May 10, 2013

Kaylee Grace

Introducing Kaylee Grace!

Photos by Three Peas Photography

April 25, 2013

Parenting 101: Our First Question to You

**I know - epic fail on my part for not posting anything yet about the birth or photos of our little's coming, but just when I've actually gotten enough sleep and have time to do so. Thanks for understanding!

QUESTION: What are simple things we can incorporate into our little routine to help Kaylee start to differentiate between day feedings and night feedings?

So Kaylee is a champ. She eats great(well, now she does...that's another story) and sleeps all the time. We are very blessed. However, the past few days after her feedings at night she is wide awake. And it takes about 30-45 minutes for her to fall asleep. That's not so bad, but it means less sleep for all of us in between feedings. During the day she will fall asleep almost immediately after a feeding. Both day and night we have the same routine...wake her up gently, change diaper, try to wake her up a little more (stretching), feed her (I'm pumping and we bottle feed, so it takes about 15 minutes to actually feed her), burp her, hold her for a few minutes upright to prevent spit up, and then she's typically out by then - drowsy and we just put her down and she falls asleep on her own (gotta love the food coma!). But at night now she is just wide awake and it takes rocking her to get her drowsy again.

We'd love for her to be awake during the day and then sleepy at night, so again, any tips about little things we can do to make night and day different (besides bath time?)


April 5, 2013

I Suck at Blogging

I think everyone has a blog post somewhere in their history that starts out, "Okay, I realize that I don't blog very often." It just happens. We get caught up in life or we feel too much pressure to write the perfect post that nothing gets written. Me personally, I think that in order to blog I have to justify it with having actual events happen in my life. I have a very boring life. Thus, lack of blogging.

But I'm trying to redeem myself. I actually like writing - it helps me clear my head and organize my thoughts and so I'm going to try again to blog more regularly. Not about what is necessarily going on in my life, but more about the thoughts going on in my head. So sorry if you ever get bored (hey, you don't have to read this) or if you're offended by my opinions and thoughts (again, you don't have to read this). But thanks for, reading.

January 3, 2013

Are You Getting Rid of That?

Are you moving or have some old items that you're selling or throwing away?
I might need them!

You see, we're having a baby and of course need baby things so we will gladly help you get your old stuff out of the way :)

Here's a list of what we're looking for. If you think you have something you're getting rid and would either like to donate or sell it to us, leave a comment below with a brief description and I'll email you directly about it.

**We're mainly looking for things in the Houston- Memorial/Galleria area since we don't have a big truck and can't afford to rent one to drive far away to pick something up.

What we're needing (items with an * are the ones we're mostly looking for):
  • Nursery 
    • Crib* (preferably white and simple - no frills)
    • Crib Mattress*
    • Rocking Chair* or some sort of comfy chair (for nursing late at night...)
    • Dresser* (preferably a wide, waist high dresser - you know the typical 6-drawer kind.  Also preferably simple in design)
    • Baby changing pad (for on top of the dresser)
    • Bookshelf (1 or 2)
    • Any old frames you may have that you are getting rid of (8x10 and bigger, preferably not plastic)
    • Baby hangers -you know the little ones (preferably white)
    • Baby girl clothes - accepting donations of any size :)
    • Diaper trash can (if you're getting rid of a good one - otherwise we'll just be getting one)
    • White crib sheets (the bedding and blankets I've got covered)
    • Any sort of infant/baby soothing toy/thing that you no longer need
    •  (i.e.bouncy seat or pack-n-play)
    • Stroller - Only if you're getting rid of it
    • Mobi-wrap or some sort of baby carrier similar  - Only if you're getting rid of it
  • House (in addition to everything above)
    • Bookcases (2)*
    • 16x20 frames that you're not using (again, preferably not plastic)
  • Misc
    • A good bike* you're not using/getting rid of - Where we are moving is too far for Garrett to walk to his client's office (he's there 6 months out of the year and has been walking), but too far to catch a bus, so he'd like to bike there. 
Again, if you have any of these items and you're not using them anymore please leave a comment below with a brief description and I will then email you directly and we can discuss price (if you're selling) and pick up.

Thank you so much!
    -Kimmy & Garrett

      December 31, 2012

      23 Week Update

      Seriously! Isn't she SOOO cute!!!??

      We had an ultrasound today and we are so relieved!  That may sound a little strange but we've been having some concerns that we haven't told anyone about.

      For those who don't know, when you are pregnant you have the option of doing genetic screening to find out if your child is at risk, or rather a higher risk for any genetic defects/problems.  We decided that we would do a "quad" screening which is a blood test during your second trimester.  Since blood is pumping from mom and baby they can now use a blood test to get a basic screening.

      Well, a few days after the blood was drawn I got a message saying that my results were fine - but the nurse didn't say what about, so I called to find out.  Turns out I was normal for 2/3 tests and the third they were still waiting to hear back on.

      So I again waited

      and waited

      and then I got a message to call my doctor back.

      That's always scary - when they tell you good results over a message and then tell you to call them for the final result.  You know it's not going to be good.

      So I played phone tag for 2 days - I thought I was going to go nuts!

      As it turns out I tested in normal ranges for trisomy 18 and spina bifida but my results came back slightly elevated for down syndrome. We were pretty worried and waited a few days till our doctors appointment to ask our doctor what steps we should take next to know if our risk assessment was one we should really be worried about.

      It's not that we would abort (heck, we've been waiting two years for her to come!) but we want to make sure that we are prepared to help Kaylee in any we can.

      So we went and had genetic counseling - this is where they sit down with you and go over all the different tests and you go from there.  We decided to take things one step at a time and so we started with an ultrasound.  The ultrasound checks for "hard" and "soft" markers.  Hard markers are physical signs that are typically associated with down syndrome.  Soft markers are physical signs that are common among people with down syndrome but does not necessarily mean anything and can be associated with other causes.

      After a 30-45 minute ultrasound the specialist came to us and told us that from what they could see Kaylee had no hard markers (granted they didn't get good photos of her heart or spine cause she was being bouncy that day).  However she did have a soft marker - while she herself measured in the 33 percentile, her femurs were in the "less than 5%."  Anything under 10% they get a little worried.

      So we set up an appointment for three weeks later (today). I've spent the last three weeks wondering and being worried, hoping her little femurs would grow. It is the strangest feeling to be so worried about someone you've never met and you don't know.

      I was also conflicted. I know people with down syndrome and I know their families.  These people are so loving and kind and wonderful - would it really be that bad if Kaylee had it too? Could we handle it?  What kind of life would she have?

      Basically, the last three weeks have been emotionally tormenting.

      I'm so grateful for modern technology though - we felt so much relief today.  After only three weeks our little Kaylee's femurs went from 5% to 22%!  As of now, they are not as concerned that she will have down syndrome.  She could, but there are no more signs for now that would lead us to further testing.

      Again, I feel totally conflicted - Is it bad to say I'm happy?  Happy that my child will most likely be "normal?" I can't help but think of all the other mothers out there who have gone through the same thing but had different news - isn't their child normal too?  I know so many people who have different outcomes than myself and my heart goes out to them.  How do you handle that emotionally? Spiritually?  I know it's not the right word, but I feel a little guilty for being so relieved.

      Regardless, I'm incredibly happy - happy that I'm pregnant, that we got to see Kaylee, that she's growing, that she's healthy and strong (believe me she's strong - her kicks are powerful!).

      So here's our update:

      • Kaylee is now in the 38% (that means out of 100 babies her age, she would be smaller that 62 of them)
      • Kaylee went from 11 oz three weeks ago to 1lb 3 oz (that's 8oz!!!!)
      • She is kicking up a storm, especially at night when I'm trying to sleep.  While I complain about it, I'm secretly loving every minute of it!
      • She also moves - A LOT
      • When she kicks me, she is Garrett's child.  When she is being sweet and makes me happy, she's my child ;)
      • We love her dearly and are excited to move to our new apartment so we can start getting ready for her arrival (our place it too little to start collecting everything we need)
      • She is SO CUTE (see picture above)
      • We are now debating if she will have blonde or red hair (on both sides there are grandparents with red hair) and if it will be straight or curly 
        • We know though that she'll probably be born bald
      • Again, we love her so much!  She's got both of us wrapped around her finger and she's not even here yet!!

      December 17, 2012

      November 8, 2012

      Daily Rituals

      Wow, I have not written in a while! Sorry!!  I get so wrapped up in the daily grind that I forget that I even have a personal blog here!
      Anyways, Garrett’s been out of town all week for his yearly training and I've re-realized how much I love one of our favorite traditions.
      My love languages are touch and quality time – I've known this about myself since I was young (er). When Garrett and I got married we often found that school and work did not allow us to spend as much time together as we would have liked.  I would physically and emotionally get stressed and anxious.  Finally one day I was so frustrated that I stomped my foot on the floor twice – very hard – to get Garrett’s attention (we call this “stomp stomp” – and I say it now to get his attention since we live on the second floor in our complex).  He looked over and I exclaimed that we needed to take a break and go cuddle.  These became a tradition called “every five minute breaks.”  While they didn’t happen every five minutes, we knew how nice it was to just stop and take a break from everything going on around us.  We’d be working and one of us would call to the other, “I think we need an every five minute break!!”  And off to our room we’d go to just lay in bed and talk or lay in silence enjoying each other’s company.
      In school we often saw each other on campus throughout the day but when we moved to Houston and I started working from home while Garrett was gone most of the day, the separation again started to take it’s toll on me emotionally and physically.  I would get anxious and panic and my back would tense and I would get migraines (clearly Garrett is not allowed to die before me).  So once again we began our tradition of every five minute breaks.  This time though, as soon as Garrett walks in the door, we give each other a hug and one of us leads the other to our bed where we take five to ten minutes to just be.  Sometimes we talk, a lot of times we laugh, but mostly we just lay there holding each other.  We've found that the days we do this are incredibly pleasant. The days we don’t we almost ALWAYS end up arguing or fighting about some stupid thing.  So now we just do it – every day.  We allow ourselves to let go all the stress from the day – we've made our marriage our refuge from the craziness of the world.
      I've always known that this special time we have together each day will always be one of our most cherished traditions.  But sometimes it takes not doing it to remember HOW special the little traditions are.  Whether it’s “every five minute breaks, ”  holding hands when praying over dinner, playfully bickering over who’s turn it is to pray, my always trying to steal Garrett’s spot on the bed, Garrett coming home and always finding me turning around from my office chair with a big smile on my face, Garrett taking twenty minutes of alone time to read his comics, Garrett immediately checking out IMDB after we watch a movie even if he’s already read through it…the list goes on.  But those are our traditions and I love every single one of them.  When Garrett is gone my heart hurts because I don’t get to repeat our daily rituals.  But when he comes home I know I appreciate those little daily moments more.

      August 14, 2012

      1311 Days

      Yup, I’m pregnant!
      I can’t even begin to explain how excited we are.  For those of you who didn’t know, Garrett and I have been waiting almost 2 years to have this news.  We knew that having children would be difficult and based on the experiences of other family members, we didn’t think that anything we did would work.  After over a year of trying we found a clinic in Houston that has some of the top doctors in the nation for fertility (for my fertility issue).  We knew as soon as we started our treatments that the reason we felt we needed to go to Houston rather than Dallas was because of this clinic.  We started treatments and for a while nothing happened.  Garrett and I were prepared to stop treatments after another month because we couldn’t afford them.  We pretty much thought that the only other option we would have was adoption if our last cycle didn’t work – and that would mean waiting at least another 5 years.
      It was hard to accept that.
      But I responded to the last round of treatments.  We waited and waited till I could take the pregnancy test.  I was so afraid to take it – that it would be a negative.  I took the test and waited, willing it to be positive.  After the three minutes were up I looked at that first test and my heart broke.  There was only one line – a negative.  But then I looked at it again and there is was – an incredibly faint second line.  Incredibly faint.  I immediately went to the computer to find out what that meant.  It was possible I was pregnant.  So I waited a few more days and tested again – POSITIVE!!!!
      Baby Williams is officially due April 28, 2013.  We’ll have waited almost 2 1/2 years to have a baby when he/she arrives and we are so grateful and excited!!
      So how did I tell Garrett?
      Technically I knew a few days before Garrett found out – I needed time to make sure I could tell Garrett in a cool way.  When driving around, Garrett and I always see “expectant mother parking” spots and joke that I should be able to park there because I’m expecting to be a mother someday. So I went and picked up Garrett from the bus on Monday and when we pulled into our parking spot Garrett saw this:
      How far along am I?
      This question took a LONG time to answer.  I didn’t know my official due date until 10/10/12!  Why? Well, until 10/10, I thought it was because due to the treatments and timing, normal calculation methods wouldn’t be as accurate.  Then I found out from my OB that the fertility center had the wrong date listed as the first day of my cycle (it was off by 1.5 weeks).  I thought I was going to have a HUGE baby because early on the nurses kept saying that our baby was measuring large for how far along I was supposed to be.  Then my OB and I cleared it up and it turns out I was farther along than I thought (and all measurements were now normal).
      As of 10/14/2012 I will be officially 12 weeks!
      What we know so far:
      • Baby is growing great and is measuring perfectly!
      • Despite being on pelvic rest due to tears and being tired ALL THE TIME, I’m doing great – I’ve yet to throw up!
      • Baby is about 1 1/4″ long.  Baby doesn’t like being compared to food, but to give you an idea, he’s about the size of a lime.
      • Baby does not like the terms “prego” or “preggers” – his mom is PREGNANT.
      • Baby likes to wiggle and sleep – just like his Mom
      • Most everyone thinks Baby is a girl. Garrett wants a boy (but only a little more than a girl).  I’m happy with a boy or a girl

      August 7, 2012

      Cycle 3: Day 16

      I am so happy right now.  I feel like words cannot express what I feel and yet I have so many thoughts running through my head.
      It worked.  The medicine worked this month.  I went in for my ultrasound today and found out my meds worked.  The goal was to have a follicle measure at least a 12. The hope was for a 15.  Anything bigger would be a miracle (in my mind).  All of my follicles were 10 and under.
      Except one.
      One beautiful miracle.
      A 17.5.
      I literally gasped when the nurse told me.  When she showed me the monitor the follicle looked HUGE!
      I waited for the nurse to come back from talking with the doctor.  I’ve never gotten to this point before so I had no idea about what would happen next or what our actual chances are.  I asked if it could be likely that I could get pregnant with only one follicle.  Yes!  I can!   With chlomid treatments they actually only want 1-2 grown follicles (at least that’s what the nurse told me).
      And then I cried (of course).  Why? Because after 21 months of wanting to start our family I am actually in a position where is it possible. That one beautifully HUGE follicle could possibly result in a future member of our small family.  And while the chances are still slim I am so happy that the possibility even exists!
      I’ve felt over the last while that my amount of faith has been so tiny.  I feel like I’m on a faith roller coaster sometimes.  I know that this small yet huge miracle was not a result of my own faith.  I feel so blessed to know that the faith of my family and friends have been constantly around me.  Regardless of what the outcome would have been today, I cannot deny that I have felt the strength and support that comes from God when others put their faith in God in your behalf.
      My heart is so full of gratitude right now.  And such peace, which is the one thing I have desperately pleaded for.  One of the best things I have ever done was make CDs of past general conference talks to keep in the car.  I often forget they’re there, but as I drove to my appointment I didn’t want to just listen to the radio – I instead remembered and longed to hear the voice of the prophets.  As I listened to the messages that were given I knew Heavenly Father was with me.  I knew (and still know) that God loved me.  I knew that He would comfort me and support me and bear this trial with me – even when my faith is tiny.
      I often feel the Holy Ghost quietly whisper to me and remind me of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.  Heavenly Father knows I am one that needs gentle guidance and joyful reminders.  He patiently waits as I forget about Him in my day-to-day life and then return to Him.  I have said before how I often forget Him.  And I have said before how grateful I am to know that He does not forget me.
      As I listened to the words of the prophets – men who have the authority to speak the words God wants us to hear – I was beautifully reminded of Heavenly Father’s love for me:
      …as an Apostle of our Master, Jesus Christ, I proclaim with all the certainty and conviction of my heart…You are not forgotten.
      Sisters, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love.
      Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time!
      He who created and knows the stars knows you and your name—you are the daughters of His kingdom.
      God loves you because you are His child. He loves you even though at times you may feel lonely or make mistakes.
      The love of God and the power of the restored gospel are redemptive and saving. If you will only allow His divine love into your life, it can dress any wound, heal any hurt, and soften any sorrow.
      My dear sisters, you are closer to heaven than you suppose. You are destined for more than you can possibly imagine.
      It is my prayer and blessing that you will never forget that you are truly precious daughters in God’s kingdom.
      -President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Forget Me Not,” October 2011 General Conference
      I know what I’m going through isn’t easy.  Frankly, it sucks.  I feel so blessed, however, to have the knowledge I have of God and His son, Jesus Christ. I feel so blessed to know that God knows my name;  That He knows my heart and the desperate desires I have to start a family; That He knows how to provide me with the strength and comfort I ache for.  I am so grateful.  Again, words escape me.
      Not every part of life has a happy ending.  Today happens to be a very happy moment in our journey through infertility.  I am so comforted to know that I am able to feel peace on both the good days and the bad.

      August 3, 2012

      Cycle 3: Day 12

      Okay, so this may not be the-most-incredible-news-on-the-face-of-the-planet news, but it’s good and it’s happy!
      I went into my dr. appointment today.  It’s day 12 of my cycle and they did an ultrasound of my ovaries to see how fast my follicles have been growing (like I mentioned before, the doctors want them to measure between a 12 & 15).  During the last two cycles the highest a follicle ever got was a 9, but they mostly stayed in the 6/7 area (and that was being checked on day 16-20 of my cycle).
      Well today is only day 12 which means I’ve still got some time to go…
      and today my follicle measured
      A 10!!!!!
      It’s not a 12 or a 15, but still – a 10 is MUCH better than a 6, especially at this point in the cycle!
      I don’t think I’ve really digested that news until now.
      I feel AWESOME!
      I did that!  My follicle hit a 10!
      There’s hope!
      My body is responding!
      I’m not failing!
      It’s working! (even just a little bit)
      I’m so excited!
      BEST. DAY. EVER!! (okay – well, it’s closer than many other days)
      What’s next?  Well, we wait until Tuesday when I go back in for another ultrasound (meh).  Hopefully by then they’ll have matured to at least a 12.  After that – well, it’s up to the doctors, but assuming things go well we wait for nature to take it’s course and hope for the best.
      So here’s what I need you to do: Send good vibes our way!  Regardless of what happens, we know that Heavenly Father’s watching out for us and we’re trying to trust in His time table.  But asking for extra help and for peace and understanding won’t hurt either so any prayers for us to whomever you believe in is appreciated.
      We’re totally hopeful that this could be the month (and totally freaking out too – but then again, what sane person doesn’t freak out at the thought of becoming a parent!).  We’re trying not to let our fears take over and instead remain hopeful.  All I know is that right now I am so incredibly grateful.  I don’t know if I could have handled another month of complete disappointment.  Again, even if I don’t get pregnant this month, this news is better than any of the news since we’ve started this journey and I am so grateful.