Over the holidays, Matthew and I talked about finishing the bedroom in the basement for Turner before the baby arrived. Of course, the next day, I started creating an inspiration board for Turner’s big boy space. I wanted it to be modern, with pops of bright color. I wanted it to start as a dinosaur room (his current obsession), but able to evolve with him, especially if we’re in this house with our third baby. With a few changes, it can be easily transitioned for him and Grey to share the space.
This inspiration board was also the inspiration for Turner’s birthday party theme on my last post. I love the way the black, white, gray and lime look together! It was very important to me for there to be lots of storage space for toys and books that are currently spread all over the floor of our family room. Haha! My favorite elements are the lime green bug lamp and lime accent storage bench from Ikea, the wall hanging, and those triangle shaped display shelves. I'm almost more excited to decorate this room than I am the nursery. Almost.
This mama is nesting big time and I’m hoping we can pull it all together before Grey arrives! I’ll keep you posted. What other elements do you think are necessities for Turner’s big boy room?? Let me know in the comments below!
Since A Dash of Salter is coming up on it's first birthday, I thought it would be fitting to share my first blog post. It wasn't at all how I wanted to begin my blog, but I felt the need to share my experience and changed perspective of motherhood. Turner's first Fourth of July didn't go anything like we had hoped it would.
"My first post on my blog was originally about the inspiration behind starting a blog. However, our holiday weekend didn’t quite go as planned.
On the fourth, my parents had invited us over for a family breakfast. My dad took orders from the grill and served us a delicious pancake, bacon, egg, and sausage breakfast. We spent time there playing games and chatting with my siblings. Around 2 p.m. we left to spend some time at my in-law’s house before our BBQ dinner. We arrived there and I started to take Turner out of his car seat. Somewhat distracted, having done this a thousand times, I unbuckled him and pulled him out. He suddenly went from happy anticipation to hysterical tears. I instantly knew he was hurt. I just didn’t know where, or how it happened. I thought maybe I had pinched him somewhere. I sat down on the couch and cradled him in my arms attempting to sooth him, but when I moved he only began to cry harder and louder. I had no idea what was wrong. Then I started to notice that he wouldn’t move his right arm. I slowly bent his wrist, and other parts of his arm only to see him become more upset. I couldn’t figure it out. Matthew started moving it and tried to pinpoint where the pain was coming from. We had a feeling that something had been dislocated, but couldn’t be completely sure.
My heart was tearing in two at this point. What had I done? How did I hurt my son? I was praying that he would stop crying and that he would start moving his arm again. Matthew’s father suggested we give him a priesthood blessing. Promptly after the blessing we felt calm. We knew that a doctor should see him. We hopped in the car and drove to the closest InstaCare, which was the IHC in Layton. After checking in and being told of a 75-85 minute wait, we called McKay Dee Hospital to see what the ER wait times were like. They had 17 rooms available, so we hopped back in the car and on our way to Ogden. At our arrival we were helped and back in the ER in under 5 minutes. My anxiety was at its peak. I couldn’t take seeing Turner in pain any longer. The doctor came in and we briefly discussed what had happened and our concerns. She took Turner’s injured arm and rotated it carefully. Then she moved his forearm back towards his bicep and said she felt a distinct pop. Turner let out a short cry of pain and then slowly calmed down. She suggested we give him a toy to grab to see if he would move his arm. I got his ball from his diaper bag, put it within reach, and he grabbed it and started moving his arm around like normal.
Words cannot describe how relieved and happy I was in that moment. Our son was okay! No more tears! No broken bones! No surgery! No medicine! He was back to his happy, smiling self. I was overjoyed! And yet, I couldn’t seem to forgive myself for causing him that pain in the first place. It wasn’t on purpose and I still couldn’t let go of the guilt for being careless in that moment. Seeing him in pain was worse than I ever could have imagined. Driving home from the ER, after a visit totaled at 20 minutes, I started to come to the realization that this was the first time I saw him in pain, but it won’t be the last time. I started to understand how loving someone so deeply can also cause you the most heartache. Because watching my son suffer, it was more than I could handle. I began to feel an inkling of what Heavenly Father felt when his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, suffered through the atonement.
I now know that unconditional love also comes with heart wrenching pain. Pain that you could never expect, but is necessary. When you truly love someone you hurt when they hurt, you cry when they cry, and you smile when they smile. Nothing could be more accurate about the way I love our son, Turner. I have never truly empathized for anyone in the way I do for him. That bond between a parent and child is nothing like I had anticipated, and infinitely more fulfilling.
I am grateful for a Savior who suffered so that I could experience motherhood. He died so that I could make mistakes and be forgiven. He is the ultimate example of empathy, for He felt every pain, sorrow, and happiness I will ever experience. Through Him I can become clean and be with my family forever. Everything in the world would mean nothing to me without my husband and my son by my side.
Through Christ I have true freedom.
Freedom from darkness.
Freedom from sin.
Freedom from loneliness in the life to come.
That is why this Fourth of July I celebrate Him."
That experience still has a powerful impact on me today and has deeply strengthened my testimony of my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. As traumatizing as that experience was, I'm grateful for the tender lesson it taught me. I'm grateful for the freedom I enjoy to express my beliefs, to live in this country, to have liberty and justice in a nation under God. Let us always remember those who have paid the price for our freedoms and live our lives freely in gratitude for their service.
Happy Fourth, everyone!
Live, love and be free.
I've been wanting to post the birth story on my blog for some time now. It was such an amazing, traumatizing, and crazy experience. I didn't really understand how truly crazy it was until I heard my husband talk about his experience. I'm going to do my best to share a mixture of my side and my husband's side with you, and for future reminiscing when I think about having another one.
Two years ago today, on April 29th, I was anxiously waiting in the living room thinking about the result I might see on a pregnancy test on our bathroom counter. We had been trying to get pregnant since the beginning of the month, and had already been disappointed with several negative pregnancy test results. We were pretty impatient, but I hadn't started my monthly menstruation, and it was supposed to start the previous day.
I'll never forget the moment when Matthew and I opened our eyes to see that double line. We were going to be parents! WE WERE HAVING A BABY! I was instantly in tears.
My pregnancy was a little rough at first, but I couldn't complain. I was growing a tiny human inside of me. I was so awestruck and perfectly content. I also craved lots of meat and potatoes. Tater tots, DAILY. No joke. I only threw up a total of 6 times and they were all during my transition between the first and second trimester.
I wanted our first to be a boy, but would've loved a girl to dress up and cover in frills. At our 20 week ultrasound, we found out it was a BOY. Right in that moment we knew his name would be Turner. Turner Glen Salter. I couldn't wait to snuggle that little one and his perfect little features.
As Turner's due date, January 8th, grew closer and closer I became desperate to do whatever it took to hold him for the first time and see his sweet face. Several days before my due date, my mom and sister convinced me to take castor oil to try to induce labor. I thought it was really going to work! I went to the hospital and was told I was dilated at a 1 and they would only admit me if I was at 3 cm. So for an hour I walked around the hospital, in pain, praying that this would work. Well, it didn't induce labor, just lots of painfully coupled contractions and diarrhea. (TMI, sorry) After that experience I was not trying any other voodoo to get Turner to come. He would come when he was ready.
At 11 pm on January 8th (punctual little guy) I woke up to a very strong contraction. I went back to sleep, and an hour later I woke up to another strong contraction. I decided to get up and walk. I must have circle the kitchen 100 times. I bounced on my exercise ball, but the contractions didn't seem to be getting stronger or faster, so I went back to bed. At 3 am my contractions were even stronger and getting closer together.
The pain was enough that I convinced Matthew to take me to the hospital. Unfortunately, it was the same drill. I was still only 1 cm and they would only admit me if I was at 3 cm. I was miserable. I couldn't lay down, sit down, or walk comfortably. I have a very low pain tolerance, and I was thinking lots of negative thoughts about my ability to give birth. An hour later they sent us home and I cried the whole way.
Once we were home I took some tylenol and sat down on the couch to try and get some more rest. I was walking up every 30 minutes to even stronger contractions lasting for 30 seconds. I was literally screaming into my pillow. By 9:30 am my contractions were probably closer to 8 minutes apart and lasting from 30 seconds to a minute. Matthew decided it was time to take me back to the hospital.
As soon as we got there the nurse checked me and said I was at 3 cm. My first words were, "You mean, I can stay?" The nurse laughed and said we were staying. I then proceeded to say, "How soon can I get the epidural?" The nurse reassured me that I could get medication as soon as we were in the delivery room. As soon as I was settled in the anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural. He was a miracle worker. I hardly felt a thing. As long as I kept pushing that button I was a happy camper. Until I forgot to push it of course. I was in so much pain for those few minutes they called back in the anesthesiologist to give me another dose. That guy was incredible. No wonder he gets paid the BIG BUCKS.
Now, I was Group B Strep positive. For those of you who don't know, it basically means I carry a bacteria that is harmful to babies if they are born vaginally. Luckily they have figured out that having penicillin in your system for 4 hours before birth protects the child for getting sick. That meant I had to wait 4 hours to give birth to my son. At 2 p.m. they started a second dose of penicillin and broke my water. For a couple hours we patiently waited for Turner to descend and for the doctor's okay to start pushing.
At 4 p.m. my doctor told me to start pushing. She was convinced that it would only take 30-45 minutes, and my son would be born before her on call shift ended at 5. Well, her shift came and went (she had been working for 36 hours) and so another doctor came in to finish the job. She would stretch me as I pushed and I would see progress in the mirror, and then she would leave for 30-45 minutes. I was doing my best with the nurse in between visits by the doctor, but I wasn't seeing any progress when the doctor wasn't stretching me.
After 3 or 4 cycles of that process, nurses started to put ice on my neck and give me additional antibiotics. Supposedly they told me I had a fever, but I don't remember hearing it. I was also given an episiotomy. The doctor told me that Turner had an abrasion on his head because of all the pushing and that it would only get worse if they used the vacuum. So my options were to push my very hardest and get him out now, or we were going to run and do a c-section. I had been pushing for 4 hours, and I did NOT want all of my work to be for not. I turned into the Hulk and I scream and pushed as hard as I could.
That's when I finally felt each part of Turner's body descending out of mine. It was a series of strange and satisfying pops. One for his head, another for his shoulders, then his bum and his legs. I was bleeding, A LOT. Matthew was sure that the baby and I weren't going to make it. His mom was in the room, noticing his distress she comforted him and told him this was normal.
They showed me Turner's little face and I instantly broke down into incoherent sobs. "He's so beautiful!", I said through my tears. Matthew cut the cord, which he considered a very unpleasant experience and probably won't do it again. They set him on the scale and took his measurements. 8 lbs. 1 oz. and 20 inches! Born on January 9th at 8:32 p.m. They let me hold him briefly before taking him for his first bath. I was in love. The nurses and my husband rushed Turner off to clean him up while I was being stitched up due to that fact I had ripped on one side. It seemed to take ages and I was anxiously waiting to hold my son again.
When they brought him back in he was in a diaper, a tiny little hat, and swaddled in a blanket. They unwrapped him and put him on my chest. He almost instantly fell asleep, I could hear a slight snort as he slept. He had Matthew's chin. A little baby dimple chin. I was feeling pure bliss and joy. He was finally here, in my arms, and I knew he was mine. A precious spirit sent from heaven above. He latched on to eat for about 15 minutes on each side, and then they took him to the TLC Nursery to keep an eye on him while they got me settled into my postpartum room.
A couple hours later they brought him to my room for me to feed him. He nursed for a while and told me he would need to be fed again in four hours, then they wheeled him back to the nursery. A couple hours passed and a nurse came in our room. I was confused because it wasn't time for a feeding yet, but the nurse began to tell us that Turner had turned blue in the nursery. Not once, but twice! They immediately took him to the NICU and put him on oxygen. He was doing well, but I couldn't see him for two more hours. They insisted I go back to sleep and they would call me before his next feeding.
I sobbed. My poor baby. Would he have stopped breathing if he had been here with me? I was so exhausted, physically, mentally, emotionally. I said a prayer that he would be alright, and then I fell back asleep. At 4 a.m. the nurse came in to take me to the NICU. I let Matthew sleep because I knew he was exhausted. The wheelchair ride across the hospital was extremely uncomfortable, but I wanted to be with Turner so badly I didn't care.
I signed in at the front desk and they took me to my son. My heart sank as I saw him laying there with oxygen tubes in his nose and monitors coming from his chest and feet. There were cords everywhere and it made it almost impossible to hold him. They suggested I try to nurse him, but he was having such a hard time breathing he couldn't latch on properly. I held him there and I sobbed. I felt completely helpless and alone. I called for the nurse and she warmed him a bottle of formula. I fed him until he fell asleep, and then I asked them to call a nurse who could take me back to my room.
In 24 hours he was off of oxygen and saline, he was nursing and eating better, and the tests had yet to come back with any signs of infection. Unfortunately, the culture they did wouldn't show signs of infection until the day after we we're supposed to leave the hospital. We were going to have to pay to stay another night, or go home without him. My swelling had decreased dramatically and I was ready to sleep in a REAL bed. How could I leave my son here, though? Why couldn't he come home with me? I knew he was in good hands and that he would be taken care of at the NICU in the hospital. They promised to call if anything were to happen. We saw him as we checked out of our room and promised to come see him in the morning.
That night we slept like LOGS. It was much needed, but as soon as I woke up I wanted to get ready to go see Turner. We got dressed, ate breakfast, and drove to the hospital. We went to the NICU and the doctor was waiting for us at Turner's usual spot. He had some good news for us! Turner was doing great, he was gaining weight, he was breathing fine, and the culture had come back NEGATIVE! And then he said, "You can take him home, right now!" It was sweet music to my ears. I couldn't contain my happiness! I cried and hugged my husband. Our son was coming home with us. Our healthy baby boy was coming home! We changed him into his "going home" outfit, buckled him in his carseat and we went home together. Our little family together forever from that day forward. The happiest day of my life.
(DISCLAIMER: The photos in this post were taken by my sister, Malinda Designs Photography, during labor and delivery. They are not to be viewed by the faint of heart.)