Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Finn Michael Parks

Finn Michael Parks arrived at 7:02 am on June 30th 2009. He weighed 6 lbs 7 oz and measured 19 3/4 inches. He had to be taken by an emergency C Section due to the umbilical cord around his neck, causing his vitals to lower dramatically during each contraction and when Lacey would push. The placenta had separated and ruptured, so it was good that they did the C Section. He is a strong and healthy little boy doing great! Mom is doing great as well. Finn is a quick learner, much quicker than his older brother, Rafe, as he is breastfeeding like a champ.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Aerospace Medicine Training in San Antonio

I just wanted to let everyone know about the Air Force training I just completed in San Antonio. I was stationed at Brook’s Air Force Base in San Antonio for two weeks, where I did Aerospace Medicine training. Actually, it was more of an introduction/sales pitch to get us interested in becoming Flight Surgeons. A Flight Surgeon is a doctor for a specific Flight Squadron. You are that squadron’s only doc, so you would be responsible for everyone in that squadron, plus their families. If they get deployed, then you would go with them. You would fly in any aircraft that they fly in. So, you could be assigned to an F-16 Flight Squadron, C-130, C-17, etc. It will depend on what you can physically handle. If you can’t handle all the G forces that an F-16 pilot has to experience during combat maneuvering, then you would be assigned to a C-130 Flight Squadron or something similar. A Flight Surgeon is considered the top of the medical profession in the Air Force.
At my training, I had a lot of fun. I flew a T-38, which is the training aircraft for pilots, in a flight simulator. So, not the actual thing, but pretty close to it. I took off, flew around a bit, and then landed the plane. The simulator was set up like an actual cockpit of a T-38. I was also able to use the parachute simulator. They drop you at an altitude of 5000 feet, and you have a target on the ground that you should aim for. Through the helmet that I wore, I could see that I was falling but without the sensation of it, and I knew where my target was. You can actually steer the parachute. The coolest, but also most physically challenging part of the training was the centrifuge. The centrifuge is a machine that spins you around while sitting in a pod that is setup as an aircraft cockpit. You can’t see out of it. They first had me do a gradual increase up to 5 G’s while staying relaxed, and then brought it to a stop. Then I went straight to 3 G’s and held it for 15 seconds and stopped. Finally, I went straight to 5 G’s and held it for 30 seconds. The gradual increase was the hardest because I was relaxed the whole time, and wasn’t allowed to use the techniques I learned to help prevent decreased blood flow to the brain. I had tunnel vision, and felt like I was going to lose my vision, or in other words go to sleep, but I didn’t. In the fast ascent to 3 G’s and 5 G’s I was able to use the straining technique and breathing technique which allowed better blood flow to the brain, so my vision was normal and I felt fine except for the weight from the G’s of course. I have video of it, so I will try to make it available for you all to watch. It’s kind of funny to watch.
Another neat experience was our tour at the Brooke’s Army Medical Center (BAMC). This is where a lot of the injured soldiers from Iraq go to recover. I was able to meet some of them and it was a humbling experience. One soldier had burn scars all over his body and if you saw a picture of him before the injury you wouldn’t even know it was him. Everywhere I turned there were soldiers with missing limbs. These people are truly heroes. The majority of the patients are from 18-25 yrs of age. Twenty percent of injured soldiers go back to the field. Others would go if they could but their injuries are too severe. The facilities at this Medical Center are amazing. They have technology that nobody else has. It is used to get these injured soldiers back to or close to a normal life.
My second Monday there, we went by bus to Houston (3-4 hrs away) to tour NASA. We were able to see how the astronauts train, we saw the Mission Control Centers that were in the movies: Apollo 13, Armageddon, etc. (Houston we have a problem!). People were working at those desks and talking w/astronauts at the Space Station. We saw them on their big screen floating around doing their work. Air Force docs can also work for NASA and be assigned to a group of astronauts and go to space with them. Cool stuff! Some of the other things we went over in the training were: how to transfer injured soldiers from the field onto ambulances and aircrafts, we went in an altitude chamber and wore the helmets and oxygen masks that pilots wear and experienced scenarios that pilots might, such as a hole in the plane causing rapid depressurization. Overall, the training was very informative and it gave us a taste of what it would be like to be a Flight Surgeon.
In the evenings and on the weekend I was able to see some of the tourist sites, such as the Alamo and the Riverwalk. I went tubing down the Comal River, and went to SeaWorld for free (Military gets in for free at SeaWorld and at Busch Gardens).

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Gradual ascent to 5 G's

Rapid ascent to 3 G's for 15 seconds

Rapid ascent to 5 G's for 30 seconds

Altitude Chamber

See if you can find me!


This is the Mission Control Center used for the Apollo 13 mission
Mission Control Center used today

The Alamo

From left to right: Lt. Ellis, Lt. Hu, Lt. Parks, Lt. Bernardo, & Lt. Thordal

Parachute Simulator

What a Friday!...

So Friday was a big day.....emotionally. First I had my Dr. appointment at 1:00. I went in for another ultra sound and fetal monitoring to check my fluid level. We did the ultra sound first and found out that baby flipped and is now breech. I felt him flip Wednesday night but didn't know that's what was happening at the time. My whole stomach was cramped and I could barely move and I had no idea what was going on inside. Come to find out....he flipped. So my Dr. went over a few different scenarios as to what could happen. She told me of a position to get in and have Ryan massage and help coax baby the turn back. If he doesn't flip back then we would schedule to go into the hospital and have the Dr. try to flip him back and in the event of distress would do an emergency c-section. If baby does flip, then we would probably schedule an inducement to get him out in case he tried to flip again. If he doesn't flip and everything is fine, we will just schedule a c-section. So after finding this out, I talked to Ryan and then later found out that his plane was delayed a few hours due to mechanical problems and that they were trying to fix it. So after almost two weeks of him being gone, his return was anything but quick. In fact, his flight ended up being canceled and he was put on the waiting list for the next flight out but there was only one seat available and that was given to someone else so he got bumped to fly out the next morning. After the news of the baby and then not getting Ryan back until the next day, I was pretty emotional. But he is home safe now and we are still working on getting this little guy to flip back. But I'm thinking it's not going to happen and I am preparing myself for the news of a c-section. I will keep you all posted.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

April-May trip to Utah

Napping with Pa!
Uncle Oozie's Graduation from Snow College
Evin, Logan, Me, Jordan (aka Ooze), and Jess

Dinner at the Garden Room at the Joseph Smith Building

Grama Hoo Hoo, Grama La-Li, and Little Honey at Temple Square with the beautiful flowers.

Four Generations!!

Hogle Zoo and the Black Bear Exhibit

Rafe and cousin Evin at the Dinosaur Park.

Yummy, yummy ice cream at Macey's Grocery Store after the Dinosaur Park.

Beautiful Thanksgiving Point during the Tulip Festival.

These are pictures of our last trip to Utah. My camera wasn't working so I had to have my mom email pictures to me. So for those of you who have requested pregnant pictures, here ya go. Now, I'm a lot bigger now that I'm 11 days from my due date but you can imagine what I currently look like based on these pictures from April and May. My camera still doesn't have batteries. Rafe lost them so I have to buy new ones.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Catching up...

"Long Neck"

T-Rex trying to eat Rafe

Rafe loved the "Buff-i-lo"

The Garden of the Gods

It's been awhile since I've posted anything on here so let me do some catching up. A few weekends ago we went down to Colorado Springs and walked around this place called The Garden of the Gods. It reminded me a lot of Southern Utah. It was very beautiful and a nice little walk. Ryan finished his first year of Med School on June 9th and I am so proud of him. He worked so hard and did very well. This week we took Rafe to the Denver Nature and Science Museum. Rafe and I had been once before but this time we were able to take Ryan with us. Rafe loves to see all of the animals and, of course, the Dinosaurs. We have loved having Ryan all to ourselves these past few days but won't get him for long. He leaves Sunday morning, early, to San Antonio, TX for Air Force Medicine Training for two weeks. We will miss him on Father's Day again but are very proud of all he does.

Yesterday I had a Dr.'s appointment and everything is on track for July 4th. Baby is doing well. They did an ultra sound and at this point he is measuring 6 lbs 12 oz, which is already bigger than Rafe was when he was born. She said his head is very large....."off the charts" she said....."I don't even have a number for how big it is". "His torso is good in size which means he'll be at least 8 lbs." So this "little" guy will be good sized, I guess. My amniotic fluid level is on the higher end. 21 to 22 is considered high and I'm at 19.8 something. So they are going to keep an eye on it to make sure everything is ok. I'm not worried because I had TONS with Rafe. I'm just an amniotic producing momma. But she said if it gets to a point where she feels it's something to worry about she will induce me any time as soon as next week. I told her, "I hope not because Ryan leaves Sunday for two weeks." She said that if it keeps going up but everything is fine, then she will just let me go on my own. But I haven't dropped yet and I'm, once again, completely closed. Not dilated one bit. So that leads me to believe it won't happen while Ryan is gone. Let's keep our fingers crossed. I'll keep you all posted.