Friday, May 8, 2015

An Ode to El Paso...

When Jeff first got accepted into a few different medical schools, we were faced with the decision to decide which one to attend. More specifically, the decision of where we would call "home" for the next FOUR YEARS. For some reason, our thoughts kept coming back to El Paso as the right decision, and I can honestly say that at the time, we were somewhat LESS than pleased......El Paso??? Really??? Everyone I knew who lived in Texas lived in cities like San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas, etc. Not EL PASO!! So in short, we didn't want to come, and now that our time here is up...........

we don't want to leave.

No wonder we were led to this city; it's where we were meant to be for the past several years. We have experienced so much of life's happiness and joy and peace in our time here, but we have also learned about the challenges life brings and because of it, our testimonies and love for our Heavenly Father and Savior have increased significantly.

We have learned a lot in our time in this unique and wonderful city.

We've learned about having fun...

We've learned about the unbelievably HARD work it takes to become a Medical Doctor, and to be grateful for those sharing the medical journey with you...

We've learned about the joy of parenthood...

We've learned about the joys, stresses, and satisfaction that comes from teaching a room full of 26 five year-olds, all by yourself, and about how your co-workers can become your dearest friends (Julie Smartt, this one's for you!)

We've learned about El PASO SUNSETS. (If you haven't seen an El Paso sunset, you just haven't really seen a sunset).

And finally, we've learned of friendship. True Friendship. The kind I know won't fade, even if we're miles apart. The kind of people you hope to pattern your own life after, and are grateful everyday for the blessing they were/are in your life...


Thanks, El Paso. Thanks a lot...for everything. We'll miss you.
Love, Jill, Jeff & Kyle

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Labor/Birth...Terrrifying & Miraculous

Kyle Jeffrey was born on February 27th, 2014 and our lives immediately became happier.  BUT it wasn’t that simple. Nope, not simple at all.  Here’s the birth/labor story…

My due date was Thursday, February 20th.  At each of my doctor’s appointments the weeks before, my doctor thought it slightly odd that I was only dilated to a 1 each time I came in for my appointments, with nothing seeming to progress.  The following Tuesday after my due date, Jeff and I went to what would be our final doctor appointment----and yep, you guessed it--- I was still only at a one. At this point my doctor talked with us about being induced. We weren’t necessarily against induction, but we knew that many first babies are past their due date, so we told her we wanted to wait a little while longer and see if anything more happened on its own. She agreed to let us wait on the condition that we monitor the baby’s heart rate before we left her office that day. Lo and behold, the monitor results showed that his heart rate was not variable enough (which was some cause for concern but not drastic enough to be an emergency), so she sent us home and told us to come back the next day.

The next day on Wednesday, February 26th we went back to the hospital to monitor his heart rate again. It still wasn’t variable enough so we decided to begin the induction process at 6 that evening. I got checked into the hospital and put on the really stylish blue and pink polka dot hospital robe they gave me ;) 

They told me I couldn’t eat any food or drink any water anymore. (side note that I was REEEEEALLY jealous of Jeff’s Panda Express meal he ordered in at the hospital). I was also hooked up to all sorts of super annoying monitors/IVs/blood pressure machines.  All these uncomfortable things were happening while I was having really painful contractions and dilating more and more because of the induction medication.

After 8 hours of painful labor I stopped dilating again and my body seemed to stop the progression of labor just as it had done at my doctor’s appointments. Odd.  Another odd thing was when my water broke (at 2 am). It wasn’t normal and clear- it was green (the nurse told us this was a sign of fetal distress but since the monitor showed that his heart rate wasn’t too low, she was not too concerned about it).  I was nervous to hear that but tried to relax. Some of my relaxation must be attributed to my epidural, which I got at about 2:30 am. Wow western medicine is fabulous!  (At this point in my story I must take the time to tell those of you who go through natural childbirth that you are my heroes and I admire you greatly). As for me, I very much enjoyed not feeling anymore pain! Hooray for epidurals!  Once the epidural was done and we were exhausted since we were in the wee small hours of the morning, the nurse suggested that Jeff and I try to get some sleep. She turned the lights off and Jeff got a few winks, but I couldn’t sleep….

…..I started to have a really bad feeling. It wasn’t something I could really describe other than “scary”. As I laid there in the hospital bed, the room dark, I could hear my baby’s heart beat through the monitors. I suddenly felt very deeply that something was wrong. I felt this despite all the nurse’s previous reassurances that things were going alright with my labor, despite some oddities. Something inside me told me they were wrong (I felt ridiculous questioning their knowledge as they were the ones with medical knowledge…not me), yet I knew something wasn’t right with my baby. I have never felt more helpless in my entire life. All I could do was to pray. I woke Jeff up and told him what I was feeling. He gave me a blessing, which gave me some comfort, but I still couldn’t shake the scary feeling. All we could do was wait for the doctor to get there.

A few hours later, the doctor came in and looked over everything. She told us that now, with every contraction I was having, the baby’s heart rate was getting scarily low, and that she needed to get the baby out right away through a C-section.  (It was too bad I had to have a C Section after 15 hours of labor, but I preferred it that way since I knew it was the quickest and safest thing for our baby).
They prepped Jeff and I and took us into the Operating room. Jeff held my hand tightly the whole time. And here is where the story gets crazy…

When the doctors took Kyle out, I heard him immediately start crying, which was such a relief. But I also heard the doctor’s voices saying:

“Wow! Look at that!”
“Can you believe that?”
“Oh my Gosh, Oh wow…Oh my gosh.”

Uhhhh……a little more detail please? I remember thinking….”What the heck is going on??”

Then I heard the doctors say:

“1…………..2……………3………………4!!!!!!” between their gasps of utter shock.

Turns out that little Kyle had the umbilical cord wrapped very tightly around his neck 4 times, visually similar to a turtleneck sweater, as my doctor described it to us. She said that in her thirty years of practice she had NEVER seen anything like it before. She told us that the birth chart she has to fill out only has 1, 2, or 3 that she can circle referring to how many times a cord is wrapped around a baby’s neck. Turns out she had to write in a 4 and circle that one. It was surreal to hear her say that this will go down in her history of “most miraculous birth” stories she’s been a part of. She kept referring to Kyle as “The Miracle Baby”…….

…….we certainly think so.

At a recent postpartum doctor visit, I asked her what would have happened if I had tried to have him naturally. I could tell she didn’t want to address it on the chance that it would upset me. All she said was, “It just would have ended badly.” Turns out that was the reason I had been dilated to a 1 for so long before, on, and after my due date as well as why I stopped dilating again even during labor…our sweet little guy was being held up high inside me by the cord and wasn’t able to drop down.

I’ve heard miraculous stories about “motherly instinct”. I’d like to think that my very first experience with that instinct was that night in the hospital where I knew something was wrong, despite nurses telling me things weren’t that bad just yet. I guess I was a mother before I was officially a mother.

And I LOVE being a mother to this little sweetie. We couldn’t have been blessed with a more miraculous little son.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Friends Know Me Pretty Well...

Recently I received two packages in the mail from two fabulous friends. I think they know me pretty well from the looks of things…wouldn’t you agree???

This package arrived by Hedwig through the Owl Post and included magical goodies such as a blanket, authentic wizarding candies, Kyle’s first (and most important birth certificate; No, not the one from the state, the one from Hogwarts!) and some Harry Potter-engraved baby spoons). Thanks Amy…I’m so glad I have someone who shares in my deep and profound love/”geekiness” of Harry Potter obsession!

 This package arrived in Disney magical wrapping from my friend Richelle! I was overjoyed at the Mickey baby shoes, Onsies with matching ears, Mousketeer shirts and mini stuffed animals-aka:Kyle’s new favorite toys-I have decided).  After receiving this package, we planned a trip to Disneyland for this Summer…around these baby outfits alone. We will be making our debut at the Happiest Place on Earth in June.

What magical mail! Thanks friends!