Sunday, September 1, 2013

We're going to be in a book!

One of our Pastors (and friends) recently completed writing a book! It is not her first book, but we think it will be the most special :) It is called, "Finding your Faith in the Dark" and it is being published by Zondervan. Due to come out summer of 2014. We are so proud of her, and so honored to be a part of her book! She has been such a support to us along our journey, and reminded us of the importance of telling your story. Even when you don't feel like telling it, sometimes it needs to be told. You can follow her blog at or follow her on Twitter at @lauriepshort. It's the least we can do to support her and spread the word! Of course, you will be hearing more about it from us when it actually comes out. On that note, of "sharing your story".....I've recently been struggling with how to honor Drake's memory and how much to share about our continued walk with grief. These are two separate tasks. The first is deeply personal, how do we choose to keep Drake's memory alive and honored within our family and within our hearts? We are finding ways, it will be an ongoing process and evolve over the years. A few things I know for sure: We will always have a photo of Drake in our home. We will always acknowledge his birthday and day of death in some manner. We will also tell all of our children his story openly, honestly, and early on in an age appropriate fashion. It will never be a secret or a surprise. I also never want to stop sharing, or stop being open to walking with others who are going through grief. Sharing is integral part of healing, and it is also a way to give back. Like I said, that is one of the lesson's I have learned through our loss. Whenever I share in writing, it is never for the purpose of drawing attention. In fact, those of you who know me well, know I am insecure about drawing attention to myself and strongly dislike public attention. I share for two reasons. Reason number one, because it therapeutic for me to release it in this way. Grief is an ongoing process, and our grief is not over. It is less painful and comes in shorter spurts as time passes, but it is not over. Reason number two, the more important reason, is because it may contribute to greater good and benefit others. Walking through grief alone is NOT a good idea. I know this professionally, and I know this personally. One of the best coping mechanisms for grief is to walk with others. Some people do this on the internet, so I want to be a resource for anyone out there who may connect to our journey. So, my sharing about Drake and our story is not over. You can expect to continue to hear about it, like it or not.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Snapshots & Memories

From the past 5 Months.........

Dedication Sunday May 12, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Going back to work

So Jaxon is now 4 months! Wow, time flies. You do find yourself saying that cheesy line A LOT as a parent, don't you? 

I went back to work when Jax was 12 weeks. The intention was that I would start off part time to ease back into it for the first 2 weeks and then return full time. Once I returned full time, I was anticipating being able to have a more flexible schedule and work from home, therefore not needing 40 hours a week of child care. However, things change..... It actually wasn't me that changed my mind initially. When I returned my employer let me know that this was no longer going to workout as we had thought it would be for. Initially, I was super bummer. Frustrated and totally unsure about what to do. The decision had a lot of implications... finances, life satisfaction, insurance, child care... etc. The option was to either continue my 40 hour a week position, which often can turn into long days, unpredictable crisis to deal with, and a fair amount of stress.... OR cut back to a maximum of 25 hours a week, which would be more flexible hours and more focused on the duties I actually enjoy. Now this may seem like an easy decision to you. A "no brainer" many Moms would say. For me it was not. I had really been planning to continue working full time. 1) Because that is just always what I thought I would do. My career is important to me and I genuinely enjoy working. I realized it was more of my identity than I thought it was. 2) I thought I was going to have an ideal scenario that would allow me to have some time with Jax during this crucial phase and not have to arrange for 40 hours a week of childcare. A win/win situation. 3) I am substantial financial contributor to our family. 

Long story short. I have decided to take the part time route. It means cutting back on our spending and continuing to live in our little itty bitty house, but we think we can manage without having to eat rice and beans for dinner every night. (Not that there is anything wrong with eating rice and beans for dinner every night, there is NOT. It would just be a different lifestyle for us). So, now I have come around, and realized I have to be grateful that it is even an option to work part time. Also, it is probably good I was forced to make a decision, because I think I will be happier and have less "Mommy guilt" issues. I do enjoy being able to have more time with Jaxon and I know I won't get this time back. 

I just want to be clear, I know there is no "best" when it comes to whether Moms work or stay at home. It is such a hard decision for some, and each scenario is so different. I do know a lot about early childhood development... and I will say that what is "best" is to make sure your kids are being taken care of in a loving and nurturing environment with a caregiver who is invested in their well being. These years are so vital to children's development. It is an honor, and a brand new identity, for me to have the chance to invest in Jaxon and put my career driven mindset in the backseat. So I am now a part-time stay at home Mom. I think it's going to be a great fit for me :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Behind on Blogging

Blogs that have been written in my head, but not yet made it to print:

1) Jaxon's Newborn days and the NEW dance of Joy & Grief

2) C-Section Recovery --- The Forgotten Labor Experience/Major Surgery

3) Adjusting to BRINGING HOME a Newborn

4) Jaxon's Cuteness

5) Body Image Woes

6) Going back to work

7) Fun visitors

8) Unexpected Grief creeping back up

9) Beyond the Newborn Phase

10) Jaxon's cuteness & how much we love him

Also, I never did post the photos from his Newborn Photo Shoot. There were SO many amazing photos! Here are several:

This little peanut is growing fast! More updated photos to come soon! 


Monday, March 25, 2013

Jaxon's First Visitors

Time for a photo blog.  I'm getting caught up!  Here are some photos from Jaxon's very first visitors at the hospital and at home. More to come!
Grandparents, Above & Below, "First Looks"

Our Dear Friends/Family, The Givens

Great Aunt Cindy & Great Grandma Lucille

Pastor Jon

Right before we left Hospital
Ready to go home!

Peter & Piper's First Sniff
Uncle Nils, Aunt Katie & Cousins Nathan and  Bea

Peterson Boys! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Birth Story: Jaxon Drake Peterson is here!

Well, our little guy is here! The days are already flying by. I figured I should post about his birth as he is now 2 1/2 weeks old :)

Jaxon Drake Peterson arrived safe and sound on February 11, 2013 at 9:46 p.m. Just a tiny bit earlier than we expected! They admitted me to the hospital at about 5:00 on the 11th, and we thought we would most likely be meeting JAXON the next morning. However, at about 7:00 p.m. our doctor came in and told us that my high blood pressure (and an already jam packed surgery schedule for the hospital the next day!) warranted GO time.

All of a sudden things happened fast! By 7:30 they were beginning to prep me for surgery and by 9:00 I was in the OR. I am glad it happened that way, we were so ready and probably wouldn't have slept much anyway if we waited until the morning. Also, thankfully, both sets of our parents arrived in Santa Barbara that day! They were able to see me before the C-Section, but not able to see me or Jaxon afterwards as visiting hours ended at 9:00 p.m.

I was nervous as usual about the surgery and all the things that come with it. They had a horrible time with my IV's again and I still have the bruises on my arms to show for it. I was a nervous wreck going into the OR, but managed to keep my cool enough to not show my total panic. My doctor was amazing, literally holding me in a hug embrace as they completed the spinal anesthesia. Jon was able to be in for the whole time, but not near me until after the spinal was fully inserted. Honestly, just writing/remembering it makes me a little light headed. It was not that bad (except for the incident of shooting pains going down my left leg..... but I'll skip that part)..... it's just my phobia is still real. Although, MUCH more manageable then it was a year ago.

Once they were rolling, I was all set with one head phone in, holding Jon's hand, trying to keep taking deep breathes and eagerly anticipating meeting my baby boy. The doctors told us they were getting close, and then we heard them say, "Look at all that hair!"Seconds later, a lively, crying, beautiful, baby boy was held up and presented to us. What a joyous moment! The  emotions overflowed into tears.... of relief, gratitude, and pure happiness. After Jaxon was cleaned up, they placed him by my head for a few moments and let me touch him.  No words can describe that moment. It almost feels too sacred to share, so intimate, so perfect.

The rest of the surgery is kind of a blur. It was soo different than the C-Section with Drake. With Drake, the intensity in the room was high and there was a constant swarm of Doctors. This was quite different, SO routine it almost caught me off guard. Things I do remember:

* One of the doctors talking about his new car purchase while stitching me up. 
* The anesthesiologist getting a call on his cell phone about anther patient and walking away.
* Jon encouraging me and telling me it was almost over.
* A nurse reporting that Jaxon was doing great, with APGARS of 8 & 9.
* The doctors asking JON to help lift me off the operating table, because they were so busy with other babies being born they were down one nurse at that point. 
* Visual of the clock on the wall....Feeling like minutes have never ticked by so slowly in my life..... after they whisked my baby away I just wanted to be with him! 

I spent about an hour in recovery and felt pretty lousy. The narcotic they used didn't really agree with me very well, but thankfully that didn't last too long. FINALLY, at about Midnight we were taken to our room and they brought Jaxon in for us to snuggle and love on. 

And that my friends, is "the birth story". Well at least the modified, SHORT version! :) I will try to post more about the first few days, adapting to having him at home, and all the emotions that have come along with brining him home. 

To hold you over.... he is snuggly, cute, healthy, sweet, and doing just about all the things newborns do! We are blessed.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

37 weeks, Bed rest, Anticipation, Grief, Getting Ready!

So I've been off work since January 23rd. I was supposed to work until the end of January/Early February...... but that didn't happen. My blood pressure started to go up, and my doctor pulled the trigger and told me I was done. I sort of had a feeling it could happen, she has been very cautious through this pregnancy and she was already urging me to go off work. Prior to the 21st, I had modified my schedule enough to be a little more low key, and doctor was content to keep me working since there were no physical indicators I had to stop. Oh well. It made for a frantic day wrapping up things sooner than anticipated, but my team at work was very supportive and we got through.

Since then, I have been on modified bed rest. Which means I need to sit still a lot more than I would like to, but I can go for occasional walks/outings as long as I am careful. It is not that bad, I am just really bad at doing nothing! My blood pressure continues to be high, but is not soaring. I have no other symptoms of pre-eclampsia (praise the Lord!), but my doctor continues to run labs just to be sure it doesn't creep up. Originally the C-Section was scheduled for February 20th, but when my blood pressure started going up, doc decided she didn't want to wait that long. Since the time I was taken off work, we were sort of put on alert, knowing that if ANY signs of pre-eclampsia showed up, or I went into labor, baby was coming out STAT. However, the agreed goal was to make it to 37 weeks as long as I was not in the danger zone, so baby could officially cook to be point of being "full term".

Today we are at 37 weeks! Yeah! Good job, baby! Since my blood pressure is not going down, little guy is still going to need to come out early. The plan as of now is for a C-Section on Tuesday the 12th. It is not officially scheduled, because hospital policy won't allow for scheduling before 38/39 weeks unless you are admitted. Our doctor has told us to come for a check up on Monday, and then her plan will be to admit me to the hospital that day, and deliver baby next day!

I have been feeling pretty uncomfortable and occasionally miserable. Aches, pains, nausea, fatigue, etc, etc, but apparently that is how one feels when they are 9 months pregnant :) There are no indicators of anything going on other than me being 9 months, and having high blood pressure. Baby seems great too, still passing all the routine tests and NSTs with flying colors. Moving a lot, and growing!

As we approach this guy's arrival, we are mostly filled with excitement. We are SOO ready to hold our baby in our arms, and bring him HOME!! However, we would be lying if we said we also weren't scared and anxious. As Jon put it, he is sure that he is going to have some PTSD. I fully trust I will feel overwhelmed with joy and peace for this baby.  There is more though, I'm also doing my best to trust that he is going to live and we are not going to go through any kind of similar trauma. However, until he is in my arms, there is a lingering fear of losing him too. I realize it is irrational, but I think anyone who has gone through an experience like ours feels the same thing and you just can't help it. Thankfully, I can turn off that switch of fear when I give it to God and remember he is in control.

I just don't know what other emotions will coincide with being in the hospital, surgery, and recovery as we remember going through this with Drake, almost exactly a year ago. You can pray for us. I have a hard enough time not going into full blown panic attack mode when any needles are brought near me, let alone the connotations with that will be there with emotional trauma we faced with Drake. As I said, I do trust, and I am SO EXCITED and ready to face my fears head on..... just doesn't mean I am not scared too!

On a totally separate note, the anniversary of what would have been Drake's 1st birthday, and the anniversary of his death have passed. This does deserve an entirely separate post, however, at the current time I just don't have the emotional energy to go there. Let's just say this, we made it through the days. We did a lot of reflecting, crying, and journaling. We made it, we were ok. We were not sitting home sobbing all day, as we have learned how to incorporate the loss of our first son into our day to day life. Every day is hard. However, we are glad those 1st anniversary's have passed. They were tough.

We continue to be blown away by God's timing. It was possible the boy's could have ended up sharing a birthday. Sometimes I still can't believe this is my life........and that here we are, having gone through all this in a year, and now we are waiting for a new baby ANY DAY!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Santa Barbara Baby Shower!

On January 5, 2013, baby and I enjoyed a lovely baby shower here in Santa Barbara. It was hosted by Mary Given in her home, along with the help of Jess McCormick, Denise Crosby, and Leah Hendrickson. Both my Mom and my Mother in Law were able to be in town, along with other extended family and close friends. Here are a couple photos on our front porch before we headed to the shower. I was 32 1/2 weeks at the time.
Me, My Mom, & Bro's Girlfriend, Kera
Ali & I

It was beautiful and the food was delish!! The photos don't capture ALL the people that were there, it was a full house. Looking around, it was very moving to see all the community we have established here in Santa Barbara. Some people we have known a long time (Jon his whole life!) and others are newer friends. It was an eclectic mix of relationships: family, old friends, new friends, work colleagues, and our church community. Also, we left with LOTS of great stuff to help us prep for the little guy and make sure he is dressed to the 9s.  

 Baby Game: "The Price Is Right"

Playing the game

Making Magic Happen in the Kitchen

The Gifts

A Blessing for Baby & I
 Thanks again to all!