Friday, December 18, 2015

Grady Decker Folsom

After 40 weeks and 6 days of waiting, our little boy finally made his appearance!

I had been desperately hoping for a VBAC.  Cal's birth was incredibly traumatizing, with 24 hours of labor that ended in a C-section.  Needless to say, it was chaotic and stressful, and the recovery took months and months.  I wanted to experience something that was the complete opposite, and in my mind that would only happen through having a VBAC.

Three weeks before the due date, I was dilated to a 3.  By two weeks before I was dilated to a 4!  Things were looking so promising, and Ryan and I felt like a baby was around the corner.  Contractions began off and on, and we were sure this boy was coming early.  Especially since my body had never progressed that far on its own with Cal.

The due date was a few days away, and we knew our best chances of a successful VBAC quickly diminish after the due date.  So I walked all over, did acupuncture, took oils, ate funky foods, stripped my membranes, did anything to convince this baby it was time to come!  But, my due date came and went, and we were soon closing in on 41 weeks, where things start getting scary.

At my last doctors appointment, we scheduled the C-section to happen two days later, on the 16th of December.  I left that appointment with such a heavy heart.  I was filled with many conflicting emotions.  I was so happy I knew the very day my baby would join our little family, but was left wondering why?  Why was something Ryan and I had been praying and longing for, and having hope in, not working out?  Why did every friend before me seem to have the delivery they had hoped for - yet I wasn't?  I wasn't bitter, but felt confused and disheartened.

The morning of the 16th came.  It was surreal, and I felt so odd.  I showered and did my hair and makeup, spent a typical morning with Ryan, Cal and my mom, then we left for the hospital.  I remember telling Ryan, "This is weird.  It's like we are ordering a baby and going to pick it up."  It was so beyond what I had pictured in my mind for all those months leading up to it.  I wanted to be giddy and excited, but it didn't seem real!

I was prepped and ready for the C-section between the hours of 10:30-12:30, was visited by my OB Dr. Haun and the anesthesiologist, then it was time to make our way to the operating room!  At this point, I was so scared.  Memories of my first experience came flooding in, and panic started to overtake me.  But, the doctors were encouraging and kind as they started prepping for surgery, and Ryan spoke calming words as he stroked my hair and held my hand.  Soon, they had lowered the drape and said, "it's baby time!"  I saw them pull the baby out, and was overcome with emotion.  He was here safely, and he was mine!  With Cal, I wasn't able to see him be born, wasn't able to actually see him for hours after, was completely loopy on drugs, and wasn't able to hold or feed him for days after that.  With this sweet babe, I saw him from the very beginning.  I saw his first breath, heard his first cry, and got to hold him immediately.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude, and filled with awe as I held and kissed and loved on this perfect baby boy.

He weighed 8lbs 6oz and measured 20 3/4 inches long, what a big boy!  It turns out he was in the same position Cal was in during labor - the Asynclitic position, where their head would not engage with my pelvis and probably would never have engaged in order to induce labor.  It seems like my babies just can't be born in any way but a C-section because of my pelvis, which brought me total peace.  There is nothing I could have done differently, and this C-section experience was absolutely perfect.  He was here, he was healthy, I was present and aware, and it was such a sweet moment.

Ryan, baby and I were taken to the recovery area.  It was such a peaceful, sacred time as just the three of us.

Cal and Grandma Thompson came to visit, and poor Cal was not impressed.  He doesn't quite get whats happening, and was confused why his mom was loving on a new baby.  But, we know he will warm up in the next few months!  They are going to be great friends!

Since his birth, we chose the name Grady Decker Folsom.  We have liked the name for a few months, but knew for sure it was supposed to be Grady when we met him.  Grady is an old Irish name meaning "noble" - and we hope he walks tall and proud, and full of integrity.  Decker is a family name on my side, with an incredible history.  We can't wait to teach him about his ancestry, and to learn more about it together.

Now, we are hoping for his bilirubin levels to decrease.  At birth they were at a 3, at 12 hours they rose to 9, and at 24 hours they rose to 12.  They said moving close to level 20 could pose problems associated with brain damage, so we have held him under bili lights for the last 24 hours non-stop.  His levels have stayed at 12, and we are hoping they decrease quickly in order to take him home at last.

Little Grady has nestled his way deeper and deeper into our hearts, and we can't imagine life without him.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cal's Favorite Pal

Ryan and Cal have such a sweet relationship.  Sometimes I see Cal as Ryan's mini-me, since they have so much in common when it comes to personality and sense of humor.  I wanted to make sure and include the every day pictures of these two, and make sure we remember the little moments that Cal and Ryan shared together.  Life will definitely change for all of us when this new baby joins our family, but I hope Cal still feels like Daddy's best pal.      

More Maternity & Cal's 18 Month Pictures

First a little on my mind:

Lately I have felt like there are many things I'd like to learn, or do, or become better at, and find myself feeling overwhelmed with inadequacy.  Or, I feel curious about so many things but can never just start somewhere and begin.  I like to see the end from the beginning and to see every step in my mind ahead of time before jumping into something, which is wise in some cases but really holds me back in others.

So, one of the things I would like to become better at is taking pictures with a wonderful camera Ryan got me a couple of years ago.  I was interested, realized I wasn't that great, lost interest, and almost forgot about it.  But, I had the desire a few weeks ago to learn how to take a great picture for my own maternity shots, Cal's 18 month shots, and newborn shots.  Ryan encouraged me to read, be curious, and jump in all the way - so I did!

On a sunny afternoon I put on some makeup (shocker!) and threw on an outfit, Ryan got home earlier than usual, we drove up the street and started playing around with the camera's settings.  We were so happy with the results!  It gave me a little confidence boost, so we decided to go for it and try out a few of Cal, then of his friend Emma.  It has been so fun to see studying, reading, and giving it a try paying off!  I know I'll never be an expert or even close, but it is nice to know that I am improving.  Now, the next step is to learn how to edit!


Cal's Shots:

I have been keeping an online journal of Cal since he turned 1, and have a daily diary of memories for him as well, but feel like I need to add a little blurb in the blog.  Cal is actually almost 19 months, and has been learning incredibly fast.  He has too many words to list, has a fiery temper and is insanely independent.  I am proud of his curiosity and wonder, but it is also very trying at times.  He wants to be a part of every detail, and help with every little thing, and being due in just a week makes it a little difficult sometimes to take the extra time for tasks (like holding him up to help me flip pancakes for example).

He has high high's, and low low's, but overall Cal is such a joy to be around.  He makes us laugh all throughout the day by the words he surprises us with, or the songs he sings, even the noises he makes when he plays alone with his cars.  Every night before we go to bed, we walk into his room and watch him sleep for just a minute or two.  We go to bed with our hearts bursting with gratitude for the sleeping toddler, and although we are ecstatic he is finally asleep, we can't wait to hear his little voice first thing in the morning.  We love this boy.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Cal & Emma

It would be a shame not to document the cuteness that is Emma and Cal.  They have been buddies since Cal was two months old.  Jessica and I used to swap babysitting so we could exercise, and that meant spending almost three afternoons a week together for six months!  Our little babies feel more like siblings, and I think they assume they are brother/sister too.  They are the best frenemies around, and I can bribe Cal to do anything if I say we are going to pick up Emma, or play at Emma's house.  He loves her, and she is becoming a sweet older sister to him too.  We always laugh about how one day, when we have long since finished medical school and moved on with our lives, that we will beg them to meet up at BYU and rekindle their long lost friendship.  Sometimes those things really do work out!  Other times...not so much (and I know from firsthand experience!). 

Baby Folsom #2 Shower

I have the greatest friends.  It has been a blast to throw the past couple baby showers for some dear friends having their second baby, but I must say I felt pretty special on the night of mine.  Two of my gal pals, Jessica and Brooke, went above and beyond to make it the perfect night.  We all met up in the evening at my new favorite restaurant (La Panaderia), had the whole place to ourselves, chatted and laughed, had free dessert brought out by the owners along with my own special box of cookies, and then went on to open some of the cutest presents I have ever seen!

Moving to San Antonio was a scary experience at first.  I was overwhelmed at the idea of making new friends, and felt really inadequate when it came to being myself and having confidence that others would actually want to get to know me.  I have been overwhelmed by the support of so many girls, and we truly are becoming family.  Whenever we talk about the last year of medical school, we see it as being bitter sweet.  It will be SO hard to say goodbye to people I can call my sisters, and kids that I can call my own.  Ryan and I feel so lucky to have experienced developing such meaningful, lasting friendships.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Buzz Lightyear

Cal's love of buzz started back in September, when he found this little spinny buzz man at a store in disney world:

Then, after a few times of watching Toy Story with the spinny buzz in hand, his buzz fetish continued.  It wasn't until Ryan's brother, Rob, sent us their son's old buzz costume that he truly became 100% obsessed.  This was his first time seeing himself, and he was mesmerized:   

So, naturally, we HAD to coordinate for Halloween!  I had fun figuring out how to sew a little woody vest for Ryan, and he secretly (ok, not so secretly) loved being a cowboy.  And I chose the oh-so-exciting 8 ball, to show off my new curves ;)  

We had such a fun time at the ward trunk-or-treat!  It was amazing how creative people are.  One of my favorites was our friends the Lelegrens, who dressed up their cute little daughter in a dinosaur costume and dressed up like the original Jurassic Park cast.  They nailed it.  

35 weeks, large and in charge!

And then, Halloween night, we took Cal out way past his bed time to try out trick-or-treating in a fun neighborhood.  All of the homes were completely decked out, and there were kids crawling all over the streets.  Although he would hand us his bucket full of candy and chase dogs most of the time, I think he enjoyed it! 

Here's a pic of some of Cal's little buddies all dressed up:

I am so excited for Halloween next year!  It truly is such a blast with little imaginative kids. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Mimi & Grandpa Folsom

Most of the time, Ryan and I wear a brave face and say we do just fine on our own in Texas.  And for the most part, we do!  But, when we are reminded of how absolutely wonderful it is to have family around, we feel the desire to get back to Medford as soon as possible, and get a little down about being states away.    

I grew up as the youngest grandchild, and never made the lasting memories my older siblings treasure about my grandparents.  I don't want these next few years or even decades to put our kids in the same situation.  They are beyond blessed to have incredible grandparents on both sides of the family.  It was so fun to have Ryan's parents all to ourselves for maybe the first time, and to spend every minute of the day talking, and learning, laughing (and of course eating :P) together.  Cal was mesmerized by his new best friends, and was overjoyed to find that they were sticking around for a little while.  I loved having sweet Mindy as a playground buddy and always appreciate Dave and his unique ability to have meaningful conversations.  

It was a packed 21/2 days of fun, and waking up to an empty house again put me in a sad place.  Our siblings who live nearby our parents are extremely lucky to have such a positive influence and incredible support in their own backyard.  We love Mimi and Grandpa Folsom, and look forward to the next time we can be together.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Maternity Photos

My dear friend Ashleigh is a multi-talented girl.  Business savvy, has an eye for photography, and is always offering to "practice" on me, when I don't think she needs much practice - she's just nice enough to take some beautiful pictures for me.

There's a funny story behind these shots.  I wasn't terribly far along, maybe 18 weeks or something, but we really wanted to try for some maternity shots since we were altogether in Denver.  So, in order to get my belly to really stick out, I drank a TON of water, ate a big meal, wore a tight dress and pushed my stomach out during each picture hehehe and, sadly it worked!

Granted I am MUCH bigger now, these will probably be the only nice shots I have the whole pregnancy, and I wanted to share them.

(check Ashleigh's work out at