some TUMS to help settle his stomach. He bought a single air mattress so that he'll be able to get decent sleep the next coming days (I pray.) I just hope that he'll be able to cope with all the responsibilities and stresses he has and let the Lord help him carry it. He is a rock of a man. He is amazing, definitely my strength. There isn't ANYONE in the world I'd rather go through this with. There is just so much comfort knowing he is by my side and because I trust faithfully in our marriage I know we'll come out on top and stronger no matter what may happen.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Austin's Song

I found this in a notebook today (I seem to be doing that a lot lately! Spring cleaning maybe?) A song Austin made up at bed time on October 7, 2008.

"I always want to be on Jesus' side.
I never want to trade for Satan.
Always be on Jesus' side.
I love my Christ."

~~~April 8, 2003 (Tuesday) ~~~

I got to talk with my parents this morning. They were still on vacation until early this morning. Kurt called and spoke with my dad before he left for work. Then my mom called me at the hospital at 7 am, it was really good to talk to her, a relief to be able to let her know what was going on.

I had another ultrasound this morning, things are pretty much the same except I had retained 3 cm of amniotic fluid. Even though he'll keep replenishing his fluid I will continue to leak it out until he is born. He weighs 3 pounds 6 ounces which is in the lower 35%. It is just so little. But all things considered he is doing very well. His head is down (good for delivery position.) I am put on a fetal monitor every 4 hours for one hour. His heart rate is just great every time and I still don't have any notable contractions. Not dilated at all and my cervix is not effaced. All very GOOD signs that he'll be able to stay in the womb as long as possible. The Dr. gave me bathroom privileges today - I'M SO EXCITED - no more bed pans and its so nice to be able to get out of bed every once and a while. I'm also allowed to take a shower every other day! :) It is so amazing how such small things can mean so much. I don't really have any stuff here so I'll wait until Kurt comes tonight to take my shower. I also got the second shot of steroids to help his lung development.

I got some flowers today from the Romans, it was so thoughtful of them. It really made my day. They have really been so supportive and loving throughout this whole process. Cindy is very good to call me everyday, see what is happening and keep me company. We have really been blessed with a super wonderful family (but we already knew that!) The nurses keep asking if our family is coming.'s not going to happen. I was kind of worried about it in the beginning but that was all in vain! Everyone has been so nice to us and I know family every where is praying for us, especially for baby Austin. I can feel the support and love and it calms my soul. We're going to be okay. Sister Gerdis from the branch and her daughter Hannah came to visit. Donia came by and stayed for a few hours. Grandpa and Grandma Waite called. So even though family is not around I feel loved and supported.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Treasure Found

A few weeks ago I came across a lost treasure. The journal I kept days before Austin was born. It has been a sweet treasure. I decided to post my journal entries from 6 years ago. So starting today I'll post a journal entry until Austin's birthday (the 17th). It's mainly for me and posterity sake. Read if you will.

~~~April 7, 2003 (Monday) ~~~

Today the unthinkable happened. At this moment I still can't believe it happened. Everything just happened so fast. My mind is not quite sure how to process everything.

I woke this morning at 8 am and went about my normal routine. Ate breakfast, read my scriptures, started cleaning and the laundry. I wanted to do a low impact aerobic exercise, shower and then start on my paper work from Saturday's clinical by 9 am. So I was getting the tape in the right place and then I started. It was a very simple side to side movement not much different than walking. Not less than a moment later I felt my garments start to soak completely through and it continued running down my legs. I had had some trouble with stress incontinence (when laughing, sneezing, etc...) I was hoping in my mind that this was just a bad case of incontinence. But even though I was in denial I knew something was wrong. My first thought was to get clean. So after inspecting my garments and noting there was not a distinct smell and the fluid I was leaking was definitely clear I jumped into the shower. I could still feel fluid dipping down my legs throughout the shower which really frustrated me. I attempted to hurry up and finish my shower only to realize about 4 minutes later that in my haste I had only shaved one leg. As I was trying to dry off and apply lotion I continued to leak on the rug and on the floor. To stop from making a complete mess of the entire apartment I fastened a towel around me like a diaper held together with hair clips. And then I got ready for the day like nothing had happened and I wasn't wearing a large towel diaper. After I completely soaked the towel I threw in a load of laundry and put on my last pair of garments with the thickest pad I could find in the house (it had been a long time since I had wore one of those!) It wasn't too much later that I had completely soaked through that pair of garments also.

Now I was really starting to worry, I really didn't want to consider the idea that my water had broke but reality shouldn't be denied any longer and I started to bawl. I tried calling Kurt but he wasn't in his office. So I whipped out my pregnancy book in order to determine what was really going on. Being hopefully naive part of me still was wishing it was urine. My book was pretty clear on the matter - whether you know what the fluid is or not, of you are leaking that much you need to call your Dr. ASAP! To make matters more complicated it was my Dr.'s day off. I left a message with the nurse. After that I tried Kurt again but he still wasn't in his office. I tried to finish getting ready by blow drying my hair, doing my make-up, the every day routine.

The nurse was good to call me back promptly. I reviewed the morning events with her. She said that I would need to come in most likely to make sure everything was okay. She said she would get a hold of Dr. Frederickson ASAP and call me back. OKAY. Reality was starting to set in but I was still hoping it wasn't the amniotic fluid that was leaking. I knew I HAD to get a hold of Kurt at this point - who knows when he would come back to the office. So I called the main office and asked them to page Kurt Romans for me because it was an emergency. When he called I gave him about a 2 sentence version of all the happenings this morning and asked if he could come home to take me to the Dr.'s office. Minutes after I got off the phone with him the nurse called back and said Dr. Frederickson had just walked in the office, could I please come in ASAP. Kurt was on his way to pick me up.

We didn't have to wait more than a minute before we were called back to his office. I told him what had happened and he prepared to do an exam on me. There is a simple test you can do with amniotic fluid under a microscope (it spreads and branches like a fern) plus the pH level is completely opposite from urine. Both tests came back positive, it was amniotic fluid. Kurt started to cry. Even though I had been in denial all morning, I knew and was blessed to remain calm (plus I had already cried for at least an hour earlier that morning.)

Dr. Frederickson explained what was going to happen: they were going to transfer me to Mercy Hospital (my hospital) in Des Moines where I would be on bed rest until Austin was born. They wanted to take me by ambulance (for continuous monitoring.) They wheeled me over into the OB unit of the Pella hospital where they immediately started an IV (well, at least it started on the 3rd try, my veins kept bursting) and gave a shot of steroids in my hips. The last thing to develop (at 36 weeks) is the baby's lungs so by giving the steroid they can further develop in case of his early arrival.

While they started the meds Kurt ran home to grab a few things - WE JUST WEREN'T READY FOR THIS TO HAPPEN TODAY!!! I couldn't think of anything that I needed - that was the last thing on my mind! Kurt told me later that he just ran around the apartment in circles before he could even think clearly. Kurt got back to the hospital about 5 minutes before the ambulance arrived. They loaded me up on the stretcher, piled on the blankets and secured me in like a mummy (or body bag, which ever!) Kurt followed us in the car. He made a million phone calls - I think this was the biggest week of April or at least the busiest, so there were lots of cancellation phone calls to make.

The ambulance ride was interesting. Since I wasn't dialated or having any contractions they didn't have to speed or turn on the lights (much to Kurt's dismay.) The lady that rode in the back with me was a volunteer (an RN by profession) so it was fun to talk with her. I can't honestly tell you what I was thinking, it's all a blur and a SHOCK! We just weren't prepared or expecting to do this in April.

They took me up to room 490 & started all the paperwork. My new Dr. also came in and spoke with us. He seems to be very nice and experienced in this area. They put me on full bed rest (that includes bed pan) but luckily my diet was not restricted. They had an ultrasound come in - there is no fluid left in the womb and with all the measurements they say he weighs 3 pounds 6 ounces. Antibiotics were started and a fetal monitor was on at all times (it monitors the baby's heart rate and my contractions which are still nonexistent.) The major risk after your water breaks is infection thus the reason for antibiotics (2 different types, 24 hours a day.) So basically the Dr. said that if I did get an infection they would start my contractions (and thus labor.) Otherwise they would wait for the contractions to begin naturally since my water broke they weren't going to stop them. So basically its a waiting game. The longer he can stay inside and let his lungs develop the better. That'll be less time he'll have to stay in the NICU and the sooner he'll be able to come home. I NEVER wanted to be on bed rest (who does???) but I DO want Austin more than anything else so it's the sacrifice I'll have to make.

Kurt called our good friends from Ames, Jay Christensen and asked him to come down and help give me a blessing. Naturally he was willing. Ilundria, Lynette and Donia came by to visit after class. It was really nice that they would come by. They were so sweet and supportive. They were able to stay for the blessing also, so that was a good experience. The blessing was very nice, we both feel calm and comforted. I have a good husband, I don't know what I'd do without him!

They moved me from the normal OB birthing unit to the "other side" where high risk pregnancies and NICU is. So now we just wait.

Kurt didn't stay the night, he had to be at work early the next morning. I was doing okay until he left and then it was too much. Everything was really starting to sink in and the shock wearing off. I felt so alone in that dark hospital room and I just
started worrying about our baby. He is going to be so small. I hate the thought of him being in the NICU and that I won't be able to hold and love him endlessly. I called Kurt (who was on his way home) and we cried together.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Your Future is as Bright as your Faith

Conference weekend was amazing. A true spiritual feast. It feels like it has been a long time since my soul was so touched, so stirred, so moved for so many talks. The task of teaching children reverence doesn't always provide me with lots of opportunities to feast. I am so grateful that this was one of those rare occasions.

The theme (that the spirit was telling me) was about preparedness. Times are hard and they are going to get harder. Now is the time to be prepared. But most importantly our spiritual preparation. That preparation can be found in the temple.

You cannot leave conference without a stirring of character to "try a little harder to be a little better" as President Hinckley so often encouraged us.
I am going to focus on:

~ To have more FUN with my children (I actually decided this the day before conference but it is still very valid.) Not to merely go through life but have FUN going through life (I'm talking chores, homework, baths, beautiful days in the park, everything. I don't have these sweet spirits in my home very long so the time needs to count, we need to be happy and have FUN together. The spirit will want to be around us so much more when we are happy, cheerful and FUN!)
~ To serve my husband daily (beyond the daily chores) and vocalize my love for him.
~ To stay diligent with our daily devotionals (prayer, song and mini lesson before school & work. We've been at it 2 weeks and we're loving it.)
~ Be 100% daily (challenge from the General YW presidency: 1. read scriptures 5 minutes daily 2. pray morning and night 3. Smile :)
~ Attend the temple each month.
~ Forget myself in service.

We had a wonderful FHE tonight (even though Kurt was gone - day trip to Nevada for work of course. We missed you, honey!) My mom gave me this fabulous book called, "A Christ Centered Easter" by Janet and Joe Hales. There are a bunch of wonderful ideas on how to make Easter more meaningful. One is studying the biblical Easter week day by day. So you start the week before Easter and each day learn more about what the Savior was doing his last week on earth. It is going to be very effective for us. Thanks again mom for a fabulous resource!

Tonight we did Palm Sunday and Cleansing the Temple. After reviewing the story of Jesus coming back to Jerusalem riding on the donkey we made palm leaves and then acted out the story. Explaining why they laid down their clothes on the road and waved palm leaves. Austin and I took turns being the donkey and giving rides into Jerusalem. I asked the kids how they could feel if Jesus came to visit their town and what would they do to welcome him. Austin said he would be so excited with 1,500,000 exclamation marks after it. :)

We went on an Easter walk to find things that had to do with Easter. We found a branch (palm leaf), thorn (crown on Jesus' head), cross (I cheated and made it out of 2 sticks) and a rock (covered the tomb.)

And during scripture study we read about Jesus' cleansing the temple and the importance of cleansing our body from sin. Austin asked, "How do we get bad things out of our mind?" Which led to another good discussion. I'll continue to share with you our Christ centered Easter week. Join us.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Soccer Season Starts Again

Austin didn't want to participate this year (he's done it for the past 2.) Which all-in-all isn't a bad thing cause he would be on a "real" team with 2 weekly practices plus games. All of which would take place in Ontario. We are not ready for that level of sports commitment at our house. To quote him as he looks up in between reading his book, "Sports are boring mom." He is crusin' through chapter books like they are candy. We went to the Ontario library yesterday and I was looking to find him a new book series he could work through (he has been doing Magic Tree House and enjoys them. But he needs something harder.) I brought him over so he could pick out something that would interest him. He looked at me, "These are fiction books. I don't want to read fiction." The boy loves NON-fiction! So we made a comprise, he could check out a non-fiction after he had picked out a fiction. And we did sign him up for t-ball again this year. We are striving for a balance.

Spencer definitely wanted to do soccer and Emma was unsure...So when it came time to registration we signed up Spencer. With each passing day Emma would voice her desire to do soccer more and more. I was starting to believe her. But when new situations arise she gets very nervous and anxious and is unable to participate. Since this is a paying event I didn't really want to sign her up for her just to back out when we got there. And it isn't fair to put the pressure on her that, "We've paid for this so you have to do it." So yesterday I signed her up. Talk about last minute!!! But it was on purpose (for the reasons I just explained.)

But I'm just beaming to report that Emma did GREAT! She was awesome!!! She smiled, listened to her coach, participated, and wasn't overly hesitant and clingy. WAY TO GO Emma! This is a huge milestone. Especially since it was very windy and very cold. Emma is ultra sensitive to the weather and completely shuts down if it is too extreme in either direction. She definitely moved passed that today and endured. YAY GIRL!!! And the most exciting part is that she was beaming with the confidence of this experience. She is a cutie!

(Austin caught this moment of Emma & I trying to stay warm! Tender)

Spencer was unable to endure the weather. Half way through Kurt took him and Ruth to the car so Emma could finish (as parents we were in shock, slight role reversal here but again, YAY for Emma!) Spence had lots of layers on but apparently it was still not enough. I told him we'll bring a hat and gloves next week and he seemed satisfied that that will improve his ability to endure harsh weather conditions and he is willing to try again.

Let the KICKS keep comin'!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Welcome baby girl Ruf!

My beautiful and sweet SIL, Kelli gave birth to her first baby today. She was born a little after 5 pm and weighs 8 lbs 7 ounces and is 19 1/2 inches long. That's all I know! I'm excited to meet her tomorrow! :) Welcome into the world my sweet niece. We are excited to love you and grow with you. You have wonderful parents and will be blessed with a good life! WELCOME!

more details (and pictures) to follow....

The world is a stage

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