Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mia Michelle Woodmansee

I haven't blogged in... I dunno- ages, but I was just sitting in my baby girl's room, rocking her to sleep and realized that she is almost 2 weeks old and I don't ever want to forget the beautiful experience of bringing her into this world. So, here I am typing up her birth story for myself and for her. This is a long story, full of details. For me, and for her, like I said. So read or don't read, but here it is. 

On Tuesday, September 9th, I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I seriously questioned whether or not my body would ever allow this baby to come out. I was quite uncomfortable and knew that my baby was going to be a big one. At 8 AM, Michael reached for my hands to help me up off of the couch to give him a hug and kiss goodbye for work. As I tried to stand, I had a sharp pain and sat right back down. We both kind of thought, "ooo... what if?!". But I just knew it was too good to be true. Michael went to work and the pain came every 20 minutes. I was in serious denial. I took a hot shower, and took Harlow out on a walk and these cramps were not going away. I called my mom and told her something may be going on, but I was probably just wishing. I called Anessa and she wasn't working so she came over to keep me company. The pain was getting stronger, but I still thought it would go away. So, we went for another walk. This time, the cramps, which Anessa was slowly convincing me were contractions, sped right up the minute we started walking. They were very consistently 2 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds. I was able to walk through them, but they were stronger than before. I was text Michael updates very frequently all day. 

We came home, Anessa had to go, I put Harlow down for a nap and thought I'd try to rest too. But, then I had 2 very painful contractions in a row and I got nervous. I was home alone! Harlow was sleeping! Is this real life?! Am I in labor?! I called my mom and texted Michael. My mom came over and Michael said he was on his way. This was about 2:00 PM. The contractions kept coming, about 8-10 minutes apart. I could talk through them, but they definitely did not feel good. My mom went home around 4 or so and Anessa came over to bring me a smoothie. Harlow woke up and I decided to go on another walk. We all went. These contractions were no joke. 2 minutes apart and 60-90 seconds long. I couldn't walk through these. OUCH! We walked for about 30 minutes. I knew go time was coming. Anessa was an angel and took Harlow to play with her friends at Leia's house. Michael and I came home. We decided to time the contractions for an hour and see where we were at. An hour later they were 5-8 minutes apart, 90 sec long, and OW. I called my mom: "Mom, I don't know when to go to the hospital". She said: "well, based on the sound of your voice, now". So, Michael gave me a blessing, and we left for the hospital. HOLY SMOKES! I was so excited! And so nervous! What if they send me home? I mean, this hurts, this has to be the real thing. We're going to have our baby! FINALLY! Anessa would be staying the night with Harlow at home, and mom would be at the ready to come to the hospital whenever we called her. We felt so very grateful to know that our girl was in good hands and that we had a strong support system with us all the way. 

We got to the hospital about 7 PM. They checked me and I was 4 cm dilated. She told me they'd let me walk around for an hour and see if I progressed, if I did, they'd check me in. All I could think about is going home. I knew that if I went home, I'd just be back a few hours later, so I reallllllly wanted to progress. I walked around the hospital room for an hour and the contractions were very painful. The nurse came back at 8 PM, I was at a 5. Yayy! I get to stay! At this point they put the monitors on my belly to track my contractions and keep an eye on baby's heart beat. The monitors are cordless so I was free to move around, so that was awesome. My nurse was Kathleen and she was an angel. She really left us alone for the most part, but whenever she did come in, she was so encouraging. She kept telling me how awesome I was doing and how she could tell I was getting close and I was so strong, etc etc. She was wonderful. I walked around the room, I sat on the ball for a good while, and then I got in the Jacuzzi tub. That was excellent! The contractions are painful no matter where you are, but at least when I was in there, I was able to totally relax between contractions. Around 10:30 PM the contractions started getting VERY painful and close together. I was doing ok, but I knew I didn't want to deal with them once they were one on top of another without a break, so I asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist came in and he and my nurse were so comforting and supportive. I had my epidural in by 11:30 and by that time I was so glad I got it because it was getting super painful. After my epidural was in, the nurse checked me. I was at 8 cm. Kathleen had to go home at this point, and my new nurse Doreen came. Oh how I loved her too. She couldn't believe it was at an 8 and went to call the Dr and said I should call my mom if I wanted her there for the birth. 

My doctor, Dr. Monji, was on call at Riverbend hospital and I was delivering at McKenzie-Willamette. I knew she was leaving for a trip the next day and wanted her to at least know I was having my baby even if she couldn't deliver. I asked that they notify her. They came back and told me she'd be right over and that she wanted to deliver for us. I was so happy about this!

Mom showed up rather quickly, they checked me again around 12:30 and I was complete, 10 cm. I wasn't even panicked. Everyone was so calm. My nurse was so cool about it. Just like, ok, let's get the dr and push. Just so calm and quite and it was so great. Dr Monji came in and just sat right on my bed with me and asked me to push. I did a couple of times and they discovered the baby was facing the wrong way. They just told me to be patient, she would move. I so appreciated this. They didn't press on my belly and try to force her to move, they just rolled me on my side and said we would wait for her to move. Probably a half hour later, they checked again and baby girl was ready to go. I started pushing again at 1:30 AM. Dr Monji is the bomb. Doreen is the bomb. Michael and my mom are the bomb. The whole experience was beautiful. It was very quite. I could feel when to push and Dr. Monji would guide me through it. My nurse and Michael were full of encouragement. I love watching Michael. He was so excited and so proud of me and you could see how amazed he was by the whole thing. Pushing her head out was painful, and I expected that to be the worst part, but DANG- the rest of her body hurt! The Dr said she had really broad shoulders. Just the way the whole thing went down and they way they helped her out was done so well and while I pushed and thought my head was going to explode, I felt so calm. 

Mia was born at 1:45 AM on Wednesday, September 10. They gave her right to me and didn't take her away for a long time. That was the best. I kept expecting them to grab her and clean her and weigh her, etc, but they didn't! They just let me have her for as long as I wanted. Eventually, I was ready for her to have a bath and be weighed. 9 lbs 2 oz and 21 1/4 inches long! Whoa baby! I knew she was going to be big! I knew my belly felt so heavy for a reason! My epidural wore off pretty much immediately. Mia was probably only 30 minutes old and I was up and in the shower. My wonderful nurse brought be a sandwich and then I fed my baby for the 1st time. Grandma was on picture duty and did an excellent job. There's just something about having my mom in the room with me when I'm doing the hardest thing I've ever done. It gives me so much comfort and she always knows just what to say. 

I loved my experience at McKenzie-Willamette. Every nurse I had was so kind. In the following 2 days, they really left us alone. They came in to check on baby and I every once in a while, but other than that, it was just a nice place for us to be together. I just felt like the whole thing was relaxed and they wanted us to do what was comfortable for us. I couldn't stop being amazed at the fact that these people bring babies into the world on a daily basis. That is what they do. They care for these precious newborns. They make sure that the mom's and babies are safe and healthy. I am so forever grateful to them. I am so thankful that I live in a time where we are blessed with medical advancements that keep our babies safe and keep us mom's comfortable. It's miraculous to me. I mean, really. I have never been more sure of a Heavenly Father than I am after I give birth. The creation of life, my body's ability to make a baby, the technologies that give us peace of mind and help us be healthy, and mostly, the intense love that I feel for this child, all of it is blessings from God. All of it. When I look at Mia and think of the overwhelming love I have for her, I'm reminded of the love that Heavenly Father has for me and it's mind-boggling. 

That was probably all kind of scatter-brained and pieced together, but that's the gist of what happened and I will always remember it with happiness. When we pulled away from the hospital, all I could think about is how I can't wait to do it again. Having a baby is the most rewarding, amazing thing and I don't think I'll ever want to be done. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Double Happy Post

This is kind of a 2 in 1 post, because there are 2 things I want to post about. We're continuing to have a lot of happy times daily, but these 2 events have been especially happy. Here we go.

 Emily and Steve invited us to spend Christmas with them and it was the best! Christmas is a time that you want to be with people you love, be comfortable, laugh, and have fun. We had all of that covered and beyond! We had such a wonderful time. Christmas is a million times more fun with young kids around! I could have watched Easton and Carly open presents all day long! And, even though Harlow and Ivy don't get it, they were adorable as always. They made eating wrapping paper look cute. 
 Michael and I are just in LOVE with Carly. She is so cute, so fun, so hilarious, so everything that we hope our little girls are. We talk about her all the time and we just love every minute we get to play with her. Watching her play kitchen while dressed in her princess dress ups was my favorite sight of the whole trip. She is why I want all girls.
 My sweet Ivy was sick while we were there. Even still, she proved that she is the most perfect baby. She was never grumpy! I LOVE watching these cousins together at every stage. It's going to be so fun throughout their whole lives.

My favorite picture of the trip. LOOK AT THAT BEAUTY!
 Easton might was well go off to college he has grown up so much! He is such a sweet boy. I adore him. I hope that he enjoys Michael and I this much in the years to come because he is so special to us. We played a lot of Sorry and laser tag, we watched good movies, we shopped, we chatted and laughed and it was just everything a Christmas vacation should be. I am so thankful for that time with the Rogers family before we move. We love you guys!

This is one of the times that we are SO thankful we live in Orem, Utah. Mom and Dad had to come here to report to the MTC, so they came early to spend some time with us. It was WONDERFUL! Harlow was adorable with them. I know she remembers them from this summer. I know it. Just smiles at the sound of their voices. It's so sweet. It was so nice to spend this time together and talk about the exciting year and a half they have ahead. 

 Taking them to the MTC was bitter/sweet...with emphasis on the sweet. It truly was a happy occasion! There were tears, but not nearly as much as you'd expect. We were choked up, but it felt like tears of joy! It was very special to be able to see them off, again, so thankful that we live here. I just feel so proud and excited about their mission. My parents are going to be a huge blessing to Vanuatu, I know it. And I know that their lives will be blessed. I love reading my grandparents journals about their missions, and now my parents get to make their own memories and have their own experiences. It's amazing. The faith and courage that they have shown while preparing for their mission has been just amazing to see. It's so humbling to see how willing they are to drop everything and go serve the Lord. I miss them already. It hasn't really sunk in. But we will be in touch frequently and I am so happy that they're off to do the work they were meant to do.
 Ta Ta, Elder and Sister Jolley! WE LOVE YOU!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Picture Catch Up

I really have no idea why I've been away from my blog for so long! It's nonsense! I am going to do better. I really do enjoy blogging. I have no idea why I've been slacking. So anyway, I am just loving loving loving the Christmas season. One of the biggest reasons is because MICHAEL IS DONE WITH FINALS! Just me, Michael, and Harlow spending time together for the next 3 weeks. Bliss. I have all kinds of fun stuff in mind for us to do while Daddy is home. And then... 1. MORE. SEMESTER. :)

So, since I've been away, we've been up to a lot of fun stuff!  We were the Flintstones for Halloween, Steph and I went to be in the studio audience of our morning show in SLC, we went to Colorado for Brookie Bear's wedding, we road tripped with Lindsey, Harlow learned to crawl, we had our annual white elephant party, we've enjoyed every day of playing with Harlow, and Michael and I have made some new goals involving scripture study and prayer and I can say with 100% surety that it has improved our lives.

Here is a bunch of pictures to give you an idea of our last couple of months. And I'll be back soon!

 Harlow and a few of her girlfriends, Evelyn and Ellie, at story time at the library.

 Brooke's family has a massive Nerts tournament every Thanksgiving and guess who won? Yep, Lindsey and I! I don't think we'll be invited back for any more Thanksgivings. 

 Sure thankful for these girls. We have so much fun when we get together :)

 4 corners!

I just took this tonight before bed. She's climbing up on the couches now. Love that face. And those teeth!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Believe

On Sunday mornings, there is a show on BYU TV called "I Believe". Michael and I watch it while we eat breakfast and get ready. I really enjoy it. At first glance, it looks boring. Just a man interviewing another person, every Sunday. But I've learned so much. Let me explain.

This show is an effort for all faiths to understand each other. Each week, the host interviews a leader of a different religion. It's really wonderful. The interviews are in no way mean or tricky. He is not at all trying to catch them in their words. He is a very kind man just searching for understanding. Something I have learned is that every faith has sacred rituals. Every faith has a core belief in kindness to mankind. Every faith is passionate about their beliefs. Every faith does good works.

So, this has had me thinking. Why, oh WHY can't that be enough for everyone? My faith is important to me. And your faith is important to you. Making negative and disrespectful comments about each others beliefs accomplishes zero good. If it offends one when people make rude and ignorant comments about their faith, then isn't it incredibly hypocritical to make rude and ignorant comments about the others faith? Why can someone make a rude joke about a Mormon and it's considered funny. But if someone makes a joke about Jews or Muslims, they're intolerant?  If we all, for the most part, believe in good works and helping our fellow man, then why do those beliefs so quickly fly out the window when someone engages in their sacred rituals?

For example, I was watching one of these episodes on Hinduism last Sunday. Their rituals are completely foreign to me. But what I was watching was beautiful. They were so passionate about their services and wedding ceremonies. I would never even THINK of disrespecting or degrading that, because I can relate to being so passionate about something so special to me. Yet there are some who are so quick to make fun of or question these things. I'm not perfect. We've all at one time or another made fun of something that's important to another. It's just getting so much worse I feel. Nothing is off limits. And it's heart breaking.

So, this show about religion, got me thinking about the political environment. I'm so sick of it. We live in a free country where we are free to think and feel and say whatever we want at that is a huge blessing. But, why must we use that freedom to bring others down? I am 100% for personal opinions. I have strong opinions of my own. And I think it's A-OK to disagree.  But, I by NO MEANS think it is appropriate to bully others in order to make your case. No matter your race, religion, economical background, ethnicity, it's NEVER ok to make fun of someone elses. I'm so sick of seeing people all over facebook talking about "those stupid liberals" or "those stupid conservatives". THESE PEOPLE HAVE FEELINGS. Just because they believe differently from you, it does not mean they are bad or that they should have to explain themselves. I truly pray that we can remember to be kind to one another. I feel deeply and strongly about my political and religious views. And I feel so hurt when they are mocked. So let's stop it. Stop mocking each other. Everyone's views are important. Hiding behind a computer and typing cruel things about people (candidates included) does not make a person any bigger. Quite the opposite actually, it makes a person a coward.

There's my vent that's been building up in me over the past year. Again, of course I've said things I regret and judged people that I regret judging. But, this is my pledge to do better. What our country and our religious congregations need are kind people willing to put their opinions aside and work together. So, I'm going to try harder.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Beautiful Life

(You'll have to click on the picture to make it bigger. I can't make it any bigger because of my blog layout. I don't have any pictures of her and I when I was younger because that was before the digital age.)

My sweet Grandma Williams (my mom's mom), passed away last night. I feel such a feeling of happiness for her. She has been without my Grandpa since I was born... that's 25 years without her husband. I am so happy they can be together again and she must be filled with so much joy right now. What a blessing! I'm so thankful for the plan of salvation.

Though I am so happy that she is where she belongs, those of us here on earth are sad to lose her. She was one of those people who took things as they came, told it like it was, and made the VERY best of her life for almost 95 years. She just had a way of making things seem good. Nothing was ever that bad.  I think that must be because of how hard she worked her whole life, the loss she had experienced in her life, and the class she handled everything with. I never tired of hearing her talk about raising her kids and owning the flower shop and her mission, etc. It's such a beautiful thing when a person is able to live such a fulfilling life and then move on in peace. I will miss her humor and her sweetness dearly, but I am so happy for her.

Some of my favorite memories of my grandma are:

- Of course, eating her delightful cinnamon rolls! Mom would always tell us not to ask her to make them because she was getting too old and tired... but grandma always wanted to make them for us every time she visited and we milked that for all it was worth.
- One time she sat outside with my neighborhood friends and I and helped us make prank phone calls when we were was truly hilarious!
- She always wore a wig when I was younger. I remember seeing her take her wig off before bed and thinking that was the weirdest thing I'd ever seen in my life! I loved when she got older and embraced her beautiful white hair and had it done up every time we'd come to visit :)
- Many games of checkers. That woman did not mess around with her checkers. Hahaha! She may have used some strong words during a game or two... all in good grandma humor of course!
- She taught me how to play Flinch. A card game similar to Skipbo.
- Her and Grandpa owned the coolest/most unique house in existence, I'm certain.
- She always spoke her mind which provided a lot of laughs. My most recent experience with this was when I told her I named my daughter Harlow. She said she thought that would sound better if it started with a "C"...Carlow?? Sorry Grandma. Lol!
- She always sent birthday and Christmas cards. Always. She never forgot me. She has like a billion grand, great grand, and great-great grandchildren combined and yet, she always remembered me, and all of us.
- The woman was sharp as a tack to the very end. She could recall distant memories and tell me things I never got to know about my grandpa. She remembered details of my mom's life and I always loved hearing those things.
-I love reading her history and stories from her mission. She was such a faithful woman. Serving the Lord her whole life.

Those are just the first things that come to mind when I think of Grandma Williams. I truly feel so very blessed to be a part of her posterity.One of the many blessings during my grandma's last couple of days was that I was able to spend some time with her last week, along with my sister and my parents. I'll post on that great trip later :) She was a part in building a beautiful family and left quite a legacy. Love you, Grandma.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Do you want to share a peeve?

When there is something that bugs my parents, they say: "do you want to share a peeve?" I totally love it. Every once in a while, you need to share your pet peeves. So, here I go. I'm sure my husband is sick of hearing about them. And for some reason, I think typing them for the world to hear will make me feel better :)

1) LOUD CARS! We live right on the corner of a busy stop sign intersection. And like 3 houses down from the fire station. Worst. To all of you who rev your engines, peel out, drive RIDICULOUSLY noisy trucks or motorcycles, or run the stop sign and get in crashes...STOP IT! You're driving me crazy. The garbage trucks are crazy loud too, but I appreciate their service. And Harlow is terrified of the fire trucks and screams every time their sirens go off, but I also am thankful for their service, so that is not included in my pet peeve. I will just never buy a home next to a fire station.

2) UNKIND POLITICAL COMMENTS. I am totally cool with political opinions of course. I'm so thankful that we live in a free country where we can believe whatever we want. But I cannot STAND these comments "republicans are such IDIOTS" or "liberals are all morons" or worse. My goodness people, what happened to respecting each other? These "republicans" or "democrats" are PEOPLE. Not just a group of no named nothings. They are people with feelings and calling names isn't cool. Not even when it's in a political environment. Obviously we don't have to agree, but we really should stop acting like name-calling children and act like grown ups who know how to be kind to each other.

3) LOUD SWALLOWING. If you swallow loud enough that it can be heard across the room over the TV or other noises...remind me to be chewing something crunchy in your presence so the noise is drowned out.

4) UTAH ACCENTS. It is not dill, it's deal. It is not fumily, it is family. It is not sell, it's sale. Phewph, feels good to finally get that one out.

5) DISHWASHER SOAP DISPENSER. Mine doesn't open. My gosh. It drives me INSANE. Sometimes the soap comes out and cleans my dishes, and sometimes it doesn't. So, I have to wait to the end and see if the soap came out, and if it didn't, I have to run it again. Bahh it seriously sets me ON FIRE when it doesn't work!

That just felt wonderful. Now you all know. Those are the things that get under my skin. And I seriously think I'm going to sleep more soundly tonight now that I've voiced those things :)

In other news, things continue to go well for us here, so I truly have nothing to complain about. My mom and Dad and sister, Emily and her kids are coming to visit this week and I CANNOT WAIT A SINGLE BIT! More on that later!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

6 Months Old and other news

Harlow is 6 months old! Lately, when I look at her, I just have flashbacks of my newborn baby snuggling me. When in reality, she is rolling all over the floor, sitting up, playing in her exersaucer, flailing all over the place, jabbering up a storm, and eating big girl food. Time has never moved faster. She is so much fun! She has her happy days and her cranky days, but she is truly a happy girl the majority of the time. She learns so much every day. Being her mom is so fulfilling and I love it so much.

I threw a baby shower for Lauren! She is due on October 3rd and I am so over-the-moon ELATED for her and Josh! They deserve the joy of being parents soooo much and they are going to be so wonderful and I love seeing her so pregnant. Isn't she beautiful?! I just can't wait to meet the sweet babe!

In other news, when we got back to Utah, it was just us and the Lances living her at the 4-Plex. It was AWESOME! I live in the top right apartment, and Steph lives in the bottom left. So, we don't share any walls. Since we have babies, that is so nice, so we don't have to worry about waking up any neighbors when our babies cry. WELL, that didn't last long. Two college boys moved in downstairs. All of my complaints are dumb. They're not even bad neighbors. I was just hoping to not have to share walls. The door slamming, cursing, full parking lot, and worry that Harlow is keeping them up at night is just annoying. Oh how I look forward to owning a home. 

And in THE BEST NEWS, my parents received their mission call!!! They will be serving in Port Vila, Vanuatu. Never heard of it? That's because it's just a small island of paradise located west of Fiji. They've had the call for a couple of weeks now and I can't keep quiet anymore! I'm so excited I have to shout it to the world!(I hope it's ok that I share this, mom!) I am so, very proud of my parents. They are sacrificing money, time with family, their home, and so much more to go and serve the Lord. I can't think of 2 more faithful servants. They are both such hard workers and so full of love, that I feel they are going to be Heavenly Father's hands in answering a lot of prayers over there. I cannot wait for the adventure to start for them and to hear all of the updates! And also, I am now saving every penny because seriously... have you seen this place??

Someday... SOMEDAY...