Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Maylee Ruth Hansen

I started writing this months ago and never got around to finishing it and posting it. I am mad at myself because a lot of the details towards the end of the post I had to try to remember. Maylee is now almost 6 months old!


My sweet little Maylee is now here! It's crazy how having a baby does not actually seem real until you see them and touch them for the first time after delivery. Even though your belly grows and you feel the kicks, it's still not the same. We love her to pieces and are so glad she is here!

I decided to be induced a few days before my due date (May 26th). The doctor was a little concerned about how big the baby was getting compared to how small I am. We took Marshall into consideration because he was almost 9 lbs and it was a long labor and hard recovery.

Delivery Week Timeline:

May 23rd - My mother-in-law was flying into town that night and we thought that I was going into labor. My contractions were very consistent for quite a few hours, and they were getting painful. We were starting to get a little stressed as to who we would have to call to watch Marshall and how we could get my mother-in-law here from the airport. Jake even started packing his bag to take to the hospital and writing down notes for potential babysitters. Luckily Marshall was already asleep so if we had to call someone it would just be to sit at our apartment for a couple hours until my mother-in-law got there. I decided to take a bath and that calmed down my contractions quite a bit. Jake was able to pick up his mom from the airport and I was able to sleep pretty well that night.

May 24th - I thought for sure I would be having the baby this day considering what happened the night before, but my contractions never started back up. I started walking around my apartment complex trying to get things going, and still nothing. I thought it would be great if I could go naturally instead of having to get induced. My contractions stayed pretty calm the whole day.

May 25th - Marshall woke up wheezing and coughing. He did not have an appetite and was pretty cranky. He has been getting colds a lot lately and whenever he has a cold he wheezes and it takes him a while for his cough to go away. I grew up with asthma and I knew that he probably had it considering his history. Back in February with his first wheezing episode we went to an urgent care and they prescribed him an inhaler with a spacer. We have used that off and on whenever he has been sick since, but it seemed like it was not working super well this time around. We decided to make a doctors appointment for him that afternoon as I had a doctor's appointment that morning. Soon after we made the appointment for Marshall, my doctor's office called and asked if they could move my appointment to the afternoon. We ended up being in a time crunch and had to wait at both doctors offices for over an hour. It was a long day!
At my appointment the doctor checked my cervix and I was at 1cm but was very thinned and effaced. The doctor was concerned the week before because I was carrying Maylee pretty high still. He said that she was down lower and that those contractions I had a few days before probably helped to push her down a little bit. He said that everything looked good for the induction the next day and he also said that the baby felt like she was less than 8 lbs.
At Marshall's appointment, he got a breathing treatment, was officially diagnosed with asthma, and got an order for a nebulizer. He also had an ear infection so he got on antibiotics for that as well as a steroid for the asthma. I was so grateful that my mother-in-law was here to help him with his breathing treatments and medication as Jake and I were going to be in the hospital the next day. I would hate to have anyone else to have do deal with my sick baby boy.

May 26th -
8:00am - When we arrived at the hospital, we had to get registered and answer a ton of health related questions before they started me.
9:30am - I started my pitocin.
11:00am - The doctor broke my water and he measured me at 2cm. He said I probably would be delivering early that afternoon and that he would see me in a few hours.
Contractions started getting more intense and I decided to get my epidural when I was at 4cm at 2pm. The epidural did not treat me well this time around. When I had the epidural with Marshall I got nauseous and cold, but that was it. I did not feel anything and was COMPLETELY numb. I could not move my legs at all. This time around I started to get dizzy and they had to lay me back and give me some medicine to help with the dizziness. Then when I started to feel better, Maylee's heartbeat started racing and I had to wear oxygen to get her back to where she needed to be. When they sat me back up I had to throw up, and then I felt dizzy again. I had to lay back down and get some more medicine. It was kind of crazy there for a while.
This time with the epidural I could still feel the contractions, but they were not painful. I could also move one of my legs pretty good and move the other leg a little bit. I definitely was not as numb as I was with Marshall. Around 4:00 the contractions were starting to feel painful again and I felt a lot of painful pressure. I pushed the button to get more dosage from the epidural and then called the nurse in to check me. She said that I was only at 5cm, but that her head was very low. A little over an hour later I was feeling a lot of pain. I felt so much pressure and felt like I needed to push. I had Jake call the nurse in, because I was in a lot of pain, and she checked my cervix and I was ready to go. She stepped out to call my doctor and then came back in and we started pushing. I only pushed a couple of times and then she said that we needed to wait for my doctor to get there because she was afraid I was going to push Maylee out without him. I was in a lot of pain and I did not want to wait for the doctor. Luckily, the doctor came in about 5 minutes later. After everything was set up and ready to go I started pushing again.
I honestly did not think that I was going to make it through this delivery. It was so different than Marshall's because I could feel things. I think this helped me in the end though to push extra hard because pushing was the only way to find some relief. I think I pushed for about 20-30 minutes.

At 6:00pm, Maylee Ruth Hansen made her appearance into the world! She had a little difficulty breathing so they swept her away pretty fast, but soon enough we were able to hold this sweet little girl.She weighed 9 lbs 5 oz and was 21 inches long. She was bigger than Marshall! The doctor was shocked. She is such a sweetheart and we are grateful to have her in our family!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Rainy Days

The past few days it has been raining off and on. Jake and I only have one car and he usually walks to school so I don't have to be cooped up in the house all day. Well, because of the rain, I have had him take the car. One of Marshall's favorite things to do is to play outside. We have a nice little area to play around behind our apartment building where Marshall can throw rocks, leaves, pick dandelions, etc. Usually he ends up falling or sitting a couple times and I would rather not do that with wet grass. So we have been cooped up inside for the past couple of days. Another one of Marshall's favorite things to do is watch movies. So if he is cooped up inside, he is begging to watch movies all day. I try to get him to do other things, like color, or play with toys, but those activities get old quickly and he is begging to watch a movie again.

Yesterday was a bad day. I gave in and let him watch movies most of the day. I don't think it helped that I was not feeling super great. The night before there was a huge thunderstorm that kept me up a lot of the night - (not to mention a little baby kicking my sides). I was tired, cranky, and did not want to hear him complaining all day. Still though, it was inevitable that I heard quite a bit of complaining from him. It must be the stage that he is in, but he now will give this little owl sound when he is upset or wants something, which will eventually grow into a tantrum if he does not get what he wants.

On Wednesdays, Jake usually has to stay at school until at least 8 p.m.. So it was just Marshall and I all day long and I could not wait to put him down for bed (early). When Jake got home, I did not have much to say, but I missed him and just wanted to be with him. I always forget how the couple hours while Marshall is awake and Jake is home gives me a much needed rejuvenation.

I love being a mother, and I love my little boy. But some days I just don't love it quite as much. I am always hard on myself when my day is less than ideal and when I feel like I failed as a parent. While I was bathing Marshall before bedtime, I sat on the edge of the bathtub with my eyes almost welling up with tears. I knew that the day could have gone better and I could not help but feel like it was all my fault.

I think it is important as mothers to admit to ourselves when we need help and when we need a break. Sometimes it is okay if you let your child watch movies all day. Sometimes it is okay to take a nap. Sometimes it is okay to cry and eat chocolate. Your house does not have to look completely perfect, and dinner can just be leftovers. You don't always have to shower, do your hair, and put on make up. It's okay to take a break.

Something that the Lord has been trying to teach me lately is that he does not expect me to be perfect. The only thing that He expects of me is to keep trying. Sometimes that 'trying' means listening to your body and emotions when you need a break. In fact, I don't think He expects us to run on empty. He wants us to give ourselves time to relax and meditate.

One of my new favorite things to do in the morning is to give myself sometime to meditate. The dishes and shower can wait. After Marshall and I have our breakfast, he runs over to the TV and I turn a movie on for him. Then I head back to my room and pray and study the gospel. Once that 'meditation' is done, I feel more motivated to do better, be better, and keep trying. It helps me to remember that even on days where I feel like I failed as a mother that it is okay.

My plea to mothers everywhere is to remember to give yourselves breaks, even if that means turning on a movie for your little ones. Just because you feel like you have failed does not mean that you are a failure. You are doing better than you think you are.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Anxiety Does Not Have to Define Me

Anxiety: A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Anxiety Disorder: Worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling.

Social Anxiety Disorder: Involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others, or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or lead to ridicule.

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Anxiety is real, and most everyone has anxiety over big events in their lives. For some though, anxiety is more constant and can cause problems in their every day lives. Now I have to point out that I have never been officially diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The more I look into it though, the more I believe that I may have been dealing with one throughout my whole life. 

When I was younger I could not even say "hi" to people that had said "hi" to me. I would shy away. I remember one instance at church where a kid my age had said "hi" to me while my mom or dad were with me. I was too embarrassed to say "hi" back. I remember getting a "talking to" about why I should say "hi" to people, especially when they say "hi" to me. I felt like my parents did not understand how hard it was.

In elementary school, there were many instances where I would just start crying. Usually about some social situation in which I did not know how to react. The main office would call my older sister down so that she could comfort me. (Thank goodness for sisters!) In another instance I remember I was in a dance class and we were told to be partners with the person next to us. The person to my right picked the person to her right. The person on my left picked the person to her left. This left me with no one to have a partner with. Too scared to mention this to the dance instructor - I cried instead and sat in the main office until my mom came to pick me up.

Instances like this continued throughout jr. high and high school. I was always embarrassed when I started tearing up. I was always embarrassed when I sat alone during lunch. I was always embarrassed when I would have to go to a teacher with a problem that I had. 

Now, I have come a long way since my childhood years, but that does not mean that this social anxiety is still not a constant problem in my life. Almost EVERY social situation gives me anxiety. I feel like I am constantly battling myself. Part of me wants to be social, while the other part of me wants to curl up in a ball and hide. My mind is always fearing the worst and fearing embarrassment. I always beat myself up when a social situation does not go the way that I envisioned in my mind. 

Something that I have come to realize is that this anxiety is never going to go away. It is always going to be there, and I am always going to have to deal with it. Something that I have also come to realize is that the Lord knows exactly what I am going through. He not only suffered for my sins, but He suffered for my sorrows and my every day pains. I know that He can help me, because He has been there. When I beat myself down, He will always be there to lift me up. He has given me great comfort through this lifelong trial. 

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While I am not perfect with dealing with my social anxiety, there are some things that I have learned to do to cope with it.
1: Prayer! I remember to pray everyday for comfort and confidence in my everyday interactions. I pray to be more concerned about others than myself. I find that when I am thinking about others that I forget about the anxiety that I have because I am wanting others to feel good. I can feel the Lord answering this prayer, because I feel the spirit and I feel the confidence. 

2: Just believe in yourself! I believe that most fear comes from a lack of belief that we can accomplish hard things. We can do anything that we put our minds to, especially when we have the Lord on our side. Don't let your anxiety be an excuse.
3: Remember that your anxiety does not make sense. I often think about why I fear something that has not even happened yet. The only thing that I should fear is the Lord, and He would want me to make the best out of every situation and put my best foot forward. 
4: Assume the best and not the worst. Instead of thinking about what bad things might happen, think about the good things that might happen. You are more likely to be a little bit more comfortable when an uncomfortable situation comes up.

5: Don't beat yourself up when a situation does not go your way. Just keep moving forward. The Lord is more concerned about who you are becoming than who you once were.
6: Keep going and don't give up. Don't hide yourself from social situations because they give you anxiety. I have made this mistake many times and always regret it. We only get more comfortable with people when we put ourselves in those situations

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Remember that most mental disorders are not likely to ever go away. While I have ways of coping, that does not mean that my anxiety will go away. This will be a life long trial, but it does not have to define who I am and I can do my best to push through it. I believe that we were all given trials to make us humble. With the Lord, weak things can become strong.

No matter what hard things each of us deal with, the Lord has been there. He knows how we feel. He knows how to comfort us. Our lives are not meant to be perfect. We can win the battle against Satan. We do not have to listen to Satan telling us that we are not good enough and that we should just give up. We are meant to keep going. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if at times it may seem dim. Just keep going. Just keep trying.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Back into the Groove

Wow, it has been a while since I last posted! Before I get into the nitty gritty of specifics into what has been going on in our lives lately, I would like to announce here on my blog that I am pregnant yet again! This time with a baby girl.

Okay, now lets back up. The last few months of 2015 were HARD. While this pregnancy was planned, I was not planning on being so sick. I was literally bed-ridden. Whenever I got up out of bed, mainly to help my little Marshall, I would throw up. Marshall ran havoc throughout our whole apartment in order to keep himself entertained. He really was such a good sport about the whole thing though. He is a clingy boy and likes being around me, so it was easy to keep an eye on him. Jake did not have much time to help around the house. He was busy with optometry school and had his own struggles there - which I will get to later. He would call me every night before he came home, ask me what I felt like for dinner, and then bring it home. Having fast food every night was not ideal, but that's all that we could do at the time. Being home all of the time, constantly throwing up, definitely left me in a sour and depressed mood. When I get depressed, I tend to keep to myself. No one really knew what I was struggling with, which I regret now. I know there are a ton of people that would have been willing to help me and my family.

Jake had struggles of his own. School was getting really hard for him. The main reason was because he had a problem with focusing and staying on task when he needed to study. What we found out was that he has ADHD. We found a psychologist for him to go to and diagnose him. Then he was able to go to a doctor and get the proper medication to help him focus. This whole process took some time though - time that we did not think that we had as his first semester was coming to an end.

Things started to look up for both of us at about the same time. My first trimester was finally over as well as my sickness. Jake's medication turned him into a study fanatic and he was able to pass all of his classes. Then we went back home to Utah for a month. It was a good and very much needed break from everything that we had been dealing with.

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Fast forward to the new year - 2016. Jake and I have found our groove again. Jake's new semester is keeping him busy, but he has a whole new confidence about tackling the course load. I am able to clean the house, take care of Marshall, and make dinners again.

Marshall is now 20 (almost 21) months old! The more he grows, the more I am learning about him and his personality. He is not a fearless boy. Things that I know that he is capable of doing, like sitting down to go down a slide, he is scared to do on his own.

 He definitely has stranger danger with kids and adults. Once he gets to know people, he is usually fine though. He does prefer to play on his own. Nursery is quite hard for him, but he is slowly learning that the other kids are okay and that mommy will eventually be back to pick him up. Some words that he likes to say: sock, shoe, doggy, car, ball, "hi guys", please, thank you, binky, "moo", e-i-e-i-o, amen, bye, and baby. When I ask him where the baby is, he points to my tummy. He also knows where quite a few other body parts are and can point to them, (mainly on his face). He loves watching Despicable Me, and throwing rocks outside.

He also loves to run, mainly away from me. He is quite short for his age, but his cheeks and curly hair make up for it. He loves to read books and to push buttons. He takes a great 2-3 hour nap every day, and goes to bed at about 7:30 p.m. and wakes up at about 7:00 a.m. He also loves baths and always freaks out with excitement when he hears the water turn on.

He likes taking things at his own, very slow, pace. It's hard for me to not do things for him, but I am trying to learn patience that he will get things and understand things when he is ready to and that it is okay that he is slower.

Maylee (that's our baby girls name, right Jake?!) is now 23 weeks along and I love feeling her kick. I am sticking out quite a bit more this pregnancy, but everyone still says I look tiny. It feels amazing that we are going to have a girl. I thought that she was a boy at the beginning, but the further along I went, I felt like she was a girl. Jake and I decided to find out early while we were in Utah, and it was such a crazy feeling to find out that we were having a GIRL! I always told Jake that we were going to keep having kids until we had a girl. We are definitely not done after her though. Her expected day of arrival is May 28th. She and Marshall will be 2 years apart. We are excited to welcome her, and all of the cute girl clothes that come a long with her, into our family!

Oh! Did I mention that I think she is getting Marshall's cheeks?!

We are happy with the current stage of our lives. We have also made some new goals for our new and fresh start. They mainly have to do with being more consistent with our prayers and scripture study as a family. I cannot say that we have been perfect with it, but we are doing so much better and it makes such a difference in our day to day lives.

Here is to a happy and fresh new year!