11/7/2017 – 28 weeks (+1 day)

We made it to 28 weeks! Not shocking but sort of exciting nonetheless. We met with our doctor who has been in contact with the specialists and cardiologist who we will continue to see throughout the end of the pregnancy. The appointment with our doctor today was so great. We hadn’t seen him since we got the official diagnosis, I just spoke with him once over the phone. He is so reassuring, calm, mellow, accepting and kind with us. We spent WAY too much time in his office, I really do feel bad for his other patients but I knew it would be a long appointment discussing all the results and considering what our plan will be. But, we don’t know any of that yet. We aren’t making a plan until after our next round of appointments with all the specialists in December at around the 32 week time to see if there are any differences at that time. Any changes with the heart, any changes with growth, my gestational diabetes or blood pressure or anything else. I’ve had gestational diabetes with all my pregnancies but never to this degree and I usually end up with high blood pressure near the end (which was the cause of inducing Elijah prior to 37 weeks) but for the past week +, my blood sugar has been awesome. Thanks to a little medication, a very strict diet & daily exercise. That also seems to be helping my blood pressure which has been perfect the whole time as well and I’ve even lost a little bit of weight and every pound dropped will help improve that.

(this is my glucose monitor to check my blood sugar)

Baby boys heart rate was good, right where it should be. He gave the doctor a big kick when he put the doppler on to listen, we had a good laugh at him giving us his ‘opinion’ of that. LOL. His kick was pretty low which is a bummer because that means he is probably still breech but that won’t matter until week 36 or so, he still has lots of time and lots of room to flip over for now.

That’s about it. No real news. He is very active, anytime I lay down, he decides to party. I’m pretty sure he’s nocturnal. My blood sugars have been awesome, I’m so thankful for that! I’m also thankful for my friend who is a registered dietician and a diabetes educator who has helped me out and another friend who is an OB/Gyn and has given me her opinions/advice as well. I love that I can speak candidly to some friends about this stuff to learn more, get ideas, see a different perspective and since they are friends in the medical profession, they can speak to me candidly and not give me the required medical answers they would have to give their patients. I’ve reached out to a few other people asking questions who are willing to answer and I’m so thankful people will share with us.

I know we are on prayer lists and chains all over the place, a friend of my parents from their church just took his picture with a prayer request to be placed on the wailing wall in Jerusalem, that’s pretty cool too. We appreciate it so much. I can’t even express how much it means that so many people are praying with and for us for this little guys health. Keep em’ coming, I’m hopeful for some amazing news to share after our next round of appointments about what God can do!

Thank you!!!

Update 10/29/17

I just wanted to put a real quick update on here about our status. We have no new information at this point and likely won’t have any for about 5-6 weeks. We have 3 different appointments scheduled in the first 2 weeks of December with our current Obstetrician as well as the Seattle Childrens South Sound Cardiology Team who will be taking over his cardiac care after he is born until surgery and the Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists again as well. We are still deciding between Tacoma General or St Joes for delivery and will probalby decide for sure after those 3 appointments based on their results. We are on many prayer chains and are believing in God for a miracle for our little guy for complete healing! I did get anointed with oil and prayed for by the elders of our church and know that many people in many places are praying for us and we can’t express our gratitude enough. Thank you for the prayers!

Elijah, Moses & Solomon don’t know anything is going on other than brother is growing in my tummy and they all kiss him every day and tell him how much they love him already. It’s the sweetest thing ever. They are all 3 so excited for their baby brother! They did great when we received prayer from the elders and sat quietly at the table with ‘praying hands’ participating as best they could and I’m so thankful that the childcare we had worked out for that time ended up not being available so all the kids could participate with us in that special time of prayer.

Apparently I went into too much detail for some to understand what this little guy is facing so I’ll try to explain it a bit more simply here. The official diagnosis names and terms are listed on my previous blog but the easy way to explain it is that he is missing an entire wall inside of his heart that separates the 4 chambers of his heart. Because of that, his valves aren’t properly connected (because they are supposed to be connected to the wall that doesn’t exist) so they can’t function as they should and all the oxygen rich and oxygen poor blood just pools and swishes around in his heart but it’s not being pumped the way that it should or separated the way that it should. That is all reparable with surgery when he is 4-5 months old with an extremely positive prognosis following that surgery. There are 3 concerns they have with his risk for Down Syndrome. 1. My age (29) (+10) ha. I’m 39. 2. One in two babies with this specific heart defect have Down Syndrome. 3. His ultrasound measurements are potentially indicitave of Down Syndrome. None of that is confirmed or conclusive, it just tells us he is at an elevated risk, I don’t remember the exact percentage the genetic counselor gave us but basically above 70-80%. We won’t know for sure until after he is born, they take cord blood and test it offically with results coming 10-14 days after his birth.

The last concerning thing is my Gestational Diabetes. I’ve had it with all of my pregnancies and have never had a hard time controlling it with just diet and exercise at home. Except this time. It’s a doozy this time and I’m trying so hard to beat it, even with medicine, but we haven’t got a good routine down for me yet. I could use some prayer for that as well please. I’ve counseled with my doctor, the specialist, and a dietician and diabetes educator about it and combining everything everyone has told me and the medication I’m on, it’s still not where it should be. We will be making more adjustments to get to a healthy range but we haven’t quite figured it out just yet. If you’re not familiar with Gestational Diabetes, it’s Diabetes that you have only while pregnant due to the hormonal changes in your body. As soon as I delivered all 3 of our boys before, my blood sugar went back to normal and I’ve been great. I pray that is the case this time as well and that we get it under control quickly and it goes away immediately after delivery.

Right now we are doing well. Bo and I are learning how to support each other in the way we each need. It’s quite a learning process :). Other than prayer for healing, there is nothing we need. We have food in the fridge, the laundry is washed, the kids have been enjoying time at the park during the nice days the past few days and we are just trucking along. The unknown about it all can be frightening but we trust in the Lord and in His plan for our family and know He desires good for us and that is our only focus. Even if we don’t know what will be or how it will be or how healthy our boy will be, we know that God is good and we trust Him and know we just need to focus on His goodness and love and promises so we don’t get wound up in fear and worry.

So that’s where we’re at! I don’t expect to have an update again until mid December after we have all of our appointments, get results from them all and come up with a more concrete plan and more specific prayer requests at that time.

The doctors tell us to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. We are praying for the best while considering what we may be dealing with if he is not healed before he is born. We will need help later, after he is born probably when he has surgery but that’s not likely to be until May/June 2018 if all goes the way it’s expected to. My due date is 1/29/18 and the doctors are hoping I go all the way full term so his heart and lungs have as much time as they can to get strong while in the womb. So there will be a time when we need some help if that is the case and we will be sure to make our needs known so our friends and family can help out as they desire. Right now though, we are doing good and just need prayer!

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Baby Bradshaw #4 Diagnosis


Here is the latest update on our little man. I know I just posted on Wednesday with what was going on and said it would be 3 weeks before we got further information, but we were blessed to get an appointment with the top Pediatric Cardiologist at Seattle Childrens TODAY! That’s right, they got us in 3 weeks early and we had our exam today. We don’t know a lot yet, but here is what we do know.

Baby boy has 3 different cardiac defects that all fall under the umbrella of CAVC – explained below. For those of you who like to Google and know more, here you go: The 1st specialist we saw was right with his suspicion of a VSD – a ventricular septal defect.  Basically, that means he has a hole in the septum inside of his heart that separates his right and left ventricles. The second specialist we saw was sadly, also correct that he has CAVC – Complete Atrioventricular Canal Defect meaning that he has a large hole in the middle of his heart so the chambers of his heart are not properly divided and oxygen rich blood pools with oxygen-poor blood from the body and neither are pumped out exactly as they should to the heart and lungs. His valves aren’t connected as they should be because of the missing walls in his heart so they don’t work properly either to keep the right blood going in the right direction. In addition to both of those, the cardiologist today saw an ASD as well, that’s an atrial septal defect meaning that his septum in the top portion of his heart has a hole in it as well. The VSD and ASD are both so large, they pretty much connect and there is an entire wall in his heart that is missing plus a big hole in the center of his heart as well. The biggest concern with all of this is the risk of Downs Syndrome. 1 in 2 babies with this cardiac condition have Downs Syndrome. In addition to that risk, my age greatly increases his risk and his measurements on his last ultra sound from Wednesday also show increased risk of it. That could make him more suseptible to other difficulties and we are hoping he won’t have to deal with that. The major cardiac defect seems like a big enough mountain for him and us to make it over without adding additional challenges for him. Of course, we do believe that God can just move that mountain and heal him completely on His own, but we informed ourselves of what would happen if that doesn’t occur so the doctors can have a plan for us.

So, we are having to transfer care yet again, for the remainder of my pregnancy and his birth. We will switch to either St Joes in Tacoma or Tacoma General because they both have Seattle Childrens Cardiologist teams either on location or on call for the birth of our boy to be standing by in case of emergency.  The cardiologist said my pregnancy is fine, we will follow up to have another echocardiogram for baby to make sure there are no other changes (or complete healing!) and another ultra sound with a specialist to monitor his growth but the rest of my pregnancy and our birth should be normal. There is no need for a C-section, unless he doesn’t flip over as he is still breech. We should probably be at a location that has a pediatric cardiac team on location in case something goes sideways. This defect really has no effect on baby in the womb since I’m providing all of his oxygen and he isn’t using his lungs yet. He will be born hopefully naturally as we have done all the rest and should come out pink and screaming like most babies do. The doctor said his o2 sat will likely be in the low 80’s but for babies with these defects, that is normal and it’s ok,  nothing to be concerned about. The EMT in me puckered a little bit hearing that. He should be a normal, healthy(ish), regular boy when he is born for at least the first week because the lungs of a newborn are under such pressure, it will force his heart to pump blood adequately. He will have an echo and EKG in the hospital when he is born and likely be released to come home the next day to be a normal newborn with us at home. Between weeks 1-3 after he is born. his lungs will relax lowering his thoracic/cardiac pressure causing blood to back up into his lungs and respiratory difficulty. At that point, they will put him on Lasix (diuretic medication) to help eliminate all the extra fluid from building up and prevent heart failure. He will remain on Lasix for 4-5 months until he is big and strong enough to have open heart surgery.


At 4-5 months, he will have his surgery at Seattle Childrens. They will open him up, put him on heart/lung bypass, open his heart and build a new wall in his heart made out of goretex. That will repair the holes and the missing wall and then they will also repair the valves and connect them to the new heart wall that they put in so they can start functioning properly. He will be in the ICU for 1-2 days where we are welcome to stay with him 24/7 in the same room but we can’t hold him or anything because his chest will be too fragile and he’ll be in an incubator, then be moved for the cardiac floor for the next 7-10 days.  He should be able to come home in less than 2 weeks to recover.

The national average for survivability of this surgery is 95%. With the cardiac team at Seattle Childrens, it’s 99%+ . We of course, pray for healing on his own from these defects but we also have peace with the treatment plan if this doesn’t heal on it’s own. We will have a challenging couple of weeks dealing with him in the hospital and the massive surgery he faces all while dealing with our 3 littles at home and trying to minimize the impact on them while we are trying to divide time between living with baby at the hospital and 3 babies at home. I’m so thankful we have about 7 months to prepare for that time so I should have plenty of time to get some meals in the freezer, get some childcare help worked out, maybe some house work help worked out and figure out what else we will need during that time.

Right now, we are ok. We need prayer. Prayer that the heart will heal itself and prayer that there are no other challenges or abnormalities for this little guy to face.

So many of you have offered to help. I’m SO thankful for you all, I can’t even explain how much the support, prayers, encouragement & offers to help mean to us. I even feel bad writing this in a blog to share with you all becuase I would rather call everyone 1 on 1 on the phone and talk to each person voice to voice and heart to heart but I haven’t even regained my composure yet to make those phone calls. I made 1 phone call and cried  on the phone and had a hard time explaining it. So please, I hope you understand how much we appreciate you all, our amazing support system and community, prayer partners and helpers, but this seems to be the easiest way to share updates. I am going to find out if there is a way that you can ‘subscribe’ to our blog so you are emailed with updates anytime that I post, I’ll have to ask Bo to help me with that one but I’ll try to keep all baby updates on here so there is only 1 place to look and share it on our FB pages as well. We are a little overwhelmed processing the news ourselves and spending family time together today so we’re turning our phones off to just focus on our family. I look forward to scrolling through the comments on FB and the blog post and messages and texts when I can’t sleep or have more time, but for right now, I wanted to get this update out to you all who are praying and thinking of us so you know what’s going on and we are focusing on the 6 of us right now as we let the news settle.

There likely will be a time when we need more help and I won’t be too stubborn to ask for it. If there is a need, we will make it known, ask for help and take you all up on your offers for various things. We aren’t there right yet though. Our only need at this time is prayer. Prayer for healing and no other complications at all. We will likely need help with childcare after he is born since he will be spending a lot of time at the cardiologist office leading up to and after his surgery if that happens. But for now, please, just pray for us. Pray for COMPLETE healing for this little guy and also for Bo and I. We process very differently and both desire to be there for one another but have such different needs, we are learning how we can help one another in the ways we each need. Our hearts are a little raw and we want to do the best we can for each other, for the 3 big boys and for this little guy inside.

For my sweet friend that showed up on my doorstep today with this beautiful, sweet smelling, bright arrangement of pure cheer and prayer for me, thank you! I so love bright flowers and I never buy them for myself but they are just so pretty! It amazes me that I’ve been thinking of doing this exact thing for you and the words you prayed over us are the exact words that I’ve been praying for you straight to God that just came right back to my heart from you as if God spoke them to you from my heart word for word. I love how He works like that. Thank you for this sweet gesture.

Thank you to everyone for the prayers, encouragement, offers, support and help. We WILL reach out when there is a need even if it’s just for emotional support because we need to talk or something. I will keep updates on this blog and find out about an option to subscribe to it as well and share on FB also.

Baby Bradshaw #4

Well, our journey continues with this 4th little man of ours. It was detected at our 19 week ultrasound that he may have a very minor, probably benign, heart defect. We were also told we should have an ultra sound every 2 weeks and get an echocardiogram (which first specialist couldn’t do). We scheduled a follow up ultra sound with a different specialist at her earliest convenience 6 weeks later to get a 2nd opinion and see about the need for an echocardiogam and further follow up. When we went to the appointment yesterday, the doctor had gone home sick so we were unable to have our consult with her and potential echocardiogram if one was in fact needed. We did get an ultra sound which showed this stubborn little guy is breech, facing my spine and absolutely refused to move so they could get good pictures. The tech did her best to get all the cardiac pictures and videos needed but said it was not likely that she was able to get a clear view and a good diagnosis and said we would probably have to return again for another ultra sound and the echocardiogram.

This morning, I got the call from the doctor who was out sick yesterday. She confirmed the suspicion of the first doctor and said that yes, it does appear that he has this defect but, in addition to that, she believes there may be something more significant going on and we need an echocardiogram to confirm. (This is starting to sound familliar….) She said she would be unable to do the echocardiogram because the condition she is concerned about will require more care throughout pregnancy and afterwards as well so we are being transferred to the Seattle Childrens Pediatric Cardiology Unit. We will get our fetal echocardiogram there and meet with a Cardiology/Surgical team to get a confirmed diagnosis and come up with a plan based on the results.

I cried when I got off the phone not having expected to hear that when she called with results. Then I called Bo and let him know. Then I remembered (when I was excused from being a TA in the class I was working in because apparently I looked a little worse than I thought I did having been crying and trying to pull myself together) that God has chosen this boy. God is making him exactly how He wants him to be made within me. Jeremiah 1:5 says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” so God already has a plan for this little man of ours. Ephesians 2:10 reminds me that our little boy is Gods workmanship. Isaiah 41:10 tells me not to fear because He is with me.

I have decided that until I have a confirmed reason, I’m going to stand on the fact that God is forming this little life inside of me and he is perfect, just like God makes. I could get myself all worked up and upset and worried about what potentially could be. But that isn’t going to help anything or anyone and just wreck my mood and likely everyones moods around me when I can chose to trust in God and His goodness and His promises and I’ll deal with what comes as it comes. No need to borrow trouble that may not be.

This could literally all just be nothing. It could be artifact from the ultra sound, it could be from bad pictures, it could be from bad positioning, it could be a lot of things from absolutely nothing to something pretty severe (including involving other genetic anomalies) but right now, we just don’t know. Even if it is the severe concern she has, there is a surgical option to repair his heart after he is born.

I’m praying that he is fine. I’m praying that if he isn’t fine, God will make him fine before our next appointment. That’s where I’m staying until our next appointment and if things change, we’ll deal with it then.

We would love for you to stand in prayer with us for a healthy baby boy! We don’t have any needs right now other than prayers for a healthy baby boy and we appreciate the prayers & good thoughts you are willing to send! We will update again after we have our next appointment (within 3 weeks). We even just had dinner delivered from our awesome and amazing co-op and their “dinners on a budget” class so I don’t even have to make dinner tonight! Thank you to the Acts North Co-Op, the “dinners on a budget” class for preparing it and to Sara for delivering it!

Here is a cute little shot of his profile you can remember in prayer. He’s got the cutest little nose and chubby little lips :)

Baby Bradshaw #4 – BOY or GIRL!?!?!

When we lost  our little boy back in December, we realized just how badly we wanted that last little Bradshaw to be a part of our family and decided to try one more time to complete our family. We are now exactly half way through my 7th pregnancy (in 6 years) and things look great so far!

At 20 weeks, baby is measuring right on track and has the cutest little bones we were happy to see last week. All markers look great, I am doing well other than being utterly exhausted which my doctor reassures me is normal for my”geriatric or advanced maternal age” with 3 small children running around at home. No, he is not kidding, he does say it in kinder terms “well, with your age…..” LOL. Apparently it’s normal to be DEAD TIRED 100% of the time when you’re pregnant and almost 40 years old with lots of littles at home and it certainly doesn’t help that one of my side effects of pregnancy is that I lose the ability to sleep at night. I do remember the feeling of relief and refreshment we got after our babies got on somewhat of a sleep schedule within the first 8-12 weeks of life and I got 4 hour blocks of solid sleep. I look forward to that again! Anyways, we’re doing pretty great. There is a slight chance of a minor cardiac defect that we will be watching and seeing a second Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist to get another opinion on, but it should be nothing, completely benign and cure itself (if it even exists, they can’t even tell conclusively at this point) when baby is born if it lasts that long so we aren’t really concerned about it at all.

So …. what do you guys think? BOY or GIRL?? This has been a very typical pregnancy for me, the only symptoms that aren’t exactly the same as the previous 6 are that I’m not craving (and often can’t stomach) potatoes which is completely the opposite of all my previous pregnancies. Bo likes to joke about how I lived off potatoes previously when I was pregnant and tells people “She would eat all potatoes, potato chips, french fries, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, boiled potatoes, baked potatoes, broiled potatoes, barbeque potatoes, potato soup, potato salad, etc.” (like the joke from Forrest Gump about shrimp). Not so much this time. This baby is also positioned a bit higher than the boys were. Otherwise, status quo.

This picture is the back side of the right lower leg, ankle & part of the foot.

So… place your votes below, on the comments in the blog or on FB, do you think this Bradshaw will be a boy or a girl!? If you get it right, you win nothing other than bragging rights that you guessed correctly! My poor mother and mother in law, they know we have the envelope sealed up sitting at home with the gender results in it and it’s killing them! We will open it up soon, maybe that will be Bo’s birthday gift this year in a few weeks!

Prayers are appreciated for this little life God has blessed us with. 1 Samuel 1:27 sure rings true yet again… “For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted me my request.”

Baby Bradshaw #4

Well, clearly it’s far too early for me to be posting another birth blog. We  hadn’t shared this with many people yet because of the traumatic miscarriage we had in February 2016 but we found out in early October that I was pregnant with our 4th little blessing. Yay! We had our routine 8 week ultra sound early November and everything looked great, strong heartbeat of 170.  We had our 12 week appointment and everything was great then, nice strong heartbeat again, my 1st trimester symptoms had been subsiding and I was feeling good. We had told a few friends and family and decided to include it in our Christmas cards that were sent out. Then on Friday 12/23/2016 (Christmas eve…eve), I woke up with a tiny bit of spotting. Very minimal, nothing to be concerned about but we called into the clinic anyways just to let the doctor know. The clinic was closed for the holiday so they advised the on call midwife who called me back and said to call back again if anything changed. I started feeling worse having some cramping so Bo came home from work and sent me to bed and stayed downstairs with the kids. I called the clinic back to let them know of the change and was waiting for a return call. I thought everything was just fine, I was going to rest, Bo got the little 2 kids to bed for their naps and left at 1:30 Friday afternoon to spend some time with Elijah and keep it quiet at home for me to rest. At 2:00pm, my water broke. I delivered our baby at home. It looked perfect, tiny, cute, precious and beautiful. I immediately called Bo and told him I needed him back at home, called my mom to ask if my parents could come stay with the kids and called the hospital to let them know what happened. I stood in the bathroom in shock, shaking, holding my tiny baby knowing it would only be alive for a few seconds if it was at all. It looked like a perfect, tiny little baby. I wrapped up baby, Bo grabbed what we may need and we headed off for the hospital. At the hospital, the nurse who checked me in was the first of the staff to refer to it as a ‘baby’ rather than a fetus. Being just about 4 months gestation, medically & legally, baby is actually considered a fetus but to us, it is our baby and it looked like a perfect, little, tiny baby. It made me sob in the hospital and I thanked him profusely for referring to it as our baby. One of the nurses from the OB unit (who I had spoken to on the phone earlier) came down and offered to try to get footprints for us. More sobbing. We had no idea that was even a possibility but we were very excited for it. She was the one who said ‘It’s a boy!’ So sweet. We sort of expected a girl because I had been so sick with this pregnancy but it was so sweet to hear that he was actually a boy. He had the cutest, tiny little penis there has ever been. She didn’t have much luck getting his footprints but let Bo try and he successfully got his teeny, tiny little footprints. So precious. Then he said “This is my boy, Joshua.” I  said “yep.” We both cried. Bo had been referring to him as Joshua since I got pregnant and really wanted that as his name. I was never very supportive of him before now. So we named him Joshua which means God is salvation, which is of course is perfect for him since he got to go straight to his salvation. One of the nurses took Bo to the break room to feed him, neither of us had eaten anything and it was about 7pm, we were both starving and exhausted. She fed him, gave him something to drink and gave him gum from her own pocket so I wouldn’t have to smell the pizza on his breath since I wasn’t allowed to eat (in case I ended up needing a D&C). She was so kind. We had an ultrasound in the hospital which showed there were still “products of conception” inside my uterus which was the cause of my excessive bleeding and cramping/contractions. We were given 3 options to deal with that, get admitted and have a D&C the next morning, get a prescription for Cytotec (the abortion pill) to try to help my uterus expel what was left and also try to stop the bleeding or attempt to pass everything on my own with a high likelihood of returning with an infection for a D&C. We opted for the Cytotec because I have a history of excessive bleeding after birth and have needed medication to stop the bleeding after my previous births. Sadly, I had lost too much blood on Friday and wasn’t quite stable enough to just take it and finish off this whole ordeal so they discharged us that night and told me to take the pills early in the morning to start labor all over again on Saturday – Christmas Eve to labor for the day at home. Pretty crappy option given that we had already had our baby, he was dead, I had gone through labor already on Friday and then had to do it again on Saturday when we had family plans to celebrate Christmas Eve and still try to celebrate Christmas with the kids. Our nurse, Katy, who had spent the whole day with us gave us our discharge papers and was ready to send us on our way. She said “can I pray for you?” which caused us both to just hold our breath and cry and we all held hands while she prayed for us. It was the perfect prayer and we hugged for a long time when we said goodbye. When we came home, a neighbor had left a beautiful bouquet of flowers on our doorstep and another friend had made dinner for our whole family but we weren’t  home to get it so she saved it for us for lunch on Saturday instead. I didn’t sleep Friday night with too much anxiety for how Saturday was going to go. I took the pills Saturday morning (Christmas Eve) and laid in bed all day while Bo had the kids downstairs watching football (and eating the delicious roast my friend made for us the night before). The longer I stayed laying in my bed missing Christmas Eve, the more upset I got. I streamed the candle light service for church online from 5-6pm and cried through the entire service. They kept referring to the person who  is struggling this season, how we all know someone who is dealing with a loss at this time…. Yeah, I’m familiar with that person… .I decided this was NOT how we were going to spend our Christmas eve and convinced Bo I was healthy and stable enough to just go sit in the van and let him drive us around to go look at Christmas lights and try to enjoy some of the beauty of the season. Bo took care of everything, loaded up all the kids in the van with snacks and drinks and blankets and we all buckled in for some Christmas Eve fun! Turn the van on…. Smoke. Evacuate! There were never any flames but the van didn’t start and we were clearly not going to go look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. Back to my pity party for me in the house. We read some Christmas stories with the kids and got them to bed since it was close to that time anyway and left some cookies and milk out for Santa to visit. Then Bo and I decided to celebrate our Christmas right then so we opened our stockings and all of the Christmas cards we had received. It was so fun getting all those precious gifts from those we love with pictures and stories of their families, so fun and uplifting to read at a time when I needed it most. We woke up on Christmas morning and celebrated with the kids. They ate snacks from their stockings for breakfast which they were super excited about and each got 1 new toy to play with. Then we baked our birthday cake for Jesus. The kids were so excited, Christmas success! I’m so thankful they are so young and easily excited and thankful for such small things. They got 1 toy, 1 book and to bake a cake and had the best day ever. Monday we stayed home and hung low. I took the kids out front to play with the neighbor which was good for us all. They rode bikes and enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine and I enjoyed chatting with my neighbor and sharing our story. Bo and I had been trying to decide what we wanted to do with our sweet boy. He wasn’t just medical waste to us to dispose of in a red bio bag of garbage at the hospital but we couldn’t just keep him at home with us forever so we had to figure out what to do. It was between burying him under a burning bush which I considered would be a yearly reminder of Gods love for us and his protection for our boy when it changes color every year or having him cremated. The bush was a scary option to me because neither of us have green thumbs and I’m terrified the bush would die and so would the remains of our boy so he would be all the way gone forever. Cremation seemed like an expensive option but a safe and permanent way to remember him. I did a little research and asked a chaplain friend of mine and was referred to Yahn & Son Funeral Home in Auburn. I spoke with a gentleman on the phone and scheduled a meeting with him. We took all 4 kids with us to meet him and were so blessed by him and their staff there. They were so kind and generous and sensitive with us. It was perfect. We picked  out the cutest little urn, it’s adorable and we both love it so we left  Joshua there with them. We were able to include some memorabilia with him so we took one of our large family pictures, wrote love notes on the back, each of kids drew him a picture and we wrote out the scriptures we had chosen for his name/life and I cut off part of a blanket bear I have all to be cremated with him so we will become a part of him as well. The bear was a gift from a friend I received for Elijah’s baby shower. I brought it home from the baby shower and put it in my bed thinking that I would sleep with it for a few nights so it would smell like me for when Elijah came home with us, it would be comforting for him. That was 5 years ago and it’s still in my bed. I sleep with it every night and when the kids need an extra snuggle or cuddle or are sick, they get to take it for a special night into their  bed. So it’s a shared bear for all of us that’s very special to all of us and now is with Joshua too which brings me even more comfort. Today is exactly 1 week since he was born and we just brought him home where he belongs now which is a huge relief for me. Our friends and family have all been so supportive and caring for us as we’ve wandered aimlessly through this past week. We’ve had meals delivered, gorgeous flowers delivered and many calls/texts/messages & prayers. We don’t  have any physical needs at this point, we just appreciate your prayers as we try to process this and walk through it with the kids in a healthy way. Elijah, as sad as he is, seems to love the fact that his brother is up in Heaven with Jesus watching down over him all the days of his life  waiting for him to get  there so they can be together  and wonders if he will be a tiny baby when he gets to meet him or if he will be tall like a daddy. So cute. Moses is more upset about it and has been waking from bad dreams at night begging Bo and I to go up to Heaven and ask Jesus to please give us our brother back because he loves him and he wants him here with us. Moses is also upset about the fact that he was a boy, not a girl, he really wanted a sister ;)
Here are some photos of our journey with him…

His 8 week ultrasound picture

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His tiny little footprints. Quarter for size
feet
The memorabilia we included for his cremation
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His tiny little precious urn
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The scriptures we included with him were:

Joshua:
——-
1:3 – I will give you every place where you set your foot…
1:5 – No one will be able to stand against you…As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you…
1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

John 14:2-3 (MSG)
There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live.

Mark 10:16
And He took the [child] up into his arms, put His hands upon [him], and blessed [him]…

Solomons Birth

 

 

 

 

This is me on 2/20/2015 at 40 weeks. Both of my previous babies had come early so I did not expect to make it to 40 weeks (+) with my 3rd guy at all and was not quite enthused he was still so comfy inside. We walked a lot and it’s the only time in my life I’ve eaten Jalapenos to try to spice him out as well, ouch!
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Here I am again on 2/22/2015 just 2 days before he was born. 40 weeks, 2 days pregnant. Still trying to walk him out….. no go. 
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Then we make it to Wednesday 2/24/2015, my sisters birthday. I had a gift prepared for her and had planned on celebrating her birthday with my family at my parents house that afternoon. I wasn’t quite feeling well though and we ended up deciding to stay home. We had dinner as a family at home and I started feeling worse and worse. At 6pm, I started hurting. I was having what I thought was digestive stomach cramps. Bo banished me to the couch to “rest” (yeah, right, with 2 toddlers in the house??) and rather than relaxing and feeling better, I felt worse and worse. Bo had notified my parents that I wasn’t feeling well and it could be “go” time but I wasn’t aware of that. I thought I was having digestive issues and was just cranky with the kids being hyper that night while I didn’t feel well and Bo having anxiety about it all. It wasn’t a very pleasant time in the house. I laid on the couch from 5pm-7pm and finally realized, yes, I was having consistent contractions and started timing them and they were already 3 minutes apart at that time. We asked my parents to come over so we could go check at the hospital to see how I was doing because they were getting stronger and closer together as I rested on the couch rather than farther apart and less intense. I remember sending a text message to my friend/photographer Sara that said something along the lines of “I think it may really be time this time”. My parents arrived at our house to stay with the kids, we arrived at the hospital around 8pm and they checked me before we even got settled and said it’s basically time to go already. They had to call the doctor and his team, prepare the room, etc so they put us in a different room with a tub so I could lay and “relax” in the bath. It was nice and comfortable but my contractions only increased and intensified in the tub. Sara with The Blessed Everyday Photography arrived just after we did and helped get us settled and started snapping away. The nurse got concerned that I was going to deliver in the tub because I was so close and made me get out of the tub. I told her I couldn’t deliver that day, it was my sisters birthday and I wanted her to have her special day to herself and not wreck her birthday with a different birth. (delirious much?) Hahaha. The nurse pretty much laughed in my face and said not a chance. I still had planned to squeeze my legs tight and hold off for a few more hours  until morning. I finally made it up into the bed and got situated as the doctor walked in ready to deliver and something bad happened. I didn’t know what it was but it felt awful, it was bad and I got scared. Solomon had flipped over in my tummy and was ‘sunny side up’ at that point which was concerning to the doctor as well. He just said he’s facing the wrong direction so it will be a more difficult delivery to push him out naturally and I would have to work extra hard. I don’t remember all the details but I know I was put on oxygen though they had me flipping from side to side to get a different angle to get him un-stuck so he could get out. I was scared and it seemed like everything was falling apart so quickly, I had no idea what was going on, I was exhausted and all done pushing already (weenie, it hadn’t been long at all) but I had been doing it wrong. Once they got me to tuck my chin and hold my legs, Solomon flipped over on the way out and popped right out with the cord wrapped around his neck. He was a scary shade of blue and didn’t scream right away, that’s when Bo got really scared as well. It didn’t take long for him to take his first breath and pink up and we were good to go! I remember a few hours later when we were in the recovery room after I had the chance to take a shower, clean up and get in a clean room, I did not feel good at all. So much so that I wouldn’t even hold Solomon and I couldn’t sit up on my own. We hadn’t realized that I had been continuing to bleed profusely even after having pitocin & another post delivery medication to help stop bleeding. They hopped into emergency mode again and gave me shots of something to clot the blood and clamp the uterus and got me cleaned up again. It wasn’t until the next day that I felt well enough to even hold Solomon. He was born at 10pm on my sisters birthday, the nurse was right! Hahaha. Thanks again to Sara with  The Blessed Everyday Photography for the amazing photos that captured every moment of his birth for us to remember forever! This is one proud daddy…. again. The best photos I have from both sets of photos Sara took for our births were of Bos proud look when he sees his boys for the first time. It’s so sweet.

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Moses Birth Story

12/26/2016

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Moses was born on August 1st, 2013. (I’m a little behind on blogging) :) I was 38 weeks pregnant and woke up very early that morning to an excruciating headache and the sound of my blood pressure ‘wooshing’ loudly in my ears. I woke Bo up, told him something was wrong and asked him to call in sick to work so we could be seen. My parents came over to the house before Elijah even woke and we headed to the hospital. My blood pressure was too high at the hospital and I had some signs of pre-eclampsia as I had with Elijah as well so we spent the day walking around the outside of St Elizabeth hospital in Enumclaw trying to walk myself into labor so I wouldn’t have to be induced like I was with Elijah. I can’t even count the number of stairs we walked up and down, round and round that day. It was a long day. We finally got released to go home around 9pm that night so we stopped  by McDonalds to get breakfast/lunch/dinner on our way home since neither of us had eaten anything all day long. We got home, I took a shower, Bo rearranged the living room furniture and put the couch square in front of the TV so we could sit down, relax, eat and veg out in front of a tv show. I think by the time we got our food, got home, showered and collapsed on the couch to eat and relax it was midnight.  As soon we sat down, contractions started. Fast and strong. We shoveled in as much food as we could and headed back for the hospital. We went right up to the birth unit, got checked in, settled and were all ready to go! We labored all night long (even some in the tub which I hated at the time) and delivered Moses in the morning! Everything went smoothly until the very end when it got a bit hectic and scary and I was put on oxygen and they were trying to monitor him more closely. I remember getting scared right at the end knowing it wasn’t going how it was supposed to go but Dr. Merrill and his staff remained calm, patient and stern with me with what they needed and we had our desired birth with no medical intervention.  Special thank you goes to Sara with The Blessed Everyday Photography for the amazing photographs documenting Moses birth. She captured the actual feelings and special moments of his arrival and it amazes me that when I look back on these pictures, they take my breath away and take me back to those exact moments with the feelings of exactly what was happening in that moment. I’m so thankful for these to remember forever. I wish I could remember more but I’m in a hurry to get caught up with my late blogging  so maybe I’ll add more later as I remember more. :)

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Hello Fresh Delivery Review

A friend of mine sent me a free code to try the Hello Fresh meal delivery service. I was super excited to give it a try and signed up when there were a couple of dairy/egg free meals coming up so Moses could eat them too. I chose the Family box for 2 meals per week which would normally cost $79.95/week to have delivered to your home. My cost was $0 with the free coupon. Delivery is included in their weekly fee. It’s a subscription based service where you chose how often you want delivery, etc. It’s not quite in our budget to do this regularly but for free, I’m certainly happy to give it a try! I was very excited when this box showed up on my porch Monday morning! I wasn’t sure which of the recipes I was going to get so it’s a bit of a gamble but they both looked delicious to me. Here are the contents inside the box as I opened it up. 
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The first recipe was Apricot glazed chicken. I’ve never made apricot anything so I was excited to try this one. 
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This was inside the smaller individual meal box. The flyer that came gave detailed instructions on how to prepare the meals and a time frame for how long it will take. The chicken meal
stated  it would be 10 min of prep, 30 min total. Ha. That must be for an experienced chef. Here we go: 
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The 10 min prep of wash/dry veggies, peel & chop carrots and chop potatoes too me a half hour. 
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Ready to roast… This was the first time I’ve ever cooked with fresh Thyme. Stripping the leaves off…. No thanks. I even Youtube’d instructions on the quick & easy way to do this and still failed miserably. It took me way too long and I gave up midway through and actually sprinkled a little of the ground Thyme I had on hand in the cupboard on the potatoes because it was taking way too long. 
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I was supposed to have a pan that I could sear the chicken in then put it in the oven but I don’t own a pan that I can use on the stove and put into the oven as well. I might want to get something like that in the future. 
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The recipe only called to strip the leave off 1/2 the Thyme. I may have misread them because this sauce is not how their ‘glaze’ looked in the picture. Also, it was a soup not a glaze that thickened up. Mine never thickened up. I ended up digging out the thyme stems and discarding those. The glaze (soup) was so delicious! I could have eaten it with a spoon. I may have…. 
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The end result was gorgeous and smelled delicious. It tasted even better than it looked and smelled! I will keep this recipe for sure and do it again!

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I have to be honest though… This is how I actually served the meal………..   :)

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The second meal was a lemongrass beef stir fry. Also yum. I did much better on the prep portion of this one keeping on time even though I had a baby at foot yanking on my pants. I had never seen lemongrass before and had no idea what it was or how to use it. I’m glad the instructions included how to peel and use it or I would have cut the whole thing up like a scallion and eaten the whole thing which I assume, would have been very tough. I also ended up slicing the steak into thinner strips to make it easier for the kids to eat. This meal was also delicious and I will keep the recipe to make again. 
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We have  leftover rice tonight which I just threw a can of diced tomatoes on and black beans with some chia seeds, groound flax & hemp hearts of course with some salt & pepper, ground thyme, oregano & cumin. We’ll see how that turns out to fill little tummies.

Overall, I loved the service. .The meals were so delicious, not something I would have made just picking a recipe off the internet. The food was fresh, I love that it’s pre measured for the recipes already and got me out of our food rut for 2 days. Loved it!

Next week, I’ll have something different to review & share with you!

My First Stitch Fix!!

I have seen so many of my friends trying out this new ‘Stitch Fix‘ thing and have been intrigued. I hate shopping with a passion and won’t even attempt to go try on clothes while toting around 3 kids so I thought this may be a decent option for me. It’s more than I would normally spend on clothes, but I want to create one of those capsule wardrobes (a very minimal wardrobe made of a few key pieces I can mix and match to create endless outfits) and I believe that you get what you pay for so if I spend a bit more on a piece of quality clothing, hopefully it will fit well, feel great, look fantastic and last me a while. I have paid good money for CAbi clothing before and kept/wore those items for 10+ years so I know good quality can really last and stay in style. I plan to try CAbi again soon as well, keep your eyes peeled for a home party invite for that! :) Although I haven’t attempted to lose the baby weight yet and I assumed nothing would fit, I missed the reschedule deadline to push the date back (again) so I’ve got my first box. What do you think?

Even the box is cute! I am already excited to receive another one of these in the mail.

Even the box is cute!
Even the box is cute!

They sent me a pair of boyfriend jeans. I would never try these on in the store for a variety of reasons but I love them! Normally, I think jeans that get skinny at the ankles make me look like a carrot and I can’t stand that look yet I see other women wearing them all the time and they look great, even some plus size women. I don’t feel that these ones do that to me. I’ve also never had pants that roll up before but I like that too, it’s a casual feel. They are a bit too snug right now but I like them enough that I’ve decided to keep them as a reward for working off a few pounds. I think they will look great… soon… They give me motivation to keep getting on the elliptical machine, I just finally started doing that this past week. I’m only about 4 months late getting a start on exercising.

Kut from the Kloth - Kate Boyfriend Jean $78
Kut from the Kloth – Kate Boyfriend Jean $78

I love the color and print on this turquoise tank top but the fabric is just a little thin and clingy, I don’t like the unfinished collar and the ruching on only 1 side looks funny to me when I put it on.

Pixley - Montgomery Chevron Cross-Front Top $48.00
Pixley – Montgomery Chevron Cross-Front Top $48.00

This is another item I wouldn’t chose to try on in a store but I think I would actually like it, if I could get it on. Hahaha. Nope, couldn’t do it. I don’t remember what the fabric was but there was no give to it at all and already being a voluptuous lady, it’s even more so now that I’m nursing.

Fun2Fun - Sonoma Striped Sleeveless Top $38.00
Fun2Fun – Sonoma Striped Sleeveless Top $38.00

This gray looking shirt was another shirt that had no give and again, I could not get over my chest. It looks gray in this picture which I would like if it were actually that color but it’s more of a washed out, pale purple that I’m not really fond of.

41Hawthorn - Carla Crochet Detail Blouse $58
41Hawthorn – Carla Crochet Detail Blouse $58

Another piece I would never try on in the store. I love the sleeve length and detail of the buttons on the sleeves on this one. Sadly, the buttons on the front look like the are going to pop off when I put the shirt on. Hahaha. The colors are a bit washed out on this one as well which I just don’t really like.

Pixley - Edminod Henley Knit Top $54.00
Pixley – Edminod Henley Knit Top $54.00

Although not everything fits and I don’t like it all, I still loved my first ‘fix’ experience and can’t wait to try it again! If you have been considering this, give it a try! I even took my box to my friends house and opened it with her so we went through it together which certainly made it more fun. Use this referral link and lets go through your box together too!

All Stitch Fix Pieces

 

Click here for the referral link.