2018 Family Moto

35 They were desirous to be baptized as a witness and a testimony that they were willing to serve God with all their hearts; Mosiah 21:35

"Make sure they remember joy yesterday, experience joy today, and anticipate joy tomorrow."

Motherhood Mission Statement

To provide a loving environment that is centered around God and His commandments while effectively teaching my children to love, honor, and respect all Men no matter the race, creed, or background.

Click on Nolen's name to hear our amazing journey through autism.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some of my lame photography...

Taking pictures of a baby is difficult.

Friday, March 27, 2009

5 Weeks!!!

Little Edward is such a joy to hang out with all day. Here is a little taste of what you are missing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Friends are the best babysitters!

Chelsea, my first college roommate from 1999, surprised me and dropped by for a little visit over the weekend. She brought her cute daughter Denni along for the ride. I was Denni's nanny when she was only 7 months old! I can't believe Chel trusted me with her baby. I took a few pictures of their visit and also a few pictures of Edward and Mom time.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Now for the Test....

Who does Edward look like?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

1 Month old today!

9 Pounds 12 Ounces
21.5 inches

Already a big boy!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks three years of marriage for Stephen and I. I can not believe how much has changed in the last three years. We didn't really get to "celebrate" but I did take a few pictures of the family in green.

I also included a few pictures of little Edward and what we have been up to for the last few weeks. He has changed so much. I can't believe he will be a month old on Thursday!
Our first outing
Getting ready to visit the LLS
Hanging out with Dad
Edwards first bath

Monday, March 16, 2009


Dear Lovenox,

I appreciate that you are trying to save my life; however, I am sick and tired of getting poked ever single day. There has to be a better way to prevent blood clots. I understand my blood is genetically challenged but I am not a big fan of the needle in the stomach treatment. When is my 6 weeks up?

Good riddance!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What I learned...

After the experience of pregnancy, labor, then delivery I have learned many valuable lessons. The most important lesson I learned was that I can rely on my Heavenly Father to help me through any situation. I am truly blessed to now have a beautiful son who is a delight to be with all day. I am loved by friends, family, and even acquaintances. Many people sent their well wishes, prayers, and even made dinner for my little family. I am so blessed to have good friends here in Albuquerque and a loving family who is willing to drop everything and drive 7 long hours to spend time with me. I learned not to take anything for granted, even if it is something so small like the 5 minutes between contractions.
I have learned that a child truly is a blessing and not all family's are as lucky as mine. While we spent 7 excruciating days in the NICU another baby had been there for much longer and we left long before they did. We are blessed.
I plan to have ONE more baby and I will say I will be much more prepared the second time. Stephen is the most amazing husband and father. I am blessed. He will do anything to make me happy even if that means he misses out on a few hours of sleep. I love him! I love Edward! He is a joy. He brings a new meaning to my life. I am so grateful to be a mother.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Back to the story...


Warning! Do not read if you ever want to have children! Graphic details.

February 19, 2009 Thursday 7:45 AM: Once the epidural was in place I laid down and tried to sleep. If you have ever spent any time in the hospital, either to visit someone or for yourself, you know that "rest" is nearly impossible. Nurses and Doctors are constantly coming in to check on you. My nurse was incredibly nice and tried not to wake me when she came in to check on all the machines that were now hooked up to my stomach, baby, and arms. Let me see if I can even name all the places I had a wire. First, the IV for the pitocin and fluids. Second, the contraction monitor wrapped around my stomach. Third, the baby heart monitor wrapped around my stomach as well. Fourth, the blood pressure band. Fifth, the horrible catheter inside my pee hole. Sixth, an internal heart monitor of sorts on the babies head. (Yes, that means up inside the vagina.)

Thursday 5:00 PM: Doctor Chavez walks in to check on my progress. I am Dilated to a four! She heads over to do a c-section and says she will be back to check on my progress before she leaves for the night. So, I prepare myself for the worst: Another doctor delivering my baby. Shortly after the doctor walked in to my room, my parents arrive. My Mom exclaimed, "I thought Edward would be here by the time we got here." Yeah, me too, Mom! My helpful nurse walks in and begins to explain that something has been fishy with my temperature all day and my heart rate has been going up and down so she has had to turn down the pitocin many times. She did; however, continue to turn it back up as soon as she could. Why is my body being so difficult? I have such a resilient body that can do anything. Why wont it dilate?!

Thursday 7:00 PM: Doctor Chavez is back from the c-section. She checks me (uncomfortable as usual but I really can't feel much). I am dilated to a 6!! She says things are really picking up and we should turn off the epidural. My face turns white. I am not ready to feel pain again, EVER! My nurse winks at me and says she will turn off the epidural slowly. Things really started to pick up and I could actually feel a little bit of pressure 45 minutes later. The new nurse checks me (and almost lets my leg fall off the bed) and says I am dilated to an 8!! I am getting really, really excited now. I can't wait for this process to be over.

Thursday 8:00 PM: Nurse checks me again. I am dilated to a 9 and 3/4Th. (Whatever that means.) The nurse calls the "on call" doctor in to check and they both agree we need to wait until the "lip" of the cervix is completely dilated. So we continue to wait. All the while the epidural is slowly wearing off. I can actually feel my left toes. I have absolutely no feeling in my right leg at all but I know that as soon as I feel my toes I am about to feel some massive contractions.

Thursday 9:00 PM: No movement but a lot of pressure. I really feel like I should be pushing. I am told to wait.

Thursday 10:00 PM: I really feel pressure. I still can't feel my left leg but I know I need to push now. I can feel something changing in my body. I wanted to push. The nurse and Doctor begin to lower the bottom half of the bed. They lay the top half of the bed back. My Mom grabs my left left and Stephen grabs my right leg. We can officially start pushing. NOW! HOW DO YOU PUSH??!!!! Should I have taken a class?? In hindsight, I doubt it would have helped at all. I start pushing, so I think. My epidural is still on so I can not feel much but I can feel most of my left leg and part of my left abdomen. I think I am pushing. I look at Stephen so he can tell me when a contraction is coming. He watches the monitor closely. Contractions are about 10 to 20 seconds apart and last about 2 minutes. Each time a contraction comes I am told to "bare down" and push three times counting to ten each time. So, I do what I am told (so I think). I push and push and push and push and push and push. NOTHING! Nothing is happening.

Thursday 10:45 PM: Stephen is holding my leg. My Mom is holding my leg. My Dad is anxiously watching the babies heart beat monitor. The doctor says, "lets take a break." So, I lower my left leg because I can actually feel most of it by this point and Stephen gently lowers my right leg. Everyone leaves the room except for my family. The baby is still inside me. My Dad walks over and talks with Stephen about giving me a blessing. My Dad and Stephen give me a blessing. A beautiful blessing protecting both me and the baby. I can't really remember what he said, but I know he said we would be safe.

Thursday 11:00 PM: The "on call" doctor walks in. She states: "You are not having any luck pushing the baby out. You have a horrible fever that is continuing to spike. Your baby has now pooped and aspirated his own meconium. We have decided a c-section is needed now. It will take 30 minutes to prep. You can use that time to push if you like." She had no faith in me. The nurses had no faith in me. Honestly, I had no faith in me.

Thursday 11:15 PM: The doctor leaves. I can suddenly feel my right leg. I can suddenly feel contractions. The two nurses stay behind and start to coach me on pushing again. This time, they have placed an oxygen mask on my face saying it was "for the baby". I close my eyes. I say a prayer. As I pray, I realize I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN GET THIS BABY OUT. Not a soul in the world is going to help me push this baby out. I realize it is completely up to me. All the people in the room are spectators. I am the one playing the sport, ALONE! I realize that all the stories about childbirth have been glazed over by women who want other women to feel pain. I pray. I pray between each breath. Stephen grabs my left leg. The nurse grabs my right leg. I hold on to the hospital bed bars. I can now feel EVERYTHING. Every excruciating movement. I want to push to push my baby out. I don't want to push because each push causes more pain. I push and I pray. I can actually feel myself being ripped apart every single contraction. One nurse is sitting below the bed and doesn't seem to be paying any attention. The nurse holding my leg is now telling me to keep pushing. My eyes are closed. I can't breath. I am crying hysterically because of the pain. I can feel EVERYTHING!! My entire lower body is surrounded by pain. My Mom is standing by my shoulder offering words of encouragement. She is wonderful. I am listening for the nurses voice to tell me the baby is "crowning" but nothing. What is she doing down there, filing her nails?? I keep pushing and praying. I can't breath with the mask on and each time the contraction ends I try to move the mask. The nurse puts it back on. At one point my contact almost comes out because I am crying so hard and I can't breath. I did not way one word. I just pushed. I could hear my Dad in the background saying, "You need to push harder. You need to stop and catch your breath before you push again." I didn't want to stop, I just kept pushing. No matter what, the pain was inevitable. I had to finally accept that I was going to be in a lot of pain. I could feel myself tear. I could feel it ALL!

Thursday 11:35 PM: The room suddenly fills with 14 people. I hear the nurse filing her nails by my vaginal say, "I think she is pushing the baby out!!!" Somewhere along the day, Stephen stated that he wanted Edward born on February 19Th. I was completely unaware of the time but I knew midnight was coming. My eyes are closed and I am still praying. By this time I am speaking. "It hurts!" I continued to say how bad it hurt. Everyone said, "I know, just keep going." How can you keep pushing when you know each push brings more pain. I didn't think relief was ever coming.

Thursday 11:41 PM: With one last push I feel a huge gush go between my thighs. I feel liquid of all sorts gush out of me. I hear cheering. I begin sobbing uncontrollably. Stephen later said he was hit by the babies arm as he was pushed out. There was never a moment someone said the baby was "crowning" or he is coming. It just happened. All of the baby was suddenly outside of me. I don't know what series of events took place after that brief moment of relief, but I knew I PUSHED THE BABY OUT! "NEVER AGAIN" were my first words. Later I learned that baby Edward wanted to come out "sunny side up" and supposedly that is the hardest way to deliver a baby vaginally. (Unless he was breach, but if that was the case we would have skipped this whole fiasco and went straight for the c-section). As I sat there crying the doctor said, "OK here comes the placenta." I cried. It hurt. Everything hurt. I don't where Stephen went or where my Mom went or where my Dad went. Someone held up the baby. "He's Huge!" I cried. That same someone handed me the baby. I was crying, he was crying. My Mom snapped a picture. She said to smile and I just couldn't. I was in too much pain.

Thursday 11:50 PM:Then the room was empty. It was me, my parents, the doctor, and one nurse. The doctor then said, "We need to stitch you up. You tore 2 degrees (out of 4)." Yes, I felt her stick the needle in my ripped apart vagina. I felt her tug and pull and she stitched up what was left of my body. I wanted to roll over and cry, but I couldn't move. She was done, then the nurse said, you need to get up and go to the bathroom. Every monitor was taken off my body and the IV was left in place. She helped me to the toilet and said, "pee". How can I pee after that??? I sat on the toilet crying for 10 minutes. The nurse turned on the bath water hoping it would help me pee. Finally, I did it. She then used a skirt bottle to spray off my entire area. It burned. Then she had me step into the biggest pair of granny panties I have ever seen. She placed TWO thick pads in the crotch of the granny panties. Then, I stood up and walked back to my bed holding the IV that now had antibiotics running through my veins because of my fever. My Dad handed me two tacos from Del Taco and I ate. I was then helped onto a wheel chair with a towel between my legs, because the blood was so thick, and taken down to the NICU to see Edward. My parents walked along slowly. We found out that only parents of the babies are allowed in the NICU but I wanted my Dad and Stephen to give Edward a blessing. They were let in and Edward received his first fathers blessing from Stephen. It was beautiful.

Later, I was moved up to postpartum where most women go with their babies to rest. I didn't have a baby. Stephen was back from the NICU and described a terrible site as the pocked and prodded at little Edward. He exclaimed, "He has two balls!" Hilarious! I couldn't laugh. It hurt. My entire body was sore. As if I had just ran 13.1 miles. I did not sleep that night, or should I say morning. I just cried. Stephen slept in the bed next to me. I cried and cried.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


WARNING! Contains graphic details. Do not read if you want to have children EVER!

February 17, 2009 Tuesday 12 AM: I laid awake in bed reading Harry Potter. I have been trying to get through all of the books before the next movie comes out. I start to feel a bit of pain in my abdomen that lasts for about 30 seconds. The pain comes back 10 minutes later. It felt just like a period cramp. EXACTLY like my horrendous period cramps caused from undiagnosed endometriosis. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. Sleep was taken in 10 minute intervals through out the night. I figured I could make it through the 30 second pain until my 9:30 AM doctors appointment. So, through the night I counted to 30 every 10 minutes. This helped me focus less on the pain and more on the fact that the pain would be gone by the time I reached thirty.

Tuesday 9:30 AM: Stephen decided to come with me to visit the doctor since the "contractions" hadn't let up. I figured it was some type of "false labor" or "braxton hicks" all these women talk about. Upon arrival I go through the usual steps: check weight (163 lbs), check Urine, and undress from the waste down. After explaining to the nurse that I had just had 3 contractions while talking to her, she gets Doctor Chavez. She walks in and asks routine questions, checks the heart beat of the baby, then goes in for the plunge. She felt my cervix and said that I did indeed seem to be in early labor but I was not dilated. NOT ONE BIT!!!! Nine Hours of labor and my body couldn't even dilate to a one?? Come on! She sent me home and told me to "rest". I had planned to go to work that day but with the 30 second pain coming every 10 minutes I opted to stay home. Since nothing was really happening with my body, Stephen went off to work.

Tuesday 11:00 PM: Stephen arrives home from work and I am in more pain and the contractions are getting closer together. They are now about 7 to 8 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds. The pain is worse. I haven't slept in a day and my mind is starting to go a little crazy. I keep counting to 30 with the hope that the pain will disappear. (Fat chance!) I have been laying on the couch trying to drift in and out of sleep while watching TV as Stephen walks in the apartment. He asks me if things have been getting better. By the concerned look on my face and counting he does not need an answer. We both try to sleep that night but for me there was no hope. I let Stephen sleep in the bed while I went back out on the couch hoping to distract my mind from the pain. I even tried taking a warm bath to ease the pain. Many women talk of this awesome warm bath and its healing powers. IT DOESN'T WORK! I decide that my contractions are now about 5 to 6 minutes apart and last a full minute. The pain of each contraction is mind blowing. On a scale of 1 to 10 I have reached an 8!! I figure this really has to be it.

February 18, 2009 Wednesday 10:00 AM: After using the bathroom 1 million times I start to see the "bloody show" if you will and now I am getting excited. Doctor Chavez said to go to the hospital when contractions are 5 minutes apart. YEAH! I waited until Stephen woke up at 10 AM. My Mom called and said she really thought I was in labor. I couldn't even speak to her on the phone and promised I would go to the hospital. I really didn't want to be turned away. I wanted this baby to come out and I wanted the pain GONE! Stephen called his work and let them know he was not coming in that evening. We checked our list and checked our hospital bags. We were ready for this baby to come. As we drove over ever single bump on the way to the hospital I really pondered if I was truly ready for this baby to come. After bouncing around in the car I just wanted the pain to end. We arrive at Lovelace Women's Hospital at 1 PM Wednesday afternoon. By this time I could barely walk and the pain was increasing. It seemed impossible that the pain could get any worse. We walked to the elevator... PAIN... we walked to triage... PAIN... I sat on the floor.... PAIN! They took a routine urine sample and told me to undress from the waist down. A nice female nurse walked in and asked if it would be OK to have a male student come in. At this point I didn't really care. I just wanted her to say I was dilated to a 4 and give me an epidural. She put on the gloves... check me... and I was dilated to a FINGERTIP!!! Yes, folks, a fingertip!!! All that pain and nothing!! NOTHING!! The nurse calls my doctor and is tells me to "walk around" for two hours then come back.

Wednesday 4:00 PM: Stephen and I decide we are starving so we head to Einstein's Bagels to have a yummy bagel sandwich. NO, the pain is not gone. Every single bump the car drives over is excruciating. I can not stand it. We walk SLOWLY into the bagel shop, order, and I use the bathroom while we wait for our food. Miserable pain. By this time my mind has really decided this pain is going to last forever. I figured this was all false labor and I was not going to have this baby for another week or year or EVER! Stephen and I drive back to the hospital and walk around for two hours. We walk up to the third floor Triage center hoping to hear some good news. The nurse checks me... NOTHING!!!!!! She calls my doctor again who then prescribes an anti-anxiety medicine to help me sleep. Stephen and I drive back home (empty handed) and pick up my prescription. I take 4 anti-anxiety pills and lay down on the couch to "sleep". Nothing helps. The prescription does nothing to dull the pain, it only makes me more sleepy but I can't sleep through the contractions that are now 3 to 5 minutes apart and last well over a minute. My counting method has really stopped working by this time because the pain is not gone in 30 seconds. Frankly, the pain got worse when I reached 30, so it was more of a punishment to count.

February 19, 2009 Thursday 1:00 AM: I had it! I could not take another contraction. I could not take the pain for another minute. It had been two days... two days with out sleep, with out relief from the pain, with out a clear thought. It was terrible! I woke Stephen up, who was not sleeping... we had both been laying in the living room timing contractions and trying to sleep while watching TV. This time we had everything ready to go. We had been to the hospital 12 hours earlier and just got into Stephen's old Toyota. We made the 15 minute drive to the hospital, again. I knew the road well. I knew where the bumps were. I prayed that we would be at a stop light when the contractions hit. For the most part, we were stopped. Stephen looked terrified as I counted to 30 and told him not to drive when the light turned green. On a scale of 1 to 10 this pain was a 20!!!

Thursday 1:15 AM: We finally arrived at the hospital. We slowly limped into the hospital. I crawled on the elevator to head to the third floor. We have been to the third floor many, many, many times. I had four kidney stones while pregnant and spent two of those horrific kidney stones on the third floor of the Lovelace Women's Hospital. I literally crawl to the check in desk as Stephen tells the staff I am in labor. They walk me to a room and tell me to leave a urine sample and to completely undress. By this time I told Stephen we were not going home with out some type of pain medication. The nurse finally walks in to check me. Great news, I am dilated to a ONE!!!!!! A ONE!!! That is it!! Two days of pain and my body can only produce small, insignificant results. I tell the nurse I want drugs. She gives me a shot of Demerol and says to sleep. I dozed in and out of consciousness. The Demerol numbed the pain but did not take it away. I could feel every contraction and the worst part was... I knew it was doing nothing!!!

Thursday 7:00 AM: My doctor arrives. She checks me. I am dilated to a TWO!!! Progress! She says, "Do you want to have this baby today?" Stephen and I look at each other and with out even thinking we both blurt out, "YES!" She says that she is going to break my water and start me on pitocin. I have heard horror stories about the pain pitocin can bring, but really, at this point, how much more pain can I be in?? (Dumb thought). She comes back in, reaches inside me with a hook and breaks my water. It was a warm gush of the oddest colored fluid. The fluid is "clear" according to her and says I am OK to start pitocin. I really wanted my epidural and the nurse explained I could either get it right then or wait a few hours. WHY OH WHY would I WAIT!! It has been forever! I can not wait another moment. The IV is stuck in my arm to start the pitocin as the epidural guy walks in. He begins to explain all the risks and says that I have to be perfectly still as he does the procedure. I, then, put both feet on the side of the bed and lean over while another painful contraction happens. Stephen and the nurse hold my body still as he numbs the area. Not painful at all considering the contractions I have had. He then pushes the epidural in my spine. Not painful. I lean back and the procedure is done. He turns on the pain medication. Not instant relief, but I know it is coming. The nurse then puts in a catheter because I will not be able to get up and walk around to get to the bathroom anymore.

Thursday 7:30 AM: I call my Mom and let her know we are actually going to have the baby today! She jumps in the car with my Dad and they head to Albuquerque. Almost all of the pain is gone by this point. I feel great. I actually feel like I could sleep. Stephen turns his little chair into a bed as I try to sleep.

Sorry, folks, Edward is awake... I will continue the rest of the story later....

Friday, March 6, 2009

Susan's Visit

Stephen's Mom drove out to beautiful Albuquerque to spend time with Edward this last week. We had a lot of fun sleeping at night while she took care of him. I sure wish I had a live in night nanny. Now that would be awesome. Then I could wake up refreshed and ready to play all day with my little "awake baby". Here are a few pictures from the week.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mom's visit

I took a few pictures while my Mom and sister were here in Albuquerque. They headed home yesterday and I miss them already. I didn't have any time while they were here and I don't have any time now that they are gone. Stephen's Mom is driving to New Mexico today. She will be here for a week. YEAH!

OH! And don't think I forgot about telling my horrific labor story... I WILL! It will take about an hour to write... so be prepared!


I miss you!

Love Julie and Stephen