Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It was the morning of Friday April 4th and the last morning of my life with it just being Trevor and I. It was a long day filled with many emotions as I attended my Grandpa's funeral. Mourning the loss of a loved one here on this Earth, and the excitement and anticipation of a new life about to begin for our sweet little boy. I went in that night at 9:00 to be induced at 38 1/2 weeks. And my body wasn't doing a thing. Not. One. Thing. So they gave me this pill to help get my body into labor all while telling me that it could take up to 24 hours for my body to go into labor, and there was a chance that I could get sent home after 48 hours it still wasn't doing anything. Cool. Because I reeeeally hate needles. And when I say I hate needles, I mean I loathe them. I can't stand the thought of them, so the thought of having to go back and get another IV made me cringe. Haha.
I started to have pretty strong contractions and they gave me an ambien so that I could sleep-which helped me to sleep for a total of 2 hours. All while sweet Trevor is getting his beauty sleep just fine on that poor excuse for a chair/bed. I should have known then that was a sign of many things to come! So by 9:00 the next morning I was only dilated to a 1 1/2. Great. At that point we figured it would take over 24 hours for him to get here. But I received a tender mercy from the Lord. I think because my pregnancy with Briggs was nothing but lots of highs and unknowns, he decided to be nice to me and let me have an easy delivery. Because at 10:30 my water broke and by 2:30 I was ready to go! So after 20 minutes of pushing..yes 20 minutes and this was my first 3:12 our sweet little Briggs Trevor Pace was born. Coming in at a whole whopping 4 pounds 14 ounces and 20 inches long.
And he was the CUTEST and SKINNIEST little 4 pound baby you could ever find! I for sure thought he would need to go to the NICU because they told us that anything under 5 pounds goes straight to the NICU and he was really purple when he came out. But after a little bit of oxygen they decided that he was fine and didn't need to go! What a sweet blessing! Our first night with him was easy to say the least. Briggs ever since he was born hasn't been much of a crier and I have always had to wake him up to feed. Which also would be an indication of things to come…
 Briggs was born SGA-Small for Gestational Age. He also in the womb had Intrauterine Growth Restriction or Retardation-causing him to be small. (I will talk more about this in my next post.) So our first night he was just quiet as can be and I had to wake him up to give him his whole half an ounce of formula, all while other newborns around us were screaming most the night. Which I told Trevor was normal and that Briggs wasn't like most newborns so don't expect all our children to be like that haha.
 Briggs ended up having jaundice and needed to be on the bill lights, which he hated, but they ended up sending us home and allowing us to have him on lights here at the house. He had to get his heel poked over the course of the next 3 weeks of his life. He only cried a few times through all of it and proved to us early on that he is just one tough kid. 9 days after he was born Trevor was holding him and found a bump on his head…a very large bump. So we took him to the ER and found out he had a sub dermal hematoma. Which is caused by trauma but he had no trauma to the head so it didn't make any sense. Most babies get them from the trauma of birth but he was born 9 days ago, so it really didn't make sense. The next night we ended up back at Primary Children's Hospital where they did a CT scan of his head. All came back normal and nothing to be alarmed by, except now with this new pocket of blood in his head from the hematoma, it made his jaundice levels jump back up. I didn't really realize how yellow he was at the time. That finally went away and his hematoma has now calcified and he most likely will always have a small bump on his head-but we are grateful it wasn't anything more serious!
Needless to say, being a new mom you already have anxiety about this new little life you have to take care of. On top of that having such a small baby who scared you your whole pregnancy and continued to scare you for a few weeks after having him…ya my stress levels were at an all time high. Trevor deserves an award for living with me and my hormones those first few weeks! 
Being a mom teaches you many things, things that no one can prepare you for, no matter how much they tell you. But it is the most rewarding and satisfying thing this life has to offer. 

I will never forget the day I found out I was pregnant. I had taken a test the day before and it came back negative. I had that hope in the back of my head that it was wrong and that I really was pregnant, but of course didn't want to get my hopes up in case I was in fact, not pregnant. So there I am the next morning in the bathroom, still half asleep, waiting for the results on that little white stick. And there it was- "Pregnant" I remember feeling scared and excited all at the same time! I went into the bedroom, climbed on the bed, which woke Trevor up-and he wasn't too happy about that-he turned over and without saying a word I just held out the test with a smile on my face. His reaction is something I will never forget. We hugged and kissed while celebrating the fact that we were parents and about to embark on this journey of bringing this sweet little baby into the world and into our hearts. At that moment you begin to wonder things like if it will be a boy or girl, what he/she will look like, names, along with all the hopes and dreams you have for that child. 
In the weeks leading up to your 20 week appointment the big question is, "Boy or girl?" Trevor and I were so anxious to find out the answer to that question that we took it upon ourselves to try and find out sooner, rather than later. Our really good friend Ashlee works in labor and delivery at Orem Community Hospital and told us we could come in early and have her friend take a look on the ultrasound machine. So at 16 weeks we decided to go and do just that. After waiting for what seemed a lifetime she says, "Well I'm not seeing any girl parts so I'm 85% sure it's a boy!", which is exactly what Trevor and I were wanting first-a boy. Well 85% wasn't good enough for me so the next week I went back in just to make sure. The moment she put that device on my belly, right there staring at us were 3 distinct lines-or a nice little hamburger patty as some like to call it. Trevor and I had joked about, "Oh what if we go back in and it's really a girl." Well Ashlee's good friend sat there and said "I would bet $100 it's a girl." So of course over the next 2 weeks leading up to my actual ultrasound appointment, Trevor and I studied those ultrasound pictures for hours and hours. We looked up ultrasound pictures of boys vs. girls online and from what we found, we weren't 100% convinced our baby really was a girl. So we decided to go into our appointment with an open mind (So basically Trevor and I are pretty much experts at telling from the ultrasound pictures if it's a boy or girl so if any of you out there find yourself trying to decipher if that is in fact a little "hamburger patty" or "turtle", send your pictures our way and we will be able to tell you.)
So it's now two weeks later and we are in that dark room of my doctor's office ready and eager to find out exactly what this little baby is going to be. Now of course every new parent wants and prays for their growing baby to be healthy and for everything to be growing right. You know that at this appointment not only will you find out what the sex is, but they will also be checking to make sure everything about the baby is looking "normal." But in all honesty those thoughts are in the back of your mind because in some ways you feel like your baby and you are invincible. Because everyone around you growing up have all had "normal" healthy babies. And the chances that anything to do with your sweet precious growing baby aren't right, well those chances are slim, right? 
So the ultrasound tech takes a look and says, "That's a boy if I ever saw one," and she continues to measure HIM, all the while Trevor and I are saying things like "We knew it was a boy!" And then that's when life smacked me in the face with what is really important. The tech begins to tell us that everything looked great except that the ventricles in his brain are too big. At that moment a million thoughts flood into your head, but you know one thing and one thing for sure-anything to do with their brain is a big deal. We proceeded to ask her "What does that mean? Will he be okay?" She told us she couldn't give us any answers and that we would need to talk to my doctor, but that in the past 2 months she had only seen one other case like this that just so happened to be that same morning. And then she informed us that the previous couple was scheduled to meet with specialists the next week and that would most likely be the case for us.
So there we are at the beginning of a very long waiting game that lied ahead. My doctor wasn't in the office when we received the news but within the hour we were sitting there facing him, waiting to receive more information. He begins to tell us that he had already called Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Mark's hospital and we had an appointment with a specialist in an hour. Which really freaked us out because the couple in the morning wasn't scheduled to see the specialist till next week-so what was so pressing about our situation that we had to be there within the hour? He continued to tell us that he didn't know why the ventricles were enlarged, it could be that he had a tumor in his brain, possibility of down syndrome, other types of mental disabilities, among a whole list of other possibilities. And at that very moment you realize that all along who cares what the sex of the baby was going to be. All that mattered and will ever matter is that this growing baby is healthy. And at that moment is when I felt completely guilty. Guilty for letting the majority of my thoughts be consumed by "girl or boy", and not having had been more concerned that everything about this growing little baby was healthy. 
Trevor and I held each other in the car crying. We didn't have any answers. We didn't know why this was happening and wondered if he was even going to be able to come into this world. It's hard to put into words and convey all the emotions I felt in that moment. So we headed to the hospital and put on as much of our brave faces that we could. They did another ultrasound and then informed us that our son had what was called ventriculomegaly. It was mild but  if the ventricles continued to grow in size then that could mean a number of things for our little boy. If however, they stayed the same size then that could just mean that is how the ventricles in his brain are going to be, and he will be just fine. And of course, best case scenario is that the ventricles reduce in size over time. The specialist gave him a 70% chance of everything turning out just fine and for our baby boy to be healthy. We then had to wait 4 weeks to go back and measure his ventricles. 
I can easily say that those 4 weeks were the longest 4 weeks of my life, along with Trevor's. 
It's sad but it seems like that pattern for many is that when faced with challenges in life we turn to our Heavenly Father much more than when things are going just fine. Over the course of the next four weeks Trevor and I constantly were pleading with our Heavenly Father to watch over and bless our little boy. We were attending the temple every week seeking for peace and comfort. We turned to numerous conference talks and scriptures to find words of wisdom. In all of the fear I felt, even from the moment we found out about his condition, I surprisingly felt calm beneath the storm raging inside my mind. I just had this overwhelming feeling that our son was going to come to us, however he may come, because WE are who the Lord needed to raise this sweet little spirit. The spirit witnessed to me that everything was going to be "ok" even though I didn't know exactly what "ok" meant, and I was fine with that. A big part of that came from a conference talk that will forever be close to my heart called, "But If Not." Go read it. Now. I know it will have as profound an impact on your life as it has mine, along with Trevor's. 
So after those 4 weeks that seemed like a lifetime we went back in. Words can't describe the kind of emotions I was feeling at that time and all the different kind of thoughts that were running through my head. We were just about to find out if our son was in the category of the 70% who will be fine or the 30% who could end up with mild to severe handicap. As hard as I knew it would be to find out he would be in that 30%, I walked into that room being at peace if that is was what my Father in Heaven had in store for me. They measured both ventricles and the right ventricle had gone down to .9 which was considered to be normal, but his left ventricle was still at 1.1. So we then had another 4 weeks of waiting to see if the left ventricle would decrease as well, but all in all the fact that the right had gone down was a good sign. So Trevor and I could take half a breath of relief. 
Over the next 4 weeks there was still countless prayers said, along with us seeking refuge at the temple and finding strength in the words of the scriptures. I can easily say that this is one of the hardest trials, if not the hardest, that I have been through in my life, and it is in these trials we come to  know the amount of God's love for us. I felt it in the people around me, some who I didn't know past a "Hi" who offered words of love and comfort to Trevor and I, and who let us know that we were in their prayers. We could not have gone through this without the amazing family and friends that we have. They truly helped to make our burden a little lighter, and I will forever be grateful for that. 
So 4 weeks later there we are, back at the office, me getting that goop put on my belly...again, ready to measure those ventricles. The right measured in at .6 and the left… .9!!!!! I burst into tears! Trevor and I had our prayers answered. I sat there thinking we were in the clear and that all was finally well. And then that's when the specialist brought to our attention that in the course of them watching and measuring his ventricles, they had noticed he wasn't growing at the rate he should be. So they asked me to come back just to be safe. 
Going back I wasn't too worried. I just figured that he was small and it wouldn't be anything too alarming.  They informed us that when measuring his overall size it had been declining week to week. His legs measured right on gestationally, but his head was about 2 weeks behind in size, and his stomach was 5 weeks behind. They ran a few tests on the flow of the umbilical cord and the amount of fluid and it was not good. I don't quite remember the numbers but I do remember that it was bad. At that point they told me that in 2 weeks they wanted to see me again and if things were the same or worse that they were going to need to induce me-at 34 weeks. I at that point then needed to get a steroid shot for his lungs and I had to be seen twice a week for stress tests to make sure that he was doing okay and that the levels of the fluid and umbilical cord weren't putting him at risk. They also shared with us that Briggs was asymmetrically small, and because he was asymmetrical in size that indicated that he was getting little nutrients and when that happens the nutrients he did get went straight to his brain and vital organs first, and he in turn sacrificed his belly fat and that is why his stomach was measuring so far behind. 
So there we were again, faced with the unknown. I have decided through all this that I really don't like not knowing what is going to happen! Haha. 
Over the next few weeks my stress tests came back normal and at healthy levels. So come 34 weeks they decide to give me another 2 weeks and check back then-all while still doing my stress tests. And the same at 36 weeks they decided to give me one more week and check back again. So at 37 weeks they let me know that I couldn't go past 39 weeks because with an "iffy" placenta if you go past 39 weeks the chances of stillbirth increase immensely. I realized in that moment what a blessing it was to have his ventricles be enlarged at our 20 week appointment. Because had they not then we would have never seen a specialist, and if I hadn't been seeing a specialist they never would have been watching his growth as closely as they were, and if they never had been watching it that closely who knows if I would have gone past 39 weeks and what would or could have happened. 
Thursday, April 3rd, I went in for my last stress test. The numbers didn't look good at all so they said I was going to need to be induced that night. Which posed a problem because my grandpa's funeral was the next day, on Friday, and I really didn't want to miss that. That final chance to say "Till we meet again." So Trevor asked them to take the measurements again, and this time things looked normal and they gave me the ok to wait till Friday night to be induced which meant I could attend the funeral. 
Looking back on my pregnancy I'm still amazed at how much of a roller coaster it was. Having to deal with the passing of my two grandparents all while being faced with our son's health problems was a very soul-stretching experience.
But we wouldn't have had it any other way. Trevor and I feel that being faced with that trial was Heavenly Father's way of preparing us to be the type of parents he wanted and needed us to be for Briggs. I had my testimony shaped and strengthened in ways that no other experience could have. I felt just how much my Father in Heaven loved me through that experience and I was shown the people who will always be there for me, to help strengthen me and lift me up. And from that experience the words my mom has always said to me growing up were proved to me. That "we can do hard things."

Friday, March 7, 2014

Yet again I am writing a post to catch up for the months I didn't take the time to blog.  A lot has happened since my last blog post which I believe was in July of last year (it's now March 2014….oops) That's embarrassingly too long! It would be impossible to remember my thoughts from the events that have happened since so I will just post some pictures to get myself all caught up to what has happened now! Here it goes!

We went skydiving in Moab with the Williams…so fun!!! I would definitely do it again!

I went to the Backstreet Boys concert with my sister Jessica in Vegas..5th row!!

Trevor and I took a last minute trip to Seattle for the Seahawks-Niners game!

Back to Florida! We took Josh to Jacksonville and his first Gators game!
With a nice layover in New York so we had to go into Times Square!

Found out we were pregnant! (So I actually was prego when we went skydiving but didn't know till a few  weeks after!)

John Pardi at the Westerner with the Williams
Trevor went to Dallas for a Cowboys game with Josh and stuck trying to fly standby home and it took a total of 30 hours, 3 flights, and flying to the east coast to get him home!
My sweet Grandmother passed away

We found out our little peanut is a boy!

My 20 week belly!

Christmas with this cutie

Minute To Win It games at our house for New Years Eve of course!

I started a Facebook page for the pictures I take and have been doing that a lot recently

John Pardi with the Williams and McRaes! And of course our 3 little boys!

My 24th Birthday at Ruth's Chris

So there ya have it! That's what has happened in the Pace family the last 6 months!

Monday, September 23, 2013


For the past few days I have been contemplating the bitter loss BYU had to Utah. I kept asking myself the question, "Why is it that I hate Utah so much?" I finally realized, it's not that I actually hate the University of Utah, it's that I have such an intense love for BYU. I mean my Dad did his masters program at the U, my oldest sister is applying to finish her schooling for nursing there, I have friends who have attended school there, and I was even born at the U of U hospital. (Shh don't tell anyone.) I know plenty of amazing people who are fans of the U, so then why do I get so worked up when BYU plays the Utes?

This isn't just a one-word answer. This stems back to my childhood and back to something most Mormons who grew up in Utah will never understand. Ever since I can remember the only college I wanted to attend when I grew up was BYU. Remember those papers they passed out at the beginning of every school year you had to fill out with the "Short and Long Term Goals?" Well I have papers that date back to the 1st grade and on every paper under the "Long Term Goals" is written "Attend BYU." Sure, it probably started with the fact that my parents both went there, met there, and then got married. Or it could also do with the fact that our cousins from Sandy, UT, who we often visited growing up, were huge BYU fans as well. So whatever the reason my love for BYU stems from may be, the passion comes from so much more.

Growing up outside of Utah, I was the only Mormon in my group of friends at school. They didn't know who Brigham Young was so every time I would wear my "BYU" sweatshirt, to them it stood for "Buy Your Underwear." From a young age I learned that wearing that sweatshirt meant something much more than just being a fan of some college, it meant being an example of what I believed in. 

One of the biggest reasons I absolutely love BYU goes back to when I was 15 and I attended my first year of EFY. Most members of the church I have met who are born and raised in Utah don't attend EFY so, again, they might not understand this reason. But being on BYU's campus for that week, and other weeks in the years that followed, had a huge impact on my life. I had some of my very first spiritual experiences during those influential weeks. Some may or may not agree with me, but there is a certain spirit you feel when on BYU's campus and to me, it's undeniable. 

I honestly never cared about the U of U growing up in California. Everyone there who was LDS liked BYU, I mean who wouldn't? There is no "rivalry" there so I didn't care or give much thought to the U as a kid. I mean, I knew they were BYU's rival but it's not like I hated them. So why do I buy into the whole rivalry now?

The answer is this. BYU to me isn't just a school. Growing up it stood as a message to me that, "Hey you can come here and have friends and be surrounded by people who believe in the same things you do. You can come here and not be teased for your beliefs. You can come here and escape the liberal views of the world." That message BYU sent to me was huge. As you can imagine, at times, growing up without many LDS friends was hard. BYU was the light at the end of the tunnel. BYU is a major reason as to why my life is where it is today, and BYU has played a role in shaping and strengthening my testimony. 

So of course it's hard for me when I come in contact with other members of the church who have given me their reasons for hating BYU like:

- "Why would you want to go to a school where they make you take religion classes?"

- "I think it's so weird that they pray before each class."

- "I would never go their because of the Honor Code. Why do I need my school to babysit me and give me a curfew?"

These statements are the very reason I have bought into this rivalry so much. I can't nor will I ever be able to understand why someone who has the same beliefs as me can hate a University because we pray before class. Aren't we told to pray always? In my mind Heavenly Father gave me my mind and body along with the opportunity to learn, so I want to say a prayer and thank him before I learn. I think it's awesome. I love the fact that I took religion classes. In fact, they were my favorite classes I took while attending BYU. The opportunity to learn more about the gospel is something I value and cherish. I don't think it's just something you do on Sunday, so why not take a class 3 times a week about the Old Testament or the Living Prophets? And last but not least, the Honor Code. Now I think a lot of people who don't go to BYU don't understand the Honor Code. In fact, I believe it does a lot of good. That's not to say that I was in bed every night by 12:00. No one is there to force you to make the right decisions or take your agency away; that's not what the Honor Code is about. The Honor Code is simply guidelines that in fact come from the standards of the Church and are in place for a reason; a very good reason at that. So if your excuse for not liking BYU is because you think the Honor Code is absurd, you might want to take that up with the Big Man upstairs.

Some say that us BYU fans are self righteous and that's why they can't stand BYU. Are there some ridiculous fans here and there who may have said or done something stupid? Of course. There are people like that from all walks of life, no matter what religion or school they affiliate themselves with. Trust me, we don't think of ourselves as more righteous than others. Maybe what it comes down to is that BYU means something more than you will ever be able to understand.

So do I hate the University of Utah along with their entire fan base and student body? No. Obviously there are good people who go there. When I use the phrase on a picture or on Facebook that says "I hate the Utes," take that as you want, but to me it's just about the football. I love football and love watching it more than any other sport. I get intense when it's my teams playing. So saying I hate the Utes is just the same to me as when I said "I hate the Seahawks" a week ago when the 49ers lost to them, and no one seemed to care or get offended when I said that. I love football and will always be faithful to my teams.

Especially to the one that stands for so much more than football to me.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Today is Kaena's 3rd birthday. Happy Birthday to this little princess.

This one is blurry but I love it

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I absolutely love the pictures I got today at the hospital of my beautiful niece Kendall. My sister has such a beautiful little family and I just love them all so much! So I couldn't wait to edit these and now I am posting them because I am too excited!

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