Has it really only been two weeks???

It's already seemed like a month at least!

What I'm feeling right now:

I miss my baby girl.

She is a doll. With red hair (it is officially official!). Who looks killer good in green! :)

I am tired exhausted. All day with energetic boys, then a few hours with Blessing, holding and loving her. Pumping in between all of this, then sleep for a few hours...It wears me out!

I have good days and bad days.

The good days I can get through in a chaotic/semi-zombie sort of way, and the bad days I just want to sleep and maybe whine a little bit.

I am SO happy for the moms I see who have their babies discharged, but at the same time I am also upset that it's not our baby.

EA is very deceiving. Blessing looks incredibly healthy, strong, as perfect as can be. She doesn't look physically sick so it makes me crazy to know that we're going to be spending many more nights at the NICU.

Another maddening aspect is just having to W A I T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . until we can actually get to the point for the study that will give us an estimated time frame for when Blessing can come home with us!

Part of me doesn't know what to feel. Anger? At what? The fact that EA can't be controlled by anything? I'm in the 'why did this happen' phase. I follow the Word of Wisdom, I have a healthy diet, somewhat of a healthy lifestyle, I don't drink, I don't smoke, don't do drugs, I live a relatively low-stress life. So lucky me, my daughter is the winner out of 4600 babies who gets to deal with EA. Lucky, lucky us.

At the same time, we are SO blessed! I can't forget about the dozens of people who are praying for us, giving us meals, babysitting, doing our laundry, calling, facebooking, checking in on us, and just being there for us. Every day I'm amazed at how I need something and all I have to do is call someone and they will help me!

So many emotions to go through.

At least I don't have to worry about PPD, which is a HUGE blessing in and of itself! I feel like we kind of skipped over that part, for which I'm grateful!

But I do feel guilty that I haven't been able to give great mommy attention to my boys right now. Einstein has been an absolute trooper! I thought he would become defiant, but he's really begun to fill his big brother shoes very well. He's getting so grown up! Poor Curly, though, is super clingy and sad most of the time. He's regressed in the areas of talking and potty usage. He basically just whines all day unless he's being held. I'm still not technically supposed to be lifting/holding heavy things yet (hello, 30lb 2 year old!), but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! I can only handle so much whining!

I still stay up way too late.

I hope the rest of my 30's won't be this stressful.

I think it might get easier??? I hope!

I'm going to bed.



Love this video. Love her tons! This is totally anti-climactic, but it's my baby, and she's AWAKE! She's only been awake when we've been with her one time before. So all this awake time was heaven!

Anya hit 6 pounds. Barely! But it's a wonderful sign that she's growing like a champ. We're told that she eats like crazy (that's my girl!) and is pooping like a newborn should. I've never been so excited about poop before! I got to change her tiny little diaper today {3 days ago. Each day kind of melts into another these days}, which actually was a treat. Like I said, I've never been so excited about poop before. An extended commute to a hospital will do some strange things to your brain! :)I can't wait to bring her home. Here's to hoping and praying that her stay WON'T be a full year... I mean, I'm so grateful for the NICU and all the staff, but I hope I never have to see any of them again! :)


scatter sunshine

Yesterday was a long day. Not particularly bad, just long. I over-did it with physical exertion and now my incision site hurts. Bummer.
Anyway, after going to see our boys and tucking them in for the night at Grandma & Grandpa Harrison's house (can I tell you how GRATEFUL I am that both sets of grandparents live about 15 minutes away?????), we were just exhausted and emotionally worn out. So what did we do??? We went to make returns at Target, of course!

I know, totally random.
The weekend before Blessing was born, I went to get a Valentine's Day dress & shoes, which looked incredibly hideous on me (I don't try on clothes at stores any more. My boys could NEVER handle staying put in such a small space for that long!), so I had been planning on returning it for a while.
Anyway, we did that last night.

On our way home, we were taking an accounting of the day, and Bryan said, "That's it. We are now officially on a date! Do you want a little surprise, or a big one?" Needless to say, I was simply surprised at the outburst alone! Bryan truly is a romantic at heart, he's just not a very good planner of events. So all of his grand (awesome) ideas for love and mushiness usually end up on the cutting room floor. So it was a fun surprise!Yep, we look tired for sure!

Since it was so late (a little after 10. Man, I'm getting old when I say after 10 is late!), pretty much nothing was open. He drove to three different ice cream shops to find closed doors. It was super cute! :) So we ended up at Applebee's for appetizers and dessert.I know, we're total dorks. But that's okay.

It was nice to know that my sweetie is still in love with me,

{ love is... looking really really ridiculously ridiculous on camera together}

and it was especially nice that we had that little moment to release the tension of the past week and just be ourselves for a little while.

We had a nice time just talking about nothing! It truly felt like we were dating again :)Bryan's spontaneous visual representation of HTML coding, which, oddly enough, made complete sense to me. Can you see the divs and the relative spacing? It's like a family tree... um, maybe I should build websites!

It's all about the little things, don't you think? :) Bryan, I love you! You've been such a GREAT chauffer, support, companion, and daddy. I wouldn't want to go through this with anyone else but you!


Happy Birthing, Anya!

For those of you who don't use Facebook (which unfortunately has taken a front seat to my Blogging for the past 8 weeks...), I just wanted to announce:

We have a baby girl!!!
Anastasia Sophia Harrison
February 9, 2010
5 pounds, 1 ounce
18 inches

Because of pre-existing conditions, she is happily recuperating at the Children's Hospital NICU in San Diego. Yes, I miss her like crazy. No, we don't know yet how long she will need to be there. Yes, we are sad, and yes, it is unfair. Yes, it's only been 5 days, but it's already felt like an eternity. There are good days, and there are really bad days for me. I've gotten to hold my precious little girl three times, for maybe a total of two hours all together.
Why is she in the NICU, you may ask? Well, two main reasons:
1. Esophageal Atresia. The good thing (if there really is anything 'good' about this) is that she was diagnosed with this condition well before birth, so we were somewhat mentally prepared for a NICU stay. The first surgery to connect a feeding tube directly into her stomach happened on her first 24 hours of life. We still don't know how long her NICU stay will be; the doctors don't have a good enough idea of how close the separation of esophagus to her stomach is, and they want her feeding tube site to heal well before they do more studies to find out. They gave us an expected NICU stay of between 1 month to 1 year. So right now, we wait. And wait. And wait.............And it's hard waiting when you are still recovering from an emergency c-section and can't drive yourself the 30 mile one-way trip to see your baby.
It's hard waiting when all you can do is pump instead of hold your baby to feed them (and might I add, pumping really sucks, and it's not like the real thing at all. Especially when it's all you get to do).It's hard not being able to spend the entire day with her, or even be able to hold her when I want to.It's hard to see her be in an environment where the nurses get to touch her and hold her more than I can.
It's hard to see how difficult it is for Bryan, who is supposed to 'suck it up' and be our rock right now.And it's especially hard when you have that oh-so-awesome hormone release after having a baby, and everything seems a bazillion times more stressful/crazy/sad.
2. After birth, she was also diagnosed with anal displacement. Basically, that means your plumbing isn't where it should be. Thankfully, the doctors have found her anus and it barely missed the mark of where it should be. Surgery to correct and move this into proper position can be put off until she's about a year old.So rightfully so, I am sad. I'm sad that she's not here, sad that her extended family and even her older brothers can't meet her yet (curse you, overly sensationalized swine flu!). I'm so sad that we've been talking about her and my boys have only seen pictures and videos, and won't see her for a very long time. I'm also sad that I don't have the ability to care for my two little ones at home. I'm sad that their routine has been thrown completely off for the past week, and will continue to be wonky until further notice. I'm sad that because of this, my 2 year old won't let me snuggle him or show him affection whatsoever. That breaks my heart!
Don't get me wrong... we have SO many people praying for us right now! For that, I am so incredibly grateful. I am grateful for all the meals, the babysitting, the well-wishes, the hugs, and everything in between. I'm not unaware of these acts of service and I am so humbled! I'm not very good at accepting help; I've always been self-sufficient and never really 'needed' help like this before. I've never been in a situation where I feel nothing but helplessness, and at the mercy of others' goodness. I've always been able to get through whatever life has thrown at me. I've always been able to put on a brave face, and for the most part be able to muddle through whatever.
But this time, I really do feel helpless. I'm still healing after surgery myself; the house is too quiet because my boys have been gone at various homes for the past week. There is too much time in the day to sit and do nothing (can you tell I'm also not very good at sitting around?).
I know I need to rest. But my mind does NOT rest. My body might need it, but I lay awake at night, thinking too much and coming up with a million different scenarios.
Like I wrote earlier, I shouldn't complain. Anya's prognosis is really actually VERY good. She is very strong, and she did incredibly well in her first surgery. She has no genetic disorders (which was a concern for the doctors so much so that I had an amniocentesis done the week before she was born), and she is a gorgeous little girl. She is super well-behaved (hardly cries, and when she does, she fusses for a few minutes then goes back to sleep), she's passing stool through her intestines all on her own (meaning her plumbing actually works, yay!) and she's responding well to larger feedings. All of these things are great signs of thriving. But I'm sure you can understand how difficult it is to have her so far away from me. Especially since I was diagnosed with hydramnios while carrying her; it was literally as if a huge part of me was left at the hospital. (and huge it was! Normal measurements for amniotic fluid range from 8cm to 25cm. My last measurement was nearly 60cm!) I lost over 4 gallons of JUST amniotic fluid alone!

Please excuse my belly shot; I'm illustrating how incredibly huge I was, and I couldn't do a thing about it. This isn't even a very good representation of my tummy mass, but it's the first picture I could find!

So, I'm ending this on a good note:
I am grateful for the Priesthood of God, and grateful that I have a whole slew of men in my family to go to if ever I am in need of that power.
I am especially grateful that my husband is a worthy Priesthood holder!
I am grateful that Anya is my miracle baby.
I am grateful for Children's Hospital, and all the wonderful Doctors, RN's, nurse Practitioners, Volunteers, and staff for all the hard work they do.
I am grateful that each time I can visit, Anya has been gifted another crocheted hat and booties, or been given a cute little Valentine's Day balloon for her bedside, or just loved on all day.
I am grateful that my boys are doing pretty well, considering the crazy upset this week has been.
I am grateful that there are so many people coming out of the woodwork to help us! So grateful!
I am grateful that Anya is only 30 miles away and not 60!
I am grateful that we ended up getting our family car literally hours before she decided to make her grand entrance! (On a totally unrelated subject, I am in love with our Kia van! I'll have to write more about that in a different post)
I am grateful I have the support I need at this crazy time in my life.
And......... I'm SO grateful for painkillers! :) Go, vicodin, GO!