Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Alex’s Birth Story, part four

Part one, part two and part three here.


We left off with Lance taking (yet to be named) baby boy Torgesen up to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) on the 4th floor.  I was being finished up in the OR, putting all my innards back in as well as the fabulous staples for probably another 10-20 minutes.   I felt like I had been run over by a semi-truck, literally. 


My Mom and Becky were waiting outside the OR for me and oh were they a site for sore eyes!  They came back with me to my room and just talked and took care of me.  I think Becky went and got something for Lance to eat and brought it up to him.  My  Mom stayed with me and when Becky came back, went up to see Lance and our baby.  She explained how he was sitting over him on a stool while he was laying in an clear plastic incubator, hooked up to all these wires.   By this point it was probably 10:00 at night.


Becky went home to her family and 3 kids, what a wonderful friend!


I wanted desperately to see my boy. 


The nurse told me that I would probably be able to see him in a “few hours”, but what I didn’t know is that my blood pressure was still very high, like 190/110 scary high.  The monitor was not facing me, so I wasn’t able to see it.  I had a blood pressure cuff taking my BP every minute or so, I had leg cuffs on that would prevent leg clots in my legs after a c-section, I still had massive doses of drugs in my system.  What I wrote down shortly after all this had happened, but have no recollection now is that they were still monitoring me constantly and they were giving me all sorts of drugs.  Finally by ~2AM they had me stabilized enough where I slept until about 4AM. 


I tried to stand up at this time and it was not happening.  The nurse coaches you to stand up all the way, the exact opposite of what you want to do when you have a c-section.  At that point you still have some pain meds in you, so it doesn’t exactly hurt, but you are very aware of your tummy and are sensitive about stretching it in any way.  I got pretty light headed when standing up and did not think I could make it a few steps.  The nurse was there right beside me the whole time, it wasn’t like I was standing up on my own, but still – I couldn’t do it. 


I feel asleep at this point until about 6 AM a this is when my Mom left.  I was doing better by that point and was ready to try again to see my boy. 


I felt bad about this later, but I had told Lance to stay with our baby no matter what.  But, he didn’t know if I was OK all night long.  He hadn’t seen me since the OR.  He stayed there all night, awake, wondering if I was OK or not.  Asking the nurses in the NICU if I was OK and them having no idea.  On the other hand, I had no idea what was going on with our baby boy, was he struggling?  Was he doing OK?  What was happening with him, I was given no information at all throughout the night. 


I was able to stand up at this point and get to the wheel chair.  The nurse wheeled me up to the 4th floor and into my new son’s room.  He was in a plastic clear isolator hooked up to all sorts of wires.  He was having trouble breathing and was using so much energy to take each breath.  His little tummy would suck in with each breath and it was just too much for me.  I was still in the wheel chair and felt like I was going to throw up.  I said so and the NICU nurse had no idea what to do, but my nurse found a garbage can (nothing in it) and put a cool towel over my eyes. 


It was exactly what I needed.  I was so overwhelmed by seeing him in this state it was just simply too much.  Inside I felt like I was dying.  To see you baby hooked up to all these things and to be having such a hard time breathing was just too much for me at that point.  After a few minutes, I was able to calm down and take a good look at him.  It had been almost 12 hours since he was born and this was my first chance to see him while not being operated on myself. 


He was rosy and pink, had blondish hair, had big feet and was so tiny.  I stayed for a while while Lance and I caught up.  He expressed how he was so scared about me and didn’t know what was happening and how he had watched over him all night long.  I told him how I tried to come up here, but I couldn’t stand up.  I was able to touch his skin and feel how absolutely smooth he was.  This part still gets me to this day, so be warned… but, I told him his Mama was here and that everything was going to be OK.  He was so limp and floppy from the Magnesium Sulfate and I was so worried about him.  I had obviously not expected this, and didn’t know anyone who had had a pre-mature baby let alone from pre-eclampsia. 


IMG_1221 blog


IMG_1219 blog


I don’t really remember much of the next 12 hours (by this time it was Tuesday).  I made it back to my room, after staying with him about 20 minutes and had nurses all over me back in my room.  But, it was mostly quiet.  I was moved up to the 4th floor anti-partum unit for c-section mamas, but my baby was not with me like the other rooms.  I think Lance went back to our house and took care of necessary things like feeding the dogs, getting my bag and then came back to the hospital.   


I might have seen him again on Tuesday night for a short while, but I do not remember clearly. 


Wednesday I was feeling better.  I was off the magnesium sulfate and my brain was de-fogged.  I remember being in his room in the middle of the day and the doctor casually asking me to do a procedure on him.  He was still having a hard time breathing and was even on a bit of oxygen and using CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) to help him breathe easier.  But, he still wasn’t improving as much as they thought he would be by now, so the doctor asked if he could intubate him and put a surfactant in his lungs to help his breathing and his lungs mature.  I said yes.  I think I must have asked if I could be there during the procedure and they said they didn’t think it was best.  After I left they performed the procedure.  I’m surprised I just said OK to all of this, without talking to Lance, without being more determined, so I’m thinking I still had some meds in me making me surprised they even asked me for the OK in the first place. 


Alex with CPAP

IMG_1222 blog


Lance told me that the first night he was watching over him, he knew he had some “spunk”.  I asked how did he know this – and he answered he just did.  I told him to watch out since that would likely become his nickname and sure enough – 5 years later when we either call Alex or Spunk/Spunky – he turns his head and answers.


After Wednesday, his surfactant treatment, his breathing did get dramatically better within the next day or so.  He was able to eventually get off the CPAP and oxygen and it was also the day I held him for the first time.  It was like no other moment in my entire life!  It was the best to be able to hold him!  The surfactant did it’s job and he was slowly getting better.  But, by this time, he was developing quite the jaundice.  He had to be under the bili-lights for so many hours a day, and as his numbers when up and up, the lights got stronger and stronger. 


Below are the instruments and machines that he was hooked up to as well as the isolator he called home for a while.  It was all new to me and every beep and alarm meant something.  Nurses would come rushing in and fix this monitor or that monitor.  I was still in the hospital myself at this point, I was discharged 4 days after Alex was born.  The normal time for a c-section was 2 days.  I still hadn’t taken a shower by Wednesday either, so I was feeling better, but not good enough yet to brave the shower.  Most of my time was in a wheel chair or sitting down. 


It looks like from this picture, we had also named him by this point.  When he was born, we hadn’t picked a name yet.  We imagined that he would be born, we would hold him and see him and then name him.  Well, that didn’t happen.  Until Wednesday – he was Boy Torgesen.  Lance expressed frustration and sadness that we hadn’t named him yet, and I felt so bad, but until Wednesday – I felt like I hadn’t seen him for enough time.  Tuesday was a blur and Monday I had seen him in the OR for less than one minute.


Finally, we named him.  He was such a strong and brave boy and we couldn’t think of a better name that expressed this than Alexander. 


IMG_1228 blogIMG_1226a blog

IMG_1224 blog

The jaundice was hard.  It meant I couldn’t hold him for very long since he had to be under the lights for so many hours a day.  It seemed like it went on forever, but really it was probably only that first 5-7 days.  The next week and a half were spent regulating his own body heat and gaining enough energy to be able to feed himself with a bottle or by nursing.  We were in the hospital for 2.5 weeks total.  When he was first born, his tummy was immature and couldn’t digest milk, so he was given IV nutrition.  Slowly they introduced breast milk to him, that I was pumping for him through the tube going this tummy at first, then by a syringe and then with a little tiny preemie bottle.  Finally after all of that, a wonderful lactation consultant helped me try breast feeding for the first time.  Part of the jaundice and part of the preemie, is that these babies get too tired to suck for very long and don’t end up taking the calories they need to grow or even maintain their weight.  The nurses would weigh him before he got any milk, then give him the milk through bottle or me, then weigh him again and subtract the amount he got.  Then, he would get the rest through the feeding tube.  He hated that thing after a while and would rip it out, only to have it placed back in there and taped to his delicate skin.  He was very spunky indeed. 


  1. IMG_1237 blogIMG_1232 blogIMG_1230 blogIMG_1229 blog

The NICU was really REALLY hard.  It was so hard to watch your new baby struggle so much, it was hard to see his heel pricked every shift to check for jaundice levels, have all sorts of procedures, his tiny preemie cry, it was hard to see how uncomfortable he looked and it was so hard to not be able to hold him.  One of the hardest parts was when he was getting more and more ready to go, working his way up to 8 feedings a day by himself without the use of the feeding tube.  He would be hungry, and obviously so.  But, the nurses had to keep a “schedule” and he could only be fed every 3 hours because that is what their schedule said.  Well, if he was hungry at 2:15 minutes, then he had to wait.  It was excruciating to try to comfort your hungry preemie baby, when all you want to do is feed him (plus all the hormones on top of that).  It’s funny how this hospital/doctor thing makes you accept this, what a load of crap!  If I had to do this all over again (and thank god I didn’t) I would have told them where to shove their schedule and fed my baby!




I know this is getting really long, but to be continued…

Alex’s Birth Story, part three


Part two of Alex’s Birth Story and Part one.



Denial. Stupid. Tragic. I don’t know why I did this.  I was doubting myself and my body. I just froze. 


The day he was born, a Monday, I was having lunch with co-workers and somebody asked me if “I was ready” for seemingly the 10 millionth time.  Like, did we have the crib ready, did I wash all of the baby clothes, did I pack my bags yet (The answers were no, no and no). 


But, that day was different.  I always would say, no, not yet.  Another way people asked if I was ready yet, was in the level of excitement for meeting this new little person “Are you ready yet”, and I would always say No, I’m willing to wait.  I was still ~6 weeks from my due date at this point.


In some ways, I was scared shitless about having a baby. I wondered if I was going to be a good Mother, was it going to be painful labor, this/that.  I wasn’t “ready” for all that quite yet.


Then, all of a sudden – I was ready.  Somebody asked me at lunchtime if I was “ready”.


I just knew it, but didn’t know how.


I could not imagine how I was going to get through 6 more weeks like this, let alone another few days.


I said “yes” to the question – flat out, no hesitation.   I was done.  I did not know how I was going to go any farther. 


I didn’t tell anyone except my boss that I had to leave early that day and I drove myself to the Doctors office and nervously waited to be called. The nurse, Rochelle, came and called my name and took me back to the room.  They took my weight (which had gone up 15-20 lbs. in ~ 2 days)quickly and took me back to a room.  Since this was not a normally scheduled visit, she just asked what was happening.  I told her about the puffiness, the not peeing, the weight gain and the blood pressure reading at the store.  She took my Blood Pressure at that point and it was 150/110.  Not good. 


“Whoa! Lay down” she said. “We’ll take it in 5 minutes”.   Try to just breathe and relax.


Took it again in 5 minutes – the same 150/110.


Now time for the pee test – This is where you get to pee in a cup every time you see the OB for them to check for kidney function.  The scale is from 0-4 and normal people should be zero). I was a 4+ that day.  That meant my blood pressure was so high, that protein was leaking through my kidneys into my urine.  Not good. 


“Can you walk over to the hospital – or do you want to be escorted”? She asked.  I thought, well – I had driven myself there, I had walked all the way in here by myself, I can surely walk over to the maternity ward myself.  So, I did.  But, I had left my cell phone in the car (out of battery anyway) and she told me not to stop at my car but to go directly to the maternity ward on the other side of the hospital. 


Once I got there I was really getting nervous.  I told the nurse I had to call my husband, since he wasn’t with me and things were getting scary. I remember he asked “do you want me to come?” when I said they were admitting me to the hospital. “YES!” I said. Why would you even ask me that?  Your 7 1/2 month pregnant wife is telling you that she is being admitted to the hospital – the only thing to say is “I’ll be there as quickly as I can”.  He must have heard the desperation and fear in my voice since he arrived about 45 minutes later (very quick drive from Renton to Kirkland at that time of day).


He walked into the room I was in and there were 3 nurses and two doctors in the room.  I think this is where he knew this was serious.


They told him what was happening, that I had severe pre-eclampsia and that they were going to try to help, but this was a very bad thing.  I was very sick. They also wanted to have an ultrasound so they could make sure our baby was OK. Things were happening fast.  I remember the nurse scrambling to do things as fast as the doctor would tell her to do this and that.  At one point, she told her to do start an IV line and had to leave to go see another patient, but the nurse was still getting my name and all the computer stuff done.  The doctor came back after a bit and kinda yelled at her to just get the IV started.  At this point, she dropped everything to just get the IV in.  But, I was so puffy she could not do it. 


They decided to call in the anesthesia resident to do the IV, since she was supposed to be good at doing fine needle work (ha ha!).  She came in and introduced herself and put in the IV.  She made the “joke” that she would probably be seeing me later for a c-section. 


I said “What?  I don’t want a c-section.” 


I was totally dumbfounded. 


I’m sure, looking back, every doctor and nurse probably knew I was going to have a c-section, or maybe they thought that with some drugs, they would be able to keep me under control for a little longer.  The fact was, I did not know this and to be joking told by the anesthesia resident was not cool. 


I was given Magnesium Sulfate, Labetalol and a steroid shot to potentially mature his lungs (usually they want 24 hours after shot is given for baby to be born, we did not know how much time we had, but it was given anyways).  Magnesium sulfate is commonly used in pre-eclampsia, it relaxes muscle contractions and blood vessel contractions, and makes you feel awful.  It is also used to prevent seizure, which is no longer pre-eclampsia, but full on eclampsia at that point. It first makes you very hot, you feel hot, but you know you are not.  It makes your muscles all feel so slow and you can’t react to things at your normal pace, very drugged.  Since it was given to me, it was also given to our baby.  For babies, it makes them listless and floppy when they are born.  But, since they are then born, it wears off fairly soon after birth. 


Labetalol is a medication for high blood pressure.  I was given some starting dose (maybe 20 mg) and the doctor told her to double the dose every ten minutes if I didn’t get to a certain BP point, up to a maximum dose.  I was already hooked up to a blood pressure cuff that took my BP like every minute, one of those automatic ones.  My blood pressure was high, like 190/110.  Scary high.


She hit the max dose and must have told us so.  They were going to send us for the Ultrasound now. It was a totally different ultrasound than we had previously at the 20 week appointment.  No oohhhing and aahhing about all the baby parts on the monitor.  No smiling happy parents.  No annoying questions about what they were looking at and why.




No questions.


I remember thinking – is my baby OK? Tell me something! But, I didn’t ask and they didn’t say anything either.  They are probably not supposed to say much, as they are not the doctor.  I found out later that the ultrasound was to check out our baby.   I was very very sick, but what was he like?  What size was he?  They predicted that he was 5 lbs. 10 oz.,  I think. Healthy size for that far along, I was told.  A normal baby weight for 34 weeks, I was told, was 3-4 lbs.  So, he was a big boy. 


We came back to my room and the OB doctor was there shortly after.  I was very very sick and our baby boy was still OK.  There is no treatment for pre-eclampsia except delivery.  Since this was my first baby, and I was only ~1 cm, I did not have the time to take to induce delivery.  She recommended a c-section.  There were a couple other doctors there and probably a few nurses, as well.  What I do remember is them standing in a line in front of me, and down the line – they all said “I concur”. 


I concur, I concur, I concur, I concur. 


I asked why can’t I just be given some more blood pressure medication and they said that I was given enough to “tank a horse” and I reached the maximum dose, but it still did not lower my BP enough.


We looked at each other and said OK. 


I was in total shock I think at this point, drugged up shock.  I was hazy from the medication, but I knew what was going on.  My thinking was a little slow, as was my speech (it takes muscles to talk), but I knew what was being asked and I knew what my answer was.  This was not what I was expecting – at all.


My OB said that there was someone in the surgery suite now and I was next.  I was getting prepped for surgery.  It was maybe 45 minutes before I would go in.  The nurse asked if we had anything we brought with us and we said no.  She made suggestions of what to do.  Make necessary calls and is there anyone who can get you a camera.  We made calls to my Mom, who said immediately that she was coming up.  Things were happening so fast, we didn’t really have any time to call until that point.  We also called Becky, a friend and labor/delivery nurse.  We also called another friend, Annette, who we asked to break into our house and get our camera and bring it to us.  She brought us our camera just in time.


I was wheeled in the operating room and given a spinal block for the surgery.  The curtain was up and it was happening.  Lance was by my side. We asked about how long it would take, and they surprised us by saying just a few minutes. 


There was some tugging and pulling, just like you would think it would feel like.  No pain, though. 


And before we knew it – he was born.  He was born at 7:50PM at night, less than 4 hours after I went to my doctors office.   He was 5 lbs. and 2 oz. and 19” long, a big boy for 34 weeks along.  He didn’t really cry, maybe one little cry not much else.  He was taken over to a table where I couldn’t see what was happening and Lance went over to be by him.  We had talked about how Lance was going to stay with him that night, where ever he went.  And he did.


IMG_1214 blog


IMG_1213 blog


IMG_1212 blog


The doctors were telling me things, like… he’s doing OK, he’s breathing OK, he’s peeing (everyone cheered when that happened, I guess it was straight up in the air!), we’re cleaning him up, we’re helping him breathe a little bit. 


They had him wrapped up, they asked if we wanted a picture together before he went up to the NICU, yes of course (they knew me so well!).  And then Lance got to carry him out of the OR and up to the NICU.  I got to see him for a total of about 1 minute (or less) that night. 


I remember trying to smile in this picture.  I consciously wanted to be “happy” and thought about when our baby would look at this picture, he would want his Mama to be “happy”.  But, inside I was (in shock) crushed.  I didn’t know what was going to happen and in the mind of this new mother, my mind went the whole way.  The whole way meaning, that I was going to die or worse yet, he was going to die.  I could feel all the overwhelming feelings and had to keep reminding myself to take it one second, one minute, one hour at a time.  This hadn’t happened yet.  But, as I’ve learned from being a Mama now for 5 years, is that this “mind all the way” thing happens all the time.  I see the kids do something dangerous and my mind goes the whole way, their arm is going to be chopped off, they will fall into the water and hit their head, they will break a leg, etc.  But, that day was for sure the strongest of these “whole way” thinkings, still is.


IMG_1217 blog


Outside the OR doors was my Mom and Becky, waiting for me.  They had seen Lance and our baby boy (yet un-named) go up to the NICU and were glad to hear he was 5 lbs. 


To be continued…

Alex’s Birth Story, part two


Here is part one of Alex’s Birth Story, here.



Picture Taken: Feb 5 2007 (~28 weeks)

IMG_1206 blog

IMG_1205 blog

There I was at ~28 weeks pregnant and basically fine.  I could feel our baby moving a lot and he even had hiccups regularly.  I went to Washington DC for a conference and other than feeling a bit puffy on the flight, but it resolving after touchdown, I had no other symptoms.  I also had a month where my weight went up by 10 pounds in one month.  They check you each and every month (oh the joy!) during pregnancy and monitor your weight.  Between 24 weeks and 28 weeks, I gained 10 pounds.  The next month I only gained 5.5 lbs.  So, looking back this was not a good sign, but not something totally out of the ordinary either (they thought I was just eating too much).  I also was not able to wear my wedding ring, I don’t remember exactly when I had to take it off, but it came off by this point.  I knew I had to take it off when I was not able to remove it for a few afternoons/evenings in a row.  I had to remember to take it off in the mornings, when I was usually less puffy. 


I remember coming into work and looking at the line my socks had made around my ankles, but didn’t think much of it.  It’s normal for pregnant ladies to get a little puffy here and there, it even says so in the books.


One fun that thing that happened during this time was that it snowed.  Like a foot or two.  Lance was caught in hours of bad traffic and it was dark outside when he got home after a long day.  But, he came home from work, put on his snow gloves and headed outside.  When I asked him what he was doing, going outside when it was dark, he simply replied that he had to build a “big snowman”.  I asked why and he replied that he had to teach his boy how to make a snowman someday and therefore he had to practice.  What a proud Daddy-to-be!


IMG_1182 blog


IMG_1184 blog


Looking back at the pictures of me, I was showing signs at about this time. But, it was intermittent.  Sneaky.  Made me doubt myself and my body. 


I was so tired. Extremely tired in the third trimester. And not like in the first trimester, not like that at all. I would get out of bed to shower, then get back into bed to rest. Then get dressed, then rest. The last few weeks were rough. But, I thought it was all normal.  This is what everyone says is “normal” that you are tired when you are in your third trimester.  I was definitely understanding what everyone was talking about, but what I didn’t know, was that this was on it’s own level of tiredness.  I was sliding downhill, but just didn’t know it. 


At one point I distinctly remember, I think it was about 32/33 weeks (pics below), I did not know how I was going to make it another 8 weeks.  I simply did NOT know.  I felt so horrible, felt so tired, I didn’t even know how to make it one more day.  Obviously from the pictures below of me during this time, I was not doing well.  I was extremely puffy, you can see around my eyes and my face that it just looks different.  Go ahead, compare it to the pictures above, scroll back and forth.  There is a big difference. 


At my 32 week appointment, I told my doctor that our baby had turned.  He was always transverse (side-to-side) which was very uncomfortable for me.  But, I could tell when he turned and it was so much better.  She confirmed by feeling my tummy that he was indeed head down.  That was another fun moment.


Picture Taken: March 10th, 2007 (~33 weeks)

IMG_1210 blog

IMG_1209 blog

Saturday March 17th

We had scheduled quite a few birthing and baby classes at the local hospital.  Saturday March 17th we were going to a baby class, I can’t remember which one.  I woke up pretty puffy, and all the books say you are supposed to drink tons of water each day (like 2 L of water each day), especially if you’re puffy.  But, the troubling part was that I wasn’t peeing much.  Not much was coming out as was going in.  I didn’t think much of it.  I just thought that my body must have needed the water for some reason.  Little did I know that my kidneys were shutting down. 

Sunday March 18th

The next morning I was severely puffy.  Like the underneath of my eyes was puffing out due to the severe edema. I asked Lance if I “looked puffy” and he took it as if I asked if I “looked fat” and said “no, dear – you don’t look puffy”. This made me doubt myself and wonder if I was just crazy.  By this point, I suspected that something might be slightly wrong. 


I saw a friend that day who is an OB/Gyn resident, we were going to an art exhibit.  I hadn’t seen her in a long time and she said I looked puffy and asked what my Blood Pressure was. I said I didn’t know, the doctors hadn’t said anything out of the ordinary. She also asked if I had a headache or a pain in my torso, in my mind I was wondering why she was asking me. I said no, I had none of those symptoms because I truly didn’t.  Looking back, I totally should have told her that this puffiness was new and that I wasn’t peeing much.  I wished for so long to go back to that day and re-do it all over again.  What would’ve I done differently?  Would it have made any difference?


We visited for a while and I went home, exhausted. I got really nervous and read the pregnancy book about all the things that can go wrong.  Pre-Eclampsia in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” obviously stuck out with all the symptoms I was having but, couldn’t believe that this could be me.  The classic symptoms are this:


Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are important symptoms; however, some women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms.
Typically, preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks gestation (in the late 2nd or 3rd trimesters or middle to late pregnancy), though it can occur earlier. Proper prenatal care is essential to diagnose and manage preeclampsia. Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) and toxemia are outdated terms for preeclampsia.
HELLP syndrome and eclampsia (seizures) are other variants of preeclampsia. 
Globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year.


Monday March 19th

The next morning I went to work (what else was I supposed to do?) and went to the grocery store at lunch to get some food with the purpose of also checking my blood pressure at the pharmacy machine. I checked it and it was high, like 145/90 high.  Not off the charts or anything, but high. I called my Dr. office and told them my symptoms and they said to come in at 3PM.  It was approximately 11 AM at that point.



To be continued…

5 years ago, part 1

I’ve been struggling writing this for over 4 years.  I want to tell the story, but to go back to the scariest day of my life, the one that was supposed to be the best day of my life, the day my first child was born (early).

At first the delay in telling this story probably some post traumatic stress that was keeping me from doing it, then denial, wanting to capture everything (the slightest perfectionism in me, wanting to do everything or nothing at all), then just enjoying (and wanting to be just enjoying) where I was and not wanting to go back to those memories, then life got busy, then a second child on the way, you know how it goes...

But, it is important to me to write this down. So, here I am. Even after almost 5 years…

To start the story off from the beginning…

Lance wanted to have a baby, he was ~33 years old I was only just 28, I wasn’t quite ready. We had been married 2 years before.  We decided to have a “Summer of Fun” and then start trying for a baby. Little did we know when we started tracking everything – 6 weeks later, and I was pregnant. I was shocked! I was happy/excited – all of the normal things. A little part of me was scared out of my wits and totally wanted to go backwards.  I was wondering if we had done the right thing, made the right decision, all the fear crept in, but there was no going back now!

All of my dreams about what this little person would be like started when I found out I was pregnant, all of the possibilities in life. It’s hard to truly explain it, but when you become pregnant - it encompasses all that you are and all that you do and all that you think about. You think about situations differently, you react differently. You are different. The core of who you are is changed.  You dream of yourself holding your baby, rocking and carrying your baby. I’ve heard men dream differently – they dream of playing ball, riding bicycles, carrying kids on their shoulders.

Early on I was tired, queasy, excited, nervous, all the normal things. Part of our “Summer of Fun” was to compete together in triathlons. I had already done 4 that summer, and the 5th triathlon came when I was already 8 weeks pregnant (technically I did the 4th when I was about 4 weeks pregnant, I just didn’t know it yet!).  They should’ve had a category for pregnant ladies – because I would’ve won!  But, alas, I came in 41 out of 53 in my age group. Total time of 1:48:44.  What a great start to being pregnant! I felt pretty tired, obviously, and was pretty nauseous during the run, but held it all together for a great finish.  I was in the best shape of my life. Lance and I trained and cheered each other on the entire summer. It truly was a great summer.

allison finish line 2


two triathletes

I had the usual tiredness, queasy/nausea, but not usually in the morning - it usually came in waves in the afternoons and especially at dinner time.  I couldn’t eat dinner for what seemed like forever.  Usually by 9 PM, I could muster up to eat something and my favorite was cold cereal during this time. 

We found out we were having a boy on Christmas Day when we opened two cards (one with a symbol and one with the symbolized answer, so you needed both cards to know) that the ultrasound technician had prepared a few weeks earlier for us.

A boy! 

All my dreams became about little boys and what he would do started coming even more now.


My pregnancy going along just fine. I was doing yoga twice a week (had already been doing it regularly for a couple of years) and transitioned to walking in my neighborhood, instead of running and biking, as I got bigger and bigger. I didn’t even really start “showing” until I was well into 24+ weeks.  I finally looked slightly (maybe) pregnant, instead of just getting a little round in the middle, at 26 weeks. 



Pictures from our road trip to San Diego (~24 weeks along).  Yes, I know I don’t look pregnant.  I told ya so!

IMG_1125 Final




I traveled to Washington D.C around 28 weeks and that was a difficult, it was a bumpy ride and it was very emotionally hard to leave on a plane, away from Lance when I was pregnant. Darn those hormones! I got a bit puffy on the plane, but didn’t think much of it at the time (one of my first symptoms). My body was starting to ache, by back would hurt and I would do lots of stretching, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Everyone you hear about has some aches and pains by the 3rd trimester.  My IT band would kill me (those hips were loose and moving around), and I would have to get out of bed to stretch in the middle of the night because my hips/IT band was hurting me.  I was having a perfectly normal pregnancy, all that you read in the books about and hear about from your friends.

Picture taken Jan 11, 2007 (~25 weeks along)

IMG_1187 blog

To be continued…

My banana eating girl

Sara eating banana 1Sara eating banana 2




We have been in the mood to paint lately.  The kids ask almost every night  -  can we paint tonight? Not every night, but I have been trying to say yes more often.  So…


Yes, when the kids want to jump on the cushions. 

Yes, when they want to paint. 

Yes, when they want to play games. 

Yes, when they want to read books.

Yes, when they want to play Legos.

Yes, when they want to draw pictures.



The kids think that painting is the sun, moon and the stars.   


Sara asks for specific colors and she is very adamant at times, when you only give her a few choices!  She loves saying the colors and changing from one color to the other.  She knows all the colors now.  She’s so proud! 


Alex loves painting for the picture – he has a specific picture in his mind that he is painting, and just needs the feeling of painting and the colors to bring his creation to life.  When I asked Alex what his painting was about – he told me it was a picture of rocks, very colorful rocks. 


painting-2 blog


painting-3 blog


painting-5 blog


Then, the shirts came off!


A little too much paint on the shirt (and found out it wasn’t coming out!), lead to painting without a shirt for Sara.  She didn’t care at all – just kept on painting away. 



painting-12 blog



painting-15 blog


And then, their favorite, it seems all the time right now – getting up on the counter.  It’s the best seat in the place!  We eat breakfast at the counter and one of them always ends up ON the counter – I don’t know what it is about it! 


With “Brudder” tickles – of course!


painting-18 blog


painting-20 blog