It was a little different having Easter with a baby this year

We hosted dinner at our house.
We had a traditional ham, sweet Hawaiian rolls & Caesar salad.

We tried something new & made avocado deviled eggs. They were delicious! Thanks Pinterest!

Don't worry- We made traditional ones too.

I made my traditional fruit truffle for dessert and boy was it yummy!

The top definitely looks better than the bottom. Ha!

Jake was definitely outnumbered w/the women. 
We had my two sisters over (Kelsey & my brother's wife, Carly).
My other sister (Courtney, Kelsey's twin) moved to CA and my brother is back up at school in ID so we decided to invite these two over, so no one was left alone. 
It was such a nice day, and weather was great. 
Too bad Jovi didn't like the idea of being outside. Someone thought it was too bright...


One month stats

Jovi is one month old!

Where has the time gone? My oh my. I feel like she's not an infant anymore. I know she still is (I think), but I just feel like she's changed so much since we brought this sweet little girl home from the hospital. 

Here's what she's up to:

- Makes little billy goat/dolphin noises.
- Breathes heavy when she's sleeping (she gets that from her dad)
- Goes from 0-60 in 3.5 when she's tired, hungry, scared, etc.
- Discovered her tongue and sticks it out like a puppy dog.
- Kicks her feet/legs straight out when she's concentrating on doing her diaper.
- Likes to be bounced straight out in front of us, if overly fussy. 
- Sleeps on mom's chest so well & will fall asleep instantly if she's skin on skin.
- Usually pees while dad is changing her diaper.
- Will normally only poop for dad.
- Has peed on mom while being held naked.
- Drinks about 2-3 ounces, depending on how hungry she is.
and  loves snuggles & to be swaddled.

That's it for now!
I can tell she's a growing weed, by the way her clothes fit. 
I (unfortunately) don't have any height/weight measurements for this post, but definitely will for her two month update.
Words cannot describe how much love I have for this little girl.
It's definitely true what they say about a mother's love.
I love staying at home w/her all day & definitely feel blessed to be able to do so.
Thank you Papa Bear, for working so hard, so I can have that one on one bonding time w/my babe.
She gets so many kisses all day long... I hope she knows how much she's loved.
I can't believe she'll be two months old soon. They grow up so fast… 
Love you baby girl. Please stay little forever.


Jovi's New Born Pictures

I took these in my kitchen. That's right. My kitchen!!!!

Thanks glam-ma for the tutu!

This is my favorite. Look at those perfectly pursed lips!!!!

Someone was tired in the middle of her pictures! My oh my

She didn't like being nakey at first

But once she found her hands, she calmed down.

PS I did not pose her hands. She did that all on her own.
Her hands are always up by her face like that. I'm glad I got to capture them.


Birth Story

I've been told to journal/blog about our birth story A-SAP so I don't forget any details, but trust me- I don't think I'll forget any details any time soon.

I was trying to wait for a time where I was mentally recovered, but I've come to terms that that may be awhile. So here it is.

FYI- This story is more for me than anyone. I just wanted to have something for me & my little family to look back on. I do not blog for anyone else, but myself. I know a lot of our long distance friends/family members like to keep up on our blog, but I do not blog for the ratings/reviews. It is simply for me & other readers, if they would like. 

I will not know if any of you readers read the whole thing (unless you voluntarily tell me), so if you are reading this, I do not expect you to read the entire spill, as a lot of it might be TMI. I will try my hardest to leave a lot of the nitty gritty details out, but again- this is for me. Not anyone else. So the nitty gritty might just have to be in here.

*** You have been warned *** I do not recommend reading this if you are pregnant. Unless you are really brave. (I dunno- maybe my story isn't that bad.)

Having that been said...Here we go...

Friday, March 7th
I had my 36 week OB appointment w/my doctor and NST (Non Stress Test).

We were told we may be induced, and to pack our hospital bags just in case. So we did, and Jake took me to a delicious steak dinner (the night before) at Texas Roadhouse. (We wanted to celebrate and enjoy our last night alone together, before all the madness began.)

Back to Friday...My doctor checked me and said I wasn't dilated yet, but that my cervix was really soft, so things were looking good. We were hopeful in that he didn't want to induce me quite yet, as I wasn't quite 37 weeks. Things were looking good...Except for this one problem I had been having throughout my whole pregnancy...High blood pressure.

I had tests done previously in my pregnancy (24 hour urine samples), and nothing had come up for preeclampsia, so my doctor never fully diagnosed me w/it. It was always in the back of his mind though. 

At our appointment on this day though, my blood pressure was high again and my doctor demanded another 24 urine sample to be done over the weekend. 

Soooooo... I took the big bottle home, and monitored my urine from Sunday morning to Monday morning, like I was asked to do. 

I was on bed rest previously, but my doctor continued to put me on a very strict bed rest, until further notice. (Joy!)

Monday, March 10th
I take my urine in to the doctor's office, go home, then go back to visit w/my doctor at 2:50 to go over my urine sample, and to do another NST on Thumper. 

The results for my urine sample were not in yet, and we were told to wait until Tuesday for them. My doctor said to call in to the office, if I hadn't heard from them by 12 noon. My doctor said if they found protein in my urine, that they'd have to induce me, but that he didn't want to do it quite yet, and that he really wanted to wait for the full result. He had the majority of the test results in, and those looked really good, but before he could make any promises, we had to wait for the full test to come back. Again, we were hopeful in thinking we were in the clear. My doctor seemed so happy w/what he had seen so far on the results. We were certain this Thumper of ours was coming on her own. 

Tuesday, March 11th
I hadn't heard from my doctor's office, so I decide to call in and get the results. My doctor wasn't in (he was off the schedule that day & forgot to mention that the day prior ), so the nurse I spoke with said I'd have to wait until Wednesday (the following day) to get the results. I told her we were waiting to find out if we were needing to be induced, due to preeclampsia, and that I needed the results to be read to me by another doctor, if possible. She said she'd contact the on call doctor, to see if he could do that.

To hell with that- He better. This is a matter of preeclampsia or not. 

I wait for the on call doctor to call me back. He said there was protein in my urine, and just a little bit more than they normally like. So I had a mild case of preeclampsia.

The on call doctor said he was going to call my doctor, to see if he wanted to induce us or not.

Oh great- Here it comes. The big news was just around the corner.

The on call doctor calls me back and said my doctor did want me to be induced, and that they were going to call the hospital to put in our orders.

I call Jake at work, just freaking out crying. I'm home alone, by myself, sitting in bed just crying. 

How did this happen? This was not part of my birth plan.

The hospital calls me back and says we are due to check into the hospital at 8pm that evening.

Oh great- I had all day to sit here and think about this, by myself. 

Jake gets home, we shower, pack, and head to the hospital.

Er… Not that easy.

Jake makes dinner. I nervously tried to eat it. Epic fail. (We were told to eat a big meal before checking in to the hospital)

We try to quickly gather our things for this place that was going to bring our baby girl to life (AKA the hospital that I ever so frightenly feared). I decide now is a good time to dust. Yeah, that's right. Dust.

Jake drives to the hospital and I decide it's too long of a drive, and that I needed to get in the driver's seat. Ha!

I take over and nervously drive us to the place that was going to bring our baby girl to life. 

We walk by the registration desk and let them know we're already in the system, and that we pre-registered almost two weeks ago. The nurse was thankful we pre-registered, and confusingly asked what we were there for. We had so many pillows and blankets, that she wasn't sure if we were there for a sleep monitored test, or to have a baby. Ha!

She lets us know we can go up to the third floor.

Oh man guys- The third floor!

We walk up and all I see are signs everywhere that say "Labor and Delivery." Oh crap- This was really happening.

We take the elevator to the third floor. There's a phone outside the elevator, and you have to talk to the little friendly lady on the other side of the security doors, in order to get in.

I pick up the phone and the little friendly lady answers, "Hello, how can I help you?" I nervously reply, "Uh, I'm being induced tonight and was told to be here at eight o'clock?" The little friendly lady replies, "Okay, come in." ("Dangit", I thought. "They're letting us in".)

We walk through the big double doors and I hear, "You must be Aubre." I look at Jake and am astonished they know my name. I guess the lady downstairs at the registration desk let Labor & Delivery know we were there. I was still surprised.

The young girl who predicted my name, asked how I was doing.

Uh, I'm about to be induced chica. How do you think I'm doing?!?! (Just for the record, I did not say that. These were just my thoughts)

I nervously tell the young girl who predicted my name that I was scared. She asks why and I told her I feared pain and Pitocin. (FYI Pitocin is something they give you to speed up your labor and it intensifies contractions. Yeah- No one likes the P word). She told me I was going to be just fine, and that if I was getting an epidural, that I could have it at any time. (At this point, I kind of calmed down)

The young girl who predicted my name didn't check my photo ID or anything (much to my surprise), but had me sign my life away on this electronic pad. I had no idea what I was signing for, but I did it anyway. 

At this point Jake thinks it's okay to joke, and asks when we get our friendship bracelets. 


Sooo…. This older woman takes Jake and I back to our room. I was very shocked to see that no one was up roaming the halls, nor did I hear any screaming, thank goodness. Jake and I were a little freaked out and thought "What do they do to their patients?!?" The older woman said normally it's a pretty crazy floor, and that we just got real lucky to come in on such a calm night. 

Yeah okay.

At least we timed that perfectly! Things were looking all right, and I finally felt like something was going correctly.

We get checked in to our room (Ha! I talk like it's a hotel), and the older woman gives me my gown. 

Meh. This has started.

I finish getting in my gown, and am greeted by this ever so friendly nurse, named Sara. Little did I know she'd be my favorite. I let her know my gown seemed a bit small, and that I had trouble tying it on the side, and she said it didn't really matter, and that she was just going to (basically) undress me anyway. 

Oh great- This was happening. 

I nervously get into the hospital bed, and she (and another nice nurse) start getting us all situated.

Within an hour of Jake and I being there, we had our friendship bracelets and I already had my IV started.  

Oh my- Things were already moving along quickly. 

The other nice nurse (whom I forgot her name) comes over to my bed and lets me know she's going to give me a pill that helps soften my cervix so I can dilate and go into labor. 

Yeah, okay. Let's just say you don't swallow this pill…

This was about 9pm on the evening of Tuesday, March 11th at this point.

Wednesday, March 12th 
My favorite nurse, Sara, was about to leave for the day. This was around 4am at this point. 

I was sad to see her go, because I really liked her, but she said she'd be back Thursday morning and that hopefully I would have had my baby by that point. She said if I hadn't, she'd be my nurse again (if I wanted). She also said if I had had my baby by then, that she'd come visit me on the second floor. What a sweetheart!

So…. Sara leaves (sad), and another nurse (Pamela) comes in and inserts a catheter. I had made it very clear I was having an epidural ASAP, so they wanted to get the catheter started. 

I had never had one before, so I didn't quite know what to expect, but never did I think it would hurt as much as it did. 

I started screaming immediately and telling Pamela how much it burned. She told me that was normal, and she continued to put it in. 

Um….. "No" I screamed. "Take it out. It burns! It feels like Icy Hot is down there." She let me know that was normal, and that I (basically) had it all wrong. 

After what seemed like several hours of investigation, she let me know I had some sort of infection (I tested positive for Strep B, so I wasn't sure if that was related or not), but she gave me some numbing cream, and that seemed to help. 

In went the catheter and on she went.

Oh but ew- I did not like this Pamela. She will not be getting a thank you treat from me. 

Instantly after the catheter was in, my water breaks on it's own. Boy what a weird feeling that was. 

Pamela shoved the catheter so (roughly) up there, that it broke my water.

Yeah, that's how not nice she was.

I told Pamela (ew) that it felt like a big puddle of water was underneath me, and again she (basically) told me I had it all wrong. Sure enough, she checked and "Hey look- You do have quite the puddle." Yeah duh. Ya think?!? I tried to tell ya. 

BTW- if you can get en epidural before they break your water, that would be ideal. It feels like you're peeing your pants (or your bed), a lot, and it's this really warm, gushy feeling. It doesn't hurt. It's just weird. I didn't like it. At all. 

But hey, this was nice- My doctor didn't even have to come in and break my water. My body was already doing what it needed to do, on it's own. Again- things were looking up. 

At this point it was about 8am, and I had labored for 13 hours w/o an epidural. I tried asking for one earlier, but the anesthesiologist who was there, went into an emergency C-Section, so I had to wait.

FYI- I didn't know anesthesiologists stayed in the operating room the WHOLE time the C-Section takes place, so I was thinking I was okay to wait. Yeah no. It's like an hour long process for a C-Section and they're in there the whole time. 


So… They call another anesthesiologist and he gets called in to another emergency C-Section.

What the crap?!?!

So I finally get my epidural (thank goodness) but oh wait- it gets worse. The anesthesiologist who did the epidural, was like half asleep. Yeah. So, I felt every bit of it going in. Can you say ouch?!?! And then only one of my legs went numb, and part of my back, so I was just mildly freaking out. Just mildly. I could still feel all of my contractions and I was only dilated to a one. 

What the crap?!?!

An hour later (I think) another anesthesiologist comes in the room and he explains that sometimes the epidurals just don't work. He said he could give someone an epidural, and it wouldn't work, but that the next guy could come in and give the same epidural, and that it would work, so it just depends. I wasn't believing it, but whatevs. Give me the juice.

He takes me bed and makes it higher (super higher- higher than I was last time), and puts in a lot of local anesthesia. The last guy didn't even do that, so already I was feelin pretty good. I wasn't feeling ANYTHING at this point, so he was on the nice list. 

The anesthesiologist finishes up and I look up just in time to see my wonderful doctor peek around the corner. "Boy am I glad to see you," I said. My doctor gently pats my shoulder and assures me everything is going to be okay. "Thank goodness," I thought. Someone who I trust, and who finally knows what they're doing. I knew I was in good hands going forward.

They start me on Pitocin, since my epidural was finally working.

They (first) start it out real low.


They (then) put it at a 24. 

Still nothing.

FYI- I started out at like a 5 for the Pitocin. So that just goes to show how much they were increasing it.


Anyway...I continue to labor throughout the day, and my doctor (who was on call this day) keeps coming in to check me.

Long story short- I wasn't dilating. 

We kept praying and praying (at one time, my sister {Kelsey} was talking to my stomach telling Thumper she needed to get out), and we were hoping I'd dilate.


I was basically dilating a half centimeter every hour and a half. Yeah guys. An hour and a half! That's ridiculous! 

I was getting no where and making absolutely no progress fast.

I labor throughout this day and go into the wee hours of the night.

Side note: My doctor was thinking I'd have her by 8pm that evening. He was saying whenever you're induced like this (at 37 weeks) that you should usually plan on about a 24 hour labor, so with us checking in the night before, 24 hours from then would have been about 8pm the following night. Yeah no. That wasn't happening.

Thursday, March 13th
I hadn't had my baby yet, and knew Sara was back on the schedule, so I asked if I could request her again. And guess what?!?!… My favorite nurse, Sara, was back on the schedule and back in my room!!! YAY!!!!

Another sweet nurse, who I really liked (MaryEllen), let me know that Sara would be my nurse again.

Anyway...My doctor comes in my room in the wee hours of the morning, and tells me I'm still not progressing as much as he had hoped. He tells me a C-Section might be the best way to deliver her at this point. He didn't know why I wasn't dilating, but was sure to find out if we were to do a C-Section.

I obviously didn't want a C-Section, but at this point, I had been laboring for about 32ish hours. Though I wasn't pushing or anything, I was still exhausted. And quite frankly, I was hungry too. All I was able to eat, was Jell-o and chewing gum. Yeah- I hadn't eaten since Tuesday early evening. It was now Thursday morning. You do the math!

So I start signing all the paper work, for me to go into a C-Section. 

Normally one would just insert a beautiful birth photo w/details on their child's weight, height, etc. My procedure was not that simple, though.

Of course.

So…. They give me Zofran (to prevent nausea, since I'm super sensitive to that), and they give me water to take w/it. I was so excited to finally get some liquid in my system (other than Jell-o), that I just downed the water they gave me. They immediately stop me, though, and tell me I can't drink too much because I was going into surgery. 

To hell with that. I'm drinking as much as my body wants!
Yeah, that didn't go over too well. The nurse took the water away from me.

In I went to the operating room. 
I have no idea where Jake is at this point. 

The operating room is cold. 
It's white.
It's big and open.
...I didn't like it.

Jake comes in and sits next to me, holding my hand.
He tells me he's right there for me, and that everything will be okay.

The anesthesiologist is right behind me, talking to me, trying to ask me questions- i.e. what we were thinking of naming our little Thumper and how we came up w/the names we did.

I appreciated his generosity in trying to distract me, but it wasn't working. I really had to concentrate on what my doctor was telling/asking me. He kept poking me w/the knife asking me if I could feel it, and in between, I was expected to answer the anesthesiologist... Mission fail. 

Ten minutes into the procedure, I hear this precious little cry, that I told Jake just "broke my little heart." 

4:50am our little Thumper was here!

I hear my doctor exclaim, "Oh she is so cute!" 

"Good," I thought. "I have a super cute baby!" (Like those were my concerning thoughts at this point hahaha

They take Thumper over to the scale, to weigh her and clean her off.

A little nurse brings over my little baby and asks if I want to give her a kiss. 

Of course!

So, I lean in and give my baby her first kiss EVER! That's right. Her momma was her first set up lips to ever love on her. 

Our little Thumper was then wheeled off to the nursery.

*** Now to the dramatic part ***
They start the ever so long process of stitching me up and putting everything back together. (This is where things go from okay to worse in 2.5 seconds)

I start feeling a lot of pressure (as they explained I would), and it begins to get extremely uncomfortable. I keep telling my doctor "Ouch! Ouch!" (That's the only thing I could manage to get out of my mouth, and my doctor begins to get concerned that I can feel them stitching everything together. Nope, couldn't feel the pain. I just had no other way of expressing the pressure, other than "Ouch! Ouch!" hahaha (not funny actually).

The anesthesiologist asks me if I want morphine. I tell him I'm pretty sensitive to pain medication and that I really am okay. He proceeds to stands behind me and says "Oooookay." Kinda like an "If you say so" sorta thing. 

My doctor is not even half way through w/me at this point, and I'm still screaming "Ouch! Ouch!" so the anesthesiologist is forced to give me morphine. Seconds after he puts it in my IV, I let the nurses (and Jake know) that I feel nauseous and like I was gonna throw up. They tell me to just turn my head and that they got a barf bag for me. 

I'm thinking, "How am I going to throw up, laying down?!?!" I'm completely strapped to this super small, cold table, and my arms are to the sides of me, on this super small, cold table as well. How was I going to do this?!! "Oh well," I thought. "It's comin up whether I like it or not." 

I closed me eyes, and out went all the Jell-o I had consumed in the last almost 48 hours.

I will never eat Jell-o again. Ever. (Mark. My. Words)

So I continue to throw up and Jake's trying to catch it. He caught the first set of vomit with the bag, but the second set? Not so much. It went all over him. (Sorry honey). That's love.

The nurses tell him he can go in the back corner and kinda rinse off (as much as one's able to w/barf chunks all over them).

He comes back (I didn't even know he left my side, I was so drugged at this point), and I begin thumping around. The morphine got to me, and I just couldn't take it anymore. (Really though, I think my body just went into shock. It was a lot for me to handle, having had had no sleep in the last 48 hours, no solid foods, and then being wheeled into this big, white, scary, cold room). 

So I begin moving around so much, that my doctor tells me he has to sedate me. What?!?!

Jake just barely recovers from the whole vomit thing, and sees me sedated on the table, and completely looses it. He has to leave and go to our room. I had no idea he left (again), and he was told he couldn't come back, due to sanitary reasons.

I, later, wake up and am in the recovery room. Jake walks in and I asked where he was. He said he was in the nursery. I had no idea when he went to the nursery, or how long he was there, but he was in my room at that point, and that's all that mattered. 

I was introduced to another team of nurses, one of which I really liked (again). Yes- I had quite a few favorites. This one (little did I know) would end up being the best of the best…. Jianna. Pronounced Gina. 

She helped w/breast feeding and taught a very educational class (that Jake and I had to take before we checked out of the hospital).

Back to the recovery in my room...I was pretty nauseous when I first woke up, and had to have a barf bag on my bed, just in case, but luckily I didn't need to use it. They gave me Jell-o, again, and water. AH! Thank goodness- water. 

I, eventually, was able to get up and walk around (once my catheter was out the next day), and began my loooong healing process.

I still had a lot of water weight I was carrying, so due to that, my feet were so swollen I couldn't walk. I had an extremely rough time & was told the preeclampsia was still in my system, and could possibly turn into eclampsia. Yikes!

This was almost a week after delivery

I was put on high blood pressure medication and am following up w/my doctor weekly. 

I have changed my diet completely, and am on a low-sodium, low fat diet, to help lower my blood pressure.

I have lost almost all of my pregnancy weight, and am ALMOST to what I was at prior to pregnancy. Seriously guys. Just three weeks after delivery.

Other than that, everything went really well w/my recovery. We had a difficult time w/Jovi gaining weight, and had a couple close scares w/a few different things, but now that she's all caught up, we're both doing really well. (Remember, her innitial due date wasn't until April 6th, so she's still three weeks behind).

I'm getting the hang of this mom thing and am still managing to heal quite well.
I've realized though, that I don't love being a mom. 
I love being her mom.

Life got a whole lot sweeter (and busier) when our little Jovi entered into our lives.

Jovi Ann Strain
03/13/14 at 4:50am
6 lbs. 3 oz. and 17 in.

My support system during the C-Section

Jovi hates having her diaper changed and or being naked.
She cries almost all of the time and it is just the saddest.

My wonderful doctor, Doctor Allen.

Our first (awkward) family photo

Jovi loves to snuggle and loves to be right on momma's skin

Pappa is still swooning over our little Jovi

Fun side note:
We didn't want to commit to a name, until we saw and learned her personality.
We were in between these two names in the hospital

The only visitors we had in the hospital, were immediate family.
Her aunties just love her and so does her Uncle Tyler.

(Auntie Carlie)

(Uncle Tyler)

(Auntie Kelsey)

(Auntie Courtney)

We're still deciding on a name for her. I want Jovi to pick one out though.

I will never forget the day we took you home, Jovi. You are so loved.

We had a five day stay in the hospital (can't wait for THAT hospital bill), and I just could NOT wait to get out of that hospital bed.
It was very hard for me to walk, after the C-Section and all my swollen-ness, but I was determined to do it & to do it well.
It was the hardest, longest 32 hours of my life, waiting to meet our beautiful, baby girl.
It was the longest 9 months I could have ever imagined, but it was all worth it.
I believe Heavenly Father has blessed me w/a fairly easy recovery, and a very sweet, loving, calm, cuddly baby for a reason.
Words cannot describe the love I have for her, or the worry I experience daily. 
I heard the most perfect song awhile ago, and think it's every parent's perfect thoughts: "My Wish"- Rascal Flats
I love you Jovi Ann. More than you will ever know.