Saturday, March 24, 2012

Woe Is Me.... Yet, I Feel So Blessed

I have been hearing from a lot of people that this week has just been a really tough one to get through. 
I was one of the people saying that.
I started listing all of the things that were going wrong and I realized that wasn't getting me anywhere. 
I decided to change my mind set and see how much Heavenly Father notices me and is blessing me, especially during my trials and times of need.

Late Monday evening, I began coming down with a sore throat and a runny nose.
Not bad symptoms, just annoying. Right?
I would have loved if it would just stayed at that, 
but progressively as the days went by, my symptom count was rising.
Fever of 101.6, pink eye in not one but BOTH eyes, weakness, 
exhaustion, no voice whatsoever, feeling like my lungs could not exhale 
because something was constricting them, DOUBLE ear infection, stuffy nose, 
headaches, and so forth. You name it, I got it. 
I began complaining, because naturally, who wouldn't?
I moped around feeling sorry for myself and crabbing at everyone (Nick)
even though they weren't doing anything wrong.
I had to get myself in line. And fast.

I began listing off all of the problems I was having, 
and then thinking of how I had been blessed through it all.

Monday night was "hard" for me.
So hard in fact that I had a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, medicine to take, a husband to take care of me and cuddle me when I wake up shivering because of my developing fever, a baby that is the happiest little girl ever who will put a smile on anyone's face. It's like she can sense that mama is sick.

Tuesday was even "harder."
Harder because my husband goes to school and works so I can stay at home with Malia. I didn't have to call into my work and ask for a sick day. I was already able to be at home. Again, I was able to nap while my perfect little baby napped, which gave me enough energy to be able to stay awake with her and play. It was even the most hard for me because as soon as my husband walked in the door, he grabbed Malia from me and took care of her the rest of the night so I could rest some more. 

Wednesday was even more "hard."
I wake up about 8:30 and take a much needed hot shower because my difficult daughter decided that she wanted to sleep in until 9:30 this day. Shame on her. About 9:00am, I hear a knock at the door. It was my husband (he forgot his key). I open the door to see his hands full. In his one hand, he had a rose for me. In his other, he had orange juice. He said he was staying home from school that day to help me out with anything I needed. Seriously, how could I feel so bad about myself when I am being waited on hand and foot?
This was the day that my fever spiked up to 101.6. I was hot, then cold, then hot again. Finally, I called up the doctor and set up an appointment. I needed to figure out what was going on in my body. Yes, it is so hard to have health insurance, to be able to call up the doctor anytime of the day and be able to get right in. They came to the conclusion that I had all the symptoms of the flu, but I was vaccinated for it months before and the swab test came back negative. Seriously, the flu?! And to think I thought I was dying! I look at my amazing mother in law who has fought cancer FOUR TIMES, and I was complaining about the measly flu. I was so fortunate to get a prescription from the doctors to cure my "life-threatening illness."  After I got home, Nick called one of our home teachers to assist him in a blessing for me. The blessing was so beautiful. I am so grateful that I have the priesthood in my home and I am able to ask for a blessing any time of the day! Afterwards, I took my medicine, which my crummy health insurance mostly covered. How dare them! I get home, only to receive a text from my mean ol' mother saying she is bringing me some homemade chicken noodle soup. It was absolutely delicious!! And it actually helped me to feel better. Within minutes of taking my medicine, my fever was gone and I was on the ground playing patty-cake with my daughter. I felt great!!

Thursday was really "hard" for me, too.
I woke up with pink eye in both my eyes. Really?? I think about it and it seems as if it is the worst thing that could happen at this moment, then I realize "At least I can even see. There are people out there who are blind and wake up to darkness every. single. day!!" With my pink eyes, I was still able to gaze at my husband as he made me breakfast, and I was still able to see my beautiful little baby smile at me trying to make me feel better. Malia was starting to cough a little in her sleep, so I decided to set her up and appointment to make sure she wasn't getting sick. I took her in and she was healthy as can be. Honestly, that was the hardest thing of all... My baby, whom I am around 24/7 was staying 100% healthy as she stayed alongside her highly contagious mother. So, I decided that today was the day I was going to get better!! I was sure of it! I felt that if I went out and about and kept myself busy, rather than moping around in my house, I'd get better quicker. I traveled the long and treacherous 7 miles to my parent's house. It is SOOOOO hard to have my family so close. I couldn't be more burdened. My mom and I relaxed and watched movies and ate lunch together. She helped me with my child, whom seriously does nothing wrong. About an hour before I left their house, I began feeling pressure in my right ear. Really? Another symptom. I had an ear infection. A really bad one that that. But I was going to push through it and overcome this sickness today!! I went home that evening to my husband who had cooked a fantastic dinner. My life is so hard!! We then went on a walk to the park which is a whopping 4 blocks away. We took the dog, cat, and Malia and had a blast. It was Malia's first time in the swings. She absolutely loved them!! I have pictures to prove it! :) We went home after that and put Malia to bed so we could finally relax together. About 3:00am, I woke up FREAKING OUT because I could not breathe! At ALL!! My lungs were completely shut, it felt like. I was sobbing telling Nick we needed to call 911. Luckily, I have a level headed husband who padded my back and encouraged me to take long deep breaths. He pulled me into the kitchen to help me do the Nedi-Pot nose thing. It was so weird, but helped a lot. By the time we got settled back down and into bed, I apologized a million times to Nick for waking him up in a frantic and these were his exact words, and I quote "Sheri, I am here to serve you any hour of the day." Seriously?! The nerve of that perfect man, to say something like that to me. We said another prayer together, and I slept fantastic the rest of the night.

Friday, the "hardest" of all days.
Woke up countless times throughout the night. One of the times I realized that one of my earrings was missing. My FAVORITE earrings to be exact.. It's a very small, material  thing, but it mattered to me a lot (I think) because it was one thing after another. I was so sad, and even said a little prayer in my heart. Within seconds, I moved my hand and there it was. It was just one of those reassuring instances where I know that the Lord knows even the littlest things that matter to us. My fever had left, but I still had everything else. Nick had a quiz that he had to go study for at school and would be leaving any minute. Just in the nick of time, he received a text saying that the quiz was postponed. That meant he would be home with me all day! :) That helped me cheer up. I got ready and we went out and about, because I know that being productive would help me get my mind off of myself. After a nice productive afternoon, I took a nap while Nick tended our daughter. Waking up from that nap, I still felt really gross. Didn't feel like doing anything but lounging. To my surprise, Nick brought home a pizza so I didn't have to cook. He is amazing!! We ate our pizza, then settled down. As we were watching a show, I began feeling like I wasn't able to breathe, just like the other night. I began crying and telling him we needed to go to the hospital, but felt so dumb about it because they're going to say nothing is wrong. It's just the flu. So I had him call my doctor, who happens to be open until 9 every night, and they got us right in. It was about 8:45 when we got there and I was hysterical. The sweet doctor told me nothing was wrong with my lungs but that I had developed severe ear infection and it was going to the other ear now. Wow!! She prescribed me some antibiotics and an inhaler and sent me on my way. I ended up sleeping at my parents house because Nick had to work a grave that night. Once I was there, I had no fever, I could breathe, my eyes weren't goopy anymore, and I was able to get some real sleep.

I wake up today, still with my double ear infection and cough, but I have realized something throughout this whole week. I have WAAAAY more to be thankful for than I have to complain about.

I have a husband who loves and cares about me more than I could ever ask for.
I have such a submissive, calm, happy little baby who always knows how to make me smile.
I have a family who always has their door open to help me whenever I need it.
I have friends who have offered to take Malia to let me rest.
I have a home, with electricity, hot water, and a bed.
I have health insurance that allows me to go to the doctor
whenever I am feeling sick or having any problems.
I have the gospel in my life which allows me to have an eternal perspective on life.
And most importantly, I have a Father in Heaven who knows
every single thing that I have been through and more.

There are people out there with much worse than I ever will.
They have lost family members, they have cancer or AIDS
or a real life-threatening disease, they have no home or hot water or food,
they're single parents trying to provide for their family,
they've got addictions that they are trying to overcome,
and much much more.

I am perfectly content with my flu because my life is far from hard.

Double pink eye and posing daughter.

Such a dopey dog.

How could this not make you smile?!
Yes, we got a kitten.
And yes we brought him for a walk.

The perfect daddy.

Discovered that she can suck on her bottom lip.

Have a great day!
And be thankful for what you've got, because there's people out there who have it much worse.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Is it weird?

Tell me, is it weird that I get emotional going through Malia's "newborn" clothes?!
I was sorting through her clothes today and rotating the smaller ones and putting them in storage
and I teared up multiple times. I don't want her to grow up. I am not ready for it. 
It's a bitter sweet feeling, that's for sure!

It is so exciting to see her grow and improve her little motor skills.
Right now, she is so persistent on sitting up. 
Unless she is really tired, she will now lay down for ANYTHING! 
She is constantly making a face that people do when they do "sit ups."
It is one of the cutest things we've ever seen!  
She talks non-stop (just like her mommy) and smiles from ear to ear. 
She is no longer my little baby. She's growing so fast, 
enough to move up a size in clothes and diapers.
She is becoming more independent and trying to do everything on her own, 
without the help of her parents.
Obviously she isn't able to do that much without us, but it sure feels like it.
Just today, 4 different people have come up to me and Nick
and said how much older she is looking.

Where has my precious little baby gone? 
I feel like time is flying by way too fast, and I need to find a way to stop time.
And maybe if doctors could figure out some kind of technology that could 
stunt the growth and make babies small forever! 
(And puppies and kittens, too.)
But I am not ready for her to grow up on me just yet.
Everyone always tells you that time will fly by, 
but I wasn't expecting it to go by this fast. 
Malia will be 3 months old this next week.  
I know you guys are all rolling your eyes thinking that she's still SOOO young, 
but when I was looking at her little newborn onsies, 
I couldn't believe that she ever fit into them. 
And to think that was just a couple weeks ago.
We are letting her sleep in her crib tonight for the first time.
It's going to be so hard for me to look over at her bassinet and her not be in it. 
We just need to cherish the time that I have with her 
because before we know it she'll be graduating high school, 
and getting married, and having her own little babies...
in just the blink of an eye. 

My favorite book of all time is 
"Love You Forever"
My mom and sisters made me a vinyl plaque for her nursery that says, 
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
I couldn't have said it better myself.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Malia's Definitely A Model

I am pretty sure that from here on out, the majority of the 
posts on this blog are going to be about our sweet little angel Malia. I
f you're not a fan of babies, then you probably will want to stop reading now.
This post is going to have a TON of pictures! 

My sister in law texted me one day asking if I wanted to 
take Malia to a newborn photo shoot. 
Her friend was starting a photography business and wanted to
get her name out there. She offered to do a free photo shoot 
of Malia. How could I turn that down?! 

We took Malia to Alena's place to get a "primped up."
Having a girl is so much fun because it's like playing dress up with a LIVE DOLL!!
Every girls dream! :)
It was a blast helping Alena get Malia positioned for the pictures.
Being a newborn photographer would be one of the 
funnest jobs, I think. All of her work turns out great. 

So here is the end product of Malia's newborn photoshoot!
Ah, I love this girl.

Who knows... maybe her eyes will stay blue!

I love these ones!! The fall colors, her face, EVERYTHING!


 I love these ones too. Her facial expressions are still the same!

Such a cute prop! I absolutely loved the stroller.
I felt bad. The original idea of the photo shoot was to 
get sleeping baby pictures, 
but Malia just wasn't having it. After the first five minutes, 
she stayed wide awake the entire time. These are the only 
sleeping ones we got. I love this headband so much!

 Sweet Dreams

I love newborn feet. 

If anyone wants to get baby pictures done for a great price, 
I'd definitely recommend Photography By Alena

The Big Day!! (quite long.. I apologize)

Today's blog post might be a liitle bit different than usual. How so? 
Well, I will be writing about the most amazing experience a person could have, 
and it happened to Nick and I just two months ago! 
As you know, Nick and I were expecting a little angel to enter our lives on October 20.
Well, she had a plan of her own and came down to meet us 8 days early.

About 3 weeks before she was born, Malia gave us a little scare. 
Normally, it felt like she was doing kung-fu, gymnastics, and summer salts
in my tummy all at the same time, but this morning was different. 
I hadn't felt her move for quite some time.
The last time I could remember was her having hiccups the night before. 
We rushed to my doctors office, which happened to be my doctors day off, 
so we would have to see one of the other doctors there. 
We checked in and one of the nurses took my vitals and 
asked me how long it had been since I felt movement.
Before I had even seen the doctor, they quickly came to a decision
that it was pointless for me to see one of their doctors 
and since it had been "...too long since I had felt movement, 
I needed to go to Labor and Delivery IMMEDIATELY!" 
We rushed to the hospital, where they checked me in and hooked me up to a monitor.
The quickly found her steady heartbeat. 
The sound of her heartbeat was the most relieving sound I had ever heard. 
They said she must have either been taking a nap
or just decided to be little Miss Stubborn.
That was our first scare.

About a week later, I began feeling contractions.
It wasn't just Braxton Hicks. It felt different, more painful.
We began timing them and they were about 10 minutes apart, and 45 seconds long.
At my doctors visit earlier that week, I was 80% effaced and dilated to a 1cm.
These contractions could be serious and mean I was going into labor,
or they could last a couple weeks. 
It's different for everyone, so we just kept timing them.
They began to get closer and closer, about 8 minutes apart.
We packed our "emergency bags" just in case, 
then headed to bed to get some rest. Yeah right.. 
With contractions coming every 8 minutes, there was no sleep on my end.
Around midnight, I couldn't take the pain any longer. 
We decided to head to the hospital.
The nurse checked me in and got my "stats."
I was 90% effaced, but still only dilated to a 1cm.
(At least I had progressed, right?)
She said she would monitor my contractions for an hour, then check me again.
If I was still the same after an hour, they'd have to send me home.
Well, that was a looooong hour, to say the least. 
She checked me once the hour was up, and no progress. 
They'd have to send me home again.
Her "advice" for me was not to come back unless my contractions were
2-3 minutes apart.
When your contractions are that close, 
you should be pushing the baby out, not barely checking in.
So, back to our home we went.

The next few days were quite painful because my contractions were still consistent, 
but not consistent "enough" to go to the hospital.

Then on October 12th, it all happened...

I woke up that morning, just like every other morning. 
Made Nick breakfast (yes, I am a great wife), then kissed him goodbye to school.  
I took Samson for a walk, just like I did every morning.  
I did the dishes, cleaned the house, and even swept and mopped the floors. 
I was probably just "nesting" like most expecting mothers do.
Nothing was different. Little did I know what would be happening in just a few short hours.
I threw on a hat, some mascara, and luckily some jeans and went to do some errands.
After going to Home Depot to buy some paint for her crib, I was drained.
I headed to my mom's to hang out. 
We ate some lunch together, then I watched her paint the crib.
She wouldn't let me help because of the "fumes."
I told her I had been having contractions all morning.
During lunch, I had a really painful one. Since that one, we began timing them.
They were about 5-7 minutes apart. 
Still, not close "enough" (according to that nurse at the hospital).
My mom would try and get my mind off of it by talking to me about other things
and telling me stories, but when her stories were interrupted by me 
having contractions every 5 minutes, it was hard to get my mind off of it.
I had not cried at all up until now,
but now it was to the point where I couldn't hold back the tears any longer.
She told me I should call my doctor and see what she says.
Sure enough, it was a Wednesday, which is my doctors day off...AGAIN.
They had me talk to one of the other doctors at the office.
Once I told her how painful my contractions were and how consistent they had gotten,
she told me to go to Labor and Delivery ASAP.
This could be it... I could be having my baby... TODAY!!
I called Nick and told him to meet me at the hospital, and my mom would drive me there.
So what does my mom do? The most logical thing of course.
She takes a shower. She had paint all over her from the crib! Haha. My mom is so funny.
After she got cleaned up, we headed on our way.
She dropped me off with Nick and told me to call her if anything exciting happens. 
I was so nervous because they treat first time mom's
like they don't know what they're talking about
and I didn't want to be sent home again without my baby.
Once again, they hooked me up to monitor the baby. 
The nurse put on her gloves and began to check me.
She got a big smile on her face and said...
"You said that you were at a 1cm the other day?"
"Well sista, you're at a 4cm right now!! You're not going home tonight!
Let's have a baby!!"
Then came the tears flowing down my cheeks!
So many emotions running through my body!!
The first thing I said was "I told you!! I knew I was in labor!! I wasn't crying wolf!!" 
Haha. Then you'll never guess what the next thing that came out of my mouth was..
"Ah!! I didn't want to be wearing this outfit when I had my baby!! 
I wanted to have cute make up, and not be wearing a hat!" 
All being said with tears flowing!
I seriously think I was just in shock.
Like seriously, why does it matter if you're wearing at hat
of have cute make up on. 
It's not a fashion show. I'm having a baby, for crying out loud!!
Really, I am not that shallow.
I quickly got over it (sort of) and called my mom to tell her the news.
Within minutes of being there, I got my epidural and was feelin' great!
My mom took multiple pictures of my contractions on the screen saying
"Oh my gosh!! They're off the charts!!"
But I couldn't feel a single thing. I was lovin it.

After about an hour, they called my doctor and she came to pop my water.
She told me "When someone's water breaks, it normally takes about 
an hour per centimeter to dilate, so you're looking at another 6 hours until you'll start
pushing. And the average person pushes for about 3 hours.
So we're lookin at another 9 hours until you have your baby!"
Then she left to go to her son's choir concert.
Seriously? She is leaving?! I am in labor lady!! You can't leave!
But she did, and I was in the nurses hands now. 
I was terrified. I couldn't believe that I was really having a baby.
Nick was being so amazing and offering me words of encouragement like
"Baby, you can do this. You're so strong!! I love you!"

My mom, sister Stephanie, and her kids were in there to keep us company.
About an hour after the doctor popped my water, the nurse came to check me again.
Her facial expression was one that I will never forget.
She had a grin from ear to ear as she said,
"Sheri, you're complete!"
Complete? What does that mean? I had no clue.
"Let me grab another nurse for a second opinion before I call your doctor and
tell her the progress." Well, the first nurse was correct,
but it was great to hear it from a second opinion.
I was complete. As in COMPLETELY DILATED!!

Oh. My. Gosh.
This is it!!

She told my family to leave the room, then had me start pushing.
With the nurse on one leg, and Nick on the other, I began to push.
I went through one cycle of pushing and the nurse looked shocked.
She said that I was a great pusher and that my baby would be
here quicker than they thought.
I told her that I was scared to push without my doctor there.
She comforted me and told me to push again.
After 5 cycles of pushing, she told me to stop immediately!
What!? Why?!
She said in just a few more pushes that Malia would be there.
Then in walked my doctor, right in time!
She put on her doctor clothes, and her gloves and got in position.
She told me to push and was completely shocked when I did.
She said that I was "the ideal pusher."
Most people who have an epidural can't feel how hard they're
actually pushing, so she was amazed when she
saw how hard I could push. She told me to push again.
I was getting closer.
And on the third cycle of pushing, I heard her cry.
The most beautiful sound I've ever heard.
The next thing I knew, she had placed MY baby
on MY chest as she cleaned her off.
I've always seen pictures of this, but it is so much more
real and amazing when it's actually happening to you.

There was the shock, the tears, the excitement.
She was flawless.
I couldn't take my eyes off of her.

I looked at Nick and have never seen someone so happy.
His face was priceless.

Our baby Malia is finally here.
She was in the hands of Jesus right before she was placed into ours.
What a humbling experience to know that God is trusting us to raise his child.

She is the greatest blessing that we could ever ask for.
Nothing has ever brought us such happiness as our baby girl.
We knew that our lives would never be the same from that moment on
and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Haha, looks like she was just as shocked for her to be here as we were.
Malia Ka'iulani Aiko Dargel
7 lbs 9 oz
19 1/2 in

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We're having a.....


Seriously, I have never been so excited for 
something in my entire lifetime!! 
We cannot wait!! 

Welp, that's all for now!