Sep 28, 2017


On Sept 25, I got a fever of 101. They told me that if I got a fever over 100, I had to go into the hospital immediately. I was at very high risk of infection and my life would be in danger. I called Rhoda, she came and got me, and we went in.

They took me to labor and delivery. They said I had to deliver the baby. I was at too much risk. I asked how they knew I had an infection, what if I was just sick? I told them Caleb had not been feeling well and maybe he just got me sick. They said the would run some tests, they drew lots of blood, and they would call Dr. Jason.

They put me in a delivery room, gave me lots of Tylenol and said I would have to deliver in the next day. They got blood work back and my white blood cells were going up. They drew them days before and they were normal, and now they were high. All signs pointed to infection and I wasn't safe.

They did another ultrasound and the baby looked the same. He was still alive, really low fluid, and that was about all they could tell me.

I got a blessing, Caleb, Trevor and Rhoda were all there. I just still couldn't believe I was going to be forced to deliver this baby.

Dr. Jason said to wait, he didn't think I needed to deliver right away. He said to wait for the cultures to come back to confirm infection, and keep watching the white blood cells.

A day later, the white blood cells went down, and my fever broke.

The next day, they let me go home. Again, with strong warnings about my life, and what signs to look for. But once again, I escaped without delivery, and this baby was a few days older. I would take every day I could get at this point.

Sep 21, 2017

Dr. Jason

I am still pregnant and made it up to the specialist on 9/20. Dr. Jason sent me for a new ultrasound and the senographer couldn't really read the fluid levels because they were too low to measure. But she could see the baby was alive. She couldn't find the hematoma, but she couldn't find much of anything. She got pretty frustrated and tried many times before she sent us back to the doctor.

I had Kim, my friend and neighbor come with me. I should have probably brought Caleb, but he had to work and I wasn't sure they would tell me anything new anyway. Dr. Jason was awesome. He had so much more information than anyone else. He spoke to Kim and I for an hour and went over all the conditions, the plan from here forward, what could happen, what may not happen, and gave us a wealth of information.

He said he was more optimistic than when they called him two days ago when I was in the hospital. He said the fluid levels were about the same, so that's good. I didn't lose all my fluid, and the baby had enough that he was still alive. He said it's unlikely I will ever have more, but if I could keep this amount, he baby may live.

We need to make it to 24 weeks. I can stay home until then, and just take it super easy. Not complete bed rest, but no real walking or doing anything either. I can shower, use the bathroom, get water, change positions, but not go anywhere.

So I go in every week for ultrasounds, and try and make it to 24 weeks. My next appointment with him needs to be with Caleb. It will be on October 18, right before I am 24 weeks. At that point, if I make it, I will be hospitalized in Portland until the baby is born. The baby is likely to have many serious health conditions and needs to be in the hospital and NICU immediately for awhile.

Back home I go, more waiting.

Sep 19, 2017

Water broke

I was still waiting for my appointment with the specialist and on 9/17, something changed. I felt sick all day, I skipped church and stayed home. I was just not feeling well. That night Caleb and I were laying in bed and I sat up with bad cramping. I stood up and there was blood everywhere, down to the floor, through my clothes. I went to the bathroom and it just poured out of me. Every time I tried to go back to bed, I leaked through my clothes. Caleb got towels, and eventually a bucket, there was so much blood. I called the nurse again and she said to go straight to the hospital. So once again, I called Rhoda and she met me there. This time I was 19 weeks pregnant and they called labor and delivery who got me right in for an ultrasound. After that test, they transferred me to labor and delivery where I met an actual OBGYN who read my ultrasound and said that my amniotic fluid was really low. He had me do a test and sure enough, they found that I was leaking fluid and my water broke. They suspect that the hematoma ripped it because it was so big and in the way of everything. They put me in a delivery room and told me I needed to deliver the baby. The baby can't survive without fluid, the likelihood of regaining fluid after this much loss was unlikely. I told them I couldn't make that decision without talking to Caleb. They also said they would double check with the specialist in Portland who had not seen me yet, but had reviewed my case. So I needed to stay the night and wait until after 8 am. The doctors last words to me were "I'm not optimistic, I am sorry. You shouldn't be either". The nurse who came in to the room had a sad frowning face and kept telling me how sorry she was. She spoke to me as if the baby was already dead. It was a very surreal moment and I was trying to take it all in.

Caleb and I both agreed that we couldn't terminate the pregnancy. The baby had zero likelihood of surviving at 19 weeks. I just had an ultrasound hours before that showed he was still alive, so how could I force him out? I didn't want to make the decision. If he couldn't survive, he wouldn't, and I would deal with that when it happens. But for now, he was alive, and I was not in labor.

There was a doctor shift change at the hospital after 8 am, so I had a new doctor who came in. I recognized him because he delivered Calvin. He also is LDS. I told him how I felt, and he said he would not make me deliver. He said he will talk to the specialist and get back to me. After he consulted the specialist, he said he would let me go home. He said that I was at very high risk of infection, sepsis, and miscarriage. There was a good chance I would deliver the baby in the next day or two, and likely at home, but I could go home.

I got instructions from my nurse, and a take home bag with supplies in it to catch the baby after he was born. They told me it would feel like I needed to use the bathroom. Just hold the baby against my stomach, don't try and deliver the placenta, and call 911. They said the infection risk is very high so call for transport immediately. They said it would take 1-2 days before the baby would likely either be born or pass. I grabbed my home delivery kit as my girlfriend Britni showed up to give me a ride home. I think she was in just as much shock as me having to hear all of that. But I was glad that I didn't have to hear it alone. Off to home I go, just waiting.

Sep 11, 2017

Life without work

I may have crammed too many activities into our three weeks off before school starts. But I can't help myself. Do you know what it's like to go do things in the middle of the week? No traffic, no crowds, it's so much easier!!

We went to the beach, the zoo, the trampoline park, camping, paddle boarding, fishing, and watched the total solar eclipse. We had the best last month of summer ever!

Sep 8, 2017

Scary pregnancy

The first day of school was September 6, and started like any other day. That night I went out with some girlfriends to celebrate a birthday. After ice cream, we went to our friends new office and helped decorate for their open house party the following day. It was around 11 pm and I started feeling hot and crampy, and I kept going to the bathroom. One of the times I went, there was a bunch of blood and I knew something was wrong. I came out and told my friends I need to come home and I couldn't drive fast enough. I got home and started telling Caleb what happened. We called the nurse advice line and they said I need to go straight to the hospital. I have had enough miscarriages to know bleeding is not good. I called Rhoda about 50 times and she wouldn't answer her phone, so I called Trevor and he woke her up. She just finished a shift at the hospital and I woke her up and asked her to meet me in the ER. Caleb stayed home with our kids who were asleep and I told him I would update him and he could come later depending on what was going on. I knew it would be hours of waiting and tests before anything could or would happen.

Sure enough, Rhoda and I were in the hospital for hours and hours. They did an ultrasound but wouldn't let me see anything. Just lots of silence and no news. There was a regular ER doctor and no OBGYN. After about 5 hours they said that I had a large hematoma, or blood clot, that was next to the baby and there was lots of blood in my uterus. They said they didn't know much more than that and I needed to call my doctor the next morning. Then I came home.

The next day I started to call my doctor and nobody seemed to think there was anything to do. They said stay home, bleeding was normal for this condition. That was it. I called every day, and they didn't seem to think I needed to be seen. Finally I convinced them to let me see my doctor and they got me in a couple of days later. My doctor felt this was a very serious condition and he was quite concerned. He said my hematoma is large, which is the worst kind, and it's right by my placenta and could cause damage. He said bleeding for two weeks is normal, don't do any real activity, but don't just lay in bed, get up and walk around and he scheduled a rush ultrasound.

After the ultrasound from my doctor he said he was worried and wanted to refer me to a specialist, so he schedule an appointment with a perinatologist in Portland. First available appointment is 9/20, we wait to see what happens then.

Aug 7, 2017

R2J2 2017

This year Jessica, Jocelyn, Rhonda and myself went to Vashon Island in Washington. We stayed at our aunt Debbie's huge house. Most days we spent on the water kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, and playing in sand. We ate tons of food, stayed up late playing games and laughing hysterically, and caught up on life. No matter how much time we spend apart, when we get together again, it's like nothing has changed. I absolutely love my cousins, their husbands, their kids, and I can't wait for next years adventures!

Jul 29, 2017

Renae quits her job after 15 years

After many prayers, sleepless nights, anxious budgeting sessions, and long talks with my family, I have decided to leave my job at SAIF. I left my notice and will only work a few short weeks and then stay home with my three, almost four, amazing children.

Caleb and I contemplated this move before we bought the practice, but I knew that it would be easier for him if he didn't have to worry about the family budget. He's been rocking his practice for 7 months now, and he's still working his other job two days a week. We have done a great job saving money, paying off everything we can, and now it's time for me to quit.

I've had an amazing career and I'm very proud of all the things I was able to do in my 15 years. I worked to push programs and culture that others wanted. I was told no a lot, and I was told yes where it counted. I'm so proud of where SAIF has gone and all the great places I have been able to go.

My most recent trip was to Chicago to speak about our onsite medical clinic. I have had the opportunity to speak in California, Washington, Arizona, Florida, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, and probably more places that I cannot remember. I was flown around the US to speak on behalf of SAIF but almost never paid by SAIF. Other companies would pay for my trip, and it was a win for our company and me personally. I love being a keynote speaker, and I was able to open and close many conferences. There is an absolute high when you deliver what you want to in a powerful way.

Now I plan to take my skills and work on them in a way that benefits me and my family more directly. The past few years I have worked tirelessly and long hours. Many of the projects I work on are important to me personally and keep me up at night and working on the weekends. Nobody makes me do it, it's just how I'm wired. I am rebuilding for the third time our onsite fitness center right now at SAIF. It won't open until long after I'm gone and I am driving myself crazy not being there and knowing how it's going. I've even made my poor family see the parts of the buildings that I've remodeled, and listen to my speaking engagements. I just turned down two this month so that I can stay home with my kids.

For some moms, they know immediately they cannot go back to work. Having a husband who was in school for 8 years was part of the reason I kept working. But honestly, I love what I do, and I'm good at it. I get a lot of satisfaction going to work. It's crazy hard to get my kids up and out the door in the morning. Especially when Caleb lived and worked in Medford all week, Calvin was 6 months old, and Shelby was 3. That kept going for two years, and I doubt if I ever missed a day of work.

I've never seen myself as a stay-at-home mom. Nothing against them, but it just wasn't something I thought I would be good at or want to do. After a treacherous morning getting the kids off to daycare, I get to work and the day flies by! It's 5:00 before I know it, and I'm running out the door to grab my kids. When I get home, I am always sad with how little time we have together as a family. We usually get home around 6, throw dinner together, maybe some homework, play outside, and go to bed. It's a fast paced life and days feel like minutes.

But I know this is the right move for me and my family. I don't know if I'll be good at it, or if I'll get the same exhilaration as a finished project. It's a huge leap of faith and not one that I take lightly. When my boss Shannon left over two years ago now, they made me the "Interim Vice President". All the extra money they paid me only made it worse. I never saw my family. I worked every weekend. And it was such a drastic change so quickly, that I told Caleb then that I knew my days were numbered. After we decided to buy his practice it took me longer than I thought. But now that I'm sick, pregnant, tired, nauseous, grumpy, swollen, and barely in my fourth month of this pregnancy, it's time to go!

Goodbye huge paychecks, see ya later free medical insurance for my entire family, hasta lavista paid retirement, and hello free market where we have to pay for all these things we have had for free. I get tons of vacation time, sick time, bonuses, oh my heck, let's change the subject. This is hard to leave, but I am doing it and trying not to look back.

If you see me in my pjs, it's Wednesday at 2 pm, and I'm at Walmart with four screaming kids, please don't say hello and just keep walking! Haha!