Wednesday, August 28, 2013


*Warning: This is a very detailed account of my first and only miscarriage. Read at your own risk.

Today I miscarried what would have been our fifth child. Oh my, it has been a day! On Sunday night I started bleeding, which is concerning obviously because I was 10 weeks pregnant. The next morning I tried to set up an apt. with an OB/GYN to get an ultrasound and make sure everything was okay. But they were making it so difficult saying that first I had to go to a new patient orientation class which are on Wed. and Fri. and then they wouldn’t be able to get me in for a couple of weeks. I wanted to scream at the stupid lady on the phone “Did you hear me?!! I’m bleeding and I shouldn’t be!!” No common sense, I swear. So anyway I called my midwife who delivered Kelsey and told her what was going on. She immediately called and set up a sonogram for me an hour later. I called my friend Ann Reed, and dropped the kids off at her house, and went to my apt. The lady doing the ultrasound said, “I don’t see any baby”. And then diagnosed me with a “blighted ovum”. I had to come home and look it up online because she was extremely uninformative and left me with a, “I don’t really know how to explain it, maybe your doctor will call you later”. The news was very shocking and sad. I was by myself and wished Kenny was with me. I called him on the phone and cried to him and told him the news. We were no longer having a baby. I talked to my mom and told her, and put it on Facebook (in our private family group) so the rest of my family would know. We had announced our pregnancy to everyone a couple weeks ago when we were in Utah/Idaho. Now we had to un-announce it. Luckily, we had not told our children yet. We were actually planning on telling them on Mon. night at FHE, but that obviously didn't work out.

I wasn’t able to think much on it because we are moving this week and are super busy with packing and cleaning. Talk about bad timing! I mean, not that there is "good timing" to miscarry, but the week we are moving?! That night though I was finally able to kneel down and talk to Heavenly Father about it, and then to Kenny that night. Although we were sad, we knew it was going to be okay and it's not like we couldn’t ever try again. We’re both still young and we’ve had 4 perfectly healthy, beautiful children. I continued to bleed, just thinking it was my period. But then today, it started to get bad. I was sitting down because I was cramping really bad and not feeling well. I had put Kelsey and Madison down for a nap, and Ty and Bryn were outside playing with the puppy, Jake. I could feel like a big knot or something in my stomach, just like after I have a baby and they tell me to push on my uterus to get it to get all the blood out and help it shrink back down. Well I could feel something there and I pushed on it. When I stood up, all this blood came rushing out and down my leg, so I ran to the bathroom. For the next couple hours, my body was losing a lot of blood and tissue, huge clots/clumps of stuff. It was disgusting, and painful, and disturbing, and emotional. The older two kids were back inside at this point and I asked them to just watch a show on TV. Kelsey woke up, but was happy to wander around and hang out by me in the bathroom, doing whatever. She was a happy little girl and for that I was grateful. I was also feeling very grateful that this all happened at home. Earlier that morning we had been at Costco. I can’t imagine what I would’ve done if this happened in a store.

I couldn’t stand up without all the blood quickly rushing down and causing me to get blurred vision, and fall down on the ground. I was white as a ghost, and so light headed. I called my midwife and told her what was going on. She said I should probably go into the ER. So I called Kenny, and I was crying to him again. I felt so bad that he had to leave work, I knew he was really busy and had a lot to do. But things were getting worse, not better. So he came home and helped me to the hospital. They took me back immediately, which I was so glad because I always expect a wait in the ER.

I am what they call “a hard stick”, meaning that all nurses have a hard time getting an IV or any needles in my arms. This time it took 4 spots and 3 people before they were able to draw blood, and I told them to forget about the IV, that I would just drink a lot of water instead. So I’ll have some nice bruises to show for that.

The Dr. was super nice and I liked him a lot. He did a pelvic exam (which ended up being a big, bloody mess) and was able to use some forceps and pull out some big clots, including the placenta. He said I was most definitely pregnant. For some reason it wasn’t passing on its own, and I would have continued to bleed, as that is the body’s way of trying to expel it. That helped my cramping go away almost entirely once he had that out. They were going to do another ultrasound, but instead decided to give me this medicine that helps to clear everything out, so they don’t have to go in surgically and do a DNC.

Poor Kenny had the kids this whole time and because of miscommunications because the hospital had hardly any service in the room, we weren’t able to talk. He said he didn’t hear me when I told him to take the kids home, that it would be a while. So they were waiting around in the parking lot and at the nearby park for hours before we were finally able to connect. I told him to leave and go get the kids some dinner, which he did. Then they came back and got me when I was able to get discharged.

It completely ruined my plans of cleaning today. We have a lot to get done still, and have to be out by Saturday. I may have to swallow my pride and ask for some ladies to come over and help me clean. Normally I just like to do it all myself, since it’s my problem, but I don’t know how soon I’ll get my energy back. As of tonight, I still am super light-headed and can’t stand up to even take a shower. I’m praying tomorrow will be better. It is very hard to take care of 4 little kids when I don’t have my health. It sure makes me grateful for the health I do normally have. I was also desperately wishing we lived by family again today. It sure makes situations like this so much harder when we don’t have any family around. Maybe someday we’ll be fortunate enough to live by some of them.

Although this was a big deal for me and for our family, I was very humbled as I sat in the hospital room and thought about how small it really is. So many people deal with trials that are so much worse every day of their lives. I thought about Heavenly Father and all the millions of prayers that go up to Him each day, for help with one thing or another. There’s crap going on with Syria, and a lot of other major, horrible things happening around the world. And here I am in my little sheltered corner of the world praying for help through this miscarriage. And you know what? He hears me. Always. I have such a strong testimony of prayer and I’m incredibly grateful for the knowledge we have of a loving Father in Heaven that knows me individually and cares about how my trials and my triumphs, no matter how small or large they are.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Vacation Part 1--Rockland, Idaho

Thursday, August 8th-Sunday August 11th: We had to show the house that day, and pack, so it was sort of a stressful day for me where I neglected the children and made them watch TV so I could get everything done. We left to go see our puppy while the house was being shown, then came back and put the kids to bed at 8 like normal. Then, not like normal, we woke everyone back up at 11:30 and headed out to the airport. Sweet Rachael H. came over and went with us, then drove our van back so we didn't have to leave it parked for 10 days at the airport. Our flight left at 1:30 a.m. It was a very long, and rough flight. I was hoping and praying the kids would go back to sleep like right as we took off. HA HA. Funny I know. Anyway we landed in SLC around 8, Utah time. Eric, Jeni, and Andy were there to meet us at the airport. Andy and Shalee let us drive their car around and even provided 2 car seats for us. It was SOO nice of them. It saved us a lot of money and hassle. We were so grateful. We went back to their house (A & S) for a pancake breakfast. Again, they are so thoughtful. We were all super tired. After breakfast we got in the car and drove the 2.5 hours to Rockland, Kenny's home town. We hadn't been to Rockland in several years (I think Christmas of 2009 actually). It was good to be back and visit. One thing I love about going there is it's in the middle of nowhere. Seriously. And it feels like time just slows down (almost stops :) ). It's very relaxing. The kids just run around and play outside with no fences, or yards, or worries about weird people or cars. It's just really nice. Shariane and her kids live there with Scott and Carolyn (Gpa and Gma Weston), and Mike is home since school was in break, also Jeni and Eric and Andy and Shalee came with their kids. So it ended up being like a pre-mini-reunion. And the next day Rick and Shalean came with their kids too. We had some good redneck fun. We shot clay pigeons, rode the Ranger around A LOT (the kids were mildly obsessed), played in the sprinklers, got the back hoe out and made a big slip 'n slide with a giant piece of plastic and a hose, and just enjoyed being together. The only problem was we were all having a hard time adjusting back to the desert. I had forgotten how very DRY it is in UT and ID. Tyler always get bloody noses when we go back, and we were all getting a little sick from the adjustment. That, and the time change of course. Always some new things to get used to when we travel. But we were so happy to be there and spend time with family.

Dance party watching themselves on the tv

Bryn really loved this tire swing!

We stayed Friday, Saturday, and went to church with everyone on Sunday. Then we packed up and drove down to Draper, UT. To be continued...

Random Pictures

Our camera broke. We sort of went on a very unlucky streak where everything was breaking down on us at the same time. Cars, my blow dryer, vacuum, camera, my phone (actually that was Brynlee's fault for washing it), the front of our dishwasher, and probably some other things I can't think of right now. But anyway, all I have are phone pictures. For everything in my life! It makes me sad. But we are trying to buy one too many big things right now (mainly a house) so a new camera will just have to wait. These are all pictures from the first part of August, before we went on vacation. Trying to get all caught up here.
Found this cool park with all brand new playground equipment. It was awesome.

Typical scene of daddy-the-jungle-gym when he gets home from work

The girl is a very picky eater, but she doesn't hold back on the donuts!!

This is a typical Brynlee position. She spends at least half of the day upside down. Or folded up, like the picture below. Yes, she is enrolled in gymnastics but I think it only made it worse haha.

We would go visit our "to-be" dog a lot. Now he is officially ours, but that's its own post for later. 

And of course we're obsessed with checking in on our house that is taking literally an eternity to build. Now we're just a couple weeks away from moving in, but here's when they just put in the laminate floors.

Hatcher's Pass-Tuesday Aug. 6th

We drove a little over an hour to get up here to Hatcher's Pass. I've heard a lot about this place but this was the first time we'd been up there. Unfortunately, it was poor timing because the blueberries weren't ready yet and the Independence Mine Visitors' Center wasn't open on Mon. and Tues. So we'll have to go back, but we met the Reeds up there and had brought a picnic lunch. We were still able to walk around the old mine and of course the kids just love running around like crazy in the great big outdoors. The view was spectacular everywhere you looked, and it was just a fun, beautiful day. 

Ty and Kai

Kels on the floor, Kiana, Madi, Bryn

Bryn is always very specific with how she wants me to do her hair. This day she wanted "one ponytail, on the side"...pretty sure I had the exact same hair do when I was her age :)

I know, nice finger. But I wanted to show how they've just left all the rubble. This mine stopped operating as a mine in the late 30's, so it's been just kind of falling apart ever since. It's a cool place.

All the kids, minus the Reeds' 3rd child who was in a carrier

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Big Bear Halibut Charter

Saturday, July 27th. We woke up early again, got ready, enjoyed a typical hotel breakfast and drove a few minutes down to the Homer Spit where we found Big Bear Halibut Charters. We went with them last year and liked them so much we decided to stick with them, and it was an even better experience than last year. (That's according to the others, I wasn't there last year.) But it was certainly a TON better than the one I went on a few weeks ago with just Kenny. The boat's a lot bigger, the captain and deck hand were awesome, and we saw lots of wildlife. It was just really good. They provide chips, cookies, drinks, etc. too which is always a nice perk :). When we first got on, we stopped after just a few minutes and they had us catch our own bait, which was fun. We very quickly caught lots of pollock. I had never known what they were, but they told us that whenever you buy frozen fish sticks, or McDonalds fish sandwiches, etc. you're eating pollock. Good to know! :) We rode in the boat for about 3 hours out to the Barren Islands to go fish there. Of course we were all exhausted and slept almost the whole time, which was a very welcome rest.

It didn't take long to start catching fish once we got going. They were so much bigger than I was expecting. It was fun to be with a whole boat of our own group, not strangers. That made a difference, too.
Mike's first time halibut fishing!


The highlight of the trip was when Eric caught the mother fish :). It was HUGE! It took him a long time to reel it in and we could tell it was going to be big because of how he was shaking and really struggling. And he's a strong guy! Once they got it close, the captain pulled out his gun and shot him so they could drag him into the boat. See below. It was a bloody mess, and it wouldn't even fit in the big bin where they keep all the rest of the fish. So we just walked around him the rest of the time haha. It was super awesome. It ended up weighing in at like 156 pounds!
It was so cool to hear and see whales while we were out there fishing. All of the sudden there would be this loud blowing/splashing and know there was a whale not too far. Sometimes we could see it, sometimes we could only hear it because of how heavy and dense the fog was.
Once the current came in it was pretty much impossible to fish because of how hard it was pulling everything. But we had all caught our fish and were good to go anyway.
On our way back the captain found some good wildlife for us. We saw porpoises racing along, humpback whales, sea lions, and of course the birds. I love watching puffins fly--they're so frantic looking.

humpback whales barely showing to the left of those rocks

See those two big papas on the rocks, and the others playing in the water below them

Sun bathing

I couldn't get over how beautiful it is out there!

Eric with his trophy fish :)

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We had the second largest fish, around 53 or so pounds. I say "we" because I caught it, and Kenny reeled it in  :)

This is what our van looked like coming home. Those two coolers were stuffed full, then that huge bag. We ended up with over 250 pounds of fileted halibut!! That's a lot of fish!!!
It's a good thing that we had lots of different people taking some home. I just wish they could have fit more in their carry-on coolers :).
It was such a fun day where we made lots of memories and had a great time together. Not to mention all the halibut we will be eating once a week for the next year or so! :)
We still had a 5 hour drive back to Anchorage and got in around 2 a.m.
All was well when we got back and the kids had a great time with Grandma. We were so grateful to her for watching them so we could go enjoy that time together.

Friday Salmon Fishing

We pulled our sleepy bodies out of bed around 4:30 a.m. to get ready to go. We finished loading up the car, I kissed the kids goodbye in their sweet sleep and took off. While others fell back to sleep with the lull of the car, I alternated between talking to Kenny to help him stay awake, and reading my book. We drove for 3 hours until we reached Soldotna. It was chilly and overcast, but we were excited. It was my first time salmon fishing. Ever. In my life. Which is sort of crazy because of how often my husband has been. But last year I had a small, nursing baby so I didn't get to join in. And it's just not a good place to bring a bunch of little kids so we can't both go together without a babysitter. Thankfully we had Grandma Weston who was willing to stay behind and play with her grandkids.
We really had our hopes up high because Kenny's had a lot of success at this spot on the Kenai River. But after several hours of catching absolutely zero red salmon (a.k.a. sockeye), we realized we should lower our expectations. It wasn't just us, nobody around us was catching much either. We were really at the end of the run, so it wasn't going to be as successful as it had been if we were there a week before. Kenny caught a couple of dollies, and Andy caught a humpy, and Eric and Mike both had runaway fish that broke their line and took off. So we finally accepted that the fish were further up the river and decided to move on.

My view on my right: Kenny and Mike

My view on my left: Andy, Jeni, Eric

We grabbed some lunch and drove out to Bing's Landing. We asked around and nobody was catching anything there either. So we decided to go even further up the Kenai River to the confluence, where the Russian and Kenai rivers come together, by the ferry. This is what it looked like. Both sides of the river as far as our eyes could see was people spaced out just like this. So this is where the fish were! After spending their adult lives in the sea, salmon swim back to where they were born. There, they breed and then die within a week or two.

 After some more instruction from Kenny on how to do it properly, I caught the first fish within a few minutes. It was very exciting, but I did not like holding it like that. It's gross and I'm a wuss.

Jeni always catches the biggest fish :)

 See how this one is like a purple color? That means it's already spawned and about to die. It also means the meat is no good. Well, I don't think you'd get sick from it, but it doesn't taste good.
In the end, everybody caught one (except Andy, unfortunately so he took the picture because he refused to pose with someone else's fish :) haha) And Kenny caught two, but Mike had already fileted his by the time we took this picture, so he's pretending to eat his spawned out, raw fish, while holding Kenny's other catch.
 We had so much fun! It was definitely a new experience, but fun to be there and see Kenny in action. I really don't care for fishing that much, but he sure loves it, so it was fun to share in his passion with him.
Once we finished there we still had another 2 hour drive down to Homer, where we stayed in a hotel that night. The guys fileted our salmon in the bath tub and we were all exhausted from the day.

This is one of my favorite things about Alaskan summers--this fireweed! I assume it got it's name because it just spreads like fire because these flowers are just all over, lining the side of almost every road. It's so, so pretty!

close-up of the fireweed