Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shutterfly Giveaway

I have never been one for Christmas cards. My thought was always, "I have Facebook, people can look at my pictures on there." But last year, we recieved 10 different Christmas cards from people and it made me wish we had done one. Afterall, we did have big things happen to us in 2009: got a puppy and bought a house.

So now that Shutterfly is giving away 50 free Christmas cards to bloggers (apply here), I thought, "Well 2010 has been waaay more exciting in the Nuge house." I made a photobook from them after we got married. One for ourself, one for Nuge's parents and one for my parents. They were a big hit and I was so pleased with them. My mother in law also made us a calender of Gus and gave it to us for Christmas. Now that we have Aaron, I think a calender would be great for the grandparents and my sister and Nuge's brother.

I checked out some of the Christmas cards and Holiday cards and oh. my. goodness! There are too many great ones to choose from. We are having pictures taken of our family here pretty soon, and these would be a great way for our families that don't have access to Facebook to see our whole family.

Here are some of my favorite cards:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why I Choose Natural, Out of Hospital Birth

I’ve had a few people ask why I chose childbirth out of the hospital. There are many reasons for my decision, but these are just 8 of the main ones. Like anything else someone does, it’s a personal decision. Natural childbirth is not for everyone. I was blessed to be able to experience it, and I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is healthy enough to do it. But as it is, I can’t make someone’s decisions for them. I can just tell them my reasons and try to educate myself enough to be able to back up those reasons.

I want to preface by saying that not all of these reasons might be true to everyone. I was very blessed to have the midwife I do and the care that I received. This is neither a doctor bashing post, nor an anti hospital/medical post. I’m just stating the reasons for my choice in an out of hospital birth and how much of a great experience it was. Not all doctors are bad and not all midwives are good. It comes down to the pregnant mom, what she wants and what she’s comfortable with.

My “OB” is my family doctor. So in order for me to find someone to deliver my baby, I would have had to find a new doctor. I’m not a fan of changing doctors and I am not comfortable with meeting someone for the first time and have them be in such a personal relationship with me right off the bat. It’s not something that I ever wanted to rush into just because I was pregnant. It would have required way too much research that I didn’t really want to do at the time. Plus, I really like my OB. Now, I realize that most people will have to meet a new midwife if that is the route they want to take, but for me, I already knew which one I wanted to use. I feel that the bedside manner of most midwives is something totally different than any doctor I have ever met. I could be wrong, but it’s from my experience and from stories of other people.

Labor how I want
For most women in hospitals, they are required to stay in bed and on their backs while in labor. For most, this isn’t the best way to labor. It doesn’t let gravity work with your body to allow for the baby to come down the birth canal. In fact, it can slow labor. In the birth center, I was able to get up and walk around (which, it just so happened, was not my favorite position to labor), sit on a birth ball, take a hot shower, and pretty much be in any position that was comfortable to me. I was not restricted to a bed. As it was, I was able to get in the tub and have the water birth that I have wanted to have for years.

No pressure for drugs/interventions I don’t want
I knew straight off the bat that I did not want any epidurals, Pitocin, C sections or any other interventions that the hospitals would have wanted me to have. When you are in labor, you really have a hard time making decisions. That’s why it’s important to have someone that knows what you want that can speak for you. If I was at the hospital during my transition period, I would have wanted an epidural. Which they probably would have given me, but it would have been too late for it to give me any relief. If I had gone to the hospital too early, they would have admitted me and if I was still in labor after 12-24 hours (depending on the hospital) they would have given me meds to speed up the labor or told me that I needed to have a c section to get the baby out. It wouldn’t have been necessary as my body knows what it’s doing. God doesn’t make mistakes when it comes to His creation.
An episiotomy was also something I did NOT want. I feel they are unnecessary unless it’s a dire need. But most of the time, it’s not necessary. I feel that most doctors perform them to speed things up. But in reality, if they would take their time and let the process happen naturally, then they can prevent severe tearing and the need for an episiotomy. There are certain circumstances where one is necessary, but I feel that most of the time, it’s the doctor’s impatience that makes them “necessary”.

No hospital protocols
Once you are admitted to most hospitals, they put you in a hospital gown, start an IV (or at least put one in place in your hand), and put an electric fetal monitor on you. All of which restrict your movement. Plus, I hate needles more than anything and the idea of an IV is something I am not a fan of. I would have also been restricted to ice chips and water only. Labor is long and very hard work. How are you supposed to stay energized without food? It’s impossible. The reason they restrict your food intake is because they are preparing for a c section, which is major surgery and you aren’t allowed to eat before major surgery. The C section rate in the United States is 31.8%. The World Health Organization recommends a rate between 10-15%. Most women who end up having to have “emergency c sections” is because they were denied food for their long labors and got worn out and were no longer able to go on. They would have also taken the baby away from me as soon as he was born to do all the check ups and stuff like that. It is so important to have as much skin to skin as possible as soon as possible to promote bonding and breastfeeding. I’m not saying that you can’t bond with your child after a c section or anything like that. I’m just saying that is it recommended by most doctors and midwives, but so many of them make the mother wait. All the weights and measurements and stuff like that can wait. The baby will still weight the same and be the same length after a few hours. As it was, I was able to spend as much time with Aaron as I wanted to before the midwives took him to measure him.

Nurses and doctors are busy
When you go to the hospital, you are not the only patient. There are many other women that nurses and doctors are dividing their time between. Sometimes it gets hectic. So you might not have the same nurse throughout labor. In fact, you might come in a few hours before a shift change and then you have all new nurses that might or might not be up to date on you and your situation. The doctor basically acts as a catcher. He comes in right before the baby comes out to catch him. Then he leaves to deliver another baby. Sure you’ve talked with him during appointments and know him ok enough, but he might not know who you are if you saw him at the mall. He might even want to induce you early because he has a vacation planned. I’m not saying all doctors do this, but I’ve heard of it happening. Or, if something happens and he’s out of town, then you have a whole new doctor to deal with.
From the beginning, Lisa informed me that her best friend was getting married on September 11, 2 days after my due date. So we had a back up midwife in mind and I was ok with that. About 2 weeks before my due date, she wanted to go out of town for the weekend. She called me to make sure that was ok with me. Someone women freak out if their midwives go away a few weeks before they are due. But I thought it was very thoughtful of Lisa to call me to ask if that was ok. What doctor does that?
When I arrived at the birth center, I was the only person there. I was her only priority. She got me anything and everything I wanted or needed. She personally cleaned up my vomit off the carpet. After delivery, she spoon fed me yogurt so I could continue to hold Aaron. She was in no hurry to be anywhere else that day. When I called her at 3am, she cleared her schedule so that she could focus on me. Although I’m not sure how busy her schedule was on a Sunday, but either way, I was her focus. I came first.

Relaxed environment
From the very beginning, Lisa (our midwife) made sure we were comfortable. Not just with her, but with the whole natural birth, out of hospital experience. I never felt rushed during our appointments. On contrary, I felt like she would have kept us there for hours to answer every question we had. I never had to deal with random nurses that I didn’t know. Lisa was always the one we dealt with. She was not above taking my vitals, weight, belly growth, or anything else like that. She did it all herself, or the help of the student midwife that was working under her. She even invited my in laws to the birth center to have a tour and answer any questions they had about her or the birth process. My mother in law had a bad experience with childbirth with her first born and so she had some concerns about not having a baby in the hospital.
When I came in while in labor, it was the same calm atmosphere. We chilled out in the bedroom before we got bored. Then Lisa suggested we watch a movie downstairs so we wouldn’t be so bored. Once it became too hard to concentrate on the movie, we moved back upstairs to the bedroom and I was able to labor in silence. There was no nurse that was coming in every hour to check me. Lisa would wait until I was ready before she did anything. She talked in a soft voice and even quoted me scripture when I felt like I couldn’t go on.
When I got into the tub, it was the same calm environment. Even the other 2 midwives stayed quiet and talked in hushed tones so I wouldn’t be distracted by them. There was no, “PUSH PUSH PUSH”. I was able to push when I felt like it and stop when the desire went away. Lisa tried to help me with relaxing and breathing but wasn’t pushy about it. Nuge was by my side the entire time. He was able to catch Aaron and put him on my belly. He was able to cut the cord and he was the one who found out if Aaron was a boy or a girl. The whole experience was family oriented. When it came to checking how much Aaron weighed, Nuge got to do that too. We were not rushed into anything.
After delivery, Aaron and I took an herbal bath and could stay in there for as long as we wanted. It was a great bonding experience and very relaxing. After the bath, I was able to wash my hair and feel clean again. We were able to stay at the center for as long as we wanted or leave when we wanted. As it was, we decided to leave about 4 hours after giving birth. What kind of rest do people really get in the hospitals? Probably not much. The birth center knows that people rest better at home in their own beds and in their own environment. Of course, they made sure Aaron and I were both ok enough to go home. They also gave us a packet of information on how to care for a newborn and how to take his temperature and other vitals at home to make sure everything stayed great.

Love my midwife
I first met Lisa when she delivered my niece 3 years ago. I also went with my sister to her appointments when she got pregnant with her 2nd baby. So I knew how great Lisa was even before she became my midwife. She was, and still is, very encouraging and filled with knowledge. She loves Aaron and is never shy to hold him and kiss him and talk to him. She has a calm demeanor that was very helpful during labor. She came to the house 2 days after delivery to check on Aaron instead of us having to go to a doctor’s office. She loved on him so much and it was very sweet to watch. You can just tell how much she loves her job. She also came back to the house a few days later when I was having trouble breastfeeding. She worked with me and gave me suggestions and names and numbers of lactation consultants that she knows personally.

7. Drugs CAN do more harm than good.
I’m not naive enough to know that drugs only cause troubles. But for a lot of women that have normal pregnancies and no history of high risk issues in their family history, medications can cause trouble that is unnecessary. If a woman is induced with medication for whatever reason, it makes labor so much harder. The hormones that the medications provide are a lot more than what the body will provide naturally causing the contractions to be so much harder and intense than if the body had gone into labor naturally. This almost always causes the woman to need an epidural. Sometimes, the combination of the medications can cause the labor to slow down. This then requires more medication to help speed it up. Sometimes breaking of the water is “necessary”. But from what I’ve learned, the water bag acts a cushion for both mom and baby. Instead of the baby’s head pushing directly on the pelvic bone of the mother, the bag is used to cushion the push and make it more comfortable for both. Also, the combination of the meds can cause heart rate problems for mom, baby or both. When that happens, it almost always requires an emergency c section because someone is in trouble. But if the mother was able to go into labor on her own, deny the drugs to make it more comfortable for her, then most of the time, emergency surgery isn’t required. Now, of course, there are exceptions to all of these. I have a friend who was 15 days past her due date, her baby wasn’t growing, and her midwife was worried. She was required to go to the hospital to be induced. She had an epidural, and there were heart rate problems with her baby, but by the grace of God, she did not require a c section. And of course, if you are a high risk pregnancy, then none of this applies. I’m talking just about healthy moms, pregnancies, and babies.

I’ve never met someone who had a terrible birth experience at a birth center
In our birth class, most of the moms there were 2nd or 3rd timers, but first time out of hospital. Almost all of them came to the birth center because they had a terrible experience at the hospital. Some of them, it was their 3rd birth with the same midwife. When talking to people, it’s a hit or misses on if they liked the hospital experience. For most of my friends, it was a terrible experience. Some of them liked their doctors, but not the way they were treated at the hospital. Some of them loved every bit of the experience. But, in all the people that I’ve talked to or met who had birth center or home births would not do it any other way. Some of them have used the same midwife for all of their kids. The treatment is so different than at a hospital.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Things Nobody Told Me

After you get pregnant, people will tell you all sorts of things. Some good, some bad. When people found out I was having a natural childbirth... at a birth center... with a midwife, a lot of people freaked out and would love to tell me the horror stories they have about such and such almost dying because of this and that. So I can't tell you about other people's stories. I can only tell you about mine. For my friends that are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, remember, these are just MY experiences and things I wish people had told me about so that I could have prepared for them.

Now that I've experienced pregnancy and childbirth and am in the process of experiencing motherhood, when I talk to other mothers about what's going on (the good and the bad) they all say, "Oh yeah the same thing happened to me" or "Yeah, I had a hard time with that too". Really?! Why isn't anyone telling people this stuff? I think it's important to know that you are not alone in your struggles and joys and that there have been other women that have gone before you and have experienced the same things. So here are some things that I've learned that may or may not have been told to me by other mothers before they happened to me:

  • Pregnancy does not always equal morning sickness (or all day sickness), outrageous cravings or massive amounts of stretch marks.
I never once had any bout of sickness in the whole 9 months. I did have some cravings, but nothing that were too out of the ordinary; mainly peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, eggs (any kind), grapes, and chocolate milk. And although I did have a few stretch marks on my hips, it's nothing that I'm losing sleep over. And, by the way, yes, I did use lotion and it didn't work.
  • I was no longer able to sleep on my stomach or back (not that I was ever a stomach or back sleeper, but just knowing I couldn't made it worse) and sleeping on your sides starts to hurt after awhile.
Sure, it starts out comfortable, but after about 4 months of sleeping on your sides, it starts to get old. Plus, towards the end, you can't roll over very well and so it makes for turning pretty difficult.
  • Towards the end, it starts being uncomfortable.
I gained about 30 pounds while pregnant (I'm not ashamed of it either), and so walking, sitting, standing, laying down, bending over, getting in and out of cars, off of couches, etc, starts to get hard. When I dropped something, I always thought, "Man, do I really need that?".
  • Contractions don't always start from the top of the uterus and work its way down.
Mine felt like massive menstrual cramps...only about 10 times worse.
  • Labor is scary. Delivery is even scarier.
Now since I had a natural birth, I felt everything. And I mean everything. It was the most pain I had ever been in. I was scared through a lot of it. I kept thinking, "I can't do this." "I'm not strong enough." Of course, in the end, I was strong enough. But it didn't make it any less scary. Even now, if I found out I was pregnant, I would be scared of having to do it over again. But it is definitely something I want to experience again, maybe even multiple times over.
  • Breastfeeding is not always easy and does not always come naturally.
Aaron and I are having the hardest time figuring out this whole breastfeeding thing. He won't latch on to me and it's frustrating. It has brought me to sobbing tears on more than one occasion...or maybe even more than half a dozen times. I've been told multiple times over that other women had problems too and it will get better. It will get easier. Or that they weren't able to do it and just went to formula feeding. Why didn't anyone tell me that? My grandmother, mom, aunt, and sister were all able to breastfeed. My sister has recently had 2 kids and made it seem effortless. Come to find out, she had a really hard time with her first child. Why wasn't I informed of that? Aaron will latch on to my sister just fine, but won't latch on to me. Do you know how incredibly sad and heartbreaking that is for a new mom? It hurt me so bad to know that it wasn't was me. He didn't want me. Very sad. Now, we are still working on the latching on, but I've been told by numerous experts that he will need to grow more and then it will get easier. That he has all the right parts to breastfeed, he just needs to figure it out. I still have faith that we will get this, but for now, we are pumping and using my milk to feed him. It's not ideal, but at least he is getting my milk. We will get there.
  • Natural childbirth will make you walk funny for a few days.
I don't think this one needs any explanation. I think it was a good 3 or 4 days before I was walking completely upright. A good week before I was able to sit and stand at a regular pace, put on jeans or other "regular" fitting clothes. I lived in pajamas for a few days. At that point, comfort is everything.
  • Every theory I had about parenting went out the window as soon as we brought Aaron home.
Nuge has taken off work for 4 weeks. That's more than what most men are able to do. So I figured that with him around, we would be able to do a lot of things on our own. But with my labor starting at 2:30am, having Aaron at 5:20pm, and coming home at 9pm, it made for a very long day. Plus with the trials of breastfeeding and Aaron not sleeping in his crib, we were exhausted the next day. My parents came over the next morning, cooked us breakfast and lunch, cleaned our house and watched Aaron while Nuge and I took a nap. The next night, Aaron was up for 13 hours straight, so Nuge and I were dead tired. At about 5am, I caught my mom online and asked if she would come over and watch Aaron for us while we got some sleep. She did and it was amazing! Once again, she cleaned and did our laundry for us. We have also gone over to my parents house to hang out. But secretly, or not so secretly, it has been so we can take naps while the grandparents watch Aaron. It has been a huge blessing and I can't believe I ever thought we could do it completely alone.
  • The meals that people bring over are one of the best gifts anyone can give new parents.
We have been so blessed by the amount of food people have brought over for us. It is really a lifesaver for us. It's so hard to find time to eat and so when our friends have brought food, we've welcomed them in and asked them to join us. It forces us to sit down, take a break, and eat. Plus, it gives us awesome fellowship with our friends and family.
  • You will wake up and check on your baby to make sure he is still alive.
I am guilty of waking up from a dead sleep to check on Aaron. And babies breathe so lightly sometimes that it's hard to see them move. So I have also been guilty of poking him or putting my hand on him so his startle reflex will kick in and I can see that he's still alive. Also, I have been a victim of Satan's scares. He likes to put horrible thoughts about something bad happening to Aaron in my head. It's a terrible feeling of not being in control, but ultimately, Aaron is in God's hands and it is up to Him if He wants to take Aaron from us. I can do everything I can to protect him, but it's the Lord's doing. I just have to trust in my faith in the Lord to know that He will keep my son safe and alive.
  • Parenting is unreal.
It's been over 2 weeks since we had him and I still can't believe he is our son. It's amazing. It's scary. It's nerve wracking. But it's an awesome feeling!
  • Your kid really is the most beautiful thing in the world.
I know we are all guilty of saying, "Yeah, that baby just isn't that cute." Nuge and I were prepared for our child to come out looking like a monkey. Both he and I have massive amounts of hair, so we were certain that our child was going to be covered in hair. We were also surprised that Aaron didn't have eyes in the back of his head or teeth coming out his nose (Nuge and I both have terrible eye sight and our teeth...well we won't go there). But nope, Aaron came out looking so perfect and beautiful. I have never seen such a beautiful baby. Of course, I'm biased and I'm sure all you parents out there feel the exact same way about your kids. That's just the way it is.
  • The nastiest things in adults are the most adorable in your child.
Who ever thought that poop, pee, burping and spit up can be cute? The only time it's not cute is when your son's "area" is not positioned properly and pee comes out the front, side, and back of the diaper and gets all over you. Or when you hear the "dirty diaper" cry, you say (in your cute baby voice), "Did you go poopoo in your diaper? Oh you sure did. Well let's go take care of that so you can be all nice and clean" It's a totally strange thing. But as soon as you change the diaper, they stop crying and all is right in the world. Your child is happy because of something you did.
  • You truly have a better idea of how the Lord sees you as one of His children when you have your own.
I love Aaron so much that it's unreal. It pains me to think of something bad happening to him. But my love for my son is NOTHING compared to the love the Lord has for me and the rest of His children. When Aaron is having trouble latching on, he can taste the milk that is coming out, yet he still refuses to eat it. I get so frustrated with him because it's right there in his face and he is tasting what is good, yet he still refuses to drink from it. How must the Lord feel when over and over we reject what is good and holy? We know the truth. It's right there in front of us, yet we still refuse to drink from His fountain of Life. I just think about how frustrated He must get at His children, yet He still loves us more than anything.

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure there are more and as I come across them, I'll probably add them to another blog. For my friends out there that are wanting to become parents, I hope this helps and I hope you find comfort in knowing that whatever struggles you may have, you are not alone. Don't be afraid to talk about your struggles with other people, because I'm sure someone, somewhere along the way had the exact same thing happen to them and they might be a great source of comfort, support, and knowledge for you. Parenting is not all rainbows and sunshine all the time. It's hard, it's frustrating, it's heartbreaking, it's rewarding, and it's fun. Hope this helped or gave insight. If not, oh well. It was great therapy for me to get it out.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Birth - The Husband's point of view

Caren wakes me up at 3am Sunday morning saying she's been having constant contractions and cramping that felt different and more serious than other "false contractions" she's had. I was thinking (our baby's not due for another 11 days and ah man he's coming right now? It's 3am! But I was also very excited). So I got up and we tried to start timing the contractions for about an hour. They were kind of random and not all that consistent as far as timing goes. She said she couldn't exactly tell when a contraction was starting. Caren texted our midwife Lisa to let her know the situation and we tried to lie down so Caren could have some energy for the laboring process. I laid down and fell back asleep pretty quick, but Caren couldn't sleep so she got up and talked to her Mom and other random people on the computer. I then got woken up at 7:30 by Caren saying "Honey if I'm going to be up you've got to be up" and she said that the contractions have gotten a bit more intense. I got up and we started timing them again. Caren was saying "We can go ahead and go to church, then labor at home for a while" but as she would go through a contraction she would moan somewhat loudly and we decided that going to church probably wouldn't be the best idea. I can't imagine the random moaning going on during the the contractions were about 4-5min apart and lasted between 50-80 seconds. Caren texted the midwife to tell her the situation and told us to come in whenever we were ready. When about 9:30 rolled around, Caren decided it was getting a little too intense and wanted to go ahead and head up to the birthing center.

I think I was just in shock that this was all already happening...and we both were still somewhat doubting that this was actually the real thing. So we drove up there and Caren was going through some contractions wondering why we were hitting every red light. Meanwhile I kept reminding her that these pains were all normal and this was how God made childbirth to be. I least I hope that that was helping her. We arrived at the birth center just after 10am. We went inside and I could tell that Caren was getting in more and more pain and I just kept praying for God to make this as easy as labor could be. Our midwife Lisa looked to see how dilated Caren was and she was at 3cm. We were somewhat bummed because it sounded like she still had a long way to go. We then went upstairs into a bedroom that we wanted to stay in and Caren sat on an exercise ball. Then I think we both realized that this was the real thing....this was actually happening right was a mixture of emotions. For me it was exciting and I was a bit worried for Caren because I knew she didn't get much sleep and I thought this was going to be a marathon labor that would last like 24+ hours or something. Plus I knew that her pain tolerance is not very high so this would be a whole new ballgame...

So she's sitting on this ball going through these contractions and we were just sitting there and Caren said this is boring. So Lisa told us they had movies we could watch. We end up putting in the Father of the Bride and I decide to run out and pick up a burger and a bunch of tacos from Jack in the Box (with permission from my wife and Lisa of course) to last me for this whole marathon. I left and came back and sure enough this labor was no longer "boring". Caren was starting to be in a lot of pain meanwhile our phones are blowing up from people wanting an update, which I thought was hilarious. Everytime she would go through a contraction I would try and rub her back and press on this heat pack (which was hot rice in a big sock) on her lower back. Now what was funny was that I had never seen Father of the Bride before and I was actually getting interested in watching the movie lol! So I was like whoa Ryan focus on your wife here!!! So God gave me a quick slap to the back of the head to get me sucked out of the movie.

Caren then had another contraction and she said she felt like she was going to throw up. So Lisa runs to get a big bowl and I saw that she was starting to spew a bit, I then ran over and cupped my hands to catch her vomit so it wouldn't get all over the birthing center's carpet. I think Caren really tried to hold off until the big bowl came over but she couldn't and vomited right in my hands. Then the bowl came like 4 seconds later...then I was thinking, Wow...I hate throw up, I can't believe I had the impulse reaction to catch her vomit and it didn't even bother me at all. I realized I must be in like Survival Mode or something. Anyways then Caren apologized quite a bit for doing that.

At this point the fun was over, Caren was no longer smiling at all, no longer wanted to joke, it was all business and straight-faced because the pain was getting to be too much. Lisa then talked Caren into taking a warm shower, so we went up there and she got in the shower somehow and was in there for about 15 minutes and kept telling me that she was scared. I kept telling her to not be scared and that this is all classic labor pain stuff. This is how God made it to be, it's in God's hands, it's all normal stuff. I think this helped a little but she was still fearful. She then got out of the shower and was in quite a bit of pain. So I asked if she wanted to get in the bed in the bedroom. She got into the bed and would have a pretty ridiculous contraction then would doze off in the bed....this pattern repeated for about an hour and a half. While she would doze I was praying over and over in my head asking God to make this happen quick and easy if it was His will. I kept telling Him "you know Caren can't tolerate much pain...please, please just help her get through this. Please...we're your know us...we can't do this without you." and that was some awesome God time and he delivered! So after this Caren asked if there was another position she could try and Lisa told her she could try the ball again. So Caren was on the bed still and was on her knees leaning on the ball and she had another contraction, and her moaning on this one sounded like extreme pain mixed with a desperation cry. It made my heart sink but I knew that this was classic labor stuff. So then Caren cried out "Can I get in the tub now?!!" So Lisa told her she needed to check her to make sure she was far enough along. Lisa looked and by the grace of God she went from 4cm at 1pm to 9.5cm at 4pm! So she said she could get in the tub. We all then helped Caren down the hall to the tub and Caren said she had the urge to push and Lisa said to go ahead.

Caren then somehow made it to the tub and I could tell she was just ready for this baby to get the heck out. At this point I was very excited!!! I knew that this was it! So Caren would get the urge to push and her phone seriously went off like every 4-5 minutes and Caren said "I hate that phone!" funny stuff. (of course it wasn't at the time). So I was kneeling on the end of the tub closet to her head and Lisa was on the other end and I was holding Caren's hand and she would SQUEEZE and pull pretty hard! But she was doing awesome and every time she would push we would encourage her that she was doing so well. So then she got the urge to push again and this baby came out of nowhere! Lisa was like oh geez! and told me to pick the baby up and put it on Caren, so I picked up the baby and put it on Caren and Caren's face was priceless. I think she was in a random state of bewilderment that this baby was suddenly lying on her! Then I was like YOU DID IT and it took a good couple of seconds for her to realize what just happened. Then we were like what is it, what is it? Then Lisa said take a look Daddy, so I looked at the "area" and said IT'S A BOY! IT'S AARON JOSHUA! It was awesome. So all the pain and stuff was nothing in comparison to this creation by God that was lying on his mommy.

To summarize I would say it was very uncomfortable seeing my wife go through more pain then she has ever been through in her entire life, but it was awesome to see the birth of our son. God really helped Caren through this, I believe he allowed Caren to go into labor early so the baby wouldn't be quite as big as a "normal" baby and He made the labor only last from start to finish a total of less than 15 hours, which is pretty good for a first baby. So God is awesome!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Aaron Joshua, The Birth Center Way

The Beginning

So as most of you know, Nuge and I decided we wanted to have a natural childbirth at a birthing center. It wasn't something we decided on lightly, but was definitely something we researched and talked a lot about. My sister had had her daughter, Emma, at the same birth center we were planning on using and had an amazing expereince. Everything about it was wonderful. All of my friends who had had kids, all had hospital births and all had some type of complication that required interference. Not that anything is wrong with a hospital birth vs. birthing center/home birth, but for us, there was no contest as to which one we wanted to do.

So the process:

Once Nuge and I found out we were pregnant, we made an appointment at Family Birth Services in Grand Prairie with my sister's midwife, Lisa. Our first appointment was awesome. She talked to us about how everything would go down, gave us a tour, answered all our questions and concerns and even told us to bring in Nuge's parents so they could be reassured that a birth center birth was completely safe and they had nothing to worry about. We listened to the baby's heart beat at every appointment and, like I said, answered all our questions and went over everything that I was thinking and feeling about giving birth. We felt very at ease with her and she was just a very likeable person. We had a student midwife, Rebekah, that would be with us at most of the appointments and the birth. She was the one that took my vitals and just watched Lisa do her job. Sweet girl.


Nuge and I had decided to go on Date Day before the baby came. We wanted to go see movies, go to dinner and just in general, hang out with each other. So we did that on Saturday, August 28th. 2:30am, I was woken up by some massive cramps (ladies, it felt like your worst menstrual cramp ever). I thought it was from the Panchos we had for dinner (it was Nuge's half of Date Day). I text my sister (since she's a nurse and had been through labor 2 months before), and she told me to give Lisa a call. So I called Lisa at about 3am and told her what I was feeling and what was going on. She told me to try and time the contractions for an hour and then try to lay down and go back to sleep for a little bit.

So I got Nuge up (hey, if I had to be up, then so did he!), and we packed our bag (since we weren't planning on going to the BC for another 11 days), and he timed the contractions. They were coming between 8-10 minutes lasting about 45 seconds each. I called Lisa after an hour and told her I was going to lay down. Yeah, that didn't really work very well. They were too close together to sleep and too strong that when they did start, I would be wide awake and couldn't get back to sleep again. So I gave up and Skyped with my mom and dad for a little bit. I got Nuge up again at 7:30am cause I wanted some company as I was going through them. He made me an egg sandwich. I knew it was going to be a long day and I was going to need some protein to get me through it.

After the contractions started to pick up, I decided to call Lisa and tell her that they were very strong and coming at about 5 minutes apart and lasting over a minute each. She told me I could go ahead and come on in and be checked. So after packing up some snacks to eat during labor (which they encourage you to do to keep your strength up), we headed for the birth center. Once we got there, Lisa checked me and said I was at a 3, which was good cause I went from a 0 to a 3 in just a few hours. She encouraged me and told me I was making great progress. We picked a room to put our stuff in and I got in bed. A lot of books that I had read told me to stay up and walking, but the contractions were too strong that my legs felt like they couldn't handle the shooting pain. It was actually a lot more comfortable to labor in bed or on a couch.

After a while, I got bored just sitting in the room having nothing to do, so we went downstairs and put in Father of the Bride. After about 2 hours, I wanted to be checked again since I was sure I had made some great progress. Nope...4cm. We were in for a very long labor. We went back to watch the movie and then the contractions really picked up. One was so bad that I had to throw up. I told Nuge "I'm gonna throw up! Lisa! I'm gonna throw up!" They both set off to find something to catch it in. I couldn't wait. Nuge ran over to me and caught some in his hands before Lisa came with a bowl. What an awesome man he is for catching his wife's barf in his hands. That, my friends, is true love!

So after that, I was pretty much done watching the movie. I wanted to go back upstairs and concentrate on breathing and relaxing. Between contractions (that were now lasting about 2 minutes each) I tried to rest. I think I even dozed off a few times. Then, all of a sudden, I needed another labor position. Lisa got the birthing ball and put it on the bed and I got on my knees and rested on it. That was, by far, my least favorite position! I felt like I tossed the ball across the room and said, "I do NOT like that position!" Then I needed to throw up again. But I didn't. I told Lisa that I wanted in the tub right then!

Side Note:

I had decided a long time ago that I wanted a water birth. I had heard they were more comfortable (as comfortable as delivering a baby could be) than a bed and I was determined to try it.

The Tub:

Lisa checked me again, telling me that if I hadn't made much progress, we would need to put the tub off until later. If that had been the case, I would have asked to go to the hospital. By this point, the contractions were so strong and so painful that I wasn't sure I could really do it. When Lisa checked me, 2.5-3 hours after the last time she had, I was at 9.5cm. I went from a 4 to a 9.5 in 3 hours! It was awesome! So we headed to the tub. On the way there, I had a contraction and just felt the need to push. So Lisa told me to push. Got in the tub, and it was almost instant relief. Well not "relief" but it definitely felt better in the water.

Once in, I had another contraction and needed to push. This went on for a while. Between them, we could hear our phones going off in the bedroom. It was rather amusing because I had promised to keep people updated through Facebook but things happened so fast that we were unable to do that once we found out I was at a 9.5. I started to really hate the sound of my phone. But it was so awesome to know that we had so much support and prayers coming from our friends.

After about 45 minutes, the head started to emerge. Then, all of a sudden, things got going really fast. Once the head was born, I had one more contraction and then the baby was on my belly. I even missed the part where Nuge caught him and put him up there. I was in complete shock. We sat there drying him off and listening to our baby cry. We didn't even know what sex he was until a few minutes later. I asked, "What is it?" and Lisa said, "Why don't you check it out Daddy". He lifted the towel and the leg and said, "Oh my gosh, it's a boy! It's Aaron!" And that was that. A few minutes later, I had another contraction and the placenta was born. We called our parents to let them know they had a grandson.

Once out of the tub, we got back into bed and just looked at our beautiful son. He was perfect. They checked all his vitals and he was great! Nuge got to weigh him and the midwives had passed him around to see if they could guess how big he was. Nobody guessed less than 6.5 pounds. 5 pounds and 15 ounces. He was a tiny little thing! After eating some yogurt and boiled eggs, Aaron and I took an herbal bath. It smelled like something you would cook pasta in. It was so relaxing. It's supposed to help with my bleeding and drying out Aaron's cord. After the bath, they let me wash my hair (which was like staying in a 5 star hotel!). Then we just hung out for a little bit. Filled out forms and learned what to do with him now that he was ours. I had to nurse him before they would let us go. So around 9pm, we got to leave.

And that's that. That's our birthing story. It was the most amazing experience of my life, but it was also the scariest. I had never felt pain like that before, but in the end, it seriously was worth it. To know that our son is healthy and happy.

God really did design childbirth to be an amazing thing. I am so blessed that I was able to feel everything that God intended me to feel. We are also extremely blessed by our friends and family who prayed for us throughout the entire pregnancy and birth. Trust me, the prayers were heard! We felt everyone's presence there, even though it was just the 2 of us. We knew that the Lord had given us so amazing friends that were there for us. So thank you to everyone who prayed and thought about us yesterday!

I'm not embarrassed by my birthing pictures because I know that it was hard work and you can't always look your best when working that hard. So for those of you who might thing that giving birth is a glamorous event, it's not and I'm not ashamed to show you the true side of it. So no, I'm not wearing make up and yes, that's really what my face looks like. And 2, I had been sweating for hours and so yes, my hair looks terrible. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

38 Weeks Down, 2 To Go

Well, we have made it to 38 weeks! So far, everything is looking great! Our midwife, Lisa, said that Baby Nuge is in a perfect position for birth. He/she is head down and pretty low, which, according to her, is really good for 1st time moms this early. So that makes me excited! :)

Nuge and I have been camping out in the living room because sleeping on the couch is more comfortable than in the bed right now. It's actually been a pretty pleasant experience on the couch. I think I'm sleeping better and feel a little more rested.

I've been hanging out in the pool a lot lately to relieve some of my back pain. I love being in there, but when it's time to come out, the pain comes back. I guess you never realize how your weight can affect everything. 25 extra pounds around my belly has proven to be pretty heavy. I'd like to start walking around the mall so that I can maybe get labor started sooner rather than later. Although, Baby Nuge will come with he/she is ready. It's all in God's perfect timing!

So far, the due date is September 9. Our 2 year anniversary is on Sept. 5. Labor Day is on the 6th. So we like to think that Baby Nuge and I will start contractions on Friday, Sept 3. That way, Nuge will have all weekend off work, plus Monday! Then, his paternity leave will start on Tuesday. So that's the plan and we can't mess it up! :) Our midwife is also going out of town on Sept 11, so we can't have the baby on that date. But anytime after the 11 is ok with us! :) Of course we are joking!

I put a survey at the top of the blog so you can make a prediction of what gender Baby Nuge will be!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We Are Ready (I think)!

And by "ready," I really mean the nursery is ready. I'm getting there, but I still have 3 more weeks until I'll be "ready"!

Crazy!! 3 more weeks. Which really means, I could deliver next week or 5 weeks from now. I'm not really worried about when the baby comes, as long as Baby Nuge is healthy. I have enjoyed being pregnant, so if I have to stay this way a week or 2 longer than planned, it's no big deal. Baby Nuge will come when she's ready to come.

I've only started being really uncomfortable these last few weeks though. It's hard to roll over when I sleep, sit up when I'm taking a bath or laying down, or putting on shoes. I haven't been able to fit in our shower for a few months now, so I've resorted to baths. Let me tell ya, when I've had a hard day, nothing beats a nice warm bath!! My fingers have swelled up so bad that I can't wear my wedding rings anymore. Since I'm not comfortable going out in public without my rings, I've put them on a pony tail holder and wear it around my wrist. A much better idea than not wearing them at all or wearing them on my pinkie. My feet no longer have bones in them. Or if they do, I can't see them anymore. When I wear tennis shoes all day and then take them off, my feet start itching really really bad because they have been constrained in a shoe and then are finally released. It makes for not such a fun night sometimes.

But all in all, it has been a very wonderful experience and I'm so blessed to have the trust of my Lord that He has allowed me to carry and care for one of His Children. I just can't get over what a blessing it is to have His trust like that. It's also very scary to realize that He has trusted us with something so precious. But I feel confident that Nuge and I will be able to take care of God's child as long as we remember Who's Baby Nuge really is! He is not ours, but God's. What an amazing realization.

Our midwife experience has also been wonderful. I can't wait to come back and post about the birthing process from a birthing center point of view. In the next week or so, I will post a survey of what the readers (that's you!) think we are having. It will be interesting to see what y'all think.

That's another thing that has been pretty cool...not finding out the sex. These last few days have been a little harder only because we have baby girl clothes, that my sister has graciously given us, in our closet. I very much want to take them out of the bags and hang them up, but if we have a boy, then it would be wasted time. So that's really been the only "hard" part of not finding out. Other than that, it's been a blast putting the nursery together and seeing my vision come to life on the walls. I would have never been able to do any of it without the help of my awesome friends and family.

Thank you so much to ladies in our Friday night LifeGroup (Linda, Kim, Lisa, Jennifer, and Heather). Y'all have all had some part (big or small) in the coming together of our nursery. And to the husbands who helped paint (Clint, Ben, and Kyle), y'all are pretty awesome too! Also, to all the ladies who put together and thrown the 3 best baby showers ever, y'all did such a great job and I enjoyed each and every one of them. So thank you Jan, Sally, Carolyn, Tricia, Jennifer, Jennifer, Linda, Erin, and Stephanie. And a massive thank you to the ladies who actually showed up to the showers! If it weren't for y'all, we wouldn't have much. I love you ladies so much!!

So here are some pictures of the nursery coming together. For more pics from the various showers, you can check out the Baby Nuge photo album on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Day We Got Robbed...

So let me tell you the "fun, exciting" day the Nuge's had today.

I was at home, chilling out in the living room when the door bell rang. I don't like answering the door really, so I just looked out the peep hole and see a guy out there wearing a blue uniform type outfit carrying a notebook. I look out our front windows and see his car backed into our driveway. Well I don't know this guy; I'm not expecting anyone, so I don't answer. But he just keeps ringing our door bell over and over. Then he knocks and tries to open our storm door (thankfully, it's always locked).

I go into the bedroom and hear him on the side of our house going into our backyard. I call the cops and tell them I'm home, someone is in my backyard, I don't know who they are, I'm 6 months pregnant and I'm scared. She asks for my location and I tell her. I hear knocking on our back windows that lead into the kitchen. I kinda peer out of the bedroom and see the man looking in. He was looking towards the living room, so he didn't see me. I jump back into the bedroom and tell the dispatcher that he's looking into my windows. Then I hear him trying to open our back storm door (which is also always locked; our house is like a fortress) and yell, "Hello, anyone home?" Then I hear rustling of the bushes and kinda think he's leaving.

But then, I hear a loud CRASH sound and I knew he just broke my window. I tell the dispatcher that he broke my window and is coming into my house. I run into my closet and am just standing there. I tell the dispatcher that I can hear him in the living room and that I'm scared and to hurry up. She assures me the police are on the way and to try and relax and breath (uh yeah, cause that's what you would do if you were pregnant and a man was in your house) and not talk until I needed to.

Then the door bell rings again (I seriously hate my doorbell now). In my head, I'm thinking, these are his friends coming to help him take my stuff away. The dispatcher told me the police were on the scene now and they were chasing the guy and that it was safe to come out now. I told her, no, I'm pretty sure he's still in the house (cause in my head, it was just his friends that rang the door bell and they are the ones being chased). So she told me I could stay in the closet as long as I wanted, but that the guy was now caught down the street with a broken leg and that the cop wants me to come to the front door.

I go there and look out and I just see a cop car, but no cop. I go outside and tell her I don't see anyone. She tells me that they are coming, that they caught him down the street and are coming back to me. Just then, I see a cop running back up towards my house. I notice the notebook the guy was carrying on the ground in my neighbor's yard, so I pick it up and it said, "Sensus Information" (yes, that's how he spelled it). But it was just scribble scrabble. The guy also left his car in my driveway.

So the cops come and take my information and story and all that good stuff. They asked if I would be able to identify the guy and I told them yes. So they drove me to another neighborhood where they caught the guy and yes, that was him on a stretcher with a broken ankle. He tried to tell the cops it wasn't him. Um, dude, you left you car in my driveway!

Anyway, they took fingerprints on all the windows and doors. And took pictures of everything. Even the cut in the screen (which was probably there to begin with). All the policemen were super nice and kept telling me what a great job I did.

Thankfully, he was probably only in the house for a second before the doorbell rang, so he didn't get a chance to touch anything. I mean really, he didn't touch a single thing. He ran through the living room and went out the nursery window where the cop was standing and just took off running.

Some things that I have learned in this situation:

1. Even if I'm home and don't want to answer the door, to say something so they know I'm home and will go away.
2. Not call my sister when I think someone is coming into my backyard, but call the cops first. (Which is dumb of me cause I call the cops on practically everything that they probably know me by name up there.)
3. That I'm safe, my baby is safe, and my Lord Jesus was with me through the whole thing.
4. That I have an awesome sister and brother in law who showed up very shortly after the cops since it was her that I told that someone was in my backyard. She even called Nuge on her way over to tell him what was going on.
5. That my husband is awesome and came home to be with me even though I was ok.
6. That I'm still in shock and I fear a breakdown coming soon.
7. That people are evil! I mean really evil. Who really breaks into someone's house and tries to steal their stuff? Whoever said that people are inherently good are very wrong! We came out of the womb as sinners, we live our lives as sinners and we die as sinners. Only when we are in the presence of Christ Jesus do we become something different than evil.

What could have happened:

1. I could have not been home, he would have come in, taken everything, and left and I would have no clue who it was or anything.
2. I could have had our baby in the house with me and that would have made the whole thing worse.
3. He could have opened my closet door, saw me, and hurt me.
4. We could have a dog that would have barked and he would have left us alone.

Monday, May 17, 2010

23 Week Update

I have been really bad about updating this blog. I guess I either:
1. Just forget about it
2. I figured you would be bored reading it
3. I don't have anything to say.
But more than likely, it's the second answer.

As far as the pregnancy goes, things have been going great! Baby Nuge is moving a lot more and for the first time, Nuge felt it kick from the outside! It was a great moment! I am getting bigger, but when I compare myself to my sister (who is 2 months ahead of me), I am still pretty small.

My sister, Cori, and I fishing at Lake Granbury for our huge "Mother's Day and Birthday Get Together".

The Birthday people: Kevin, 54, Emma, 3, and Caren, 25.

The Mothers: Jan (Caren's mother in law), Cori, Donna (Caren and Cori's mom), and Caren.

I'm trying to see if Nuge can feel the baby kicking. He couldn't at this point. But give him another week and he can!

Uncle Nuge teaching Emma to fish. He was really hoping he would catch one on that Barbie fishing pole for Emma, but it didn't happen.

Chilling out on the boat!

Emma's first time on a jet ski. She liked it, but didn't like the water splashing in her face.

We had our sonogram on May 11. Everything is going great. Baby Nuge is healthy, growing at a normal rate, and is measuring right on target. We did not find out the sex of the baby, for we are waiting until he/she comes out to show us! We informed the guy performing the sonogram and he assured us that he would not look "there" unless he felt something was wrong. Thankfully, nothing was wrong, therefore, he did not come close to "that area". So even if people wanted to see our sonogram pictures and try to tell what the sex is, they wouldn't be able to. So HAHA!! :) We were able to watch our baby move its hands and mouth on the screen. What an awesome site it was! So blessed.

Our baby has a foot!!

I find this sono pic rather funny. :)

I threw my sister a baby shower this past weekend. It was rather stressful, but in the end, I think it was a pretty good success. She got a lot of things that were on her registry and was very pleased with everything. She is moving to Lubbock in June to start her new job as a nurse at a hospital there. I am very sad that she is leaving, but happy for her that she has found a job. She will be coming back July 1st so that she can have her baby here with her midwife on/around July 9. Not sure how long she will be here, but I hope it's a while so I can get used to taking care of a newborn. And by "I," I really mean "Nuge." :)

Cori and I at her baby shower in front of the clothes she got. Thankfully, she got more than just clothes. :)

Cori and I at her nursing pinning ceremony! I'm so proud of her. Going through nursing school while trying to take care of a husband and a baby. Plus, getting pregnant in her last year. She is one strong person!!

One of my best friends, Linda, and her husband Ben, adopted a baby boy from Ethiopia. The week before Mother's Day, they flew there to go and pick up their son, Bereket. They arrived back home Saturday afternoon. Nuge and I, along with about 20 other people, had the privilege of being at the airport when they arrived. It was such a special moment to share with them and I was blessed to have been apart of it. Bear (as Bereket will be nicknamed) has adjusted fairly well to Ben and Linda. He is such a sweet baby and loves to be held. Trot on over to her blog for updates on her growing family.

Ben, Linda and Bereket, 11 months, on their first day of meeting!

Other than all that, nothing too much has been going on. I say that like this past week wasn't crazy. Crazy but good.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weeks 13 and 14

Some people have been asking how my pregnancy is going. And to be honest, I think it's going great! I haven't had any morning sickness at all. I lost my appetite for a long time and just wasn't hungry ever. It was a struggle to eat because nothing really sounded good. I did have some chicken early on and it was the most disgusting thing I'd ever eaten, so for right now, chicken is out. Other than that, I haven't really had any real food cravings or nausea. My appetite has since come back full force. Tonight, for instance, it started out with a strawberry banana milkshake, 2.5 hot dogs, Cheetos, pasta salad, and 2 or 3 pickles (I lost count). And I could probably go for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but I better not press it too much.

I was super tired pretty much the whole first trimester. It didn't matter how much sleep I got, it was never enough. It wasn't that "Ahhh that was a great 12 hour sleep; I feel great!" It was always, "ugh, I can't even get out of bed and function correctly" kind of tiredness. Thankfully I don't work outside the home, so I was able to sleep as often as my body needed. Working pregnant women are my new heroes!

As far as cravings go, Nuge is the one that is getting all of them. His favorite dish right now is Chicken Ramen (blech), Rotel, scrambled eggs, mayo, Tabasco sauce, and some seasonings all mixed together either in a bowl or on a sandwich. Either way, it looks and smells disgusting!

I spend most of my days in lounge pants and t shirts since I find jeans restricting even when I'm not pregnant. So I never realized how pregnant I looked until I put on a maternity dress for a funeral last week. I was like, "Woah! I'm pregnant!" So now, I've graduated to maternity clothes that I'm sharing with my sister, who just happens to be pregnant too. We started taking pictures at 13 weeks, then again this week at 14.

Those were at 13 weeks.

And those were at 14 weeks. And yes, I am aware that they are stretched, so I look bigger than I really am. It was either that, or you were gonna have to turn your head to the side to see it. So just pretend I'm not stretched.

Also, people keep asking if I know if I'm having a boy or a girl. Yes, I'm having a boy or a girl. Which one? I'm not sure, but I know it will be at least one of those. We are not finding out the sex until he/she comes out and says, "Here it is." Or "Here it isn't." So later on, I'll have a fun survey you can take to let me know which gender you think we are having.

On Wednesday, we heard the heart beat again. It was like music to my ears! I have yet to have an ultrasound and I'm still back and forth on if I want to get one or not. We probably will just because I know the Nuge side of the family will want to see their grand baby, and I'm sure my parents wouldn't mind either. But we just aren't sure when we'll do that yet.

So there it is. My pregnancy, so far, in a nutshell. Come back (if you're interested) to find out how the rest is going. I'll try to keep it as updated as possible.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

God's Many Blessings

Over the past two and a half years, God has really blessed Nuge and I. He has been faithful in His Word and Promises, and for that, we are so grateful. Let's recap:


I (Caren) had just come home from a 4 month mission trip when I was set up on a blind date with Nuge at the end of May. We clicked almost right off and became very close friends. He came into my life shortly after the birth of my niece, Emma, who has brought much joy to our lives. 2007 was only the beginning of what would be an amazing 2008.


In late February, Nuge proposed, and obviously, I said yes. We both graduated from UTA; him in May and me in August. He was able to see our beach cabin in Galveston one time before hurricane Ike took it away just a few months later. In early September, we tied the knot on my grandparents' 55th wedding anniversary, which was a great honor and pleasure. Right before that, Nuge opened his heart fully to our amazing Christ Jesus and we have been growing in Him ever since. A little over a month later, we lost my beloved MawMaw in a very long battle with diabetes and complications. In December, we took our honeymoon, provided by Nuge's parents, to Jamaica. Our first Christmas was wonderful. 2008 was awesome!


We stayed strong in our faith and marriage into the 2009 year. My grandparents decided to move up here to get away from the hurricanes. So in March, Arlington got new residents. It has been wonderful having my grandparents here. When Nuge's job required him to change from first shift (8-5) to second shift (3-12+am), I decided to stop working as a subsitute and stay home full time. For my birthday, Nuge bought me all the things I needed for a new puppy, and a few weeks later, we brought Gus home. After a few months of living in Nuge's parents' house, we decided to buy our own. So in October, we became official homeowners and even hosted our first Thanksgiving here. Complete with a turkey that Nuge made himself. I spent my very first Christmas ever (with Nuge of course) with my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins. It was quite amazing. But 2010 had some awesome things to offer for us as well.


On Januray 2, we were able to celebrate Nuge's grandfather's 83rd birthday. Which we also used to announce that we were pregnant to his side of the family. Our joy came with some sadness. Just 2 days later, we lost our sweet puppy Gus to a tragic complication during surgery. We feel that God took Gus away from us at His perfect timing. It sucks, but we trust in the Lord and know that He knows best. Yesterday, we were blessed beyond belief with the sound of our baby's heartbeat. So coming to you, in September, will be a Baby Nugent.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

August Blu "Gus" April 3, 2009-January 4, 2010

On Monday, January 4, 2010, we lost our beloved puppy August Blu, which you know as Gus.

She went in for a routine spay surgery, everything seemed fine to the vet. As they were walking Gus out to me, she collapsed and turned white. Her body temperture was 95 degrees (when it's supposed to be 101). They put hot towels and hot water bottles around her as well as pumped some warm fluid in her to make her temp go up. It went up a few degrees and I guess they felt it was safe enough to release her into my care. They told me to keep hot towels and a heater on her and she should be ok. They didn't see anything that would worry them.

I brought her home and rotated towels from the dryer. Everytime I would cover her, she would get up and move. I wasn't able to pick her up and move her to the bed, so I waited until Nuge got home and then we both moved her. I put towels and the heater on her and she stayed put. I laid down with her and kept petting her and telling her it was ok. After an hour or so, she started to convulse. Of course I freaked out and called my father in law (who lives a few minutes from me) so he could come help me take her to the 24 hour animal hospital down the street. By the time he got here, she was not breathing. Kevin carried her to the car and I sat in the backseat petting her and rubbing on her. Nothing. We got her to the hospital and they took her in the back. There was nothing they could do for her. By the time we got the news that she was gone, Nuge had shown up. We cried with each other and just kept petting her.

She was our sweetie pup. She was 9 months old and we still had so many more years left to play with her. We are trying not to be mad at any of the situations because being mad and angry won't bring her back. we are not putting blame on anyone or anything. She could have died from any number of things: eternal bleeding, reaction to the meds, heart failure, anything. We talked to the vet the next day and she told us that she cut her open and didnt see anything that was out of the ordinary and even double checked to make sure she wasn't bleeding anywhere. We are just remembering how awesome she was. How much fun we had with her. And how much we loved her and she loved us. Over the last few days, we've been retelling funny stories about her and just missing her so bad. Going to bed, waking up, and everything in between is just not the same without our Gussy. But we have faith that God took her at the right moment. He knows better than us and we are going to trust Him with everything we have.

We greatly appreciate the outpour of support and prayers that we have received over the last few days. It has been so overwhelming to get phone calls, texts, comments and private messages. Thank you so much for all of that. We appreciate continued prayers for us to cope with losing our Gus and for us to figure out what our new normal is. Thank you all so very much.
Here are some pictures of our Gus over the last 7 months.