Sunday, May 27, 2012


Owen attended his first Arizona Diamondbacks game Memorial Day weekend. We were able to attend with Bradford's parents and my parents and little brother. I was worried because it was a 7pm game and Owen gets a little crazy once about 6 o'clock hits. About that time he is ready for his bath, boob, and bed. He was a little charmer. He was laughing and smiling the whole time. I took a short nap on Daddy's shoulder then was ready for another round. The only time he cried was on the ride home. He is not a fan of is car seat...AT ALL! All in all we had a fun time and to add to it the D-backs won!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5 months...

My little man is 5 months old! I cannot believe how fast the time has flown! Before I know it he is going to be walking and talking my ears off. He has started to jibber jabber quite a bit and loves to flex his muscles. We take those little chubby arms and flex those little arms and he just giggles and giggles. He loves to laugh at his momma and be snuggled by his daddy. If he starts to fuss and cry when I'm holding him, Bradford will take him and he shuts right up. He is definitely a daddy's boy. I can only imagine how much worse it's going to get as Owen gets older. He loves when Bradford sings. When we are in the truck, Bradford will turn on some country and sing and Owen will just be fixated on Bradford. And the minute he stops, Owen starts to scream his little head off.
Owen's blessing 2/4/12
He has rolled over! I can't even believe it! Let me give you a little background story first so I don't get the second degree about the "back to sleep" program. Since Owen was born we have been trying to lay the little guy down on his back. That little bugger wouldn't have one bit of it. I tried a positioner, swaddling him so tight he couldn't breathe, and lying him up on his side. Nothing would work and he would end up sleeping on my chest with me in the recliner. He would occasionally sleep in his bouncer but like I said, that was on occasion. One night I was in Surprise at my mom's house while Bradford was at a wrestling tournament that weekend, and my mom was rocking Owen to sleep. Needless to say after about 4 failed attempts at laying him down she rocked him back to sleep and went in and laid him on his belly. That little boy slept ALL night!!! I was up every 30 minutes to check on him to make sure he didn't suffocate himself. Since that night that little guy has slept on his belly and has been sleeping all night ever since. He was about a month old. So onto the other day... One morning I laid him down (on his belly of course) after I fed him and jumped in the shower. When I got out of the shower I looked into his cradle and there he was staring right up at me. I asked Bradford if he had turned him over and he said he didn't. The next morning the exact same thing happened. I told Terra (my sister in law) who watches Owen while I'm at work to watch out because he has been rolling over and he naps on her bed. She said, "oh ya, we had him on the floor the other day and he rolled over like 4 times". I was a little devastated that I had yet to see the action. After many failed attempts to get it on camera, I GOT IT!!! Once he gets that little head over he just falls from his belly to his back. And, he's sitting up! Such a big boy!

I'm back to work. I've been back to work since about the middle of January. I am fortunate enough to have gotten a job with the hospital working in their Home Health department. I go into people's homes to do tons of different skills. I feel like my assessment skills are through the roof because I'm the only one there. I don't have someone I can run and ask for a second opinion. I wish I was able to stay home with my little guy but my other little guy needs to get through school and focus on his studies. Bradford has a hard time sometimes with not working but I have to give him a good slap and get him moving again. If I didn't truly enjoy what I do I would have a harder time with it.

Bradford is in full swing with nursing school. It's hard having him gone a lot of the time but I know it will be over before I know it. I have never seen him stressed before so it's a change to see him actually a little stressed out. I told him he has to keep his cool because having too high strung people in this relationship will be like World War 3. There is only enough room for one high strung girl and a super passive boy. That's how this relationship works especially now that we have an extra to the family.

1 month
2 months
3 months
4 months
5 months

Sunday, February 12, 2012


"Since my previous post our lives haven't changed much." That is how my post I had been writing started out. Time has escaped me and my life has become a tad bit busier. The story of our little guys birth is probably the most exciting, life changing event that has happened in our lives in 2011. Let me start from December 3rd:

December 3rd: My due date. I'm still pregnant. Here I thought I would either have my sweet boy by now or be remotely close to having him. I spent the day in Pima at Bradford's first wrestling tournament of the year. I waddled my way up and down the bleachers and cheered and jumped trying to send myself into labor. That didn't work.

December 7th: I am still pregnant. My last appointment with my Dr. I am still measuring 2cm dilated and about 50% effaced. I have been measuring that for the last 4 weeks. He strips my membranes and we talk options. At this point I am the size of a house. I'm not having any contractions, I'm just uncomfortable. I have been off work since Thanksgiving and I was hoping not to spend half of my maternity leave still pregnant. I am not opposed to being induced but I have heard horror stories of unbelievable labor pains and labor never really starting and ultimately leading to having a C-section. But I'm selfish and want this baby to come now so I make an induction appointment for Friday, December 9th at 7am.

December 8th: I am feeling good. A little more uncomfortable than usual but not having any contractions or pain. I am assuming this is my last full day of being pregnant so I enjoy the day with my friend Rhianna. We go to lunch and do a little shopping at Walmart to pick myself up a nursing bra. She is due with her first baby in January and so we have some things in common to complain and chat about. That night my mom comes into town. She has been on high alert since Thanksgiving waiting for the baby. After my mom gets here we head to get some dinner. I figure it's going to be my last meal for a while until I deliver so I eat WAY more than I probably should. That night we talk and about midnight head to bed ready to get up and get going in the morning to meet my little boy.

December 9th: I wake up at 3:00 to some stomach pain and some not so pleasant GI symptoms,I sit down for a bit and realize that my stomach ache is a little too similar to a contraction pattern so I grab my phone and start timing. After about an hour of contractions happening for about 30-40 seconds and 2-3 minutes apart I  wakes Bradford up and tell him the long awaited words of "IT'S TIME!" I  wakes my mom up and we load up and head to the hospital. “People tell you how contractions are the most painful thing you will ever experience” and I'm not going to disagree. “You endure the pain waiting for those 2 minutes of rest before you are consumed by pain again”. We get to the hospital about 5am and get hooked up to the monitors, IV started, and cervix checked. I am 5cm and 100% effaced. At that point I am ready for some pain relief, I got some IV Fentanyl to control my pain until the CRNA gets there to start an epidural. The Fentanyl makes me feel like what I assume it would feel like to be high. It took the edge off and made it more bearable. After about an hour the Fentanyl wore off and I was ready for an epidural. Just about the time I felt like I could strangle my nurse if she asked me to rate my pain one more time, in walks the man of my dreams, the CRNA. They get the epidural in and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. “I could have kissed that man once he had placed the epidural.”

After I get the epidural we notice my heart rate and my blood pressure start to steadily increase and that's when I get thrown to my left side and the always fashionable oxygen mask thrown on. The CRNA comes back in to check to see how I'm feeling and gives me some medication to lower my heart rate and blood pressure. Shortly after the medication is admisistered they hit the toilet and I am feeling nauseous and dizzy but that's normal. After a while her blood pressure stabilized a bit but my heart rate is still running anywhere from 120 to 170. Any time it climbed over 140 I got nauseous and would toss my cookies. This is about the time I regretted having eaten the large lunch and dinner the day before. This only happened twice thankfully but I could have went without.

I go about the day lying on one side or the other. My nurse was nice and a little frazzled. That night and the day I  arrived it was like a revolving door in the OB and they were super busy so I didn't see my nurse much. I probably saw the CRNA more than my nurse. When she was there she was always nice to me but if the Dr. was in the room with her it was tense. I don't think she much cared for him and he for her so if they crossed paths they bickered over what to do about my blood pressure or what Pitocin dosage they should start because my contractions had slowed down a bit. So I could only handle either her Dr. or her nurse at one time.

My Dr. is usually pretty straight forward but it seemed that when something could have been wrong he kind of got quiet. Example 1: Babies heart rate has some slight decelerations with my contractions so nurse notifies Dr. of such. Dr. mumbles something under his breath to the effect of, babies cord might be around his neck. Being in the hyper-aware state I am in yell down through my mask "WHAT!?!?!" Dr. states, "If the cord's around his neck there's nothing I can do now. I haven't had a baby take the cord off from around their own neck yet." I'm a little frustrated but not totally irritated yet. Example 2: Dr. comes to break her water about 1pm. Water gets broken and I hear another mumble come from between my legs. Asking what the deal is and I hear, "just a little meconium, no big deal." NO BIG DEAL!?!?!?! In my mind  I'm thinking, Ok, my baby is overdue, so I can understand that there is meconium in the fluid but I know that my baby is still in there breathing this stuff in. After he broke my water he checked me and I was 8cm dilated and still 100% effaced. So after this lovely experience I have to call my nurse about an hour after my water breaks to get cleaned up.

The monitors they had on mybelly weren't tracking the baby's heart rate of my contractions very well so the Dr. placed a scalp electrode in the baby’s head to get a better reading on his heart rate. I felt like a science experiment, I had tubes coming from everywhere. My oxygen mask, pulse ox, blood pressure cuff, baby monitor, contraction monitor, an IV, catheter, epidural line, and the little scalp electrode.

Around 2:30 my nurse comes in and checks me and I'm fully dilated! When they tell me it's time to push I'm taken aback a little and I'm not sure if I want to push. I went through the whole pregnancy knowing I was going to have a baby, knowing that there would come a point that I wouldn't be pregnant anymore and I would have something living and breathing depending on me to survive Bradford grabs one leg and my mom grabs another and we're off I beg the Dr. not to turn the epidural off and I start pushing. The little guy was face down and had his chin tucked down to his chest so they used the vacuum to help pull his head up a bit so pushing him out would be easier. One push, I started feeling the pressure and was hoping I was doing it right. Second push, right about the time I started to push her Dr. started to pull on the vacuum and the nurse hadn't applied any suction so there went the suction cup and another "bicker" between her nurse and Dr.

About the time the Dr. said he wanted to give my an episiotomy I felt a big burn and saw a squirt hit the Dr., my mom and Bradford, My mom let go of my leg and started gagging. When she let go of my leg I kicked the Dr. and realized everyone around me had brownish stuff on them. Then I realized once the little guy's head popped out, so did all the fluid built up behind it and like a squirt gun it shot everyone around me. Just like that, there he was, in all his naked glory. They set him up on my stomach and there was no going back. I, being in the emotionally unstable un-pregnant girl, started crying and trying to get the little guy to cry by rubbing him. He was taken over to the warmer and suctioned a bit because he had swallowed a little bit of meconium fluid. About that time he started crying and my epidural had worn off enough just in time for my Dr. to put some stitches where the sun don't shine. I had torn a bit and had to get a couple of stitches. At 2:59 on December 9th, 2011 we finally got to meet our sweet little Owen Bradford. He came out weighing a whopping 9lbs 4oz and was 21.5 inches long. I think I was in complete shock after the nurse handed hime to me all wrapped up because I  just couldn't believe I  had him, finally, in my arms. It made all the months of trying totally worth it. Made all the tears and feelings of loss totally worth it. We had a baby. Our own baby. He was perfect in every way and he was ours.

We went from this...

To this...

Our little guy at 1 week old...

"O-DOG" as we call him, is getting so big and amazes me everyday. He has been focusing on faces, cooing and talking, and smiling since he was about 3 weeks old. Now he is 9 weeks old and big as ever. Our appointment today for his 2 month check-up he was 15lbs 1oz and 23 inches long. He is a big guy and we love every inch of him. When he was born it was like staring at a little Bradford with his momma's big ears. He still is a little Bradford and by the looks of him he is going to be a stout little guy. Between Bradford's school and me starting to head back to work we can't get enough of him. I am grateful to have Bradford be so supportive and basically calling on my every whim and need. I need to upload the rest of my photos and get them on my next blog post. Until then, much love!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunburns and School...

Since my last post, we have brought back a family member, vacationed, and I took my first belly picture.

We moved! It's only about a half mile from our old house but it's secluded (we only have one neighbor), bigger (3 WHOLE BEDROOMS), and has a sweet back yard for the beasts! We are pretty much moved in and settled for now. I'm sure that will change in a couple of months.

The view from our new backyard.

With August came Elder Brown! Derek came home on the 9th and hasn't stopped moving since. He stepped off the plane after serving a 2 year mission in Virginia and shortly thereafter on the 12th he stepped back on a plane along with my Mom and Dad, Garrett, Bradford, and I. We were off to tour the east coast starting in New York and ending in Virginia. My parents have never been past Colorado and this would probably be the only time they would make it out to the east coast. So we dubbed Bradford our tour guide and when we stepped off the plane and JFK and didn't stop until the 19th.

We toured Liberty and Ellis Island and cruised up and down Times Square. The next morning we woke up to POURING RAIN! The rain poured all day and didn't stop just because the Browns were in town. We rode the subway out to Coney Island and unfortunately the entire pier was closed so we walked through the New York Aquarium and ate Nathan's Hot Dogs. If you have never had a Nathans hot dog you are missing out. They say it's the 100 year old grills that make them as good as they are but I think it's just the hot dog itself. So yummy and tasty in all of it's snappy goodness. Mmmmmmmm! The rest of that day, other than braving the weather, the broken down subways, and soggy shoes, we stopped at Ground Zero and see the Freedom Tower and the new memorials they are building. We then loaded up and headed down to Washington DC where we toured through the streets and saw the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial, The White House, the Capitol Building, and walked through the Museum of Natural History. Then it was off to Virginia where we hit what I think was the world's BIGGEST outlet mall, roasted ourselves at Virginia Beach. After a flight cancellation we finally made it home, blisters and all.

Garrett was the worst vacation buddy. He pouted the whole trip about how he was mad he was "missing school" but I think it was more of his little friend who is a girl back home...

Bradford's lovely 2nd degree burns he brought home from Virginia Beach

Now we are back home, school has started and Bradford is in full swing with nursing school in Globe. He loves his teacher and is ROCKING all of his tests and quizzes. I am just completely and utterly happy that he is finally in school! I will sacrifice Bradford for a couple of days a week and countless hours of studying for him to be in school and be moving forward.

As for Baby Bigler, things are going great! I have taken my first "belly picture" with encouragement from friends. I see myself as a barrel on toothpicks and I feel like a beached whale sometimes. I think to myself that I have a while but in all reality I am less than 3 months away! I have a growing list of things that need to get done and I feel like I have NO TIME to do them. The nursery is slowly coming together piece by piece but it is very slowly. He is getting bigger and I am starting to get more and more uncomfortable. My scrubs are starting to get tighter and tighter. My feet are getting bigger and bigger! I don't have a single pair of shoes that fit due to the fact I have gone up a size since being pregnant. I am starting to get more moody and emotional. I cried like a baby when Bradford told me a story of a little dog on the side of the road on the reservation that was limping on three legs. It's pathetic! My standard attire at home is a pair of Bradford's basketball shorts and a t-shirt. Baby Bigler is a mover and a shaker and loves to tap dance on my bladder, but I still love him.

Other than that we have just been busy being busy. Until next time, farewell dear friends! Prepare yourself for the belly...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Half baked...

Today marks 20 weeks for me! Half way done and I'm feeling pretty good. I have no complaints but I have noticed that I can fall asleep the minute I become horizontal. I'm normally the one that can stay up and party until the wee hours of the morning. This past week we had our 20 week check up with my Dr. and found out we are having a....


I am COMPLETELY EXCITED and Bradford is pretty stinking excited too. I already have like 4 boxes of baby boy clothes and accessories courtesy of my mom and Grandma but I'm not quite sure where we are going to put everything. Our little one bedroom house was already pretty full and now adding what is going to be the most spoiled child on the planet we are going to look like hoarders with only a pathway through our house.

From our most recent appointment this is the one photo she sent us home with. Not much of a profile picture but this is the one shot that proves that little guy in there is truly a little guy.

Aside from all the hustle and bustle of preparing for a baby we have found time to have some fun. There is a pond out in Pima about 20 minutes from our house called Cluff pond and we have gone out there a couple of times this summer to take the dogs out to run off some energy. Maggie isn't very fond of the water but amazingly I was out wading in the water and she came right out after me and tried to climb onto my shoulders. Braum however LOVES the water and would lay in it all day if we gave him the chance. The rest of the summer is spent gardening, working, cleaning, working, Bradford getting ready to start nursing school in August, and more working.

We are just enjoying the remainder of our time together as a just Bradford and Valerie before Baby Biggs makes an appearance in November/December-ish.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

More happenings...

There is no reason to beat a dead horse but I must say this once again that I really need to get better at this. Let me start with a short story from where we left off...

Thanksgiving was spent with the Brown side of the family this year. Like a good photographer I took a whopping three pictures all weekend. The weekend was good fun and it was nice to eat to my hearts content, and let me tell you it was YUMMY!

Christmas time rolled around and we spent it with the Bigler side of the family. Christmas Eve we went to my in-laws to stay the night and had a Wii sword fighting contest where I swear I tore my rotator cuff. I couldn't move my right arm past my belly button without yelping. It took a good week to recover. It made me realize that my dream of becoming a professional fencer swirled on down the drain into oblivion.

All in all it was a good holiday season for us in the Bigler household, even if I have but two paragraphs to show for it.

As many of you know my life from about the end of October to mid-February is consumed by wrestling. As much as I gripe and moan I really do enjoy it. Yes, every weekend is spent on the road with a bunch of stinky teenage boys but they are the funniest group of teenage boys I have ever met. I enjoy watching Bradford coach those boys and set the on the right path, not just with wrestling but with life. The past two years there have been two boys on his team that have gotten baptized and one is on his mission. As much stress and voice-less days those boys cause me, they truly are examples to each other and to me.

Here I am blogging for the first time in 6 months and I have 800 things to say but not sure how to start. I had started a post on my struggles with infertility. It seemed like I spent more nights crying and clinging to Bradford over the lack of children in my life than I did happy. I was totally and completely happy for friends and family members but there was always a tiny twinge deep in the pit of my stomach longing for that, longing for the one thing we as women were placed on this Earth for. From the beginning of this world we were placed here with the potential for motherhood and when that opportunity evades us nothing can compare to the sense of loss you feel, the sense of loss I felt. Not very long ago I was reading a story in the Ensign titled "Faith and Infertility". Knowing I have my faith to cling to gives me some comfort in those moments of deep hardships and trials.

Here now it's Mothers Day and I not very long ago I was celebrating my "potential" motherhood, now today Bradford and I are completely happy to announce and I truly celebrating my first "real" Mothers Day!

We are completely excited and thrilled to be having our OWN baby! I am so excited but it still doesn't seem real to me. Having gone so long without it makes such good news seem unbelievable. I stare at my fridge everyday realizing that little peanut is mine and I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for the struggles and tears I went through to get to this point. I know I am prepared more so now than I ever have been to have this baby and to love and care for it more than my own life. Of course Bradford is pretty dang excited to but I have commandeered this blog so his happiness will be expressed through me. Along with my happiness comes my hopes and prayers for those who struggled just like me for something as special at this. I know the Lord has his timeline and in His time we all will be blessed.

So until next time...bon voyage! The next update will probably be closer the the end of May with my 12 week appointment. WOO! HOO!

Monday, October 11, 2010


I am really bad at this blogging gig. I am surprised that they don't kick people off who don't update their blogs after months.

4th of July was held and Bradford's parents house in Virden once again and it was filled good BBQ pit meat, firearms, and fireworks.

Before school started Troy and Whitney and their little girl Evie took a trip out to Bonita Creek to grill some burgers and enjoy the EXCELLENT weather we have been having. Our swimming idea was ruined by recent rains making the river look like hot chocolate there was so much mud and it was running at about 30 mph and I didn't feel like becoming a piece of cheese run over the cheese grader rocks.

We also were invited to attend a U of A football game by friends of ours Ryan and Jade. Ryan and I went to nursing school together so it seemed when we were able to hang out so was Ryan and Jade. Convenient. Ryan's dad has season tickets to the U of A football games and they are DIE HARD U of A fans. We went down that Saturday and shopped around a little and then went to the game. I have never been to a "professional" football game. When I say professional I mean a football game other than high school or my alumni EAC, so this was a whole new experience for me. I was not prepared for the amount of standing I was going to do. Pretty much the entire game we stood and cheered and yelled and boo'd. My knees were the size of cantaloupes by the time we left and I am sad to say the Brown bad luck curse proved real. U or A lost 27-29 but I am happy to say that the reffing was AWFUL and I know my lack of luck was not the only thing affecting the outcome of the game. All in all it was an AMAZINGLY fun weekend and it was nice to just get away even if it was just to Tucson.

This semester is the first semester in quite some time that not only one but two of us are out of school. Bradford finished his last set of classes over the summer and was getting his paper work together to apply for the nursing program. Thankfully he got everything in order and turned in his papers about 2 weeks ago and we are hoping for good news this month or hopefully by the end of November. We are saying lots of prayers and crossing our fingers. We have been able to attend the Temple here in the Gila Valley a couple of times and it's always a good feeling to be able to have calm and serene moment during all the rushing and running of our daily lives. To be able to sit and admire the beauty and soak in the peace you feel being there. It's hard to describe the sheer peace that the Temple holds for me. I am so thankful and feel so blessed that I am able to attend the temple and remember those covenants I made to my Heavenly Father. That is true serenity.

The week before Halloween a SPOOKTACULAR PARTY was held at the Bigler household. We had SEVERAL of our friends come over and the only requirement was that they must dress up. There was food, games, and of course FUN!!! The line-up included:

- Matt and Rhianna (I don't even know what these little creatures are called but I LOVED them!)
- Heather and Brandon (They switched careers for a night and were a correction officer and a nurse.)
- Troy and Whitney (Pancho Via and her trusty steed Troy!)
- Trevor and JanaRae (Hard rocker Brett Michaels and Oprah)
- Stefani and Guy (I just CAN'T get over Stef's face in this picture but they were the cutest old couple ever!)
- Tyler and Taylor (Teacher and disobedient student who received a pencil to the head.)
- Bradford and Val (Dog the Bounty Hunter and his SMOKING HOT wife Beth!)
- Jason and Alissa
(Fierce and fabulous pirates)
Thank you for being so patient with me when it comes to blogging. I was at a friends house and she was going over her blog friends and said, "we won't look at yours because you never update." I will admit, I'm AWFUL!!! I swear to it I will get better. The holidays are coming and I know there will be plenty of stories to tell. MUAHAHAHAHAHA! Stay tuned!!!