Monday, June 28, 2010

What Bad Luck Looks Like

On the morning of our wedding I broke a mirror.

If these wonderful 7 years have been bad luck
I can't wait to see what good luck looks like!

Happy Anniversary, Davy!
I love you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My kids. (otherwise entitled "testing out a new camera")

post-baby non-news

How do I know he'll be a handsome devil?  He looks just like HH did (pictured at 3 weeks). 

You know, I had misgivings about having a boy.  I really like having daughters and though that 3 in a row would be fun (like the Flicka, Ricka & Dicka books...though of course they are triplets) ...and eventually 4 girls like "Little Women" or "The Giraffe Who Went to School" (have you read that one?  That's when I first fell in love with maypoles...I can't find the version that we had to link to it, though). 

I'm happy to report, though, that I couldn't be more thrilled with this little man.  He's a good baby.  Plus it seems that I love babies more with each new one that I have.  And it's funny that having a boy brings a totally different feeling...I'm so happy to have a son!

And the fact that he looks so much like his daddy?!  Icing on the cake.

We had our first "putting things up the nose" incident the other day.  A piece of mushroom in Monkey's nose.  I noticed that she was messing with her nose, and she sounded stuffy all of a sudden.  Thank goodness for tweezers.

I got to change a seedy mustard-colored messy diaper that extended from shoulder to heel.  I forgot about those.

I also forgot about going out in public with spit up on my shoulders.  Nice.

Totally unrelated: I finally watched "The Blind Side" and loved it.  I love Sandra Bullock (ever since "While You Were Sleeping" when I was 16...and Bill Pullman's boot as he gets out of his truck is still sexy.  I'm glad I married a carpenter).  But as much as I love her comedies, this was some FABULOUS acting on her part. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Arrival of our new Little Man

Finally I get to tell you about the arrival of our Little Man (who will be referred to as such until he grows into an official nickname). 

The Short Version:
6:00 - Membranes Stripped
7:00 - Membranes Stripped
8:00 - Water Broken & Contractions started
10:30 - Got into the Birth Pool
11:45 - Got out to go potty & labor out of the pool for a while
11: 50-ish - Started Pushing
12:04 - Little Man Born!

This is my wonderful Midwife team: Carmen, Me, the baby, Charlotte the midwife, and Christine
The Long Version:
I had my membranes stripped, first by Christine & then by Charlotte...which produced some cramping, but nothing significant.  I was dilated to about a 3, and 50% effaced with a super soft cervix.  After the stripping I tried side lunges and Christine gave me a great foot massage.
So, at 8:00 p.m. we decided that Charlotte could break my water.  I did have my qualms about doing it, but I trust Charlotte, and she was confident that it would be ok. 
I am SO GLAD that I did.  Here's why:  the sac is actually two layers that are stuck together (like 2 layers of cellophane).  Sometimes (like 1 in 25+ births) the two layers separate and get fluid between them (for a better description go HERE).  That's what happened to me.  In those cases it's common to have false labor, because things don't progress the same.  I had quite a lot of fluid between the layers, and once the outer layer was broken I immediately started having regular contractions.
We decided to not break the second layer until we'd waited to see if things progressed on their own (so technically she didn't break my water, because it was all still sealed up).  For the first hour I had contractions that were about 2-3 minutes apart & became pretty strong.  During that time Charlotte had run to a nearby grocery (with instructions to call if things got serious). 
When she got back she checked me and I hadn't dilated at all.  I had been laboring on all fours, and she suggested laying in a more reclined position, so that the baby's head would apply pressure more directly on my cervix rather than being tilted forward.  So I spent a little more than an hour laboring on my bed.  I actually don't know what progress was made during that time, because I didn't want her to check me and say that it was the same. The contractions during that time were very strong and didn't feel like they ever really went away...which was the same with my first birth.  Finally I said that I didn't care what my dilation was, I was getting into the birth pool (my written birth plan said that I wanted to wait until I was to a 5 before getting in).
I can't say enough about how much I love my birth pool.  That has been the most wonderful part of all three of my births.  I actually relax enough to focus on what the contractions are for & what my body is doing, and I can relax completely between contractions.  This time I relaxed to the point that I fell asleep between them almost every time.  Then I would wake up and watch my belly contract.  The contractions were hard, but with the nap between them it helped to keep things in perspective.
After a while, though, I began to wonder, "how long is this going to go on if I have time to fall asleep between contractions?  Don't they have to get closer together before I can get to transition?!  Is this baby EVER going to come out?"  I said as much to Charlotte, and she suggested that I get out & labor somewhere else for a little while, as well as go to the bathroom.
I did NOT relish the idea of getting out, knowing that the contractions were already as strong as I wanted to feel, but at the same time I felt like the labor was going to be never ending and I wanted it to hurry if I could help it.
I got to my knees (still in the pool), and had a contraction.  I stood up and had a contraction.  I went into the bathroom and had two contractions.  On the second one I wanted to PUSH.
"CHARLOOOOTTE!" I yelled.  She burst into the bathroom, saw me starting to bear down, and quickly told me to get off the toilet because we can't have the baby there!  She helped me back to my bed and checked me.
Five.  Dilated to 5.  But it was actually just a lip of the cervix in the way, which she moved and let me start pushing.  
My Mom and Chick were awoken and came to see the birth. HH came in from another room & started taping it (he'd been in and out through the labor). At first Chick was sleepy, but then she woke up enough to know that the baby was coming out and took it all in stride. When the baby was out she was SO JAZZED. It was really fun to see her reaction.
The pushing lasted about 15 minutes, I think, but it felt like forever.  {Every segment of this birth was reasonably short, but each one felt like forever, actually.  My sense of time gets pretty skewed during labor, I guess}.  
Anyhow, they encouraged me to feel the baby's head as it started to crown, which was the second saving grace of the birth.  I felt it, which was helpful, and then I moved my hand and they suggested that I feel again--I couldn't believe how much progress had been made in a short time and I knew that the baby was almost out.
I should mention that I'd never EXPERIENCED the "ring of fire" so feeling the baby's head helped to negate the burning that I was experiencing and thought would NEVER END.
Anyhow, when the head came out they saw that the cord was wrapped around the neck twice, and it was too tight to slip up over the head, so they did what is called "somersaulting" and slipped it down around the body as they encouraged me to slowly kind of "grunt" the baby out.  They got the cord straightened out without having to cut it early.
The baby pinked up immediately and had a very lusty yell.  A boy.  A beautiful, alert boy.
His stats were:
9 pounds 2 ounces
22 inches long
14 inch head as well as 14 inch chest

I'm glad that we "induced" as we did, because he was big enough & developed enough as it was, and the placenta had a few spots where it was starting to calcify.  His hands were getting dry too.
Some interesting things about the Little Man:

  • He has the longest fingers that I've ever seen on a baby.  They are like spider legs: long and thin. 

  • He definitely has "rooting" down pat, but falls asleep almost as soon as I start to feed him.

  • He is very alert when carried facing outwards.

  • He looks a LOT like Chick did when she was a newborn, and she looks a lot like HH, but with a round face from her mama. We'll have to see how the Little Man turns out....

  • His hair is fair, but MAY be similar to Monkey's.

  • He is LOUD.  He doesn't exactly cry, but rather screams like he's being murdered.

  • He has two big sisters that ADORE him.  He probably won't appreciate them fully.
As for me:
I'm doing well.  I'm still dealing with crampy/contraction-y stuff, but even though I had a couple of stitches, I am in FAR less pain than with either of the others (despite having just delivered a large baby).  I've had enough help and support that I'm well rested and get to just take it easy for the next few days.  I've adjusted to the idea of having a SON, and am excited to make funny little newsie caps and bow ties!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Game Plan (in long, rambling, philosophical format)

I never did have ice cream; we didn't have the right flavor. Instead I had an uber-delicious banana-ovaltine-peanut butter smoothie. Hmmm, I think I'll have another one in a few minutes, now that I'm thinking of it.... Anyhow, it tasted as indulgent as ice cream, but less guilt. I also had some dark chocolates & popcorn. And I did plop down for a movie, but not until evening--I spend most of the day on the phone (SIL, Sister, Sister, Sister, Mom, husband, Midwife) and that was better therapy than couch potato-ism. (though I think I used all the minutes for the month....)

What evolved was a game plan. (if belly pics and detailed prego stuff bothers you, then stop reading now):

Tomorrow at 5 pm my Midwife & team will bring their sleeping bags and gear. She'll strip my membranes again, and continue to do so every half hour or so. She may also break my water, if it hasn't broken on it's own post-stripping. I'm dilated to 2.5, 50% effaced & super soft. The water bag is bulging, and the baby is low. She's surprised that I haven't gone into labor already, and doesn't think it's going to take much to get things going. So the baby will probably arrive sometime on Friday or Saturday (Sunday?). We'll probably avoid castor oil all together, and just stick with the stripping, possible AROM, walking, squatting, and accupressure.

The pros:
  • it saved my sanity just to HAVE a plan!
  • good timing. HH will get to finish a busy work week, and promises to take some time off work next week. My Mom has knee replacement surgery scheduled for Tuesday, so she'll still be able to meet the baby & help out a little bit. In place of my Mom, at least one sister will be available to help out a little when HH goes back to work. (The scheduling of all of this is what prompted having a plan & it also was what prompted the pity party & stress).
  • [TOTAL TANGENT...BEWARE] In conjunction with the good timing, it also allows me to have "babymoon" time. I know that there are lots of people who disagree with me on this, but I believe that new mama's should have down time. Rest for their bodies, time to get breastfeeding established, time to deal with hormonal shifts & new baby stresses. And rest from life. Because seriously, I have my kids every day. I have to get up and make breakfast and get the kids dressed and be here for them all day. And while I love that I get to do that, I also would like a break. After 9-10 months of building and building, it just seems anti-climactic to have life return back to routine (where I do all the regular work + the new needy little person) immediately. I think it's nice to be able to catch up on sleep a little, and have family stop by for visits & to get to celebrate the wee one and rest from the usual day-to-day. The day-to-day can wait a week...can't it? (but I know that a few of my favorite people disagree & pride themselves on the fact that they don't need help & can jump right back into the game.... so maybe I am selfish.)
The cons:
  • I'll be 8 days overdue, which is nothing to scoff at, but I do believe that babies should come when they want, in most cases. What if this baby just happens to need more time? Some babies do. I'm not miserable (though I don't like the waiting), so to hurry a baby just to accomodate schedules is unsettling to me.
  • while the stripping is ok (It won't MAKE a baby come), I am not so sure about breaking the water. I just don't really like the idea of doing anything that's permanent. Once the water is broken, it's broken. My midwife says that my body is ready enough & I'm overdue enough that breaking the water will result in a baby & not a hospital visit...but there is that chance that things won't go as planned (because really, low-risk birth isn't something that should be PLANNED in my opinion).
Feel free to share your opinion on any of this.

Yesterday Chick went to the bouncy house with Uncle J & Aunt B & cousins. She'd never been, and I'm so glad that she got to do it. She wanted to go again today.
We also had a playdate (a playdate that sent chocolate chip cookies home with us! How great is that?!), and of course I had my midwife appt.

I also got a speeding ticket, which was a bummer. I can't remember the last time I got one...I don't think it's been since I've been married. I was totally sobbing...I don't deal with that sort of stress well. The officer was unmoved.
After my midwife appt I stopped at the pawn shop & the thrift store. : ) I bought 2 nursing tops (one isn't actually a nursing top YET but it will be when I alter it). One of them is the same nursing top as what I just ordered from (THANKS, POLLY!!!) but it's a different color and a size smaller. It's a little too small, but I think it'll be good in a couple of months...and now I know to be super excited about the one that I ordered, which will fit just perfectly!! I also got a dress that buttons in the bodice, so I'll be able to wear that for nursing too, I think. And its flattering enough that I think I'll be able to wear it right away & it should just keep looking better and better as my body gets back to normal.

Today I got out the biggest of my "normal" clothes, that hopefully will fit, as well as the smallest of my maternity clothes, and put away most of the big maternity stuff. Kind of fun to see some different things in the closet...I'm big enough & low enough that I'm very limited these days.
And I took 41 week pictures.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Some of you seem to think that I'm always doing something, and I'm here to tell you that sometimes I do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Sometimes, like on Friday, I turn on a movie so that we can sit around waiting for naptime. Then we nap, and then HH gets home and takes care of the girls so that I can sit around doing nothing some more.

On Saturday HH took care of the girls while I ran errands and went to the thrift store (big score: 2 yards of new minky fabric for $.99!). Once home I pretty much sat around for the rest of the day.

Sunday was church, and naps, and more nothing. Oh, but I did bead a necklace. I'd bought a clearance pendant from Michael's for $.50 on Saturday, so I beaded a necklace to go with it. Our next family picture is going to be black/gray/white clothes with accents of red poppies, so the necklace will work nicely (even if it's not a poppy).

Monday started out rough. It was raining. HH and I were not on the same wavelength, and we both were getting frustrated with each other. Anyhow, the way things turned out: we ended up getting in the car for a drive. We just wandered (HH is great at "What's down this street?") and looked at houses, and flags, and new stores being built, etc.
Our drive took us to Alfy's for some pizza and a fun relaxed lunch that I didn't have to make.
Then we headed home, but we passed a park and it wasn't raining and Chick wanted to stop. So we did. The girls played, and I walked laps around the playground (to no avail). Then some friends from church happened to come along, so we played/chatted with them for a while. Then as we were leaving we ran into some more friends (from when we were single) and chatted some more. Then home for naps. Then we all worked out in the yard. I squatted while weeding in the garden (to no avail). Then we had dinner & watermelon for dessert.
It ended up being exactly the kind of day that I'd wanted. HH also worked on some house projects, but they aren't photo ready yet : )

Today I'm a little stressed, so I've decided that today I'm going to throw a pity party. I'll be serving chocolate, ice cream, too many carbs, and maybe raspberry tea (to no avail). I'll be attired in stretchy cotton and possibly a scowl. Yesterday's makeup. Hair brushed, but not styled. And for activities? I think a movie and naptime.
Maybe I'll throw in a Castor Oil Cocktail.