Sep 3, 2014

Wrapped in a Blanket

Evan came home from his audition rotations for the weekend. He had been gone 6 weeks and has 6 more to go, but I guess he couldn't stand being away from us, so he came for a visit. :) We loved having daddy home and it was such a great weekend! (and I got some much-needed housework done!)


While Evan was here, he told me all about his rotation in Michigan and how much he loved it! The residents, the attendings, the academics, the hospital-he raved about it all. Then, somberly, he started to tell me about an instance that I've been thinking a lot about ever since:

While talking with another student, there were people standing in the hall joking and laughing around him. He noticed a man and a woman, both nurses, walking toward him. They had a different air about them. Ignoring the people laughing and talking, they walked through the hall. The man had what seemed like a bundle of blankets in his arms. Evan knew immediately what was inside. The other student said, "That looks like a baby." Evan said he turned toward her and said, "It is. They're going to the morgue." 

I cried for an hour after he told me about this experience. We talked for awhile about it and how it made each of us feel. It flooded memories into my mind of the hours I spent in my hospital rooms after handing my babies to nurses that I barely knew. Those nurses then walked through the halls of the hospital with my babies, wrapped up in blankets, and handed them to someone in the morgue. They were laid in a cold, sterile, metal room. They were examined. They were measured. Samples of their tissue were looked at under microscopes and sent off to labs. They were sent to the mortuary where they were laid in a box. My sweet babies were wrapped in blankets, where they have stayed ever since. 

I couldn't help but feel heartache for the family of that little baby. They were sitting in a room somewhere in that hospital feeling the same hurt and pain that still plagues me today. 

It's a good illustration of how the whole world buzzes around you when your world has come to an abrupt halt. You feel a deep, palpable, ache and you don't know how you're going to keep going. All the while, everyone around you continues on with their life. Eventually, you do too. It takes awhile, and the hurt returns when you don't expect it. Tears flow freely when you hear a mother calling to her son with the same name as yours. There are a few times a year when I pull out the box of Scotlin's and Kayden's things and crumple into a mass of tears as I look at their tiny handprints and the outfit still stained with blood. It sounds masochistic, but it has a healing power--to feel close to my sons when they aren't here. 

It's a sweet feeling to be able to pick up one of my MiraCole babies and snuggle them to help my heart feel better in these instances. I know that I am a very blessed mother. I thank my Father in Heaven every day for my babies, the living ones and the angel ones.  And when I climb into bed at night, after putting the kids to bed, I realize that we're just one big, happy family-all wrapped in blankets.  


Aug 18, 2014

Growing Blessings

It's been 9 months since my last post and for good reason. I've been busy!!! I waited quite a while to have the beautiful sound of babies in my home and the honorable task of motherhood at my fingertips. It has been everything I hoped for and more. I know that I am a very blessed woman and that God's tender mercies have fallen on me in droves. For that, I am forever thankful.  I'd like to re-assert some of my efforts toward documenting our little life here and the wonderful changes that are happening for us. The tiny miracole (yes, when referencing Mira and Cole as miracles, I will purposefully mis-spell the word miracle) that I blogged about last is not so tiny anymore: 

They Grew!

And Grew!


And Grew!

And Grew!


And Grew!


And Grew!



And Grew!


And Grew!


And Grew!

And Grew!


And Grew!


And Grew!

And Grew!


And Grew!

And Grew!

And Grew!

And Grew!


And Grew!

And Grew!



And Grew!



And Grew!


And Grew!



And Grew!



And Grew!


And Grew!


And Grew!

And Grew!

And Grew!


And today, Cole is 20 lbs, 29 inches and So. Stinkin. Cute! He loves to sit on your lap and read books, but he does not like to be rocked to sleep. Mira is 17.5 lbs and 27 inches. She has quite a sassy little personality. She is my snuggler. She wraps her legs around my waist and lays her head on my chest and I just melt. When I'm out, people ask me how far apart in age they are. If I'm feeling snarky I say, "4 minutes". If I'm feeling nice I say, "They're twins". They play so well together and aren't getting into too much trouble yet. They walk along furniture and try to let go, but end up on their bums. They both babble and tell each other stories and then laugh and laugh. They play peek-a-boo with each other when they're in the stroller and they always get a kick out of it. 

I haven't documented much because...I just really bad at it. Mostly I'm just taking it all in and enjoying every second. I'm so happy to be a mommy and to have these little blessing in my home. Everyday is an adventure and I'm so excited for many many years of more adventures!

Much Love, 
Whit

Nov 24, 2013

Miracle: A Birth Story

I didn't plan to put this off until today. But sitting here thinking about my sweet Scotlin on his 4th birthday while putting the story of his little brother and sister's birth into words seems like a sweet sentiment. A perfect way to remember his life: writing about a happy conclusion to our child-bearing experience that started 4 years ago today. So before I start, I just have to say how grateful I am to be the mother of 4 beautiful children and that Mira and Cole have 2 angels to watch over them.

It was Friday, Oct 18th. I was at my 34 week appointment and had been having more intense contractions than usual, so I asked to be checked. I was a "generous 3cm" dilated and we discussed how dilated I would be when they would no longer stop my labor if it started again. She said that if I came in with stronger contractions and was a 4 or greater, then they would let me deliver. The next day was difficult, because I kept having short bouts of contractions (we're talking 2 or 3 hours at a time) where my contractions would be very painful. We thought about going in, but right about then, the contractions would stop, so we stayed home.

Sunday, Oct 20th, we stayed home from church because my contractions picked up again. Ev checked me (benefit of having a med-student husband) and thought that I was at least a 4, if not more. We decided to go get checked, just in case. It was about 3:30 in the afternoon when we got there. The nurse checked me and said "Yeah, you're having these babies today." I was 5 cm and my bag of waters was bulging. Doctors were called, ultrasound came and checked babies' position, and I was transferred to L&D. Everything happened so fast, I didn't really have any time to prepare. Ev just kept saying, "We're going to have babies today!"

Pretty sure I'd just had my epidural placed
An hour later, at 4:30, I was dilated to a 7 and the doctor came in to chat. Both babies were head down, so we were going to try for a vaginal delivery. For safety purposes, though, they deliver twins in the OR just incase something happens and they need to do a c-section. I had my epidural placed (yay!) and the Dr. came back and broke my water. Over the next hour and a half, my epidural fluctuated between being wonderful and then not numbing my right side, so they put me completely on my right side and it finally resolved! About 7:30, I hadn't progressed past an 8 and my contractions were really weak, so they started pitocin to get things moving again. It worked: in about 10 minutes I felt a lot of pressure and spurting of fluid. I told the nurse I felt weird, so she checked me.  As soon as she did, she said, "okay, DON'T PUSH!" The Dr. had just left because he figured I'd be a little while longer, but  I was complete and Cole's head was really low. The nurse got on the phone and told someone, "She's ready!" Ev changed into his awesome outfit:

I was wisked to the OR where about 20 people rushed around me getting things ready. Someone said, "It's going to feel pretty chaotic, but it's organized chaos. Everyone has a job and it will go really smoothly."

Within minutes, I was told to push. As I was pushing, the Dr. was counting and when she got to 6, she said, "stop, stop, stop". Apparently his head was coming too fast and she didn't want me to tear. After two more pushes, Cole popped out and I heard the most beautiful sound I'd ever heard! He started crying and so did I. I was trying to see him, but they took him straight to the warmer on the other side of the room. Ev went with him and I could see him smiling-a huge grin from ear to ear!

Meanwhile, the ultrasound tech was having a hard time finding Mira's heartbeat. Mira suddenly had so much extra room, she decided to flip sideways. A lot of things could've happened next, but I'm really happy about the way things went down. When Mira flipped, the doctor reached her hand up into my uterus (yes, her WHOLE arm was in there...up to her elbow!), grabbed Mira's feet, and pulled her out. Her head got stuck for about 5 pushes. Just before she came out, they were about to use the forceps. BUT...we got her out without them. I watched as she flopped into the doctor's arms, 4 minutes after her brother, and was subsequently passed onto a NICU nurse who rushed her to the warmer. She didn't cry and that made me cry even harder. But Ev was with her and he was smiling, so I new she was okay. It took a bit of help to get her breathing, but after a few minutes, she had pinked up and was crying! I was sobbing, Evan was sobbing, both babies were warm and breathing. I never imagined this moment would be as happy as it was!! And I didn't even need a c-section! :)

I got to hold Mira for a few minutes but her apgar scores were 4 and 8, so they wanted to take her to the nursery to check her out. Cole got to come with me back to my room. (His apgars were 8 and 9). Ev stayed with Mira so Cole and I got 10 minutes of cuddle time. I noticed that he was grunting a lot and nasal-flaring, so I opened his covers and he was retracting really bad (all indications that he's having a hard time breathing). I told the nurse and she put him under the warmer and put some O2 on him. Unfortunately, cole had fluid in his lungs and had to go to the NICU. That was the hardest part of my whole experience: sitting in my room having just delivered 2 babies and not only did I not get to have them with me, but I was numb from the waist down, so I couldn't go to them either. I'll post about their NICU experience later, but their birth was the most beautiful, happy moment of my life. We got one picture all together not knowing that it would be almost 2 weeks before we'd all be in the same room again. 
So often, Mira and Cole look up at me with such light in their eyes, yet I know they're not looking at me. The vail is thin for babies and I KNOW that they can see angels. It helps that they have Scotlin and Kayden to be with them. I know that these kids love each other and that as Mira and Cole grow up, we'll tell them all about their brothers and how one day we will be a family together forever! 

Oct 3, 2013

Another Hospital Visit

This last week, I went into active labor again. I was exactly 32 weeks. I got to the hospital expecting that these babies would be delivered, but instead they stopped my labor. I know our desire to have these babies here now is a bit controversial.  Some friends agree with us (usually other baby-loss parents) that the doctors should just let me deliver. Other friends (usually the ones who haven't experienced loss) remind me-as if I didn't know- that the longer they're inside me, the better. On one hand, if they're born now they have the probability of complications that will keep them in the NICU longer and the potential for long-lasting effects of prematurity.

On the other hand...they would be alive. They would be breathing, even if it was with a little help. They would have heartbeats, and they would cry. I would get to see their eyes open and hold a warm baby without the help of warm blankets. I could cry tears of joy and thanks rather than tears of grief, sorrow and pain. My husband could hug me because we did an extraordinary thing bringing two lives into the world, rather that to hug be because I'm falling apart inside. 

Few people outside my close friends and family have witnessed the stress and anxiety that has accompanied this pregnancy. Not just for Evan and me, but for our family as well. Every time I call my mom, she answers, "Whitney, is everything okay?" I appreciate the concern, but it makes it difficult to call anyone. My sisters are the same way, and even though others haven't mentioned it, I'm sure they have the same heart palpitations when they see my name on the caller ID. Moreover, baby boy is my little mover. He's head-down so he's constantly kicking me in the ribs. But baby girl is in an awkward, transverse (sideways), oblique (diagonal) position with her feet tucked against her chest and positioned neatly under her placenta so I don't feel her kicks very often. It's a good thing I'm at home all day with the opportunity to doppler her heartbeat anytime I go an hour without feeling her move. (Yes, I'm that paranoid).

The nurses say that as long as I have two episodes a day of at least 10 kicks in an hour then everything is fine. But it's not fine. I was told by previous doctors that whatever caused Scotlin and Kayden to die took minutes, 10 tops. They didn't die slowly, it was fast. So even if I feel kicks in the morning, I worry all day long if I'm not hearing a heartbeat or feeling them move. And when I say worry, I don't mean a little nervousness. It's heart-wrenching. It's an overwhelming fear that if I put the doppler to my belly I won't hear anything or be able to find a heartbeat. Today, for example, I hadn't felt baby girl move yet, so I had to wait until Evan called on his lunch break to doppler her so that just in case I didn't hear anything I wouldn't be alone.

We feel beyond blessed to be parents of two angels. Now we're ready to be parents of two more living angels. Beyond anything else, we appreciate the prayers and support from everyone offering them up for us. We feel strengthened and hopeful, even with the bouts of anxiety and uncertainty. Please, please keep these babies in your prayers for us, and know that we are so appreciative!

Much Love

Sep 30, 2013

Virtual Baby Shower (updated)

I get asked on a daily basis where we're registered, which, we have an open registry at target.com. Along with that, my sister is putting on a "virtual baby shower" to help get donations for us to get a stroller. She wrote a post about it here and I've also attached a paypal button below if you'd like to contribute. Any donations would be immensely appreciated. Any amount totaling more than the cost of the stroller will be used for the babies (probably diapers!)








P.S. if you do donate, please include your email or mailing address so I can send you a huge THANK YOU!!!

HUGE THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING FOR YOUR GIFTS:

Sara Davis*
Becky Martin*
Brittney and Seth Warburton*
Staci Dearden*
Leanne Loscher*
Elizabeth Vandenberghe*
June Fulkerson*
Amanda Parker
Kenna Hendricks*
Karen Payne
Alicia Herterich
Kendra Gates
Brandy Elegante*
Melynda Epperson
Laura Grinder*
Jesse and Sara Steinback
Kristi Bruner

(*= please email or text me your address so we can send you a personal thank you! whit.lytle@gmail.com, 209-914-8104)



Sep 12, 2013

Staying Pregnant is Hard

I've been posting on FB this week about our eventful hospital visit, but I'm gonna re-cap here for my benefit.

Last Thursday, Sept 5th, I was in the office for an appointment. It was my 28 week visit and we were starting weekly non-stress tests. It just so happened that they hooked me up and I was contracting every 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. They were pretty painful, and I was given the option of going to the hospital or going home. The babies were doing fine and not being affected by the contractions. I was in an uncomfortable position and I felt that if I could go home and lie down, the contractions would stop. The Dr. agreed and it worked. It took a few hours, but the contractions settled down. They told me to head to the hospital if they started back up again.

I contracted on/off through the weekend and Evan kept trying to get me to go in, but I resisted. (We had gone in the week before because I was bleeding and I didn't have a good experience so I was trying to avoid it). At that visit, my cervix had been basically closed.

On Sunday, we were sitting in sacrament meeting and the contractions started up again. I was squeezing Evan's hand and trying to breathe through them. He whispered that he was taking me to the hospital, but I resisted again. With 5 minutes left, he insisted, but I told him I'd only go if I had 2 more before the end of the meeting. Well, that took about 2 minutes, so we headed to the hospital. We called on the way and they tried to tell us to just go home, lie down, and drink lots of fluids. Evan told them no and that he was bringing me in.

Of course, once they got me hooked up, I was contracting like crazy. They checked me and said my cervix was between 1-2 cm.  They were going to be very aggressive stopping the contractions, so they put me on mag sulfate. The only side effect I could feel was the hot flashes. I was on it for about an hour while they admitted me to L&D. Once there, Evan was on the phone and I suddenly felt like I had an elephant on my chest. The nurse just happened to walk in right then and I told her I couldn't breathe.  I remember saying it a few times, but the next thing I remember was Evan sternal rubbing my chest, people saying my name over and over, an oxygen mask on my face, and about 8 people around my bed. Apparently my eyes had rolled to the back of my head, I turned white as a sheet and had passed out. They had called a rapid response team even though I had been out for less than a minute. It was just a reaction the the medicine. It's a vasodilator so the doc said I had a vasovagal reaction. Needless to say, they stopped the medication right away. That's the most interesting thing that happened, which I'm grateful for.

The next day I was transferred to the antepartum unit where they watched the babies and me closely.  I didn't have cell service in my room, so once or twice a day, my phone would catch a bar and I'd get 10 texts and missed calls all at once. The babies continued to look good, but my contractions continued. They gave me indomethacin for my contractions every 6 hours, but it only kept them at bay for 3-4 hours, so I was dealing with the pain as well as I could. It was hard being without Evan, but my dear friend Shanna came and stayed every day to keep me company. (It's nice having a substitute-husband).

On Wednesday, they did a test called a fetal fibronectin. It is supposed to indicate whether a person will go into labor within the next 2 weeks. Mine came back negative (Hallelulah!!). Also, the nurse checked my cervix and said it was dilated to a 3. But 2 minutes later the Dr. came in and decided that they were checking in the wrong place and that the internal part of my cervix was only a 1. SO...after 4 days, I got to come home on bedrest. This is so hard! I'm grateful that the babies are okay, but doing nothing is going to be a challenge. Any suggestions to keep the crazy away would be appreciated!

Thank you thank you for all the prayers and support. I know I say it all the time, but Evan and I can feel the love and peace that has resulted from them!

Much Love

Sep 6, 2013

A blog post in pictures

I don't really have anything new to say that the pictures don't say better: 


Baby girl at 27 weeks 2 days.  I was having some bleeding problems so I got to spend a few hours at the hospital in OB triage. I finally got to have a doctor look at my cervix rather than a nurse, so we got some answers about what was causing it (finally)It was nothing serious and we're all fine and dandy, but they said it will continue through the rest of my pregnancy. yay! :(
Baby girl is starting to get some chub. It's getting harder to get 3D pictures of them because there's almost always something in front of their faces. The next picture shows her taking a drink of amniotic fluid. Yum! 
Baby Girl at 28 weeks 2 days. She's on my left side and has never been head down. They say she's in the "penthouse" because she has  a lot more room than baby boy so she flips around a lot. I think she just makes the room as I'll show you in the next picture. 

So, this is Baby Boy at 28w 2 d as well. He's always head-down like a good little baby. We couldn't get a 3D of him because *something* was in his face. If you look closely, you can see his membrane along his nose and mouth. So what's the blob on the left side? That would be baby girl's foot. While we watched, she repeatedly kicked him in the face. That's how she gets all her extra room...she kicks him into submission until she has lots of space and he's cowering in the corner :) 
The blanket I crocheted for baby girl. It's quite uneven on the edges, so I'm debating taking out the white and yellow and re-doing it. 


Baby Boy's blanket. It looks black/white, but it's actually Aggie Blue/White. GO AGGIES! I might even stitch Utah State University into it...we'll see how ambitious I feel. 

Not the most flattering picture, but this is what 28 weeks looks like. I've gained 25 lbs and my hips are really sore. I wish I could skip that part because I'm most likely going to have a c-section and won't be needing my pelvis to open to let them out, but I'll take it. I'm so glad the little ones are growing like they should and my doctors are finally on the same page so I don't have such a hard time at each visit. 

Thanks for all the continued prayers and support. I know that this pregnancy is going so well because of the prayers from so many people. After an unpleasant non-stress test yesterday, we're hoping to make it to at least 32 weeks. In the meantime, I'm taking it easy at home and tackling my next project: crocheting blessing day blankets. I'll post pictures when I get them done, but here's a sneak-peek:

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