Monday, December 9, 2013

Tess Merrilyn VanBibber

I haven't blogged in forever, how sad! Now that we have a new member of the family, I am hoping to change my ways! I say "hoping" because before Tess was born, I had some twisted idea in my mind that I would have so much free time after she arrived. How very wrong I was!

I love birth stories. I love reading/hearing about people's experiences with bringing in new life. Birth truly is a beautiful thing. So... I've decided to share ours.

Tess was due on November 4th. November 4th came and went, with no baby. I had a feeling that she would be late, so I wasn't TOO anxious when she didn't arrive that day. However, day after day went by with no signs of baby arriving. I tried all the "tricks" to get labor started. I walked and ran, yes ran (not a pretty sight). I ate spicy foods, I tried massage, I ate certain foods, and nothing worked. I went to my Doctor's appointment a few days after Tess was due. He checked everything out and said I had not progressed from my previous appointments a few weeks earlier. I wasn't even dilated enough to have my membranes stripped. He suggested that I schedule an induction date, and hope that she came before then. That's just what we did. I scheduled the induction for the 12th, and thought there was no way i'd actually have to be induced. The 12th came, and there was still no sign of Tess.

We arrived at the hospital around 7:00 pm.To start, I was 75% effaced and dilated to a 1.  They got my IV in, hooked me up to the monitors, and started me on the meds. I started having contractions right away. At first I could barely feel them, then they began to get stronger and more regular. Pretty soon they were 2 minutes apart. I was getting tired already! I felt like I was getting no rest in between the contractions. This went on for hours. At 4:00 am the nurse came in to check my progression. I was just sure I was getting close to delivery... Nope. She informed me that I was at a 90% and still at a 1. I wanted to die! All those contractions with barely any progression. They told me they'd just let things keep going as they were, and that my doctor would call in a few hours to check in. Justin and I got absolutely no sleep that night. Around 8:00 am my contractions began to slow down, and the doctor said I needed to get started on the strong stuff... Pitocin. If I thought my contractions were painful before, boy was in for a surprise. I labored with the Pit for a few hours and my doctor came in to check me. I told him that if I hadn't progressed I was going to cry. After he checked me he cringed and said " Try not to kick me when I tell you this..." I had not progressed at all! I was true to my word; I cried. My doctor said he would come back in a while to break my water, and hopefully that would move things along. Originally, I had wanted a natural, unmedicated birth. However, after laboring all night with no sleep, and then to have the doctor tell me i'd made no progression, I lost it! I cried again to Justin and told him I didn't think I could do it without an epidural. Around 3:00 pm on November 13th, my water finally broke on it's own. My contractions were crazy intense! I told the nurse to get the anesthesiologist because I needed an epidural right away. He came, and gave me the epi. I cannot tell you how good that felt. I was a changed woman, cracking jokes and smiling! I started to progress quickly after that. Before I knew it, it was time to push! I had THE worst heartburn ever, and kept asking if they could give me some TUMS. The nurse told me no, and the best way to get rid of my heartburn was to get the baby out.  I was so tired I didn't know if I'd be able to do it, but the human body is an amazing thing.The excitement of knowing I was minutes away from meeting our baby, (and that once she came out my heartburn would be gone) was enough to give me the strength to push. Justin was an amazing support, and there is no way I could have done it without him. What a champ!

I will never forget the moment I held Tess for the first time. She was so soft and tiny, but had a nice set of lungs! Even though I was just seeing her for the first time, I felt as if I had known her forever. My heart absolutely melted when I was able to hold her, smell her, and touch her tiny little fingers and toes.

My amazing Mama was able to come to the hospital a few hours after Tess was born. She stayed the night with us so Justin could go home and get some sleep (He had to work the next day). Tess was wide awake and my Mom held her all night long. I was so grateful to have her there to help me, and teach me how to be a Mama. Tess and I were both doing well, and we got to go home the next day.

I was in labor for just under 24 hours. Tess was born at 6:53 pm on 11/13/13. She was 7lbs 11 oz. She perfectly healthy, and we love her to pieces!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Change is harrrrrrrd.

Who likes change? I mean REALLY likes it? Okay, I get how change can be for the better, and can make you happier in the long run; but while it's happening, change gets two thumbs down in my book. It is sooooo hard. I have had a lot of changes within the past few months; within the past while actually. Marriage, moving twice (coast to coast), starting a new business WITH my hubby (tough on the romance), new faces, new people, new responsibilities; you get the picture. It's sad to say, but I've had a bad attitude about life lately. I'm not satisfied with the me I am right now. I realize that I can't keep placing the blame on these changes anymore. I've got to.... here's that word again... CHANGE myself. Yipes! It's not going to be easy folks, it's just not. I've compiled a list of goals for me, and for anyone else struggling with this. These goals are going to help push us up the hill of change, slide down to the other side, and land in a place called "contentment".

  • Be kind to yourself. Push out those negative thoughts that tell you you're not good enough. You deserve happiness. Stand up to the bully in your own mind.
  • Be passionate. Find something you love to do. Don't be afraid to try new things, failure does not exist in your mind anymore.
  • Don't wait for others to make you happy. It is not the job of a husband, wife, friend, parent, sibling, or pet to make you happy, it's yours.
  • Go for a run, jog, or walk. You won't regret it, I promise. Push yourself a little; make yourself proud.
  • Let go of the past. Not only the bad, but the good too. Don't get lost in yesteryear. Cherish sweet memories, but don't wish to go back. Instead, plan to make memories today, and choose to be happy.
  • Last of all: fake it til you make it. Change is hard, it takes time. It will not happen right away, so smile when you feel like crying, laugh at your mistakes, and keep pushing forward.
Ready.... set...... GO!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Dreams Do Come True!

Okay, I brag about my husband a lot, but I can't help it! He truly is the best thing that has ever happened to me! Let me tell you a little story of how he made my Easter dreams come true.

Earlier this month Justin and I were at the grocery store and noticed all of the Easter stuff out. I got a sad look on my face as I told him this would be my very first year without an Easter egg hunt (Funny, I know. My mom does one every year, even for the big kids!). I didn't say anything else about it after that. Then last night as we were going to sleep I jokingly asked him if the Easter bunny was going to visit us. He just laughed it off, and so did I.  My alarm woke me up this morning. I rubbed my sleepy eyes and sat up. I was shocked at what I saw... an Easter Basket! It had all of my favorite candy in it too! I looked around and noticed a few little Easter eggs peeping out at me. I excitedly woke Justin up. He pretended like he didn't know what was going on. I was so excited and started running around our apartment looking for Easter eggs.

The candy was delicious, but nothing could compare to the sweetness of Justin's surprise. I know it's so cheesy, but that's just who we are. And he makes me so, so happy!

Our Easter baskets. Well, Justin's is a bowl... but hey, it works!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Life. It can change in an instant. It is mysterious and full of endless choices. It can be challenging and demanding. But life is wonderful. I have to remind myself of that every now and then. Justin and I thought we had our life planned out for the next five years, funny, I know. Because just when you think you've got it all outlined, things change. I can't go into much detail, but we found out this week, that at the end of June we will be leaving Boston.
We were both filled with such mixed emotions. We were planning on, and were emotionally attached to the idea of staying here and "starting our lives." I was kind of struggling with the idea of moving again because I was finally feeling comfortable here, and it was starting to feel like home. However, after a while I started to contemplate about what home really was. I realized that my home will always be wherever Justin is, and that everything else will work itself out (at the expense of Justin's nerves ;) ).
So, Justin and I have decided to enjoy our last few months here in Boston. I feel like I appreciate each day a little bit more. I look for more beauty around me, I try to be a bit more social because I know I will probably never see the people I know here ever again. In a way, I feel like I am living life more fully. My entire perspective of my daily life has been transformed, and I am grateful.

Out and about, enjoying nature!

Love this Guy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
- Marcel Proust

November. What a special month! I am grateful for the opportunity this month provides me to be able to look at my many blessings and realize what an amazing gift life is. During this month of thanksgiving, I have been contemplating on the things which bring me the most joy in my life. I am extremely grateful for my parents, my siblings and their children, and for extended relatives and friends. I am grateful for shelter, clothing, food, and my job. I am grateful for my beliefs, and for my Savior. These are blessings I have been grateful to count in past years. This year however, I get to add something new to my grateful list. That new item is... Justin.

I don't know if I believe in the whole concept of "soulmates", but I do believe that I was meant to be with Justin. The timing on our relationship, and our past experiences, were just too perfect to be coincidence. Throughout the years in my life, I felt as if someone were out there, in the world, waiting for me. I grew, gained some hard life experinces, and after some major heartache and  bumps in the road, I found Justin. I had a very strong feeling about him, and knew he was the person I had been waiting for.  I am so grateful for him. He truly is the man of my dreams and my best friend. He is wonderful, and I know if I searched the world over, I would never find anyone like him. He is a real man. And no, I don't mean this in the sense that he is of the male gender and over the age of eighteen. I mean that he treats me with respect, he is honorable and kind, and stands up for what is right. I am so blessed to share my life with him.

To sum it up, this November I am grateful for love. I am grateful for love in all forms, but especially love in marriage. There is nothing to compare to it, and nothing quite as wonderful as finding the one you feel you are supposed to be with. Sometimes I am filled with so much happiness and love that I want to be like Buddy the Elf and shout at the top of my lungs: "I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!" Lucky me!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Beginnings

Welcome to our blog!

In honor of our 6 month anniversary, I have decided to jump on the bandwagon and start a blog! But where to start? How do you wrap up over six months in one post? The answer is: you don't. This blog is, for the most part, a record for Justin and myself. I am not into scrapbooking, so I am hoping this will be a good way to document and remember our lives (IF I keep this up!). I am sure that whoever is reading this knows us, and has some background information on our lives, but if not, here is the Reader's Digest version.

Justin and I fell in love and then got married on April 16th, 2011. We live in Boston MA, where Justin is finishing his residency to become a pediatric dentist. He will be finished next June. Our plan is to move west again to start up his practice.We love it here in Boston and have had so many adventures. Although, we don't love being so far away from family and friends. We also loathe the traffic here. We calculated that over two hours of our day is wasted in traffic... sick! Besides the traffic, this area has so much to offer. We love the sports, museums, concerts, entertainment, dining etc. that is just dangling at our fingertips.

Anyway, this is it. I am excited to get cracking! It will be nice to have something to work on while Justin is drooling over his fantasy football stats... Love you baby! Here's to the next 70 years!