Saturday, February 27, 2010

Today

February 27, 2009
That was the day that I went to my doctor's appointment and did not go home. I went to the hospital and stayed...for 14 long days and nights...with lousy hospital food...no outside world...UNTIL...

My friend and coworker BLD came to the rescue!!!! Bless her heart!! She was wonderful to me! She brought me Dr. Peppers and EXTRA lunches from the cafeteria when this pregnant girl (who was pregnant with 9+ lbs of baby...who cares if I didn't know how big she was...I KNEW HOW HUNGRY I WAS!!), and when I was allowed my 15 minutes a day once a day outings in my wheelchair...who wheeled me out....YEP, you guessed it....BLD herself! She even left me to be stung by bees one day!!! That's a whole nother post for another day!! Anyway, she deserves the "best friend/co-worker award" because she was so good to me while I was laid up in the hospital this day and so many more a year ago. I will never forget those days. How I longed to see my baby's face but knew that I would soon miss the days of her being tucked away inside.....

BUT....today...February, 27, 2010....what did we do??? Took pictures to celebrate that little girl's life!!!! Here's a sneak peek...more to come later!!!!



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Thursday, February 25, 2010

His Ways

I feel compelled tonight to write about a precious blogger friend that I have been reading about, "talking" to, and praying about for a long time now. Many of you that read my blog may read Katie's blog too. She has a precious little boy named Zach and a few short months ago had a beautiful baby girl named Reese who only lived a short time and is now in Heaven with Jesus. I started reading Katie's blog while she was pregnant with Reese and her loss just hit me like a ton of bricks because Katie is just precious. PRECIOUS! I just cannot say it enough. It is a small world because she actually is from the same area that my husband and I are from and her brother went to school with my husband as they are a little closer to the same age.

I have communicated with Katie through email and regular mail and have sent her a few things. I did a name for Reese's name gallery and I never saw it on Katie's page (I probably just missed it) but it was Reese's name embroidered on Minnie ears in front of Cinderella's castle when we took our family trip to Disney World in October. Her story just touches my heart so. I think what touches me the most is how incredibly real she is when she blogs about her feelings. It helps others in their struggles to know what she is going through. I work with women (and men) everyday who are going through the same thing and they need to know that there are other people that know how they feel. ONLY those that have gone through that can know that pain, hurt, emptiness, joy, love, frustrations, and every other emotion that comes with it.

Katie and her husband Jason found out this week that their 3rd baby (she is currently pregnant) is another boy!!! They are overjoyed! I read her blog with tears in my eyes. I loved how she put it..."GOD is filling in the broken places of my heart with His love and grace. I am certain He will use this next little baby to comfort us and give us joy in the perfect way Jason and I need." She later, in her blog, thanked Him for knowing just what they needed.

His ways are not our ways and His plans are not ours. Isn't it amazing how we can be such planners and thinkers and doers and then find out at the end of the day that nothing we planned to do happened the way we wanted but that we got through the day okay anyway?? That happens to me almost everyday. That might be because I am a very "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of a person. I try to plan but it doesn't normally work out very well. I am thankful... SO VERY THANKFUL that God's ways are not mine. My life would be so screwed up it isn't even funny!!! There are so many times when I have thought that I had it all figured out when God had to yank me in another direction.

I can't imagine the pain of losing a child 6 months ago and now experiencing the joy of a new life and all of the emotions that entails but God does. He is the giver and sustainer of life. I am thankful that He is a merciful God that knows what He is doing and offers hope and peace and comfort for those that need it when they need it.

That.
is.
Reason to Rejoice!!!!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Birthday Plans

I am so excited about Lauren's birthday!!!

I think that plans are finally starting to come together. I have FINALLY created the invitation and it is being printed and will hopefully be here soon so I can mail them out. I did put a Facebook invite out so that people actually will get invited and know there is a party to come to! I have made a food list (for my husband to start thinking about)! I have a decorations list that is actually already almost complete. I am excited about this part because I have a very talented friend from church that made a birthday banner from scrapbook paper (I kinda stole *clears throat* borrowed an idea from Kelly). She did a great one for Harper's birthday and my friend Leah created one for Lauren's birthday and gave it to me tonight and it is ADORABLE!!!! I LOVE IT and I am so excited to use it!! I also ordered a hand painted canvas from a girl that painted one for Harper (I read Kelly's blog everyday). The one I ordered for Lauren is just in the colors of her birthday and it is her monogram. She emailed me a preview and it is precious!!! I can't wait to see it!

The theme for Lauren's party is cupcakes and the colors are purple, hot pink and teal. I have a TON of cupcakes and decorations and it is going to be so much fun!!!! More info to come!!!!

I am doing something different for gifts and I want to share but it is past my bedtime and I have a SUPER LONG day tomorrow so I better get to bed...after I move the clothes from the washer to the dryer.....

Nite nite...as My Lauren would say!!! =)

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

What Was I Doing....?

So, I would like to go back to the...."What Was I Doing A Year Ago From Today Game" again....please...just go with me...it will be over soon. If you are tired of it...don't read....

I have to back up a few days and recap because I missed a few important days....

2009
Feb. 15th - FABULOUS baby shower at church
Feb. 16th - Dr. appointment...unscheduled...swelling, headache BP 149/99 - trip to L&D triage - blood work - normal - home - complete bed rest until baby comes. Another dr. appt scheduled for Wednesday (2 days from now with sono)
Feb. 18th - Dr. appointment with sono - BP BAD (can't remember)!!! - amniotic fluid was low. Back to hospital for overnight stay. Blood work was fine again. BP was GREAT while I was at the hospital. Baby measured 3 weeks ahead and at 34 weeks, 5 days was estimated to weigh 7 lbs, 4 oz and 20 inches!!!!
Feb. 19th - discharged home still on bedrest to follow up on Monday (this was Thursday) with dr. and another sono

So....today is February 20th and in order to not bore you with daily posts about what happens from here until the day that Lauren was born, I will just tell you that the Monday appointment went great but the following Friday appointment (February 27th) was BAD!!!! I was readmitted to the hospital on that day with HORRIBLE puffiness and they took two blood pressures in the office that day - the first was 149/114 and the second was 179/98!!! I did not go home from the hospital until Lauren was born!!! I will be posting pictures from now until March 12th of when I was in the hospital. I want to remember that time. I want Lauren to be able to read this someday and remember. I want Rachel to be able to read this and remember how much I missed her and hated being away from her and would cry when I talked to her on the phone. I couldn't talk to her everyday like I wanted because everytime I talked to her my blood pressure would be really bad because I missed her so much!! It was pitiful! That's why I am doing this.


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Friday, February 19, 2010

My Ministry

It's sort of ironic that I just posted about this yesterday but today at Kelly's Korner she is posting about different ministries. My post is going to be a little different because mine is my actual "day job" so to speak. What I mean is that I get paid to do my ministry. I really feel called to do my occupation. As I stated yesterday, some of what I do everyday is mundane and boring but the bulk of my job is working with women who have delivered babies or infants in the neonatal intensive care unit.

I am the social worker for women's services at a local hospital. Like I said yesterday I work with many different types of people but a lot of what I do deals with death and helping women and families cope with the loss of infants - miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death. I have lost a baby and I am not going to discuss that right now but I have. I know how it feels. It is painful. End of discussion.

I also help parents when they receive news that is hard to handle from the neonatologist in the NICU. I help put the medical language into human terms and talk about next steps. I see all of the infants that are admitted to the NICU and support the parents the entire time the infant is there and sometimes that is a long time....months.

I see all mothers that deliver babies at the hospital under the age of 18. I screen these moms to make sure that they have good support systems because they are children having children. I make sure they have supplies for the baby...especially car seats. I make sure there aren't any concerns about her ability to care for the infant. I see a lot of teenage mothers.....A LOT!

I work all of the adoption cases in our hospital. I do not arrange them but if a mom comes in and wants to place her baby for adoption, I have to make sure that there are arrangements either already in place or assist her with getting them in place. This is EXTREMELY time consuming and can be very emotional sometimes. Most of the time is has a happy ending but the process can be hard.

I also have to make CPS reports. I will not go into a great deal of detail here. Let's just say, it is not pleasant. People do not make wise decisions sometimes. I know that is shocking to EVERYONE reading this but...it's true!!!

So....like I said, I know that I posted about this two days in a row...even after I made a point to say that I don't normally post about work on here and I probably won't again for a long time but I forgot that Kelly was doing this today or I would have saved it until today. This is my ministry...also known as my occupation....I help women. Women and children. I am a social worker.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Do I Do?

I frequently get asked the question, "So, you are a social worker at a hospital? So, what do you do?" I try not to talk much about work on here for several reasons. Sure, I could give you my job description as it would be handed to you if you were to apply for a position as a social worker at my place of employment but is that really 'what I do??' I don't think that it would cover a 1/4 of what I actually do. I'm not trying to 'toot my own horn' but seriously, it would take more than those couple of pieces of paper. I can give you a short synopsis of the last couple of weeks.....WARNING....some of this may not be pleasant....

Talked to about a million (okay, probably not quite that many but it kinda felt like it) patients about discharge plans - home health, inpatient rehabs, nursing homes, etc....(what I consider the easy part of my job). Talked to just about as many (if not more) about why the county hospital in our area is FABULOUS (another way of saying you don't have insurance, thanks for visiting). Here is where my job gets a little more challenging but where my heart is....Sat with 14, 15, 16, and 17 year olds who just delivered babies and talked with them about the importance of bonding and nurturing and birth control. Talked with them about how having babies is fun and they are cute and cuddly but they are hard and unpleasant and they make you angry, and frustrated. Visited with mothers and fathers who just lost infants at 18, 22, 24, and 26 weeks gestation who want answers that I or anyone else can't give them. Sat with a young couple as I went over funeral home information as they chose a funeral home for their 22 week gestation twin that was just born died as their other 22 week gestation twin fights for her life in the NICU. Stood with a lovely couple in their mid thirties who had the neonatologist tell them that their 25 week gestation baby that is now 4 days old in the NICU has a grade 3 brain bleed and process with them what that means and try to hold myself together as the dad sobs. Talked with a mom who was forced to deliver a baby at 28 weeks gestation due to her health and felt guilty because she caused her baby to be unhealthy.

I know that this all sounds completely and utterly depressing to most of you reading this but this.is.what.I.do.
and
I love it!
Ya'll this is more than just my job. This is a calling and a ministry. I have seen and heard so many positive things come out of this that you cannot imagine. I have a heart for these women (and men). I don't understand why I am drawn to these people but I am and for this time, I am going to keep doing this as God has allowed me to.

There are other things I do that I don't love like making CPS reports and having babies taken from their mothers but I also assist with adoptions and that's always neat to see a baby go home with a loving adoptive family....although they are a pain sometimes!!! =)

I just love this new job and I could not be happier in the role that I am in. God is good. I miss my friends and being home during the day with my kiddos but I know that I am where I am supposed to be and doing what I am supposed to be doing!!!

PS...In case you are wondering, I am the social worker for the following units: labor & delivery, post partum, obstetric/gynecologic surgical, neonatal intensive care, and orthopedic/neuro surgical units.


So....thats.....what I do!!!

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

11 Months

LAUREN ELIZABETH HESTER!!!!!!
YOU ARE ELEVEN MONTHS OLD!!!!
WOW!!!

In one short month, you will be 1. That's nutso! I cannot believe it has almost been a year. I have really been gearing up for this one. I have been thinking about what I was doing a year ago from today. It was almost a year ago that I started my weekly trips to the hospital only to stay there not too long from now. February was an exciting month for us! We thought you would be born in February! Thankfully, you weren't....Mommy stabilized and you were born right.on.time...a little early but big and healthy!

Let's see....you are probably right at 22 pounds and probably 30+ inches long if I had to guess. You just went to size 4 diapers which are quite big on you but the size 3s were getting tight on those thighs! =) You are almost completely finished with the bottle...only taking a night bottle. You take 2 sippy cups with formula - one in the middle of the day and one in the morning and then the bottle at night...all 5 ounces but you are finicky! You have started throwing the cups back at me and only want them sometimes. The doctor says she wants you to have between 20-24 oz of formula and you are taking between 13-15 oz....what am I going to do with you???!!! You aren't starving by any means!!! You eat solid foods really well!!! You love macaroni and cheese, turkey and cheese, and crackers. You enjoy water. You say Mommy, Daddy, doggie, night night, ball, that, and other things repeatedly that I am not sure what they are! You do the sign for more, all done, and you let me know when you are sleepy. You are crawling EVERYWHERE and pulling up like a pro. You could stand by yourself if you wanted...but you don't. I don't think you will be walking as soon as your sister did but I am okay with that. You aren't your sister...YOU ARE YOU AND I LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!!!



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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SNOW!!!!!



We got A FOOT of snow this past Thursday!!!! It was crazy!! I headed out to work on Thursday morning and it had already started snowing. It snowed all the way to work and did not stop until midnight that next night. All day long at work we watched it snow. Many people went home early but I actually stayed late because there was talk that the temperature would drop below freezing Thursday night/Friday morning and the roads would be bad the next morning. I wanted to get everything wrapped up in case I wasn't able to make it to work Friday morning. Good thing because I wasn't. When I got home around 7:30 on Thursday evening I wasn't even able to pull into my driveway...there was too much snow. On Friday, we all stayed home. Brice did some work from home and honestly, it was the best day I have had in a long time. It was nice to not have to go to the grocery store or do anything but I got so much accomplished around the house. I got dishes done, clothes washed and things done that I would normally do on a Saturday. We even went outside and played in the snow. Lauren wasn't too excited about it but Rachel loved it! She has never built a snowman before!!! The snow was deeper than the dog was tall so it was funny to see her try to walk in it!

Many people lost power and had a rough few days and I am so grateful that we only lost power for about 10 minutes Thursday evening. So INCREDIBLY grateful!!!! I cannot say that enough. I remember a horrible ice storm we had back in I think 99 or 2000 and we were without power for a week I think. I can't imagine that with two small children.

It was a fun weekend. I had the privilege of singing solos the past two Sundays at church. I enjoy it so very much and am so blessed to have a music minister who allows me to use the talent that God has given me. It certainly isn't perfect but the message is the important part!
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Rachel....

Some stuff about Rachel....

She has been taking dance since I think October, maybe??? She started out at one place and then they closed so she had to go to another place which we like SO. MUCH. BETTER. God is good, isn't He!!?? Anyway, we go every Monday night at 5:30. It has been a little more difficult trying to get there after work but I have arranged my work schedule so that I go to work early on Monday so that I get leave early to get her there on time...sometimes we get there on time...sometimes we don't! She has a recital in June. They will be doing a dance to the song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse "Hot Dog." They posted pictures of what her costume will look like this past week. It was also observation week so the parents could watch for the last 15 minutes. I took some pictures. Here are those pictures.

A Funny...

Yesterday morning Rachel was laying with Brice and we were all still in our pajamas. She pulled down the top of his t-shirt and this is how the conversation went:
Rachel: Daddy, why did you do that?
Brice: What?
Rachel: Why did you put hair on your tummy? (actually his chest)
Brice: (laughing) I didn't do it. That's just the way it is.
Rachel: Oh. Well, who did it?
Me: God did it.
Rachel: OOOOHHHHH!

She just cracks me up!!!!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

You May Wonder....

Why I have been so nostalgic lately...with posting all of the pics from a year ago. The pregnancy pics, the ultrasound pics, etc....well, I just remember when I was pregnant with Rachel I was MISERABLE!!! Everything about being pregnant with her was hard. The beginning was hard because I was SO incredibly nervous. I frankly couldn't believe that I was pregnant. I could not believe that God would bless me and give me such a gift. I was not worthy of a baby and I knew that something had to be wrong with the baby all of the time! If you are thinking that I need Beth Moore's new book, 1. you are absolutely right and 2. I have gotten a little better about that since then!!!!

After I had gotten over thinking there was always something wrong with the baby and could actually start feeling her move, I wanted her to move all of the time. If she didn't move, I wasn't happy. I mean, something was wrong!!! I know, it wore me out too....my poor husband. Then, I got past that stage and I was HUGE!!! I mean, miserably large!!! I gained about 75 pounds with Rachel and I developed pre-eclampsia, got put on bed rest early on and then hospital bed rest, had a hard delivery and needless to say, was ready for that baby to come out. I was happy when she was born and then my problems (health problems) got worse. I was sick, very sick afterwards...I have told the story many times and I won't bore you with it again. My point is that after all that was over I missed being pregnant. Even though the entire pregnancy I was miserable and I did not enjoy it at all I missed it. I missed the movement inside that I did not have to share with anyone, I missed the talks that I would have with Rachel during the day when no one else was around, I missed being pregnant. I remember telling Brice that when Rachel was about 9 months old and I thought he was going to faint! He said, "I cannot believe you just said that." I swore off more children entirely for a very long time. It wasn't until Rachel was about a year old that I actually said that I would have more children and then eight more months before we decided to actually try for another.

With Lauren, it was different, from the very beginning. I wasn't as crazy when I found out I was pregnant. I knew that God had a plan. Could something have gone wrong with the pregnancy? Absolutely but it was something that we would have dealt with if that is what He had chosen for us. I enjoyed every minute of the pregnancy. There were moments when I got a little scared and I even sneaked in a couple of extra sonos at the hospital but those moments went away quickly...it was just different. I cherished the moments of that growing baby inside. I had several friends that had experienced loss of children both inside and outside of the womb and the pregnancy just meant so much to me. When I started feeling Lauren (who was nameless at the time) move inside me (very early on in the pregnancy) it was like it was for the first time - like I had never been pregnant before. As the months went by I looked forward to every doctor's appointment and I remember having mixed emotions about wanting the pregnancy to end and wanting to hold my baby in my arms. I wanted so desperately to meet my new little girl but I wanted to hold on to the pregnancy as long as I could. I felt good (until about week 34) and I truly enjoyed being pregnant...from the beginning. When I was in the hospital waiting for the day that I was to meet my baby, I would just sit and listen to her heartbeat on the fetal monitor while she moved inside....it was me and her. That's all. It was precious. Priceless. I knew that I would miss it and I did. I do. I love being pregnant.

Do I want another baby? The answer is. Yes. I do. We do. I often get the question...How many children do you want to have? We don't have a definite answer to that question. I am a planner but in the category of children, I just can't plan it out. I don't know. Brice and I have had numerous conversations about children and how many to have. Three? Is four too many? Well, I know I don't want 15!! Right now we are happy with the two sweet babies we have. They are precious little girls and there aren't anymore on the way just yet. Besides, my pregnancies are so "iffy" I have to take them one at a time!!!!

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Just Wanted....

To show you a picture from exactly 1 year ago today...

It wasn't too long after this that I was bound to the bed and then to the hospital bed...stay tuned for the long awaited birth story and then Lauren's birthday posts.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Excuses...

...for why I haven't blogged lately....

there are a ton but the main one is that I don't have a lot time and I don't have the time to blog about how I don't have the time to blog.....

That was a little confusing!!!

Let's see....

I can't even remember what I last blogged about....Lauren is better, I think. She had a little breathing scare but is better. Rachel was up all night one night which meant...so was I. I have had two migraines in the past week...both from lack of sleep, I am sure of it. The sun has not been out in...I can't even remember when. I have been grouchy and I have been
so.
incredibly.
busy.
at.
work!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have decided that there should be some kind of law against having sex before a certain age. SERIOUSLY!! This week has been the week of pregnant teenagers. In all seriousness, it is frightening...I have two girls at home, remember! One of the OB/GYNs that I work with said the other day, "When my girls even get a hint of a period, I am going to give them gummy birth control." That's how crazy it is. I just pray so hard that my girls do right and that Brice and I instill in them the values that are so important. God help us!

I enjoy my job but the past two weeks have been draining emotionally with both work-related stuff and drama related to other things. But, it's Friday, payday and I won $100!!!! Let's talk about that last thing for a second!!!!!!

I won $100!!!!! I didn't play the lottery. I lost weight! How much? Glad you asked!!!!

I have lost 14 pounds in 4 weeks!!!!! I am back to pre-pregnancy weight and then some and my goal was before Lauren was 1 year old and she isn't even 11 months old yet. I still want to lose about 20 more pounds. So, how did I win $100? Okay....so....I have joined a group of girls at the hospital for the Biggest Loser. The NICU nurses have a group of 20 that all paid $25 to join and at the end of 10 weeks, whoever loses the most percentage of weight wins the money. Well, we weigh in every 2 weeks and there is a prize for each 2 week increment. I won this 2 weeks!!!! YIPPEE!! I really am proud of my progress and I can't wait to lose more, weight less and win more!!!! I think I will save it up and then go shopping when I reach my goal! If I go down just 2 sizes, I will be smaller than I was in high school!!!! I can't remember what I weighed in high school but I can remember what size I wore. Anyway, I am proud. I still weigh a lot but, if I can say so, I carry my weight pretty well.

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