Our little girl

I have been trying to figure out how to write this post for a while.  I keep going back and forth because I want this to be a happy post, but at the same time there is a lot that happened that I wanted to write about.  I have decided to just write 2 different posts.  This one is the happy post.

Last week our beautiful, wonderful little girl, Iella, was born!  I am so amazingly happy and all I want to do is hold her.  I ended up having to have her a little early and was induced at 36 weeks.  The morning of the induction I was so, so excited to be meeting our little girl.  I was also terrified that she would be sick because she was being born 4 weeks early.  I spend a lot of time in the days leading up to the induction reading online about what to expect with a 36 weeker.  I tried to prepare myself for whatever might happen, but I was still scared.

During the labor, soon after I got my epidural, Iella started going into distress.  In order to keep the epidural working evenly on both sides the nurse wanted me to lay on my back, but every time I did that Iella’s heart rate started dropping really low.  They would put me on my left side for a little while, let her recover, then try to switch me to my back or right side so the epidural would keep working.  At one point Kaanas left to get food from the cafeteria and Iella’s heart rate dropped and wasn’t coming back up.  I was so scared I started talking about a c-section because I didn’t want Iella to be hurt.  I called Kaanas and just as he got back Iella’s heart rate started coming back up and she started doing better.  At that point I didn’t care if the epidural stopped working on one side.  We had found a position that Iella liked and I wasn’t moving.  Luckily it didn’t get too bad and about 12 hours after we started the induction I was ready to start pushing.

When Iella was born was one of the most terrifying moments of my life.  She was born completely blue, not moving, and not crying.  I honestly thought she was going to die.  They put her on my stomach right away and let me hold her while they were cutting the cord.  As soon as that was done they took her to a corner of the room where they had some equipment and tried to get her breathing.  They ended up having to take her to the nursery and Kaanas went with them.  Before Iella was born we had agreed that if she had to be taken to the nursery Kaanas would go with her, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be watching him leave the room.  I was so scared and all I wanted was for Kaanas to hold me and help me feel better, but I also knew it was important for someone to be with Iella in case something happened.  The next couple of hours were the longest of my life.  I had to get stitched up, then I couldn’t go see Iella right away until I had recovered a little more.  Right as they were getting me into the wheelchair to go see her Kaanas came back in and the pediatrician came in after him.  They said that it looked like Iella was having seizures and they were preparing to transport her to a nearby children’s hospital.  They let me go spend about an hour in the nursery with her while they were waiting for the transport to get there, and that helped so much.  They warned me that seeing her might be scary because she was hooked up to a lot of stuff, but when I went in the only thing that mattered was that she was pink, moving, and making noises.  I didn’t care about anything that she was hooked up to because she no longer looked like she was dying.  During that time my mom arrived.  We weren’t planning on having her come up that night, but Kaanas was going with Iella to the children’s hospital and we decided that it would be best if my mom came to spend the night with me so I wasn’t alone.

They released me the next day as early as they could and my mom took me straight to the children’s hospital to see Iella.  It was actually a lot nicer than I thought it was going to be.  The NICU was an entire floor and each of the babies had their own room.  The room had a couch and a recliner so Kaanas and I were able to sleep there with Iella.  The other fantastic thing that happened was that as we were driving there Kaanas called and said that he was holding Iella!  I was so excited, especially since Kaanas said that as soon as I got there they were going to let me start doing skin to skin.  It was so wonderful getting to hold her, and everything just felt right with the world again.

We were in the hospital for a week with her.  It was so hard, but also so much better than it could have been.  After monitoring Iella for 24 hours they determined that she wasn’t having seizures, but she did have some very mild damage from lack of oxygen.  We don’t know exactly how that will effect her, the doctor said it is possible she won’t be effected at all because the brain damage is mild enough, but it is also possible that she might have some developmental delays.  The thing that really kept us in the hospital was breastfeeding.  It took a little while for Iella to learn how to do that, so for a while she was being fed through a feeding tube.

The hardest part about being in the hospital was being away from Mingli.  I knew he was safe because he was at home with my parents, but I wanted to be with him so bad.  Kaanas went home regularly to be with Mingli, and even spent some nights at home because Mingli didn’t want his daddy to leave, but I stayed at the hospital.  Since we were working on breastfeeding I didn’t want to mess things up by leaving.  Having one child at home and one in the hospital was like having my heart cut in half.  I had never felt so torn in my whole life because all I wanted was to be home with Mingli, and all I wanted was to be with Iella, holding her and making sure she was ok and felt loved.  Luckily the hospital we were at had playrooms and different things for children to do, so Mingli came up to visit a few times and we were able to have fun with him.

When Iella was exactly a week old she was finally discharged from the hospital.  It was so wonderful bringing her home.  My family is back together and it is amazing.  We have been home for almost a week now and are settling in.  Iella is doing great.  She is feeding and gaining weight, and you can’t even tell she was early or needed time in a NICU.  I love it when she snuggles with me, she loves to curl up into me and it is the sweetest thing.  She also smiles all the time.  Mingli loves his little sister and is fascinated by everything about her.  He keeps trying to do things like share his food with her or brush her hair.  I am working on showing him better ways of showing his affection, like blowing her kisses.  I was worried that he would be jealous, and he seemed to be the very first time he came to visit in the hospital, but now he gets so excited when he sees her and even comes to find her.

I love my new family so, so much.  Life just seems so wonderful right now.  I feel like this is how it is all supposed to be.

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Picking apples and raspberries

Today my family decided to all go to a local u-pick place and pick some apples and raspberries.  I though Mingli would enjoy being outside and possibly enjoy picking the fruit, but I had no idea how much fun he would have.  The best part for him was that we were allowed to eat as we picked.  Kaanas managed to get him to reluctantly try and apple, and then he wouldn’t let go of it.  He roamed over the hills in the orchard eating his apple and enjoying being outside.  But the best part was the raspberries.  We picked them and he would grab our hands and stuff our hands in his mouth.  He just could not get enough of those berries.  They also had a little store there that we stopped by and got some of their treats.  Mingli ran around the store while Kaanas followed after him to make sure he didn’t get into anything.  He had a lot of fun exploring the new place and seeing everything.  Mingli cried so hard when it was time to leave.  We all had a wonderful day, and it was so nice being outside.

Tot school- dogs and cars

I haven’t been able to do tot school for a while because of my health problems, but my 13 and 15 year old sisters have agreed to help me with it, so this morning we started again, but I didn’t get any pictures.  We used the book Go, Do. Go! as the theme today, which is one of Mingli’s favorite books.

We used this D is for dog coloring page first.  Mingli knows most of his uppercase letters, but none of his lowercase, so I thought coloring pages with both upper and lowercase letters might be a good way to connect them.  Mingli loves coloring, loves dogs, and loves letters, so I thought he would love this.  He did, for a few minutes, then he decided that he wanted to line the marker lids up instead.

Next we got out his cars and used these road shapes for Mingli to drive on.  We only used the circle, triangle, and square, because I was wanting to start off basic with shapes, but we have worked on shapes a couple of times now and I think he is ready to move on to more shapes.

When he started getting bored with his shapes we got out a piece of wood and made a ramp.  Mingli then rolled his cars and other objects down his ramp.  This lasted a while and he had a lot of fun before he moved on to other things.

I was sad that I didn’t really get to do tot school with him, just lay on the couch beside them and supervise, but I was really happy that we were able to start again.  Mingli loves it and seemed to have a lot of fun with the new activities.

Lots of health stuff

Life has been really hard the past few months.  It was actually really good that we moved in with my parents when we did, because if we had waited much longer I would have been unable to travel but I still would have needed the help.  Soon after we got here I started having dizziness and shortness of breath.  Those are typical during pregnancy, but they felt worse than they did with Mingli and it was to the point where I couldn’t do a lot of normal activities, like drive or walk through a grocery store just to get milk.  Then all of a sudden it got much worse.  In just one day it went from almost normal to me unable to even talk because it was too much.  My mom, who has 9 kids, insisted on taking me to the emergency room because it was so bad.  At the ER they did several tests, including EKGs and a CT but couldn’t find anything wrong, so they sent us home.  After that I was unable to even get up long enough to get myself a drink a water, and Kaanas would often help me walk to the bathroom because breathing was so difficult.  I was referred to a maternal fetal specialist, who actually only saw me for a couple of minutes when she cut our appointment short and sent me to the ER.  She said she was really worried about how much I was clearly struggling to breathe and I needed to go to the emergency room right away.  Of course the ER found nothing wrong, again, but I was referred to a cardiologist to make sure the pregnancy wasn’t causing problems with my heart.  The cardiologist cleared me last week, and the new theory is that it has to do with the respiratory center of my brain.  At this point, though, they have ruled out all the things they were worried about, and everything else they can think of is stuff that will go away after the pregnancy and they can’t do much about until then.  They are considering giving me steroids to help my breathing so I can function a little better, but we will see.  For now I am just glad that I am at my family’s house because I can’t take care of Mingli really at all.  I do have good days where I can breathe better and do some things, but most of the time I am confined to bed or my recliner all day.  It is nice being able to relax and know that Mingli is being taken care of, even if it is super hard not being able to do it myself.

A little in shock

Kaanas has been doing a lot of job interviewing over the past few days, having a few interviews a day.  Some of the jobs were not that great, like the warehouse job, some were ok, and a couple were great.  He went to one interview on Tuesday that we really have no idea how he got.  He applied for a call center job at the company and got called in for an interview, only they didn’t interview him for the call center job, they interviewed him for an upper management job, that would be making $85,000 a year after he finished his training.  We were both a little shocked that they did that interview, because he doesn’t have his degree yet and he doesn’t have the experience for that job, but he got a call back later that afternoon saying that he was one of their top 10 candidates and that they wanted him to come in for a second interview.  We were again shocked, but he went into the second interview.  It was actually at a Sam’s Club (the company finds clients who have products they want to sell, gets them made, and then sells them in stores).  A few hours later he got a call back saying he was now in their top 3 and they wanted him to come in for a 3rd and final interview.  That was yesterday morning, and yesterday afternoon he got a call back saying that he got the job.  We are a little in shock.  This had to have been God’s doing, because there is no other way this could have happened.  They had over 600 applicants, and out of those applicants they for some reason said, “let’s interview the guy who has no degree and no experience!”  He was told a few times that the other applicants were more qualified than he was, but somehow he still got the job.  He will start next week on his training.  He will start by selling products in stores, mainly Sam’s Club, and his pay will be mostly commission based, then when he learns that they will move him to an assistant manager and he will be making about $45,000 a year.  After he learns that they will move him to the position that he is actually training for and he will make a salary based on how many clients he takes on, but the low end is $85,000 a year, upper end is $125,000 a year.  They want him finished with his training and at the upper position in 6-9 months.  By the beginning of next year he will be making $85,000 a year.  We are amazed.  This is a huge blessing.

Little things

Mingli does lots of little things that I don’t want to put as a whole blog post, but I still want to share, so I am going to start collecting several and then putting them all in one post.

One morning Mingli dropped a pack of tortillas in my lap and said “cheese,” so we had cheese quesadillas for lunch. Mingli was so excited, they are one of his favorites. He is getting better and better at expressing what he is wanting.

One morning I brought him into our bed to cuddle for a few minutes while we were all waking up, which is what usually happens in the morning.  For a while Mingli had been responding with “love you” when I told him I loved him, but this morning as we were cuddling he spontaneously said “I love you.”  He said it to me, and then a few minutes later he climbed onto Kaanas’s chest and said it to him.  It was so cute.

One evening Mingli was playing with his Duplos in the living room and he threw one of them.  He looked at me and said “where Duplo go?”  That was his thing for the rest of the evening.  He wandered around the apartment for the rest of the evening saying that and bringing me all the Duplos he could find.

We left our vacuum in the corner of the living room one day and it was still plugged in.  Mingli was walking by it and he dropped one of his heavy toys, right onto the button that turns the vacuum on.  He had never seen the vacuum come on without mommy or daddy touching it and he completely freaked out.  He wouldn’t stop hyperventilating(seriously, he was almost having a panic attack) until we put the vacuum in the closet and let him shut the door.  I had never seen him so freaked out, and I felt really bad.  Since then we have made sure not to leave the vacuum where he can accidentally turn it on, although he pretty much stays away from it.

My brother went out and got us Dairy Queen one night and I shared my blizzard with Mingli.  I took a bite and then I gave him a bite(though much smaller because I didn’t want him eating too much).  After a while of this Mingli stopped, pointed to me, and said “you,” then he pointed to himself and said “me.”  It was so cute, first because he was talking about us sharing the ice cream, and second because he has never used pronouns before and was able to get them correct his first time using them.

I got up with Mingli one morning and as we were going out into the hall we heard scratching coming from the laundry room.  Mingli’s eyes got really big and he pointed and said “what’s that?”  Just then my dad came out of his bedroom and Mingli started pointing and asking my dad “what’s that? what’s that?”  Dad said it was a door, but I told him Mingli meant the sound from behind the door.  Dad opened it and the dog ran out.  Mingli was a bit amazed.  That is also the first time he has ever asked a “what” question.

Moving and pregnancy

So we have moved and are working on getting all settled in at my parents house.  There is still a lot of unpacking to do, mainly because I can’t do to much or I get so tired.  Things are getting a lot easier now that we are here.  I am able to rest a lot more and my siblings and parents help with Mingli.  I am able to sit in my rocking chair crocheting for a good part of the day while Mingli plays with his toys on the floor without having to worry about cooking, cleaning, or doing anything else tiring.  Kaanas is also still home all day since he is looking for a job.  We are hoping that he is able to get a job soon, but he should, since he has put in a couple dozen applications this week.  There are still many things we are trying to work out, but Mingli is loving the extra attention and getting more time to rest is really helping me, which is good since things with the pregnancy are getting worse.  We have found a chiropractor here and she is really helping with my hips and back, but other things are now getting worse.  I am getting really dizzy a lot, to the point where I feel like I am going to pass out, and if I do anything I get really exhausted and out of breath.  Just taking a shower gets me so tired and out of breath that I need to lay down.  I don’t have an OB here yet, so I was having trouble getting into a doctor, so we finally decided to go to an urgent care place because even when I was laying down I would feel like I was going to pass out.  The urgent care told us that they couldn’t do the tests I needed so they sent me to the ER, which I really didn’t want.  They ran a bunch of tests and the only thing that came up was my blood pressure is low, but not low enough for them to need to do anything about.  They basically told me that my body doesn’t like being pregnant and I should rest as much as possible..  At least they did an ultrasound and I was able to see that the baby was ok.  

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