Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'm Tired

The clock is slowly inching toward 8;30 on this lazy Saturday morning and I'm still laying in bed. Ashlyn woke me up at 5:30 and proved restless until about half hour ago when Brian took her. Now I've been up too long to go back to sleep even though my body is fatigued by the routine of eight weeks of night feedings. I rarely want to do anything so going out is taxing to me even when I enjoy the excursion.

Wednesday night youth group was cancelled so the kids could fly to the Philippines to go to the temple so I was free. Gina was keen to put the kids to bed so I arranged a date night for Brian and I. The Titanic exhibit closes this weekend and I didn't want to miss it. We went to enjoy and get away. It should have been great. On the way home I asked Brian if the date was so blaw because the nature of a museum dictates that you read the displays and this we didn't talk and interact like a good date would involve or were we just too dang tired to go out on dates on a week night. The museum was good enough in the Titanic exhibit. For my opinion on the Andy Warhol exhibit you could simply reread my posting on going to book club in November of 2010 before we left Fairfax. In short - I just don't get art and knowing that should have saved the $4 to upgrade my ticket and spent it on ice cream after the museum.

Both of us admitted as we drive home at 10pm we'd rather be in bed asleep. Maybe we would have better dates on Friday nights.

I wish it was chilly today. There is thunder outside without rain...yet. It's rolling and intriguing me. My curtains are drawn and I want to curl up into my sheets and find the comforting warmth from a cool storm outside. Instead I will shower and go begin the day. My cute kids await my grand assent down the staircase to tend to all their pressing needs like pouring milk onto Cheerios and finding the tag on the Thomas the Train underwear. I'm like a rock star around here and I'm happy to say I know they love me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just the Daily Toy Clean Up Routine

You ask a cranky, over tired three year old to put the pillows back on the couch and he may just throw them on top of his baby sister. Good thing I noticed before someone sat on her. An emergency room visit is the last thing my frazzled nerves need tonight.

Maddie has begun weeping at every conceivable anything as well. It's beyond ridiculous and i have coped incredibly well today but my patience has been exhausted.

The two middle children are already heading to bed as soon as the last morsel of food crosses the backs of their tongues. They are banished from my presence.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm Not Doing Anything

It’s long been the joke at our house because of some sibling story from Brian’s past life. Some neighbor kid would come upstairs periodically and telling everyone at his house, “I’m not doing anything.” Then he would return back downstairs. I understand this neighbor friend was breaking his mother’s decorative plates down in that basement.


We get home from church at about 4:30. Today our home teacher visited right away and soon it was a few minutes after 5:00. The kids didn’t eat breakfast until we came downstairs this morning and we decided to make Ben a birthday breakfast of waffles, eggs and smoothies.  We finally ate at 10:00 am. That made getting lunch at 11:00 a bit of a joke before they left for church at 11:55 (Maddie had a fever so Ashlyn and I stayed home with her). The boys each took a small bagel for lunch on the go but were likely pretty hungry when they got home from church.


Brian let them all have a trick-or-treat (the name of our residual candy stash) but only one each because it was nearly dinner time. After the treat Jacob came to me multiple times saying, “I’m not eating anything in the kitchen.” Or, “I am not doing something right now.” Shortly after that we went in the kitchen to make dinner. Jacob proceeded to tell me, “I just ate two of those behind the fridge so you couldn’t see me do it.” He was referring to pink candy sticks. The joy of a three year old and their incomplete sense of logic and what you should and shouldn’t say. Guess who got a timeout.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Coming Home Again

We are on the way back home to Singapore. One hour down. Twenty three left to go. I'm enjoying the view of Idaho now and love the farm fields that dot the countryside and make such fun circle designs.

We weighed in at 20, 50 and 51 pounds for checked baggage. Then 40 and 45 pounds for our carry on bags. We had to leave plenty of our shopping treasures behind but we will pick them up when we return for summer vacation in July.

Brian has made traveling easy with his ingenious luggage train. With our super easy to maneuver Costco luggage driving this train is a snap!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ashlyn's Birth Story

The morning of March 6th came early. Surgery was scheduled for 8:00am so we had to report to the hospital at 5:30am. The parking garage wasn’t even open and the main doors to the hospital were still locked so we had to walk around to another entrance. We arrived at the admissions desk and pre-paid the estimated bill smiling to myself knowing my surgery was likely to run over and cost more because the doctor says it gets more difficult with each one and takes longer each time. Most people don’t have four C-sections in this country. One child is the norm in Singapore these days.


After we paid they sent us upstairs to settle into my room.  We paid for a shared room and they put is in a private room. Before we settled in we clarified but they must have been totally full because I got to stay. I was excited about that! First thing I notice is on the table was a packet of things the nurse had out ready for me. The most prominent thing was a big foreboding box marked “Fleet Enema”. Not the most welcome site. Also included were razor and other things like that and it all started to become very real to me. This surgery thing isn’t really all that fun. In my head I started thinking that I’m also getting a catheter, IV, spinal block and loads of other things on top of the fact that they are going to slice me open and mess up my entire abdominal wall muscles AGAIN. Time to hit the Panic button!


After I’m prepped for surgery I climb onto the gurney and they wheel me out to the elevator and down one floor to the operating theater. We went through the first theater doors and Brian was instructed to stay here and change into his surgery garb. I went on in and they moved me onto a heated waterbed surgery table. It felt so nice and warm! The anesthesiologist Dr. Lew, who I had met earlier in my room, came in and got to work. I laid on my left side on the table and curled in a ball as small as I could while he felt for the right spot to put in the needle. They kept having to tell me to try to crunch down smaller, try to hold my knees tighter, curve my back more. They were a fun bunch of people and Dr. Lew was cracking jokes about other things so I finally cracked back at him that I had a big ball in my stomach that made it hard to get real small but if he could just take that out I’d do a much better job of being small. They all laughed.


There was a bit of pinching and at some point I recall the pain making me want to arch my back the other way and just clutching my knees tight and repeating, “Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.” so I could focus myself and ignore the pain. Soon enough that was over and the local anesthetic began to work on my back so he could put the big stuff in. Everything went exactly like clockwork and completely how he said it would. Since I was on my left side gravity pulls the medicine down and the left side begins numbing first and feels warm, then a little tingly. Then they roll you onto your back and it starts to flow onto the right side and it gets warm and tingly. I must have had my left knee partially bent when I lost feeling because for the entire two hours of surgery I felt like I just wanted to straighten out my leg and lay it down flat. I knew better than to ask them to do it for me. Surely they weren’t operating with my leg bent so it was completely in the way of them doing their work.


As the spinal block starts to take full effect and everything evens out with the tingles and they gave me some oxygen because something was low and they watched my blood pressure closely. At one point I wanted to vomit. Dr. Lew must have seen the distress on my face and asked if I was feeling sick. I confirmed  and he held a bucket next to my head waiting until I told them I was okay (I did vomit once, with Maddie I believe it was). It was interesting that all my C-sections in the USA they strapped my arms down to rolling table/carts on either side of me. This time they had a fabric under my upper body much like a canvas material. They had me cross my arms over my chest then wrapped me much like we swaddle babies to keep them still and warm. I could have moved my hands if I really wanted but it was so nice to not be strapped down like to a table this time.


Soon enough Dr. Loh began testing to see if he could begin the surgery. He pokes me with the scalpel, “Can you feel that?” “Yep!” “Okay, we’ll wait a minute.” A minute later. “Can you feel that?” “Yeah.” “Can you feel it still?” “What?” “We’re ready.” I laugh. Guess so. Dr. Lew tells me that when it’s time for the baby to come he will lean over my head and assist by pushing the baby up and out at the base of my rib cage. Sounds better than what happened with Jacob. I believe they lifted my body up by grabbing my ribcage from inside and turning my body because my body was lifted off the table for the smallest second and I came out with a severely bruised rib cage that lasted two weeks. Sounds better than that to me.


I hadn’t been sleeping well for a while because of my big achy body and now that we were here in the operating theater I felt a sense of relief that the pregnancy was over. I started to feel really comfortable and then sleepy. Then so sleepy I positively couldn’t keep my eyelids open. I thought to myself, “I can’t sleep through the birth of my baby, but it will probably be a few minutes and they will wake me up, right? I can just sleep for a few minutes. It will feel sooooo good to just sleep.” About that time they said to give me something for low blood pressure and Brian appeared next to my head. A very welcome sight, even in his silly surgery clothes. I will myself to wake up, embarrassed I was so completely ready to sleep through the birth of our baby. Soon I’m feeling more alert. Later after Ashlyn and Brian leave the surgery and I have time to kill talking to Dr. Lew I asked why I felt so tired, was it just me or the medicine. He said my low blood pressure had done it so they had been watching it and administering drugs to level me out. Then I didn’t feel so bad about wanting to sleep through the delivery.


Dr. Loh must have been having trouble keeping my skin open to work. He clipped my flesh to a string and hung a saline bag from it as a weight and had Dr. Lew hang it over the screen by my head. Dr. Lew started cracking jokes again. “It’s not high tech but it’s functional!” I did learn that the sheet in my face isn’t to avoid law suits, it’s to keep germs out of the surgery space since I haven’t scrubbed down my upper body. I thought that was interesting.


Not too many minutes after Brian arrived it was time for baby. Dr. Loh told us baby was coming, then we heard a cry and they announced it was a GIRL!!  I knew it! It had to be a girl. I had always thought it, but talked myself into a boy because I figured it would be a boy just because I thought it should be a girl. Mind games. I was so happy!! Maddie would be so happy! I couldn’t wait to tell her. They took Ashlyn over to check her out and Brian tells me it was only a minute or two, they didn’t even really clean her up, before they brought her to me and placed her in my arms. It was so great. The first baby of four that I was able to hold right away. They let me keep her for three or four minutes and took our picture before they whisked her away to do a proper check up and clean her.


She got oxygen right from the start, just softly blown into her face. Her pediatrician was present at the surgery as is common in Singapore, his name was Dr. Loh. My surgeon was also Dr. Loh and it was confusing some days. The camcorder video of the first seconds after birth catch Dr. Loh saying she had fluid in her lungs right from the start. After they took her back to get her checked out Brian got to trim the cord then he went with our new baby girl into the normal delivery area to a baby clean up room. They stayed for about an hour and a half while I was still in surgery.


They kept the oxygen mask near her face and she got her bath and did a weigh and measure while Brian sat by her. Dr. Loh did a quick check about 30 minutes later when she should have been released and checked her. HE told Brian she was having a hard time breathing so they would keep her for observation for a  while longer and observer her.  Then he was off to his office. For a little while the nurses got a full oxygen face mask on her then they take it away to see what happens to her oxygen saturation levels. Eventually the nurses called Dr. Loh and pushed for her to be moved to the NICU. They wheeled her over to NICU where Brian got admission papers and they sent him down to the cashier to pay for her stay. (That’s efficient.)


Brian tried to find me at this point but I wasn’t in my room. He went back to NICU. Checked the nurses upstairs. Finally waited for me at the operating theatre outside because he wasn’t allowed back in. Finally someone told him I was done and he waited for me in my room.


Ashlyn was born at 8:28 am. I spent an additional hour and a half after that in surgery. I couldn’t count the number of times Dr. Loh said “It looks like a jungle in here,” referring to my internals. I’ll never know if that is all relative and coming from the fact that people in Singapore usually only have one child and I’d had four C-secitions so he wasn’t used to seeing that many. When they opened me up on my third surgery I was told, by a doctor that routinely did repeat C-sections, that it looked fantastic. In fact before he said anything one of the surgery staff had said that it looked like my last surgeon had done a fantastic job and it was such a clean scar. After number three I had a green light. Now after number four the doctor says it’s advisable to hang up my pregnancy hat for my own health. I had originally planned to have my tubes tied during the surgery but when it came right down to it, it felt too final and though we have no plans for more children, I couldn’t commit. Right then and there on the operating table I finally felt okay with doing it. Too bad he wouldn’t have changed plans mid-operation or I would have done it.


As the surgery went on and on and on I began to get more and more uncomfortable. It wasn’t that I felt sharp pains because the medicines take care of all of that. You can still feel pressure though. The longer it went on the more it hurt. It got particularly bad when he got to replacing the muscle wall. As he pulled layer after layer together and did whatever he has to do it got worse and worse until the point tears of pain were welling up in my eyes. It was so bad that I wanted to ask him to stop and give me a break for a minute. Just make it stop. Maybe just leave me open so I didn’t have to finish the procedure.


I asked how much longer I needed to last. He said twenty to thirty minutes and I spent the remainder of that time telling myself to breath, focus on other things, ignore the pain and try not to give in and cry because that would only make it worse. Dr. Lew was so great. He talked me through it. He cracked jokes and brought me tiny squeeze bottle of water and gave me two or three drops of water at a time. He just kept talking and when I winced in pain as my internals were being repositioned he would tell me I was doing great. I don’t remember that with my other surgeries, but the pain really started during the last half hour and this surgery was complicated enough that the other surgeries had never lasted that long. I think I believe him about what I look like inside. He estimated how long it should take before the delivery date. When we talked after the surgery he said it took about 20 minutes longer than he had anticipated it would so he could properly fix me up.


My understanding is that they close you up with a fresh wound. Just like a fresh cut can adhere to a bandaid and stick to it as it scabs over and heals, my internal wounds can attach themselves to other body parts. Surgery number three must have healed not so well compared to numbers one and two.  Dr. Loh was very, very concerned and checked my urine bag about a thousand times in the next 24 hours to make sure it was totally clear. He was concerned with the work he had to do that my bladder was still okay. It always ran clear, but I appreciated how meticulous he was and careful to make sure nothing went wrong.


After surgery I went to the recovery room. This is typically where Brian wheels the baby in and meets me again while I wait to be able to move my legs again before I get to go to my room. I was surprised not to see Brian or a baby. In fact there was no family at all in the recovery room and the maternity patients were mixed with everyone else. I felt really tired and kept my eyes closed for nearly the entire half hour of my stay there.


My Dr. Loh came to make sure I was okay and told me the baby was in the NICU but didn’t have much information. Somehow I knew it was okay, just a little hiccup we had to get through. Somehow I had a feeling this delivery would be different from my other three. Back in October I began to feel it. I know this delivery would come with unique challenges. Nothing huge or terrible but there would be something wrong. Here it was.  Finally they wheeled me from recovery to my room where Brian was waiting with a little more information.


Ashlyn had what they thought was probably wet lung, possibly immature lung thought the second was not likely because she was a full term 38 week baby. Wet lung was the obvious culprit because C-section babies don’t get the chance to squeeze the fluid out of their lungs by passing through the birth canal. She was born on Tuesday morning. I couldn’t get out of bed until Wednesday so I didn’t get to see her again until the next day.


After we talked for a little bit in my room and he updated me on why Ashlyn was in NICU, I couldn’t stay awake anymore. I was nodding off and it was time to pick up Maddie from school.  Brian headed home to pick up Maddie at school, Jacob from Monson’s house and sick Ben from the Daynes home. Since Ashlyn was in NICU they couldn’t see her anyway so we figured he could come see me while he was sick.


They were cute when they arrived at the hospital. They still didn’t know if the baby was a girl or a boy. They all wanted to meet the baby at the same time they found out. We told them that because she was in the special nursery they couldn’t meet her today and asked if we could tell them. Maddie and Jake said yes and Ben wanted to guess. Brian whispered into Maddie and Jacob’s ears while Ben ran to the other side of the room to hide in my bathroom and held his hands tightly over his ears with a grin that stretched from ear to ear.  Then Brian took the kids to look through the tiny 6” square window at their baby sister on the opposite side of the room. Basically they could see a box with monitors.  Ben wasn’t able to tell if it was a girl or boy. Brian asked if he wanted to be told and he did. He just smiled, glad that our family kept the boy-girl-boy-girl-boy-girl pattern.


Over the six days Ashlyn spent in the NICU it was mostly just waiting. They took a chest xray the first day and weren’t able to determine which thing was wrong, wet or immature lung, but time would tell and the treatment for both was the same.  She started with enriched oxygen pumped into a box around her head and antibiotics. She also got a feeding tube because we couldn’t feed her or hold her without her oxygen dipping too low. When the oxygen enriched air wasn’t keeping her oxygen levels up enough they had to move her onto a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) to force her lungs to open up. That took the hard work away from her so breathing didn’t completely exhaust her little body. After a day or two they took the CPAP away but eventually put it back. When she was still having trouble after two days they did another chest xray and determined it to be immature lung.


I really got to go see Ashlyn on Wednesday for the first time but we still couldn’t hold her yet. Just watch her in her little NICU crib. Thursday was the same. Friday after lunch was my first chance to hold her and try to nurse her. I showered and got the chills so bad I was stuck in bed for a long time before I could move and almost missed the feeding time which had me really upset. I was a little late but they let me try. She didn’t latch on and while the feeding was a bust, we did get to hold her at least and it started to feel real from that point on that we had a baby. Saturday I was discharged from the hospital and was able to get Ashlyn to latch on and feed three times which was really exciting.


Our big goals were to have her breathe and eat before she could be discharged. Her oxygen levels would drop during feedings so she went back on oxygen. Sunday she was finally completely off the oxygen and we were hopeful she could come home but by now she had developed jaundice and had to stay an extra day under the blue lights.  Sunday Brian drove me to the hospital with a laptop, a breastpump and cab fare home. I spent at the hospital on the couches in the lobby making a visit to the NICU every three hours to feed Ashlyn while he went back home and took the kids to church. I fed her at the 9am, 12 noon and 3pm feeding before I was physically too tired and headed home in a cab to our house leaving them to feed her my expressed breastmilk.


Monday morning our plan was to do the same as Sunday and if she was released I’d take her home in the cab with me. We got the kids off to school and at 8:30 were driving downtown when I got the call on my mobile phone that she was ready for discharge because the bilirubien levels had dropped enough. We were so excited. I went in to feed her while Brian parked the car and paid off her hospital bill. Then he drove me back home where she got to meet Jacob for the first time. Brian had to go to work then so he left me with Ashlyn, Jacob and Gina to watch over us. Jacob was instantly in love with Ashlyn. Maddie met her when she got home from school at 1:30 and Ben at 3:00. It was a great way to give them all their own personal time with her and overall a very happy day for us to all be home together as a family.




The process of picking a doctor was a hard one for me last summer. I hit brick walls right and left, even got turned down by one doctor. I know now that I was lead to Dr. Loh to take care of me and I am thankful for him helping me through this pregnancy. Even with the worrisome scans in the last few weeks and the difficulty of the surgery he helped get Ashlyn here in good health.



Down Side to Snow

Stopped on the interstate. Were for well over one hour, then we moved slowly covering only three miles in thirty minutes as we approach the mountain pass near Beaver. Of course that can only mean one thing. A nasty accident on the snow and ice covered roads.

The storm was supposed to hit overnight and weather start warming by noon according to the weather report last night, so we planned to leave about noon.  No surprise it didn’t exactly work that way. Nothing was coming down when I woke up to feed Ashlyn at 7:30 and the grass was still showing. When we rolled out of bed about 10 am (I think the 14 hour time difference finally hit us) the snow was coming down softly but proceeded to get heavier and heavier.

The drive from Brian’s parents’ house in Cedar City to mine in Centerville is about three and a half hours in good weather and knowing the roads freeze as the sun goes down we decided to head out on our way despite the falling snow. We were northbound about 2:30 only to come to a dead stop just after 3:00. So I’m spending my time typing blog posts on the laptop and taking Ashlyn in and out of her car seat to settle her down.

Brian asked if I had ever wondered how long it would take to walk to Salt Lake City because we may just find out today. It’s only 250 miles (400 km) at 6 mph is only a 42 hour drive so we should get to Salt Lake about the time we should have touched down in Singapore. Poor Gina. She may quit the minute we walk back in the door. She made me laugh when we called to check in on the kids two nights ago. She said everyone is doing just fine. Ben and Jacob are great. Maddie still doesn’t listen. That totally cracked me up. Life as usual.

We passed the wreck and it looks bad. One vehicle must have rolled to have that much even side damage and I hope the passengers are all okay. We are far away from a big hospital. Traffic is moving slowly now, about 35 mph and it’s fast enough for me. The roads are packed with snow in the canyon and it’s still coming down heavy so we can’t see far up the road but the continuous motion and lullaby of the wheels has helped Ashlyn nod off to sleep.  I fanaticize about snow all year round but it’s a dangerous thing on the road.


I’m so excited to see snow on this trip! I decided it was wishful thinking to hope for snow on such a super short Utah visit, especially considering the calendar is showing April.  What a beautiful surprise to hear on the weather report Thursday night that there might be some snow coming our way. When I asked Ben what he wanted for Christmas this year the only thing he came up with was snow. I had to persuade him to consider toys as an option because I couldn’t get him snow. Grandpa knows just how much I love snow and how much the kids miss it. He knew we needed to get on the road soon to drive back up to Salt Lake City so he hurried on outside and built a huge snowman just for the kids. After a little while Dad went out to help him and Uncle Brett took the camera for me to get some pictures while I fed Ashlyn. Grandpa sure loves you guys!



Grandpa Dean's Funeral

It’s been nuts being in the USA again. I am so happy in Singapore, and was happy in Virginia and Texas before that but for the first time I’ve felt the heart pangs that it sure would be nice to live in Utah again. Not sure I’ve ever felt that before. I’ve been so focused on seeing the country, then the world for the last twenty plus years it hasn’t occurred to me to want to live somewhere I have already seen. But coming home this time for the funeral Utah seems a little bit new. The mountains are so beautiful. The snow such an amazing thing to see and feel. A warm home in the cold season seems so much more like a home than the air con concrete shell with cold marble floors we have now. Carpet. Christian churches dotting the city. Trucks. Family.


My siblings have scattered in the wind but Brian’s immediate family is close together in Utah. And they are so much fun. It was great to come together and celebrate Grandpas life together. To see all his posterity together because Brian’s uncle Todd, aunt Karen, cousin Shelley and all her little family were there staying at his parents place too. I think he was proud of his little clan. He was born nearly one hundred years ago, he would have turned ninety nine this year. I loved hearing the stories of his life from Craig’s telling of his life sketch and Shelley sharing stories from the five grandkids.


He was the driving force in his chapter of the American Legion. Brian’s family went for years and years on Memorial Day to the small Centerfield Cemetery. One year after we were married I joined them and won’t ever forget that morning. They got up early, early in the morning and hauled a big load of flags and heavy metal flag poles to the small town cemetery. Grandpa knew which headstones were veterans. I suspect he probably personally knew every single person buried there and I believe in his mind honoring their memories was one of the most important things he could do. His patriotism was something to be admired and helping him was a bit of an honor. We worked to hammer stakes in the ground, mount the poles and hang the flags before anyone else was probably out of bed on a holiday morning. The other veterans tell stories of how he persuaded them all to join up and serve and what a great example he was. They were all there to honor him with military honors firing off shots at the burial site and then Anne was presented with a flag.


I think the day would have made him proud. He was a great man. I wish we were closer to have spent more time around these last few years since he stopped being able to come visit us wherever we lived. I had hoped to get a picture of him with all four of my kids this summer. Now I’ll have to settle for this picture of his four newest great grandchildren born in the last six months. He had eighteen great grandchildren which made for a pretty busy family party and he would watch all the action from the couch while we visited with him. It won’t quite seem right this summer to come home and not visit with Grandpa Dean. He is loved and will be missed.


Claudia's Blanket

Claudia makes the most gorgeous blankets. I can’t believe the skill and how many hours it must take. She is a wonderful friend and neighbor in Fairfax. She lived across the parking lot from our building and loved our cute little kids. She made a blanket for Jacob’s blessing day just like it with a blue ribbon. I didn’t think Ashlyn would be so lucky as he was to get one too, but sweet Claudia mailed one all the way to Singapore. The blanket and the cute angel in it are just beautiful and we will keep it as a real treasure from her special day, thanks to wonderful Claudia.

Ashlyn's Pre-Birth Story

We welcomed our sweet angel Ashlyn Anne Zufelt into the world about a month ago on March 06, 2012. Because it was my fourth C-section the doctor advised a scheduled C-section at week 38 plus or minus four days according to my superstitions. He said that with a straight face though to my American mind it sounded like it should be a joke. Nope. He is just very sensitive to the fact that luck and numbers mean a whole lot to many cultures here in Singapore. Brian and I poked around the internet looking for auspicious days to have a baby and joked for months about it. In the end I was pushing for a leap day baby, February 29 but it was just out of reach being three days outside my approved window and the doctor wouldn’t budge.


Everything went according to plan with the pregnancy and she measured 50 percentile until about week 30 when she hadn’t grown quite as much as he would have liked. She had a fairly dramatic dip to the 20 percentile line. No big deal yet, Dr Loh noted to watch things more closely and try to rest more. At 32 weeks she measured back to the 50 percentile line and we thought we may have just got an off measure once. 34 weeks put her back down again and we started tracking more closely and going in more often to make sure we didn’t have a problem meaning we would have to deliver early. He began having me do 30 minute scans to track heart rate and make sure she was okay that way as well starting at 34 weeks. Weeks 35, 36, 36.5, 37 and 37.5 brought the same results that she was growing slower than she should and I was relieved to have her coming in just a few more days since I was getting a bit nervous.


They planned to do my bloodwork to make sure I was healthy enough for the surgery and check their regular stuff the Friday before my Tuesday delivery so of course the preceding Monday I came down with a rotten flu type bug with a nasty cold and congestion. I knew she needed to come out and I had to pass my blood test for the surgery I spent Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday sitting on the couch resting. I watched cartoons with Jacob, checked my email and napped. This was the first time of many that I was deeply grateful for Gina’s help in our home. Before that week it was nice to not have some of the house responsibilities but it wasn’t needed. Gina ran the house and started dropping off and picking up Maddie from school so I didn’t have to walk in the heat so far. She took care of dinner and played with Jacob. She was an angel.


Saturday morning I got up and went to the kids room to turn off their air con about 8am since I heard the cartoons on the TV downstairs and was startled to see Ben pop his head over the edge of his loft bed. “Mom, I don’t feel so good.” I helped him down from his bed and he went straight to vomit in the toilet. He rested that day and was better Sunday but Monday had a fever again. Not good. He couldn’t go to school and Gina had her university exams that day so I took him to my last baby scan the day before the scheduled delivery. We enjoyed the time sitting listening to the baby’s heartbeat for thirty minutes watching the print out slowly come out of the machine and guessed if the baby would be a boy or a girl and tried to choose cool names for him or her.


In the back of my mind though was what in the world was I supposed to do with a fever child when I was supposed to go deliver a baby!! I kept thinking maybe Brian could stay…NO…but what are we supposed to do? Could he wait in the lobby? He’s old enough. But he can’t come in. He’s sick and it’s a newborn baby! Maybe a neighbor could take him for the day. Except if we’ve got this nasty bug that has been going around the neighborhood for months no one in their right mind will take him! It’s a fever one day, fine the next fever one day type thing that lasts two to three weeks, the kids are missing tons of school and it’s hitting families one victim at a time and taking months to clear a single house. No one will take this kid. I asked one friend that was already planning to take Jacob for the day (Gina had exams again). I knew full well her family had just rid themselves of the bug and it had been about 10 weeks there. She was also delivering a baby about 6 weeks after Ashlyn and she politely and understandably declined knowing she didn’t want that back. I figured I’d call my visiting teacher. She was the only empty nester I knew in Singapore and would be willing I knew.


Ben stayed home and I took Maddie to swim lessons and mentioned my trouble to my mommy friends at the pool and instantly had two volunteers to take Ben. Grateful to have that managed I went home and made my final arrangements, wrote out lists of where the kids would need to be each day and who was helping with different things and left it for Gina. Then I began to feel anxious about the surgery. All the worry over the babys health had distracted me from the fact I had to have another C-section and all of a sudden I was worried. Brian called Mike Daynes over and they gave me a blessing and it helped calm my nerves. Then it was hugs and kisses, scriptures and bedtime goodbyes to the kids and promises that Dad would bring them to come see me and the baby girl or boy after school. Off to bed with the kids and I packed my bag for the hospital ready to welcome a new baby from heaven early in the morning.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Just landed and already noticing the most silly details about "home" that make me smile.

More trucks
Speeding tickets
Space - I can see for miles and miles
Snow capped mountains
Legacy Highway - don't even know where it goes so we will stick to I-15
Diesel truck for FedEx with three trailers attached
Sign "Bridge Ices Before the Road"
Church steeples popping up through the trees in every neighborhood
Five lane highway with minimal mid-afternoon traffic
Michael's craft store
Lowe's and Home Depot
RVs for sale
Big SUVs
Dairy Queen - blizzards
Joann fabric
A dollar store!!
Brian pulled onto the wrong side of the road and my stomach knotted up until I realized he was on the right side after all
Very clean windshield - wipers are where the turn signal should be
Dry air
Old cars - I'm pretty sure a car older than five years in Singapore is sold off to Thailand

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Found Kathi

Jake saw the tabernacle choir and said he found Kathi. Then he found her again and again and again. "I found LOTS of Kathi's!!"

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Graffiti at Church

While we were inside at church services we got graffiti-ed. I thought it was hilarious! No idea who did it but we saw one on the Coombs van as they drove out of the parking lot too so we aren't alone.

Quotes of the Day

Kids are learning the alphabet game in the car. Maddie says, "You have to find G in English not Chinese okay guys?"

Also of note:
"I'm just going to look at the clouds to find a letter shape there."
"Does it count if the tree is in the shape of an L?"