Thursday, March 16, 2017

Asher Johnson Salsky

Asher Johnson Salsky 
Born March 16, 2017
at 2:01 pm
weighing 8 pounds 12 ounces
measuring 19 3/4 inches long

Asher means Happy & Blessed
Johnson means "God is good" 
and is my dad's mother's (my Nanny) maiden name



Snuggling with my baby in the PACU, after he nursed for a long time!
Oh, we were so tired.  My mom came back and met us in the post-op area pretty much right when we got there.  That was nice to see her again and have her meet the baby when things were quiet!

WARNING! These next few photos are the ones Andy got as Asher was pulled out of me.  Pretty bloody--but amazing all the same.  Such a big boy!


All in all, the delivery was smooth.  The labor was rough.  And it turns out that my uterine scar--from my previous c-section--had begun to tear.  If I had continued to labor through the contractions, we could have ended up with a big emergency.  It's scary to think about.  I am just thankful for the grace and mercy of God to hold Asher back.  If he had engaged as he should have, my cervix would have dilated and things could have gotten scary.  I am so ok with how things ended up.  Again, I had to learn this and come to terms with how my baby was born, but God is good in all circumstances!  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Labor and Delivery Story

{March 15, 2017}

I was on the schedule to be admitted for an induction at 8 am.  We arrived to the hospital on time--early, even--but ended up not getting into a room until well after 9 am due to a very rude check in lady who tried to get us to pay our whole deductible before entering.  Long story short, she was wrong, and the nurses from behind her desk ended up CALLING me on my phone asking if I was still coming in!  I was so annoyed.  But once we got back there and settled, we were getting excited.

I had great L&D nurses, and I ended up having 3 because we were there for so long.  My IV was placed with no issues (although it did infiltrate overnight.  Ouch.),  and I started off with receiving IV cipro because I was Strep B positive.  Soon after that began, one of the rounding doctors came and inserted the rubber catheter balloon.  The idea is that it keeps getting inflated every few hours with saline and gently but firmly presses open the cervix, which should cause contractions and begin dilating it open as well.  It essentially "falls out" at about 4-5 cms dilated.  It wasn't too uncomfortable going in, which was a nice surprise, because he warned me of pain and discomfort.

So every hour we'd walk around the hospital trying to get labor going.  I finally started getting real contractions.  It was nice to finally feel what these were like!  Although they weren't very strong, I still could start to understand the pains of labor.  But this went on for HOURS. I began to get discouraged.  The nurse inflated the balloon as much as possible and my contractions still weren't strong enough or close enough together.  I was dilated to about a 3.  The baby's head wasn't quite engaged, either.

Dr Hollar was on call that night, and she was contacted that evening.  We decided to move forward with Pitocin, starting at a low level and gradually moving up.  I can't remember, but at some point later in the evening, the contractions did pick up.  They were pretty intense but i was able to breathe through them, or sit on the bouncy ball and breathe.  Andy was a good coach.  I still was encouraged to walk every hour, so we both were trying to sleep while we could.  I felt proud of myself for laboring through these contractions.  They really were picking up in intensity, but I was NOT progressing in dilation.  I was discouraged by this.  At some point my water was broken, in hopes that baby would engage better.  The Pitocin was turned up steadily, every 2 hours.  Early in the next morning, my contractions really picked up.  I think this was when the Pitocin got up to it's highest dose.

These were the 2 hours of the whole ordeal when I thought I was literally dying.

The contractions were about 45-60 seconds apart and lasted 1-2 minutes.  So they seemed to be on top of each other with no breaks, but on the tachometer, the "peak" of the contraction wasn't high enough to be making a difference.  BUT the pain.  Oh, the pain.  And the blood.  At some point, I started noticing bright red blood.  Then bright red blood came with almost every contraction.  It was scary because the nurses weren't sure if it was due to dilation or something else.  It seemed like a lot to be due to stretching of tissue, in my opinion.  And the pain... it felt like my insides were ripping.  It took my breath away, yet I was still screaming.  I was crying.  I finally just felt like I couldn't handle it any longer.  Typing this out doesn't do it justice.  Because I hadn't experienced labor before (with the boys I had an epidural early on due to a bad judgment call), combined with the bright red blood, I just didn't know if it should feel like this.  I was very scared.  All I could think of was the small percentage of V-bacs that ended with emergency surgery or worse, death.

I begged for the epidural and sobbed and screamed as I waited for the anesthesiologist to arrive.  My sweet doctor, who went to her daughter's school for a presentation after being on call all night, was on her way to check on me and make the next decision.  She wanted to deliver my baby no matter what.  I love her.

As soon as the epidural was placed, I felt immediate relief and could catch my breath.  Andy and I decided that if I hadn't dilated any further from 5 cm (which was last checked at some point overnight), then we would move forward with a c section.  I had made my peace with this option.  As much as I wanted so longingly to push this baby out, I wanted to be alive!

Dr Hollar arrived and talked with us.  She wasn't sure where the blood was coming from either.  She checked me, and unfortunately, I was still at a 5, and still only 80% effaced.  For some reason, Baby Boy did not want to engage my pelvis.  C Section was her recommendation, especially because of the level of pain I was at and because of the blood.  I was so ready.  My only desire was that I wouldn't be too doped up (as I was last time), that I could HOLD my baby on the table, that Andy could see him being pulled out of me and take pictures, and that I could sit up and nurse him right away after I was sewed up.  OH, and I wanted to see my Placenta :)  Dr Hollar and the nurses were all on board with this plan, and we immediately packed up the room to head over to the surgical suite!

I can't say enough how wonderful everyone was.  Dr Hollar, her assistant, the anesthesiologist, the nurses, the pediatrician...  everyone was so kind and warm and excited for us.  Everything went smoothly,  and again, hearing my baby's first cries is such an emotional moment.  It's surreal.  The curtain was dropped, and Andy got some amazing pictures....

Monday, March 13, 2017

40 Weeks... Waiting for Baby #3 {March 2017}

My pregnancy with Baby # 3 was relatively uneventful, thankfully.
I gained a total of 19 pounds and felt pretty good overall.
Here is a picture of me on my Due Date with Baby #3 vs Week 38 with the twins--
you can see it in my face!
I didn't get the carpal tunnel that I did with the boys.
I didn't swell in my hands or ankles.
I stayed pretty "active" -- at least I chased around and carried the boys the whole pregnancy without any issues.
It was great!

Except, my body doesn't seem to know how to go into labor!
I worked a 12 hour shift at the hospital on my due date 
and didn't even have many Braxton Hicks contractions.
Because of my previous cesarean section, my doctor, whom I love and trust, wanted to give me until 41 weeks, and then--depending on my dilation and effacement--she would either induce me or go straight to a repeat c-section.
She was very open and supportive of me wanting to try to go "all natural" with this labor and delivery, but she also didn't want to push it with me going too overdue.
I had an appointment with Dr Hollar at 40 weeks + 2 days.  I had an US that day before the appt, and my fluid levels were great AND baby boy was looking like he was going to weigh close to 9 lbs!

When Dr Hollar checked me, I was still only 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Total bummer.
At this point, I hadn't dilated or changed at all in about a month.  I was a little discouraged.
Instead of waiting until Saturday to go in for a c section, 
I decided I wanted to be induced in the next few days and try to get labor going.
I had already gotten my membranes stripped 3 times!  Still nothing.
(I have a lovely neighbor/friend who is an L&D nurse and graciously did one of those strips!  Lol.)

So, we made a plan for me to go into the hospital 2 days later to start with a balloon dilation.
To me, this was a little less intense sounding with going straight to Pitocin.  
Dr Hollar also wanted to be cautious with the induction because of my previous cesarean, not wanting to cause an emergency (like rupturing my uterus...eek).  

Andy and I were now excited, looking forward to getting this baby out and meeting him!
My mom was set to watch the boys on Tuesday night, 
and we went into the hospital bright and early Wednesday morning, March 15th.
With my previous induction, I knew I could be in for a long stay, but I was hopeful to meet this baby within 12 hrs.  Hm.  Little did I know!

Last family of 4 picture at church on March 12, 2017

Big baby belly!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

It's been awhile!

Most of my blog posts start with an exclamation of disbelief regarding the passage of time, but...I can't believe we are almost into July, and the last time I posted was in January!  Very sad.  It must attest to the busy year we have had--or at least to the full life we lead having two 2 year olds around here.  I will do my best to bring us up to speed with the last half of this year!

Taking silly selfies with my boys.

Said farewell to my dear friend, Amy.  She came through town before heading back to Boston to prepare for her big move to Cambodia for longterm missions work with our international church planting movement.  

We spent a lot of our free time in December and January at Marmee and Papi's house because Nanny and BoBo were in town for a month.  It was great to spend so much time with them.  The boys love Nanny and BoBo and still think they are in Mom and Dad's casita.


Ahh, the weather in February in Arizona...  We hit up a lot of parks this month.  
Here is one I stumbled upon after taking the boys for a quick errand to pick up my contacts.

Here are the boys playing in our backyard after Daddy got home from work.  

Oh, poor Zachy.  This was the month he got tonsillitis!  It was so sad.  
 Here we are at the doctor's office.  
He could barely swallow his own saliva without crying in pain. 

But a little Tylenol with codeine and ice cream helps a lot!  :)

Our favorite neighborhood park, Meyer Park!

 Sweet brothers, holding hands.  Oh, my heart.

Here we are at McQueen Park in Gilbert, our favorite park to meet our twin girlfriends, 
Presley and Everly--here with us in this pic, along with mommy Courtney.
Sitting in big boy chairs for a change.

 Playing outside at Marmee's house.  Such beautiful weather!

Popsicles in our backyard at the end of the day!

 This is a great park in Arcadia--Arcadia Park.  The boys had so much fun!  We have yet to return.  

 Riding the train at Desert Breeze Park!  We love this one. 

March kicked off a wedding spree for us in church!  
Andy married two couple-friends a few weeks apart, and another set of friends got married in there, too.  
Here are some pics from Caitlin and Clint's wedding.

Happy hearts at Costco!

 Taste testing at Costco!

Just resting in our backyard.

Here we are at Desert Breeze Park again!

New friends we met at Meyer Park who came to our lifegroup a few times!  
Sweet little Aaron.

 Spontaneous Ted's picnic at Meyer Park for dinner one evening.  Beautiful sunset.

 My cousin Abbey Weiss came to town to visit, and here we all are a burger joint for lunch.  The boys love "fwench fwies!"
 Our junior golf pro, Benji!

Learning to brush our teeth. 

Our first of two attempts to get passport photos... so funny!

My twin-mom-friend Courtney had a precious lil boy, Jacob James on March 14th!

Dinner at our friends' home in Cave Creek.  Having their first Otter Pop in life.  
Still don't quite have the hang of it.

Another neighborhood park we visited for the first time.  I love Arizona playgrounds!

Silly boys outside one afternoon.  

Playing piano at Marmee and Papi's house.

 Bathing without the bath chairs for the first time.

Park buddies!  

Easter Sunday, 2016

Enjoying the I.D.E.A. Museum!

A few brave mamas taking our total of 6 toddlers out to lunch at Joe's Real BBQ!

April (minus the boys' birthday)

I started a new favorite morning activity--eating breakfast on the front porch. 
The boys love watching the school buses and cars go by and wave to the kids walking to school.
It was a fun change of pace. 

The other wedding Andy officiated.  It was beautiful.

Sweet boys playing with blocks at Marmee's house.

My little helpers at Lowes.

Silly boys!!

 We hit up parks at least 3x/week in the Spring.  I love it.  The boys love it.  
Here we are at Desert Breeze again.  
The boys walked a long long way so we could ride the train.  
I was impressed with their energy!

Getting ready for their 2 year old golf birthday party!!!

Zachary is beginning his love for music.

We found a little lost turtle at Meyer Park!  
Of course I rescued it, and we dropped him off at the other park that has a pond.  :)

Watching daddy lay some sod after a rainy night... this was all before 8 am.  
Let's just say, the boys ended up naked and muddy.

Benji loving on Penny.

Watching their daddies play dizzy sports for a staff video.  Zachary was a little distressed by all the guys getting dizzy and falling down.  Benji was pretty into it and still mimics it today.

Kaiden and Kyle's wedding.   I told you; it was a wedding spree!

A mama and her little puddle ducks.

Awww... last playdate with our friend Emmett before he moved to Texas 
with mommy Crystal and daddy Aaron :(  

  May (minus Thailand)

We LOVE to "play chalk"!

Laughing at the park.  Before it got too hot to go to the park.  :(

Two cool dudes in the bath.

We found a great little rescued ocean animals aquarium in the Arizona Mills Mall!  We went with Presley and Everly and had a lot of fun.  I want to go again this summer.  It's nice and COOL inside :)

Then we went on a mall ride. Super fun for 4 two year olds.

End of the Year training school pool party.  One of Zachary's favorite guys, Andrew.

Those boys needed haircuts!

A fun day at the Phoenix Zoo with Abby and Zo-Zo!

We had SO much fun at Saguaro Lake with the Antioch staff for a fun day out!  The boys loved getting in the lake, and they really liked when I took them out in the kayak.  Andy and I actually got to ride a jetski, too--it was my first time!  Such a blast.  Saguaro Lake is only about 30 mins from here but felt like a nice getaway.