Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Myla Rey Huenefeld

We spent the last days of my pregnancy doing all things boy. That meant playing with frogs and hunting all the animals he "saw" in our yard. 

My last day of pregnancy!

I was scheduled for an induction at 6:30 AM, Monday, May 16th. It was a strange feeling, knowing when we'd be having the baby. We spent Sunday resting and enjoying some time at home with just the three of us. I hadn't been sleeping in our bed for several nights, I couldn't get comfortable and found the couch to do the trick. James and I both camped out in the basement that evening and surprisingly I slept hard... that is until I woke up to a contraction at 1:45 AM. It wasn't unusual to wake up to a contraction or two, so I quickly fell back asleep, but was woke up to another one shortly after. I decided to check the time, in case I had any more, I'd know how close together they were. These contractions were strong enough to where I was really uncomfortable, but not necessarily in tremendous pain. Then I woke up to the third one a little before 2:00. I flopped off the couch and was on my hands and knees breathing hard in pain. This woke James up and after it passed, I decided to go use the bathroom and wait up to see if I would have another one. Four minutes later I had another one, just as strong. I hollered for James that he needed to start getting his things together. After that, I was having them every 2-3 minutes, and they were strong. Thankfully Ashton was already prepared to have Trevin the next morning, but I did go in and let her know we were leaving a little earlier than expected. 

We were loaded in the car by 2:15, called the hospital to let them know we were coming, and we were off. James was trying to be comforting, but he couldn't stop smiling. He was thrilled that I was going on my own and we wouldn't need the induction. I was thrilled too, but I was in too much pain to show it. It was the fastest drive to Grand Island (but felt like an eternity), speed limits did not apply, nor did red lights. Thankfully, it was the middle of the night, so there was practically no traffic. 

By the time we got to Grand Island, I was having contractions just as long as I was having rest in between, every 1-2 minutes. I was able to walk into the hospital and had a contraction in the elevator. A nurse greeted us on the second floor and walked us to our room. It was 2:45. She had so many questions. I had no answers. Somehow I managed to get into a gown and into the bed. I was measuring at 7 cm at this point. She asked if I wanted the epidural and I nodded my head like a sad puppy. Next, she tried to start my IV, but I had another contraction and my vein blew. She went to the other side and was successful. It felt like I was having contractions constantly, my body felt limp in between each one. Because I was going so fast, she checked me again (about 15 minutes after the previous check). I was dilated to 9.5 cm. I looked at the nurse and said pathetically, "Does that mean no epidural?" She said, "No, sorry. But your baby will be here soon!" 

All through my pregnancy I had this creeping feeling that I wouldn't get to have my epidural. I felt like I cheated the curse with Trevin and I was going to have to experience it one way or another. Although, James and I joke that my torn cervix and broken tailbone with Trevin was my punishment for taking the easy route. Well, my fear of a natural childbirth totally happened. I had nothing, nada, no help. I had a cold wash cloth and ice chips, which felt like a luxury at the time. My body was constantly switching temperature on me. I'd have a contraction and be freezing, goose bumps everywhere, and shivering. Then a few minutes later I'd be sweating and wishing they'd throw the ice chips at my face. It switched back and forth several times. 

When I had Trevin, I remember saying that it wasn't anything like the movies. It was intense, but there was no screaming or thrashing around. It was so painful, but I felt in control. (Thanks to the epidural.) But this, my friends, was straight out of a Hallmark movie. I was yelling. I was crying. I was shaking. I was throwing myself around. I was not calm. It was unlike anything I can describe. My body was controlling me. 

They had paged my doctor, but she didn't respond. (Fun fact, my doctor didn't deliver either of my babies! At this point, I should just rotate my appointments between all the doctors, so I can at least learn their names before they deliver my babies. Nothing like saying, "Oh hi, nice to meet you. Look I'm crowning!") They paged another doctor but it wouldn't matter. I started to feel the urge to push. At this point, all three nurses surrounded me and tried to instruct me not to push. Remember how I said my body was in control? Yeah, it totally took over and started to push. I did my best to try and hold back and breath through 3-4 contractions of needing to push. Then I had the most intense contraction of the entire labor, James looked down and said, "Oh my." Apparently her head was half out. The nurses looked at each other and said, "What should we have her do?" I heard one say the most beautiful words, "Go ahead and push." I think there was a choir of angels in the room singing, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" Well, maybe not, but I was certainly thrilled. I seriously gave one big push and her head was out. The nurses squealed and said, "She's still in her sack!" My water never broke and was still intact as she came out. She was tangled in the cord pretty good, but it all happened so fast that they weren't able to monitor her through the pushing. I gave on more push and our baby was born. The sack broke as her body came out, but the nurses thought that it was incredible. (Later they said it was a good thing that my water didn't break at home or in the car, because I may not have made it. CAN'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT. Nope. Also, James needs to go to midwifery school before we can get pregnant again. Just in case.) 

The doctor showed up a few minutes later and delivered the placenta. I had 2 small exterior tears that he stitched up. My cervix was fully intact and my tailbone seems to have survived another delivery. I was up and moving shortly after. I walked to the bathroom without assistance and felt great. When I sat down I started to feel a little dizzy, so I thought I'd pull the call light just in case (After I delivered Trevin, I passed out when I used the bathroom for the first time.) The next thing I remember was those magic alcohol swabs under my nose, and I was awake. Apparently I just pass out after I have a baby, it's kind of a tradition. Beyond that, my recovery has been much easier this time around! 

When I was in labor, I remember thinking that the nurses seemed a little frantic. Like they weren't really prepared or organized. After they delivered our baby, I asked them how often they have to do that. They looked at each other, laughed, and said, "Well tonight, we're two for two!" They had just delivered another baby who came just as fast as ours! No wonder they seemed a little preoccupied! They did such a good job. I couldn't have asked for it to go any better. (Except maybe being able to push right away!)

Myla Rey Huenefeld was born at 3:30 AM, May 16th, 2016. She weighed 8 lbs 3 oz, 20 3/4 in. The nurses delivered her and placed her on my stomach. There's no words for that moment. Love is literally born. In one instant, your heart is gushing with joy. James grabbed my phone and recorded the first minutes of Myla's life. I watch it over and over again, because that emotion can't be duplicated. There's no way to replicate it. She had a couple bruises, on her face and ear, from "flying out" as the nurse put it. 

Trevin was able to come meet her just a few hours later. He was so excited. He wanted to hold her and managed to steal her away from several people throughout the morning. Half-a-dozen times he asked if we could take her home. He wore a huge smile all morning, beaming with pride. We had a hard time when it was time for him to go. He didn't want to leave, causing a tantrum in the parking lot. He's been so sweet to her and an awesome helper at home. He runs the swing, retrieves the pacifier, and grabs diapers; don't even try to mess with his jobs. We've loved watching him in his new role. 

Practically everything was opposite from how it was with Trevin. Trevin was a surprise, Myla was planned. Trevin was a week early, Myla was a week late. Trevin was a long labor, Myla was a short labor. Water broke early with Trevin, water never broke with Myla. I had an epidural with Trevin, all natural with Myla. Interior tear with Trevin, exterior with Myla. Trevin broke my tailbone, Myla didn't add to the damage. Trevin struggled nursing, Myla picked it up immediately. I guess what I'm saying is, I thought I knew what to expect, but that was the biggest assumption I've ever made! 

The story behind her name: 
Myla: When I found out I was pregnant, I downloaded a baby name app and did a little searching. I had a list of 6-8 girl names that I liked and I read them off to James. Instantly Myla stood out to him and we both were sold. I think this was within a week of finding out. We decided to sit on it and see if it stuck. When we found out we were having a girl, we were even more convinced that we wanted the name Myla. We knew that the name meant "merciful". It seemed sweet and thoughtful, but that's all the more we'd thought about the meaning. Until February, when our lives were flipped upside-down. I was going through some crazy emotions. I remember desperately wishing that she wouldn't be born. Don't read this wrong. I longed for my baby and wanted so badly to see her face, to meet her, to know her. BUT, I felt like she was safe where she was. I felt like I could protect her inside. I didn't want her to experience the pain of this world. I wanted her to be innocent in all of this. Then I was reminded of the meaning of her name. 

It was so obvious that God was at work. We realized that God had named her long before we did. He knew we'd need her as a reminder for how to respond to our life's circumstance. He gave her as a relief from the suffering we'd experienced. She was so much a part of His plan for our family. She's already living out God's purpose for her. How cool is that? 

Rey: We've known for a while that we've wanted to use it for our first girl's middle name. It's in honor of my dad whose middle name is Ray. We wanted to give it a more feminine spelling and tossed around using Rae. And then the new Star Wars movie came out... (I wish that I was embarrassed about this, but I'm not..) I shouldn't have to explain this, but the main character is named Rey and she was pretty awesome with the force. James suggested we copy the spelling. Rey means king. I didn't know if that was weird having my little girl's name mean king, but that made her full name mean "merciful king". To us, there was no truer testament from the past 6 months. It was decided. And that's how Myla Rey was chosen. (Also, my dad was grateful that we didn't use Berdon. He's ok to let that one die with him.) 

My cousin's wife, Emily, has been dabbling in photography. She offered to come take some photos of us in the hospital and I was thrilled! Those are some of the most special moments and I knew I would be too exhausted to capture them. I'm lucky to call her a friend and the pictures were incredible! I'm so proud of her improvement in such a short time, and I'm happy to pass the family photographer baton to her! 
Here's a few of my favorites. 

Our room over looked the parking lot, so we were able to people-watch all day. 

This one makes me tear up. This was when he didn't want to leave. 

She had the most cracked hands and feet. Apparently she baked a little too long in the oven. 

James is totally smitten with her. He has called her "perfect" at least 100 times. Many times, I've caught him snapping pictures of her on his phone. He holds her any chance he gets, meaning he changes a lot of diapers when he's home. I don't think he's stopped smiling since seeing her for the first time. He kisses her constantly and tells her how pretty she is. It's so sweet. I think I might have been replaced as the girl he loves most; it's certainly a much tighter race than before. But I love to watch him look at her with real life heart-eyes. 

Headed home! 

We've had several visitors in the first week. I'm not going to lie, I've loved showing her off! Our church brought us meals for the first week, and we've had many other friends and family drop off food and gifts. Words cannot describe how thankful I am. We're surrounded by the most amazing people. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

My friend, Paige, was due 3 weeks after me. I went a week late, she went a week early, so our baby girls are 1 week apart! Myla looked like a chub next to little Blayke (5lbs 13oz). We went to visit them in the hospital and it was a strange feeling walking through those doors again. Glad that our little friend arrived safely! 

My last bump picture at 42 weeks! 

Myla has been a rockstar since Day 1. She nursed immediately and hasn't seemed to have any trouble since. She does swallow loads of air, so she needs to burp constantly. I think I've had to burp her more in the past week than I did Trevin in the first 2 months. But that's generally the only time she cries, so I can't complain. So far, she seems to be a really content baby. The past couple days, she's been so smiley, not necessarily at us, but a lot of reflex smiles! When she's awake, she's really alert and loves to look around. She already does several good stretches of sleep for us at night, which makes ALL the difference. She loves her swing and takes a pacifier with ease. She's done a bottle a couple times and had no trouble switching back to me. It all sounds like a dream come true, and she is. (Easy second baby for the win!)

We are crushing so hard over her. Totally obsessed. 

I'm hoping to snap a few newborn photos yet this week. They change so fast!

These two bring endless joy to our home. It's been one of the best weeks of our lives. We're cherishing these first days, knowing that they pass so quickly. 

Welcoming Myla Rey, growing on the farm... 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I'm Late for a Very Important Date!

We enjoyed Stockham Church's annual Mother/Daughter Banquet a couple weeks ago!

If Trevin tells you he's going to give you a loogie, please know that he means to say wedgie. Not that it's much better, but I need to set the record straight. In my opinion, the thought of him spitting a loogie on someone is more disturbing than him giving them a wedgie. (This is probably something that moms of girls aren't going to understand. Life with a boy is so weird.)

Since turning four, the questions have not stopped. SO MANY QUESTIONS. It was like a switch flipped. Why? When? How? What? Why? Why? Why? WHY? His curiosity is endearing, and also exhausting. He's humbled me because it turns out there's a lot of things that I don't know. I play the "God card" often. "That's just how God made it." "You'll have to ask God someday." I'm not sure if this is a cop-out, but God's the only one that has the knowledge (and patience) to answer ALL of the questions in a 4-year-old's mind. To be fair, I probably have as many questions for Trevin that he has for me. "Why do you have underwear on your head?" "What are you doing?" "Where'd you hide my phone?" "What's all over your face?" "Do you have to go to the bathroom?" "How did you get (in, up, around, behind, under) there?" "What did you think was going to happen?" "Why do you keep putting boogers in the screw hole on your bed frame?!" 

In case you haven't noticed, I'm still pregnant. My Mother's Day due date came and went just like any other day. At my 37 week appointment I dilated to 2.5 cm, 3 cm at 38 weeks, 3.5 at 39, and 4 at 40. At this speed I'll be fully dilated to 10 cm at 52 weeks. So only a short 12 to go.. (That's not real life, guys.) She stripped my membranes at 39 weeks in hopes that it would jump-start labor. I hardly got crampy and didn't even have an episode of contractions after it. My SPD has resurfaced in the past week or two with the added pressure on my pelvis from her moving down into position, but it's not near as painful as it had been. My doctor told me several weeks ago that she'd be shocked if I made it to 41 weeks, and I was even more convinced that'd I'd go early. Since Trevin was a week early, I mentally made my new due date 39 weeks; that was a dangerous move. I've had my calendar cleared for almost a month, but that's lead to many days, and even weeks, at home, with no agenda. I went stir-crazy for awhile, but have done a better job at adding things to my schedule to give me something to help pass the time. I've gone through all the stages of emotions that accompany a late baby: anticipation, excitement, nesting, anxiousness, preparation, questioning, second-round nesting, anxiety, impatience, denial, depression, anger, fear, doubt, acceptance and finally peace. I feel a little bit numb to the process right now. It's been such a rollercoaster of emotions; I'm simply too exhausted to worry and get overwhelmed at this point. Truth is, she's got to come out sometime and my odds are going up with every day that passes. 

I've been having contractions for weeks. Often for hours at a time and some contractions that have strengthened past the point discomfort into legitimate pain. I've had so many episodes of false labor that a string of contractions doesn't even get me excited anymore. I've timed them a few times, only after they'd been going on for several hours and are fairly intense, but they all fade out and decide not to stick around. Let's hope I'm not in denial when it's the real deal. 

I know that each of you have a full-proof way to help induce labor. Don't worry, I've tried it. I'm convinced that women do so many things to try and induce labor, then they swear by the last thing they tried before contractions started. The constant severe weather hasn't even helped! Either way, this baby is in no hurry. My doctor suggested we set up an induction for next Monday, May 16th (41 weeks, 1 day). She seemed optimistic that I wouldn't need it, but now there's an end in sight. If I make it to Monday, she'll break my water first, in hopes that it will bring labor on by itself. If that doesn't work, pitocin it will be! Regardless of how it happens, we'll be meeting our baby very soon! 

Many of you know the events that have transpired in the past months with our family. Tomorrow is a big day and it's driven us to our knees. I wish I could tell you all the ways God has worked behind the scenes, right in front of us, and in the deepest parts of our hearts. I've purposefully kept quiet due to the sensitive nature and the constantly unfolding storyline. It's not my story to share, but God has used it huge in our lives. I've questioned God in so many ways through this, but He's proven Himself faithful over and over and over again. I felt angry that God would make us go through everything this week. I didn't understand why He'd delay my labor, just so we'd have to face tomorrow's hearing and a new baby all within a few days. But He's consistently shown me His faithfulness, why would I doubt Him now? There's so much comfort to be found in His arms. Thank you for the continued prayers, support, and encouragement; please know God is using you big in our lives. This has played a large role in the many emotions I've experienced with the impending baby arrival. I've found that the Psalms have come alive in a whole new way through this season. 

Psalm 27:11-14
Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalm 40:1-5, 11-12, 16-17
I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth--Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if  would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. 
Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart fails me. 
Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let such as love Your salvation say continually, "The Lord be magnified!" But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God. 

Each day I wake up a little more exhausted and a little more uncomfortable. I'm grateful for the extra time James has been spending with Trevin to help me out. It's been so fun to see their relationship form and watching Trevin's hobbies mimic James'. I'm giddy thinking about James having a little girl to love on. Be still, my soul. 

In all the craziness of life right now, I've had such a tug in my heart for this little boy. These are the last days of our family of three. A new family is about to be born. I'll look back on these days with a smile and a small tear in my eye. I know God has amazing things planned for us and I can't wait for Trevin to meet his little sister. I have so many tender memories of becoming a mom and all the "first" experiences that we've had because of him. He's been such a treasure to us. 

Waiting on the Lord, growing on the farm...