Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Well, we are still here at the Cardon Children's Center and Ivan is scheduled for surgery in one hour. They did a CT scan last night and found that it is not a swollen lymph node like they had originally thought but rather an abscess that has grown on two of his lymph nodes. The IV antibiotics have helped a little but they are just not giving him the relief that the doctors had hoped for and so they have to make an incision in his neck and remove the infection. He has been very brave but a lot of that is because he is not quite sure what is going on. We are waiting for the child life specialist to come in and explain things to him a little more. In the meantime he is having a great time in pr-op playing the Wii. This hospital has been amazing. There is so much for the kids to do to keep them distracted. That is not to say he hasn't had a hard time, today was particularly rough for him because he couldn't eat or drink anything ALL day and the surgery isn't until 5pm. Somehow we are managing all of this. I only cried for a minute today when Matt had to go back to work after his lunch break and Ivan has only cried a few times because he can't eat. Just a few more days and this will all be over. Then it is on to the next trial.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Well, yet another adventure for the Garff family. Ivan and all the older girls have been sick for a couple of weeks and Ivan has gotten progressively worse. Saturday morning he woke up with a very swollen lymph node on his neck and so we ended up in the ER. They prescribed antibiotics and sent us on our way. This morning I took him to the doctor and they admitted him to the hospital straight away. So here we are in the Cardon childrens center in Mesa Arizona where they are so awesome with kids! We are waiting for them to come and get him and take him to have a CT scan and then they will be able to tell us if there is anything in his lymph node that needs to be surgically drained. After the trials come the blessings...I just keep telling myself that.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Will Do Better

2 weeks ago tonight I was waiting and pacing and ready to go to the hospital the next morning to have our little one. I was also terrified. As I sit and hold her now (as I type) I am still terrified but completely in love. I am terrified that I will do things wrong. I am terrified that as they grow older our relationship will not be what it is now and can only hope that I do better than what was done to me. Self-confidence and I have never been friends. I have always been one to seek the approval from others and so parenting has proved a challenge for me with the constant on look of others and their criticism. I cannot change my past and the things that were done to me but I can do better. I have done better. One thing that I have promised myself is that I will always tell my children that I am sorry when I am in the wrong. I have done this and will continue to do this the rest of our lives so that they know that I do make mistakes but that I am willing to admit them and I love them enough to do so. I wish this had been done for me but wishing does not create results and so with my kids I will not wish I could do better, I WILL do better.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Student of the Month

Our Claire Bear was student of the month for January and we are so proud! Today she was in an assembly where she was recognized and I was so honored to be there as her mother. We are so proud of the things that she has accomplished in her 6 years and we love her more than anyone can know.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One Week Ago Today

One week ago today we brought Naomi home from the hospital. It has been crazy ever since! 4 kids is a zoo but I love it and wouldn't change it for the world, no matter how hard I cried last night! Here are the pictures that some of you asked for. She is the most beautiful baby in the world but she makes some funky faces! Enjoy...

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Day of Firsts...

Today was my first day completely alone with all four of my children. Isn't that crazy that I have 4 kids??? I love it. I am so blessed. I must admit I was very overwhelmed but that the day went better than I thought it would. Poor Naomi has been a very fussy baby since coming home from the hospital and both of us have gotten very little sleep. Today we tried Milacon drops and they are a life saver! She had her first nap that lasted three hours today, she had her first trip to the park and her first enjoyable experience in her baby swing without the kids. I was able to keep the house clean and take the kids outside and to the park to play! I am tired tonight and ready for a bath and a good movie but everyone is bathed and alive, what more can I ask for???

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Moby: Where have you been????

So we are almost a week into this world of 4 children and to be honest...it's CRAZY! We now have 3 extra mothers in this house who inform me everytime the baby makes the slightest noise. I spend most of my time holding Naomi because if I don't she is passed around, rolled around and played with like a baby doll. Honestly for the first couple of days I was really afraid for her life! Well all of that is now solved by 8 yards of fabric! I made myself a "Moby" carrier. No it is not name brand, it is just 8 yards of knit fabric that I learned how to wrap on the internet and it has saved me! "Moby" where have you been???

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Arrival of Naomi Grace

Naomi Grace was born on March 15, 2010 at 6:35pm. She weighed in at 7lbs and 5oz, a perfect size. They started the induction that morning and through the day I contracted but did not progress much. They broke my water and although the contractions got more and more painful I wanted to try to go as long as possible, if not through the whole process without an epidural. I made it 7 and a half hours and was finally in WAY too much pain to continue without DRUGS! They gave me an epidural at approximately 5pm and it was such a relief. They had a special pillow that they put between your knees to keep the pelvis open and help the process along. Well, let me tell you what...it works! They had me on my right side and the epidural didn't seem to be working on the left side so they flipped me with the idea that epidurals work with gravity. Even after switching sides the contractions were so strong on the left side that they were becoming unbearable. That is when the pressure came. The nurse decided to check me just to see where we were and at that point we found that I had progressed from a 6 to a 10 in less than an hour. The doctor was not at the hospital yet and that is when the nurse informed me that gravity was my worst enemy. They tilted my head way down, put my knees in the air and told me to keep them closed! I did this for about 10 minutes before I asked the nurse if she had ever delivered a baby because she was about to. The urge to push was so strong and I told them that if the doctor wasn't there soon I was going to push and push hard. They encouraged me to wait through 2 or 3 more contractions and at the end of the second contraction I encouraged them to get someone to catch the baby because I wasn't waiting anymore and neither was she. That is when the doctor ran in the room and I said "let's go!" and I pushed just as she sat down. Naomi was born 3 pushes later. I cried and cried. It was such a relief to have her in my arms and safe. She is beautiful and HEALTHY! She is our little miracle. It was by far my hardest pregnancy and labor but definitely worth it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lovely People

Yesterday was not a good day. If you read my previous post you know why and I was super stressed. Last night just as I was leaving to make an hour trip to the airport to pick up a rental car that really couldn't afford our home teacher called and said that we could borrow their extra car. So now we have a van to transport all of us to the hospital tomorrow and home when it's time. My mom has a car to use while she is here alone with the kids and I don't have to worry about it. So today I can spend the day getting ready to bring Naomi into this world tomorrow. I am so thankful for great and giving people. I am so thankful for the Home Teaching program and our home teacher and his family in particular, he always comes and is always concerned. They are just lovely people!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Last Days of My Last Pregnancy

Only one more day and we are off to the hospital to have our baby. This should be a happy time but I must say that I am completely overwhelmed. Today our only car decided it didn't want to work anymore. I have spent the day running from one rental car facility to the next to beat their closing times with no luck. So tonight my awesome friend Tina is driving me all the way to the airport to pick up a car so that we can get to and from the hospital and so that we don't leave my mom with three kids and no car! I am very overwhelmed right now. I don't know when I will be coming home from the hospital because the baby may or may not have to stay. It's a good thing we are double insured and that the hospital bills will be paid because the stupid rental car is $311.00. I just feel like this should be a happy time, one where I relax and enjoy the last 2 days of my last pregnancy ever but they have been chaos. I am upset that we don't have the money to get a reliable car, I am upset that my mother has to stay when she is stressed and tired and just wants to go home. I am upset that I have to be worrying about all of this right now. I just want to go to the hospital and bring this little one into the world on a good note. Everything this year has been very stressful and I don't want her little life starting out that way. I think I am just dead tired and need some xanax and sleep. Hopefully tomorrow will be uneventful and I can enjoy the last day of my last pregnancy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wrong Thing to Say to This Pregnant Woman

So I am scheduled for an induction on Monday morning but three days seems impossible and so I took some Castor oil today. I am dilated to a 5 and hoping that this does the trick but I am not getting my hopes up. I told my husband this and he said "well I wish you wouldn't have but I know you're done." I told him that next time he is carrying one of our children he can make that decision and that he doesn't even have to come to the hospital with me if he doesn't want to. I know the reason he doesn't want me to go into labor tonight is because he is looking at a motorcycle after work and it would be more convenient on Monday. Convenient my ass, I want this kid out! It was definitely the wrong thing to say to this pregnant woman.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Think I Can

Well, yet another few days of contractions but no labor. This has by far been the hardest pregnancy I have ever had. I suppose I should try and enjoy this last week because this will be our last baby. Tomorrow they will strip my membranes again and we will see what happens (if anything). I am just really down today. Usually I am so excited to give birth because I can't wait to see and hold my little one but honestly I just want my body back at this point. What kind of a mother thinks that way? I am sure when she comes I will be so happy to have her in my arms and hold her and love her but at this point I just feel like a science experiment. I just keep telling myself "I think I can, I think I can..." but telling yourself something and believing it are two totally different things.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Today's the Day

Today is the the day, today is the day, today is the day. We are testing out our power of positive thinking today. Went to the doctor this morning and she stripped my membranes. I have had it done before but never like this. It hurt so bad but I was so brave and didn't make a sound. The baby's head was down pretty far and when the doctor started working the baby put her hand over her head. The doctor had to literally move the baby's hand, I thought that was so cool! I was having a lot of contractions and cramping until I took a nap but now that I am up and around it is starting again so TODAY IS THE DAY! I think we are going to go and walk the neighborhood to see if that moves things along. It is time to be done, she is a healthy 7lbs 2oz and her lungs are looking great, I don't have to see the perinatologists anymore so "let's get this party started!"