Sunday, July 25, 2010

20 Weeks

Only 2 weeks late!

The Baby's Big 20 week Appointment

Although we already had the great news that the baby did not have anencephaly we had to wait until our big 20 week ultrasound to find out if everything else was okay. 
Which it is - YEAH!!
So the big news from the appointment...

Jon and I are having a little...! 
Yeah, that's it.  We still don't want to know the sex.  Even though we didn't want to know, it didn't stop Jon  from trying to peak during the ultrasound.  As we're walking out of the appointment he says 
"So, I think I saw some franks and beans... well other times it looked like a giant vulva.  I think we're either having a boy or a girl." 

Wheh!!!  Good news!  :o) 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


July 4th Weekend

The definition of summer in Colorado (okay well I guess Utah and Wyoming too) for Jon and I is camping and climbing as much as possible.  So we were so excited to head out once again for another trip.  This weekend we headed up to Wyoming with the CP's and had such a great time. 

Vedauwoo was beautiful and considering we were out during one of the busiest camping weekends of the year we hardly had any neighbors at all.  We did however have a slew of cows come and visit our campsite which made for some unusual wake up calls.  

One of Jon's all time favorite things is to teach people how to rock climb.  Well that's exactly what he was able to do this weekend.  We would have gone out all three days if the weather would have cooperated but it didn't and it gave us some time to relax and hang out around the campsite and do another one of Jon's favorite things...

All in all I'd say we had a pretty magnificent weekend.

To see and read more about the climbing aspects of our weekend check out Renee and Ale's blog.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


June 16th - 20th 2010

Moab... Utah's red sand Sahara Desert.  Red sand and spires shooting into the sky as far as you can see.  The only way you'll find shade is by standing in the shadow of the spires because their is no vegetation of any kind...

Well that's what I was expecting so when I saw this...

I was a little disappointed.
Now don't get me wrong Moab was beautiful and awesome, just not what I was expecting. 

We went with the Hullabaloos and it was so much fun.  There was plenty of good food, lizard catching,
and at least one little adventure everyday. 

Delicate Arch

White Rim Overlook

Home Sweet Home
(aka Our Campsite)

I can definitely see why this is one of Jon's favorite places on earth.
I'm so glad I FINALY got the chance to share it with him.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pearce's B-Day...Part III

Pearce Wynston

July 13, 2009
1:26 – 1:37 a.m.
1 lb 5.4 oz
Methodist Willowbrook Hospital
Houston, TX

After Jon and I had some time with Pearce the nurse went out in the waiting room to get our parents and the nilmdts photographers. Hugs and tears were shared all around and Pearce was quickly passed from one anxious grandparent to the next. After about an hour the nurses and doctor kicked everyone out but Jon, Pearce, and one photographer.

(Pearce with Oma)
(Pearce with M&M) 
(Pearce with Grandmommy)

Jon was able to grab a few minutes of rest before they started working on me again. Our awesome nurse started getting everything prepped and against her strict instructions I was still attempting to assist her in moving my 2,000,000 pound lower half around. Well I guess my body had just the right amount of time for the drug to wear off because out of the blue when I was trying to assist her in lifting my leg my reflexes shot to life causing my foot to fly up and smack her across the face – and hard – so hard in fact that I left a foot print on her cheek. My hands flew to my mouth as apologies were flying out, I felt so bad. The nurse didn’t miss a beat; she raised her fist and shook it right in my direction and said “Girl, if I didn’t like you so much I’d take you out back and finish this. Now stop trying to help me move your legs.” I bashfully apologized a few more times and then razzed her that she was just lucky I was half paralyzed.

 She finally finished getting me prepped and my legs in the stirrups when I noticed the doctor was putting on a head to toe outfit, including booties and a splash shield. I teased her saying “You’re not going to climb in there are you?” she responded “It’s going to feel like it.” Jon laughed from his chair in the corner while I lay there wishing I hadn’t said anything. The doctor then explained that because Pearce was so early and small that when he came out the placenta didn’t dislodge like it normally does. So she was going to try and do it by hand. I began to appreciate my decision to get the epidural a little bit more when she was explaining what she was going to do.

The doctor took a step forward, staring at my nether region, and began shouting at the nurse “Stool, Stool!” I instantly sat up in the bed and said “Are you kidding me, I’m pooping right now – Man I really can’t feel a thing”. Everyone in the room, but me, nearly fell to the floor they were laughing so hard and the doctor finally said “No you’re not pooping! Should I have said, something to sit on something to sit on?” Shoot, once again my obsession with my bodily functions struck! Now everyone, including me, was rolling with laughter. After we all settled down, she got back to work.

This next part will be better described by Jon – so here he is to tell this part of the tale.

Well, the doctor sure did climb in there! I don't think you want all of the grisly details, so I'll just paraphrase. Imagine a melon baller the size of a shovel working on a grape.....Charmy thought it felt good. I could make a penis reference, but I will refrain!

Nevertheless, the wrestling match lasted longer than looked comfortable, and ultimately the doc won. It wasn't a clean victory, more akin to gladiatorial battle at the Roman Colosseum, but at least everything was sterile and dust free. Oh yeah, no swords were used, only the melon baller hand of the doctor.

Charmy, you should have been grateful that it was the arm of a woman. I think the smaller the better in this instance!

I don’t know if I would have told it that way but I gave him the reins so there it is. :o)

Anyway, once they were done and they had me cleaned up and changed all the grandparents came back in. While they were waiting one of them found the hospital Chaplin who came in and prayed over Pearce and said some beautiful things to our family. We continued to talk, laugh, hug, and cry until early morning when we decided it was time to say goodbye to Pearce. We all gave him one last snuggle and said one last prayer and sent him on his way. It was so wonderful to have those few hours to see his tiny hands and feet, to hold him close and whisper in his ear even though he was already with his Heavenly Father.

It definitely wasn't what we had planned, but like I said before it was His plan and it was perfect. 

We would like to give a big thank you to all of the wonderful staff at The Methodist Willowbrook Hospital in Houston Texas. Thank you for making this very difficult time a time where our family could come together and rejoice in the life of our son, our Stone of Joy! Your care and compassion will never be forgotten.

Jon & Charmian

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pearce's B-Day...Part II

They finally moved us to our own room where 3 nurses and 1 anesthesiologist continued to use me as a living, breathing pin cushion. I did my very best not to punch anyone even when they poked and prodded my feet trying to find a good vein. Oh yeah, the foot was Jon's idea. I think his exact words were, "She's a dancer and has huge veins on her feet. You should be able to find a vein there!" Thanks Honey!

Part of the issue they were having was that I was extremely dehydrated so my veins were collapsing. Being so dehydrated could have been part of the cause of the pre-term labor. After too many attempts, too many puncture wounds and too many failures , the anesthesiologist performed an arterial to start my IV. Finally success!

Once the drip was running they put in my epidural. Unfortunately the epidural was a little too effective and I was paralyzed from the nipples down. I have always wanted to have a "sans drug" delivery but in this case the epidural was supposed to accomplish two things: 1) slow down my labor so the moms would have time to make it to Houston, and 2) eliminate the trauma of delivery to make things easy on me and also to have no pain associated with an already painful situation.  Two strange side effects of my paralysis were a new obsession with my bodily functions (yes I would drink water and wonder how long before it would run out into the catheter bag) and a fear that my 2,000,000 pound legs would pull me off the bed and onto the floor.  It thoroughly amused the nurses to see Jon continually tuck and re-tuck my legs when they would rotate from parallel to turned out hour after hour.

The moms finally landed and my brother was able to pick them up and bring them to the hospital. At this point I had been in the hospital for 7 hours and had progressed an astounding half cm! After not progressing at all I shot from 4cms to 8cms in about 45 minutes. I think I was waiting for the moms to get there before I would relax into labor.  Of course those 45 minutes were while Jon was running home to get our other car for the moms and to pick up anything we may need/want for our hospital stay. Jon was only a block from the house when I called to tell him and Oma (Jon's mom) how quickly I was progressing. Oma nearly ripped the steering wheel out of his hands to get him turned around and headed back my way.

When he finally did make it back he came in and gave me a kiss.  As he was moving past my bedside we heard a splash and I screeched "Did you just spill my pee bag?"  The mom's instantly crouched down to look at the floor but no pee was to be found.  Jon and all of his great wisdom said "I think that was your water breaking.".  Sure enough he was right.  The nurses quickly came in and changed my sheets and after they were finished they decided to see how I was progressing. 

As soon as the nurse lifted the blankets she yelled "Everyone out, everyone out now!"  I looked at her and asked if everything was okay and she whispered "Pearce is here!"  I was the one yelling now "Everyone get out now!"  The mom's left the room leaving only Jon, the nurse and me.

 At this point, no doctor was yet in the room.  Our nurse was a champ, she finished delivering Pearce.  All Jon and I wanted was time with our son. I was trying so hard to see Pearce but the nurse kept pushing me back because when I tried to sit up I was rolling forward almost on top of him.  I asked if he made it and the nurse said, "no I'm sorry he didn't".  My heart shattered.  The nurse no longer had to force me, I lay back in the bed and began to cry. 

When I finally leaned back it gave Jon a clear view of Pearce and that's when he saw it.  Pearce's strong little heart, the one that we were able to see so early in the pregnancy, was pounding through his chest showing his Daddy that he was still with us.  Jon said to the nurse "I think he's alive"  She told us she was sorry but no he hadn't made it, but Jon insisted saying "No, look his heart is beating!"  She got out her stethoscope and said "Get me the clamps now, he's still alive."  The assistant ran over with the clamps and he was finally separated from me so I could see and hold him. 

We were told that Pearce most likely wouldn't make it to term but if he did he probably wouldn't be able to make it through delivery.  The doctors also told us that if he was born alive he probably wouldn't be able hear or see.  All Jon and I wanted was time with our boy, all we prayed for was 5 minutes.  Well Pearce had other plans he came early and because he was so early he was tiny and was able to make it through delivery without any force or strain. 

He didn't just make it through delivery he gave us 11 minutes here on earth.  When I was finally able to hold him I whispered in his ear "Pearce, Mommy loves you" and then this little boy who wasn't supposed to be able to hear opened his eyes.  I brushed his cheek and gave him a kiss and he looked up into my face. 

What a gift. 
What an angel!

Happy Birthday Pearce,

Mommy and Daddy love you!!

A special thank you to our nilmdts photographer.  Thank you for documenting our sons life.

Pearce's B-Day...Part I

It’s amazing how sometimes the emotions associated with the loss of a loved one can slowly sneak up on you while other times it hits you like a 2 x 4 across the back of your head.

I’m missing my boy a lot lately, that’s to be expected I guess because one year ago today I was in labor with him. Pearce, my Stone of Joy, made his grand debut at only 27 weeks. Way too early if you ask me but he came in his own time and thank God he did.

Jon and I have a funny way of moving through life. We plan, life happens, and very seldom do the two things line up the way we thought they should.

So the plan:
1. Drive to CO mid-July (Pearce was due in October) to make sure Pearce is born in Colorado with the amazing doctor that our friend Renee introduced us to.
2. Work from CO remotely until Pearce comes.
3. Have baby
4. Return to TX

What life brought:
It was going to be a beautiful day in Galveston (which if you’ve ever been in South Texas in July you already know how miraculous this story is) so myself, Jon, and our friend Y-at decided to head to the beach. We found a beautiful spot and started the normal cycle of cooling off in the water and warming up on the beach.

I was feeling a little off but didn’t think anything of it. After a fun and pretty uneventful day I let the boys know that I was starving and they needed to feed me STAT! So we made our way to Papasito’s for some delicious fajitas and margaritas.  Okay, I only had a bean burrito and Shirley Temple but still it was delicious! We finally got in, placed our order, and began to eat but I could hardly get anything down, I was still feeling off. After playing with my food for a while we finally finished our meal and called it a night. I slept just fine but I woke up still feeling a bit off with a mild bellyache. Jon of course told me to call the doctor right away but I assured him that I was just having Braxton Hicks contractions.  Jon with his unbelievable Googling abilities looked up how to get rid of Braxton Hicks contractions. We spent the next few hours following Google to a tee:
Drink plenty of water – check
Walk around – check
Lay down – check
Take a shower – check

Even with all of my efforts my off-ness and bellyache continued. Jon finally put his foot down and made me call the doctor. They of course told me to go into the hospital right away.

There was a really nice hospital just down the road from us so we headed that way. We walked in and asked for Maternity.  They said that they didn't have a maternity ward and to go to another hospital in the area (now what kind of hospital sends away a lady in pre-term labor – well I guess this one does – and it eventually turned out that we were glad they did). The hospital they referred us to was built in the 70’s and I’m not sure they’ve replaced the carpet since the place was built, yeah that’s right a hospital with carpet EEEWWW! Well Jon refused to take me there – this was one of those times I was so glad he was my husband. Instead of the Dirty Shag Carpet Hospital he took me to The Methodist Hospital .

We got checked in and they put me in triage to see if I was really in labor or I was faking it.  I guess they assumed I was not really in labor because I walked in and told them in a calm voice that my doctor told me to head to the hospital because he thought I may have been in pre-term labor. Before anything started I told the nurse the whole story about Pearce and how he had been diagnosed with anencephaly. They had me change out of my clothes so they could check me and I was 3.5cms dilated and completely effaced. The nurse said “Sure enough you’re in labor it’s a good thing you came in.”  I lost it. I wasn’t ready, this was not a part of the plan.  It was too early but it was happening and I couldn’t stop it.

They then told me that they had to perform another ultrasound to verify whether Pearce really did have anencephaly.  If he didn’t it would change how the doctor would want to respond to the pre-term labor. I can tell you Jon and I have never prayed harder for a miracle than in those few minutes before the ultrasound technician came to do the confirmation. She came through the door and applied the jelly and began the scan and sure enough he had anencephaly. This may sound crazy but in that moment it was almost as if I was hearing his diagnosis for the first time. It ripped my heart out. But something else unexpected happened, in that moment, a calm came over me and I realized this wasn’t my plan this was His and everything was going to be okay.

Jon was doing a lot of work behind the scenes getting the parents informed, the girls taken care of and our Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (nilmdts) photographer lined up. My mom and Jon’s mom we’re able to get the last two seats on the last two flights to Houston that night. Everything was falling into place.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Charmian and the strange skin afflictions!

So a little history about me.  I have had the joy of baffling many doctors in my day.  You're probably thinking how can this be something that causes joy.  Well after the first few random ailments I got to the point where stumping the doctor and helping to refresh their med school memories was kind of fun.  A little scary at times but still a little amusing. 

Anyway, most of my ailments have been skin related.  It started with the normal chicken pox as a kid and cold sores not too far after that.  (I know you're thinking what's so strange about that, well just wait I'm just getting started.)  Adulthood brought erythema multiforme (an allergic reaction to all of those cold sores I was getting my whole life.) and several precancerous spots that needed to be removed.  I now have frequent skin checks and I also had to be medicated for several years to help keep me from getting cold sores which in turn would keep me from having more erythema outbreaks.

Okay well here I am pregnant and what do I do.  I break out in a rash that starts in my elbow pits (yes this is a technical body part) and then pops up in my knee pits and was spreading out from there.  I visited the doctor and at first I was told it was PUPPPs and then PEP (both of which are pregnancy induced rashes so not so strange that I got them when pregnant. 

While I was home sick with the rash I started to get a strange pain in my low chest/upper belly and my back.  About a week later I was attacked by one angry ant and I had horrible ant bites all over my back.  I was doing my best to take care of the bites when they started to spread.  So I visited the doctor again.  I walked in and told him about the ant bites and how I was afraid they were infected and how painful they were and he took one look at me and said, those aren't ant bites those are shingles.


Instantly I thought about the baby and asked if me having the shingles would hurt the baby in anyway.  What did he say to me  "Well there's not a lot of information on shingles in pregnancy, it is really rare to get them when you're pregnant." 

REALLY!!!  Why me?!?

After a couple more doctor's visits I have now heard from several doctors and they all say that although shingles in pregnancy is rare there is no record of anything bad happening when it occurs during the second trimester which fortunately is where I was at when I got 'em.  I'll keep you updated but for now I'm going to just sit back and hope that I don't have any other strange and unusual things happen during this pregnancy. 

16 weeks (only 4 weeks late)

Jon doesn't love any of my 16 week photos which is why this post has been so delayed in going up but today's the day.  And soon very soon you'll see some of those "horrible" pictures ;o)

Here they are for your enjoyment.....