Jul 28, 2014

One Month

Oh man how time flies! I can't believe that this little one is 5 weeks tomorrow. This whole thing still amazes me. I love being a mom. As hard as it can get, especially when you are fighting a fever and stuffy nose along with your baby having a cold. I feel bad that she is sick. She has been sick for about two weeks now and it kills me that I can't just make her all better at the snap of my fingers or with a kiss on her cheek.

Look at this cutie! She is the best and likes that giraffe her Aunt Lindsey gave her.

She is starting to get better though, which is a major plus.

There are not a lot of milestones yet for Kathrynne, but she has changed so much already.
Kate is about 20 in and weighs 8lbs 13oz (we know that because she had to get weighed at the ER... No worries, she is fantastic other than her cold. We went in for preventative measures.)
She eats about 3oz (formula)... I don't have a pump and sometimes she won't nurse well so we are glad that we have a back-up.
She is starting to be a bit more social with us. Her first social smile should be happening sometime very soon, and I can't wait.
Kathrynne doesn't really care for or hate tummy time. She loves it when she is on us but gets pretty frustrated when we put her on the ground.
We have quite the calm baby. However, when she wants to be, she can drive us up the walls with screams. We love her no matter what and she pretty much only does that when she is overly tired and won't give in. I hate when that happens. It gets frustrating. I have seen so many nieces and nephews do that.

Well... That is about it for now. We love this little girl to death and love that we have eternity with her!

Jul 25, 2014

Kathrynne Anne Lanham - June 24, 2014

I have had many friends post their birth stories and I have always appreciated them and their words. They have really helped me to prepare for the day that I would give birth to my own children.

Well, that day came on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, when Chad and I welcomed Kathrynne Anne Lanham into our family. She is so absolutely precious. 

On the 20th I went into the doctors to have my 40 week appointment. At that point I was already over due by a day. When my cervix got checked I was only dilated to 1cm. 1 bloody cm?! That is is? After everything we have been trying to do to start labor and get me to progress, NOTHING more than 1cm? I won't lie, I was pretty darn disappointed. I had a few days to naturally go into labor and then I would get induced if I was still where I was. 

My doctor, Randall Pace, decided to schedule a day to induce me. We got it all scheduled for the 24th at Timpanogos Regional Hospital bright and early in the morning. Neither of us wanted me to go farther than 41 weeks and the 24th would be 40 weeks and 5 days. I was told to wait for a call from the charge nurse Monday evening to make sure it was all still okay to go. If there had been a ton of women go into labor I would not have been able to go in. Man, I am so glad that was NOT the case when I got the call Monday night to come in at 7 am!

We went in at 7 am and got all settled in. They checked my cervix and I had somehow gone from 1 cm to closed. :( Darn it. My nurse was amazing and went to town to help me out. She called Dr. Pace and they decided to put me on Cytotec to ripen my cervix. That sped things along very quickly. I was having contractions but I was not feeling them because they were so small. After the Cytotec had been administered I had to lay in bed for an hour. After that I could sit up, but the hospital doesn't allow you to walk around if you are on meds like Cytotec and Pitocen. Both of which I ended up being on so I stayed in bed the whole time. I got the meds

After about an hour and a half later the nurse checked me and I was starting to dilate a bit. She consulted the doctor and they decided to start me on Pitocen. I was on it for some time then I started to feel the contractions and they started to get in my back. I figured I would have back labor because of my Spina Bifida but wow. That was the worst pain I have ever experienced. I was only dilated to 4cm by the time that I asked for the anesthesiologist to come and administer the epidural.

It was about ten minutes before he came into my room. He waltzed in and didn't introduce himself at all. We all figured it was the anesthesiologist, but Chad decided to actually ask who he was. He told us his name and my sister Lindsey jokingly said, "Oh good, now they know who you are if they want to sue." He did not seem amused at all so Lindsey made sure she told him that she was completely joking. He still didn't take that very well. When my mom took a picture of him he opened his mouth and had to tell us that he was "Tired." OH that is great. He really didn't handle the situation very well at all. I enjoyed the company I had and didn't mind that they were a little louder because it helped me take my focus off of the pain. I guess the doc didn't like that and pretty much kicked them out. Chad's dad, Scott, wasn't in the room when all this went down and he would have been really irritated and said something. I could tell Chad was not impressed with the anesthesiologist and was really mad at him. My mom and Chad's mom, Karen, were the only ones to stay in my room other than Chad while I got my epidural. I was not so happy with him but I was in too much pain to really care. I was scared for a few reasons. The main one was that I was getting a needle in my spine. The second one was that the doctor said that he was tired multiple times. DON'T SAY THAT!! Don't say that in front of the patient you are about to stick in the back! Honestly though, I was in too much pain to really care at the moment. I just wanted to get it over with.

I know a lot of people that say that the IV they get put in is worse than the epidural. I completely disagree. The IV was uncomfortable but I was able to talk back and smile, I was totally fine. The epidural on the other hand was one of the scariest moments of my life. After hearing that the anesthesiologist was tired I was even more freaked about it. (I am glad I decided before hand about the epidural because I probably would have declined at that point and figured something else out.) Most anesthesiologists have a preference about the position you are in when they put the epidural in. There is the fetal position laying down or hunching over like a cat does while sitting up. I was kind of hoping that he would have me be laying down but he preferred me sitting up. I got in the position, shaking and soaking wet from sweat all due to the pain of my back labor and my fear.

Chad was holding my hands helping me stay up straight. I had a pillow on my lap too that I buried my face in. One of the nurses tried moving it from my face and I just put it back in because it was more comforting that way. I was actually a bit annoyed that she moved it at first. Given our first impression with the anesthesiologist I was not expecting how he treated me during the actual process of the epidural. He explained every little bit and kept talking to me. He guided me through everything and made me feel safe. He treated me very well and had me answer back if there was certain types of pain according to what he was doing. He did a VERY good job. I was impressed with him. My only wish is that he had been better with his bedside manner with my family. I didn't appreciate that.

The epidural kicked in quickly and I was able to get some sleep. I don't know how long I was asleep but when I woke up we checked my cervix and I was almost a 10! All I know about the time line was that it was a fast movement of my cervix. The Pitocen worked very well for me. Doctor Pace showed up after a while and broke my water. I must say, weirdest feeling ever. It was warm and instantly smelled. I could tell by the smell though that it was not normal. Call it mother's intuition but I could tell it wasn't normal. I guessed it was because there was meconium in it, meaning Kathrynne had taken her first bowel movement in the womb, and I ended up being right. Dr. Pace notified the NICU so when it came to delivery we would have a nurse in, right from first breath, to check Kate's lungs incase she had swallowed some of that meconium. This meant that I wouldn't get to hold her right when she was born, which made me kind of sad. However, I would much rather have a healthy baby.

Kathrynne was still very high so we had to do like two to three hours of rest and descend. I pretty much just had to lay there and wait until she decided to come on down. I was getting anxious for her to just come! I could feel her start to descend but it wasn't much pressure at all. Eventually we went for pushing. We did a few with my sisters and Chad helping out the nurse and then Dr. Pace showed up. He didn't push me to keep going at all. He listened to me and my body. He was really great with me.

I can't remember if it was during my very first push or the first push after Dr. Pace showed up, but during the second time pushing I threw up. I threw up twice this way. It wasn't totally in a row but it was with in the first five times I pushed. I had been feeling super nauseous after my long nap following my epidural so I figured I would have thrown up. It was super intense when I did too.

After a while I could tell that something was up. I could see it in my sisters faces and Dr. Pace called for the OB/GYN on call. Now my doctor is a family practitioner, not strictly an OB/GYN. He does it all so I knew that he was thinking possible c-section when the OB/GYN on call came in. Dr. Pace and the nurse couldn't really tell if Kathrynne was posterior or transverse or just where she needed to be because they couldn't really feel for her fontanelles. Fontanelles are the soft spots a baby has. This was new information for me. I had no clue that that was what they looked for. They couldn't tell with the bedside ultrasound either. That is when the OB/GYN came in and felt the fontanelles and gave us the go ahead to keep pushing.

Kathrynne was not coming over my pubic bone. It was like I was pushing her two steps forward and she would come one step back after the contractions. During the contractions while I was pushing, Kathrynne's heart rate would drop, drastically. It would go down to somewhere between 80-90bpm. Dr. Pace and the other doctor went out of the room to talk for a bit. I knew that it was about a possible c-section. The OB/GYN gave him the go ahead to keep going with a vaginal birth. I am sure that if she hadn't crowned when she did, it would have become an emergency c-section. Dr. Pace actually said something about a c-section while in the room, to me. Being the stubborn person I am, I took that as a challenge.

I pushed with everything I had because I did NOT want to have a c-section. I wanted to have a vaginal birth to have that experience. In total, I pushed for 3 hours. This ended up giving me a lot of fluid in my legs, feet, and ankles after delivery. It lasted for about a week. After the 3 hours of pushing Kathrynne finally crowned. Yeah. 3 hours just to get her to crown. Up to this point my contractions had been very regular. The doctor told me not to push at the next contraction, even though I will want to. We needed to wait for the nurse in the NICU to get here. She was called and then we just had to wait.

We were all waiting for my contractions to start up again, but nothing came. It was quite some time before I had another one. I personally believe that this was a huge blessing. You see, as soon as the NICU nurse walked into the room and was pulling on gloves I had a contraction. I didn't push and Dr. Pace just pulled Kathrynne out of me. The timing was a miracle. I didn't have to have a contraction and put Kathrynne in any more stress between when she crowned and when she came out. The nurse was right there to check her lungs. It was miraculous. I didn't have to push Kathrynne's head out, or get past her shoulders. She just plopped out of me at that point... with the help of the doctor obviously. 

Chad cut her cord and they took her to get cleaned and checked. The nurse checked her lungs and she was just fine. She didn't swallow any meconium, thank heavens! Crying ensued through the whole room as we welcomed this sweet little girl into our lives. 

I was in labor for 17 hours and I tore pretty much all the way through to my rectum (sorry, too graphic of an image?). It didn't seem like it was that long because of the hilarious times that we had with my family. The jokes and games we played really helped me get through the day. 

Kathrynne was 19 inches and 7 pound 2 ounces at birth. She is a month old now. I can't believe it. She has been doing well. Unfortunately she has a bit of a cold and has had a hard couple of nights, which has not helped me. I have had a headache for a few days and it won't go away. It is one of those dull but annoying ones. I have not gotten much done around the house because I get so tired, but I never fully fall asleep, especially after noon rolls around. I haven't even had time to really write this post. I started this weeks ago and have just not gotten to it. We will be taking her in to get suctioned today so hopefully that helps her sleep better. 

We love that little girl so much and she brings such a sprit into our life. So without further ado....

We welcome Kathrynne Anne Lanham into our family. 

Jul 14, 2014

Meeting My Idol

Chad's mission president came home two weeks ago and last night they had a get together at their home here in Provo. We planned to go, of course. I was kinda beside myself for a few reasons. His mission president and his wife were very influential for Chad and the short time he was out in the field. Chad respects them both very much. During Chad's mission I was affected by them through Chad and how he changed. We were able to change together as we wrote and I could see the impact that President and Sister Tanner had on him, changing me as well.

I was excited to meet these two influential people because of that impact, but also because of just who they (she) was. Tanner. Yes. John S. Tanner and Susan W. Tanner. President Tanner was called to be the new first counselor in the General Sunday School Presidency at this past General Conference (April 2014). But it was mostly Sister Tanner that I was excited about.

Susan W. Tanner was the Young Woman's General President from before I got into YW's to right before I turned 16. She was such an influential leader for me. I looked up to her so much during those first four years in YW's. I couldn't have been more excited to meet her last night since I have always looked up to her and Sister Elaine S. Dalton. Well, we had taken Kathrynne with us and after I got a hug from her we got talking about being mothers for a bit. 

She said something that really impacted me and made me feel even more confident that I have been making the right choice about being a mother and stopping my college education. It meant everything to hear from her that she respected young couples and mothers who sacrificed so much for their children. I know that this is what I am supposed to do. After having her as a leader and someone I truly have always looked up to I know that I am doing well. I have been very humbled by this experience and am extremely grateful to have met her.

Thanks to the Tanners for opening their hearts and home to so many. You have truly touched my heart.

Jul 7, 2014


I have been working on my birth story but before I finish it and post it I wanted to post about something that has been on my mind a lot the past two weeks.

With all of the craziness of having a newborn, there have been a lot of ups and downs. There are days and nights where Kathrynne won't eat or sleep and they frustrate me. They frustrate me because I am trying to do all I can to help her but sometimes it just doesn't work. I feel bad that sometimes I can't help her. I feel for her and wish there was more I could do. I cry, like any postpartum woman would, at her misery and discomfort. It can get really hard for me emotionally somedays.

Among all of the hard days, I have had to say goodbye to my best friend Kayla. Her and her husband have left Provo now. He will be going to medical school in the Caribbean and then they will return to the states after two years for his residency. The night that Kayla and Evan came over to say goodbye was the hardest night I had with Kathrynne, even to this day. I was up for three hours straight with her. I got maybe two hours of sleep. I was the one that woke Chad up to go to work because I had been up with Kathrynne at that point for, like I said, three hours. I was a complete wreck between the lack of sleep and dealing with the emotions of Kayla being gone now.

Chad woke up to me pretty much bawling from mostly the lack of sleep. Every time I had gotten Kathrynne to sleep and I put her down in her crib, I would go back to bed and right when I was seconds away from sleep, she would start crying again. UGH! That is how it was for most of the night. I told Chad he needed to go to work, because he needs to work. We need the financial stability you know? What young, married, college student couple doesn't need money? I told him he had to go to work over and over again and he finally got in the shower and started to get ready. As he was finishing up I just broke down and knew I needed him. I went into the bathroom as he was cleaning his ears (which he does religiously, might I add, putting me in the habit as well) and with tears streaming down my face said, "I need you."

He asked me if I wanted him to stay all day or go in late. I just told him that I didn't know. "All I know is that I need you today." All said bawling. It was the worst night ever, did I mention that? Chad took Kathrynne from me and sent me to bed. He gave her a bottle and she ended up being able to go to sleep.

This all happened just before 5:30am. I woke up around 9:30 or 10:00am. There was not a single cry, sniffle, or sound in the house. I jumped out of bed and went looking for Chad and Kathrynne. They were not in the nursery so I kept going down the hall. As I got closer to the living room I saw Chad on the couch and then I noticed Kathrynne in her swing. They were both sound asleep. I went and changed then joined them in the living room. I sat on our love seat just looking at these two wonderful people and was filled with absolute love.

Then, I was overcome with an overwhelming amount of gratitude. Looking at Chad cuddled up under the blanket I made him for Christmas back in 2012, I realized that I really needed to go through the night I had. Yes, we had a few really good nights with her but at that point it was touch and go for a few days. I had a very good night with Kathrynne the night before, but I was having a hard time seeing that same blessed attitude I had felt then.

Everyone had been saying that your emotions and hormones are completely out of whack during postpartum but I had been feeling pretty great. I still am, however I still am a bawl baby with certain things, spiritual things in particular. So as I was looking at Chad asleep on the couch, overwhelmed with the Spirit, I started to cry. Later that day I had a very serious heart to heart with the Lord as I was holding Kathrynne. She was fighting sleep with all her might and she caught my eye. We stared at one another and I pretty much feel like I had a whopping from the Lord at that point.

During the bad night, I had been feeling like I was inadequate. I didn't think that I was actually made for being a mother. I felt like I was a complete failure because I couldn't get my daughter to sleep. She wouldn't eat from me and so I had to give her a bottle and I really didn't want to. I knew that was stupid to think that way but I couldn't get the feelings of inadequacy out of my mind, making me cry and bawl even more as Kathrynne wouldn't sleep.

There is a talk from the October General Conference 2010 that President Thomas S. Monson gave called The Divine Gift of Gratitude. President Monson says something I have found to be profound.

"We have all experienced times when our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings."

I read that and thought, THAT WAS ME! Now, I read this today, not on the day that the above experience happened. However, the Lord let me know that I needed to really focus on the time I get to hold her and care for her, no matter the lack of sleep. My time is limited to hold her and care for her like this. There will come a time that I don't get to have my husband just take a day off because I didn't get sleep or am sick myself and can't function enough to take care of our daughter. There will come a day that I won't be needed to take care of Kathrynne, for she will be independent and able to do things on her own.

Gratitude is something that I feel gets taken advantage of. I say my thanks in my prayers but is that enough? Is just saying it when we are conversation with the Lord enough? No. To me, it can't be. We are here to just sit idly by. The gospel is actively growing and in order to grow with it we have to be active in the things we do. Showing gratitude can be so simple. It can be shown most importantly by the attitude we have. We can serve others in large or small ways. We can pray, read our scriptures, and write in journals. We can do family history work. We can dive into any calling that is extended unto us, and SO much more.

My sister Adrianne had called me this past week. We had a very great conversation. She had said something to me that struck true. She encouraged me to take some time out every day, no matter the amount of time (even if it is just two minutes) to study the gospel. Reading a few verses or some paragraphs of a talk or article that was in the Ensign. I thought a lot about that and brought it up with Chad. We have decided to start going through the General Conference talks with each other. We decided to pick one every week, read it and study it separately, then come together on Sunday and discuss it.

That is my way of starting to show more gratitude. I knew I needed to work on this aspect of my life, but I didn't really feel like I could do it. I know that is a falsehood that the adversary has put into my head. I have noticed a huge difference in my level of gratitude, and love especially, for my little girl. I have reached the point that I know that I can do this. I can be a mother. I want nothing more than to be able to take care of Kathrynne and our future children when the time comes. I want to teach them all about the gospel. I want to help them gain a testimony and personal relationship with the Savior Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven.

Needless to say, a bad night has really been my saving grace in realizing my potential. Being gracious for this chance, no matter how hard it can get on any given day or night for that matter, is part of seeing that I am not inadequate. Chad and Kathrynne are huge blessings and I don't want to keep my focus on what or where I am lacking as a daughter, wife, and mother.

I want everyone to know how wonderful the Lord is for teaching us these little lessons. He is there for us and helps us in our times of need. We may not see it because we may not be focusing on what our blessings are, but he comes to us in so many forms and so many ways. He has come to me in the form of so many people during my life. It is my goal to become full of gratitude and to express it whenever I can no matter the circumstance.