Saturday, July 31, 2010

Two plus 1

Today is the day after Little Guy's second birthday! I cannot believe that two years have past since his birth...or that 6 weeks have past since Peanut's birth. Time takes on a whole new dimension when kids are involved, doesn't it?

I'm hearing him stirring in his crib right now and his first words said on his second day as a two year old? "Birthday Cake!" The kiddo loves cake and cupcakes and isn't afraid to let the world know it!

I can't wait to show you the cake I whipped up for him. Due to the close proximity of his sister's birth and the complications after (including much, much slower recovery than with his) we decided not to do any kind of party. Yesterday was a day just for our family. It was a great day of presents, family time and yes, there was birthday cake. Specifically a Thomas the Train birthday cake. And for doing it the night before I think it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself!

And since I've been horrible about posting pictures for the last few months I figure I'd change that today in honor of his birthday+1. He has taken to asking to hold his sister and then tells us to get the camera. It is too adorable to watch him hop up on the couch, hold his arms out and then pose for us with her in his arms. Of course, when he is done with it all he just starts pushing her off his lap, saying "tank to" over and over again (thank you) we've got to be ready to catch her! And I realize this is the first picture of her that I've posted. All I can say is sorry for the delay, it has been crazy. And yes, she is that big. We got an announcement of another birth and the babies looked so little next to their brother who is the same age as Little Guy. She is a "healthy, solid girl" to quote her pediatrician!

I'm so grateful to have this happy, healthy and too cute little man in my life. He keeps me on my toes and has taught me more about myself than I could ever imagine. Happy Birthday (+1) and thanks for being my boy!

Loving my babies,

Friday, July 16, 2010

Peanut's Birth Story--Part 4

And a long finish!

Daddy continued the trek to the center with me having contractions and laboring with my eyes closed. I did grab the phone and made a call to find out where Coral and Debby were since things were not slowing down as expected, but rather getting closer and stronger all the time. Based on our short conversations we would all be arriving at the center at approximately the same time. By this point I just wanted to be out of the van and be at the center. I was really working hard to try and relax, but was struggling to do so in the position I was sitting in. I had one moment of nausea that I was grateful to have pass quickly. There was also a moment where I got really emotional and choked up. I told Daddy that I’d told you it was time and really tried to stay focused on that phrase as I worked through each contraction. At one point we stopped at a red light and I told Daddy that he should feel free to push the boundaries of yellow lights. He promptly informed me that he had done that already!

One of the funniest things that was not funny as it happened was that as we got ready to turn left into the parking area an older man with a walker took one step into the driveway. We had to sit and wait for him to cross (oh, so slowly) and while we were waiting and I was having contractions a long line of cars was coming. Gratefully a very wonderful person let us through the line as soon as the gentleman was clear of the drive. We parked next to Debby who was unpacking her things and I immediately got out of the van and had another contraction against the side (right before 4:30). As soon as it was over I got into the birthing room and headed to the bathroom while Daddy and Debby got things unpacked. In the bathroom I was feeling overwhelmed, but told myself that by the time I felt this way with your brother I was only about 2 hours away from having him. I knew I could get through 2 hours for you too! By the time I got out of the bathroom Coral had arrived. I was having contractions very close together and felt like I was working hard, but trying to stay relaxed. I swayed and blew horse lips and danced with you. Daddy was behind me rubbing my hips and lower back though each and every contraction. Coral told us that after she saw me have two contractions back to back she immediately turned to the birth pool and realized it was too hot for me to get into. She turned the cold water on full blast and was also bustling around. Once Debby had everything ready she told me that I needed to climb on the bed so she could check me and take a heart beat reading from you and a blood pressure reading from me. I was not excited about having to lay down since there was no real break between contractions and I really preferred standing and swaying to manage the discomfort. I also told her I just didn’t want to hear I was a ‘3.’ Immediately Coral and Debby said “you won’t be a 3.” They knew I was a lot further along than that!

I got on the bed and Debby listened to you. As always you sounded great! Then she checked me and her exact words were “Honey, you aren’t going to believe it” and I thought the only thing I won’t believe is if she says I can push! Turns out I was at a 9 and when the next contraction hit your water broke and my body just started pushing. I tried to turn onto my right side and hold up my leg because I was pushing like crazy. Coral grabbed my leg on the next contraction and helped hold it and I just kept pushing and pushing. The only thought I had was that I wanted to be in the water and I started begging for it. Literally I kept saying “Please, please, please just let me get in the pool!” and after Debby was done they helped me get there. It was a wonderful relief to be in the water. Immediately the pain went down a notch and I was able to relax between contractions. It felt like things were very intense during each contraction, but that in between I would have a bit of a break and time to regroup.

In the water I was floating in and out of lots of different positions, but mostly I was on my knees and pushing straight down. Debby was very concerned since she couldn’t catch you if I didn’t lean back against Daddy or get onto my hands and knees. There just wasn’t room for her hands underneath me in the water, besides which she couldn’t see. She was also very concerned because she was having a hard time getting a read on you. Normally she listens to heart tones every 5 minutes, but she only got about 3 readings on you the entire time I was pushing (about 30 minutes). I was never worried about you, but it was obvious that she was concerned since she didn’t know how you were doing. Coral said I was in and out of many different positions and I know I often had my right foot down on the pool (one sided squat) while the left knee was down. I did get both feet under me at one point and I know I kept trying to go forward into hands and knees for Debby’s sake. Daddy just kept rubbing my hips and back wherever I told him/showed him to do so. He never got in the pool because there was never time for him to change!

It felt like pushing went so fast and compared to your brother’s birth, it did. In the end you were born all in one push! Your head and body all came out of me in one swoop at 5:27 pm on Thursday, June 17th. I felt like I went from a 100 (working so hard) to a 2. It just all seemed unreal how quickly it all just stopped and there you were! Debby commented that you torpedoed out of me in one rotation. I was leaning back so Debby had room to catch you and immediately you came up into my arms. My first comment as I saw you coming up out of the water was “It IS a girl!” since so many people had thought that you were. I was so excited to be able to meet my little girl!

You never cried as you came out of the water. In my arms you made a little noise, kind of like you were saying hi to us. Daddy was behind us and we were leaning against the pool. I said that someone needed to get the camera (again had not been out yet because of how fast things happened) and Coral was able to get some quick shots of the three of us. We didn’t think about it at first, but it is kind of neat that we are still connected in a few of them. Daddy got pretty emotional, which I didn’t realize since he was behind me. His first comment was that he’d get to walk you down the aisle someday. I quickly realized that he was awfully touched to be the Daddy of a little girl! Daddy cut your cord and Debby took you over to the bed to check you out and collect some blood for your blood test. You were 9 pounds, 6 ounces, 21 inches long and had a head 37 cm around. All in all you were a big, healthy baby girl! I also got out and headed to the bed to be close to you and to finish up delivering your placenta and get fixed up myself.

That night was wonderful. After we were both taken care of you nursed for over an hour straight. You were so peaceful. It is the word that all of us used for you over and over again. Coral told us that most water babies are quieter since they’ve had a gentler birth. You were wide awake for about 3 hours and we so loved the sweet time with you! After you fell asleep we had dinner that I had made and Coral baked for us. The chicken enchiladas were yummy and were followed up by some of the Birth Day cake I had made. Coral and Debby joined us for that and we all sang Happy Birthday to you! After Debby left Coral went into the other room and we finished calling Grandparents and Aunt Sarah. They were all thrilled that things had gone so well and tickled pink that a girl had entered our lives! We had a good night of sleep since you seemed to like sleep right away and headed for home about 9:45am the next day.

We went to pick up your brother at Grandma and Grandpa S’s house and told them your name. We wanted your brother to hear it from us as he met you so we kept them in suspense overnight! At their house he held you for the first time and he was so good with you. Gentle kisses on your head and kept saying “Baby” over and over again. After Grandma held you and everyone got pictures we headed home to settle in as a family. You have been a wonderful eater and sleeper and continue to be a peaceful baby. We are so thrilled to have you in our family and cannot wait to enjoy watching you grow. You are our sweet girl and we are grateful to be your parents.

Hope you enjoyed a peak into her arrival. I promise pictures soon. Her baptism is on Sunday so we are busy preparing for that...and more guests!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Peanut's Birth Story--Part 3

And the saga continues....

After lunch we laid your brother down and Daddy ran out to get some things. I laid down for a while and rested some more. At 2 pm I decided that I was going to go for a walk by myself and see if you and I could get things moving. We headed over to the cemetery and I walked as hard as I could. (Which was not very hard compared to most, but okay for me at 41 + weeks!) I didn’t get too far and a contraction hit. I headed to a tree, leaned against it and just relaxed my way through it. As it passed I started walking again. It was fairly warm in the sun so I just stayed in the shaded areas and learned fairly quickly to stay close to the big trees as they were good buddies during contractions. While I was walking I was talking to you my little one. I just kept chatting about whether you were a boy or a girl, my love for you and my desire to meet you as soon as possible. I ended up using the phrase “its time” over and over again. As in, it is time for you and I to meet and it is time for you to dance your way into this world. And the contractions seemed to be coming closer together and all were fairly strong so it seemed that maybe you agreed! I couldn’t help but wonder what the workers thought as they were landscaping and cutting grass and they kept seeing me swaying while leaning against the big trees. I had to be quite a sight!

I didn’t know how much time had passed, but I knew that things seemed to be moving along and I headed home to Daddy. I decided that we should get things together, drop your brother off and head to the birth center. If things slowed down again (which I figured they would with the changes) then we could walk in the Falls or go out to dinner. Either way we’d be closer to where we needed to be and your brother would be taken care of. I wasn’t anxious and really didn’t think things were moving too quickly, but just felt like we should take the next step. When I got home I realized I’d been gone about 40 minutes and had about 8 contractions while at the cemetery. That meant they were about 5 minutes apart which was closer than I had thought. I told Daddy my idea and he decided to finish up a few things while I packed up the cooler. Shortly after we talked I realized that the contractions were still coming fairly strong and told Daddy that we needed to not waste time and get going. Again, I didn’t feel panicked I just felt like we needed to get moving. The timing worked out well since your brother woke up and we headed out the door by 3 pm. We had called Coral to let her know the plan and she said she’d head over the center to get the birth pool ready and we called Debby who was with her grandsons and she said she’d get moving towards the center soon as well. Our final call on the way out the door was to Grandma and Grandpa F's answering machine to let them know we were headed towards the center.

Once we were in the van I realized that I was going to be having contractions while we were driving. I do not know why this hadn’t clicked with me before, but since I didn’t have any with your brother I had not considered what that would be like with you. Turned out I wasn’t too fond of laboring sitting in a seat with my seat belt on as it made it really hard to relax through the contractions. We were joking around talking about the fact that we’d be able to bill for 2 days at the center since we’d be getting there in the evening and you would probably be born in the wee hours of the morning or sometime the next day. And as we were driving your Daddy started watching the clock to see how far apart the contractions were. We quickly discovered that they were getting closer together! When we were almost to the Marquette Interchange I saw that traffic was backed up on every interstate except the direction we were headed and I was so grateful that we could keep driving. The closer we got to your Grandma and Grandpa S's house the harder the contractions were coming. We had polka music playing and your brother was trying to sing along. Thankfully he thought many of my labor noises were just me singing too!

We were only a few miles from S’s house when I told your Daddy that I thought we needed to just go to the center and have them meet us there. I was feeling overwhelmed with the strength and number of contractions and just didn’t know how long I could keep laboring in the van. Since we were going to be driving right past their house we decided to drop your brother off, but Daddy called them and warned them that this would be a fast stop. We pulled up and they were waiting for us. I got him out of his seat while Daddy unloaded everything. Grandpa grabbed things from Daddy while I put your brother down to have a contraction against the van. He got upset because of all the commotion and having been put down, but Grandma picked him up right away. We pulled away from the house to a crying boy with stuff all over the lawn…it was literally a 3 minute drop off.

More tomorrow! Part 4 here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Peanut's Birth Story--Part 2

The saga part 1 here

We had an appointment with our midwife on Monday, June 14th and discussed our options. Everything seemed fine and we weren’t worried about your health even though we were starting week 41 on Tuesday. Our biggest concern was that Aunt Sarah and the cousins were planning to come from Arkansas on the weekend and we didn’t know if they should. Also, starting on Sunday Daddy was going to be gone every day for a big part of the day doing festivals and libraries. If we got to week 42 and they started talking about induction we would have a real challenge on our hands. And even if things were going well I would be home with your brother and no vehicle if I went into labor. We had a three day window (Thur-Sat) that were quiet and we really hoped you would be here or come on those days. In the end you did just that!

At our appointment with Debby she gave us some B&B which was an herbal concoction that helps to encourage labor. Starting that day I took a dropper of it 5 hours in a row and pumped for 10 minutes each time to encourage the hormones that would help labor get going. I would feel contractions, but nothing too intense and they wouldn’t roll into anything once the 5 hours were up. We continued to walk a lot and do everything we could to encourage you to come. Daddy had a library to play on Wednesday and we decided that if you had not appeared by then we would strip my membranes that afternoon to see if that would help. Tuesday was the same as Monday and Wednesday was too, so Debby came over on Wednesday afternoon and proceeded with the plan.

When she stripped my membranes I was dilated to a 2 and over 60% effaced so we still had a ways to go. After she left I had a really strong contraction, but the rest of the evening was pretty normal. I baked a Birth Day cake to encourage you to come celebrate a birth day and we enjoyed a piece after dinner. After our walk we all headed to bed and as I laid down at 10 I started to have a few contractions, but by 10:30 they had stopped. I slept until 12:30 and was awakened by a contraction for the first time! The rest of the night I would dose off and wake up to contractions. Sometimes they came fairly often, sometimes I would only get 2 or so in an hour. They were all fairly intense and I would find myself waking up very tense. I just did my best to relax through them and didn’t do anything to wake up your Daddy. I was so hoping that they would continue and that things would move along!

At about 6 your brother woke up and I got up to get us breakfast. I decided to call Debby and let her know what was happening as well as get advice as to how I could encourage things along. She suggested doing the herbs and pumping, going for a walk and then resting as I didn’t get a lot of sleep that night. So, we did just that! We also called Coral (our doula and birth center owner) so she would know that something was happening, but nothing too urgent. As the morning continued I would have a few contractions an hour, all strong, but nothing seemed to be getting into a rhythm or progressing too quickly. We talked to Debby at noon and decided that if nothing had picked up I would take castor oil before 4 pm with the hope that it would kick us up enough to bring you. I was not looking forward to it, but since time was running low we thought we’d give it a shot.

More soon! Part 3 here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Peanut's Birth Story

Or the post that has taken too long to get started! I've had multiple e-mails and even a comment now asking where the heck this has been. So without further ado...let the saga begin! (Seeing that it is 6 pages long, I'm going to break it up a bit.)

When telling your birth story where do I begin? Do I begin with my missing the newborn phase within weeks of your brother’s birth? Does it start when we officially started trying to have you around the time he turned one? Does it start when I took a test and thought it was negative only to realize the test was defective and that I still didn’t know if I was pregnant or not? Or when we finally got the positive that I’d been praying for? Or when the practice contractions started exactly as the third trimester began? Or when your due date came and went without you showing up? Or when I cried and cried as your Grandma and Grandpa F. came and went and you still hadn’t shown up? Or when I started to worry about the 42 week mark and we decided to try a few more methods to encourage you to come? Or when real contractions finally, FINALLY started coming but didn’t really seem to go anywhere? Or when you and I took a walk by ourselves in Mt. Olivet and talked and walked hard and kicked the contractions into a 5 minute pattern? Or when we were in the van and I realized I did not want to labor there and that we needed to be to the center as soon as possible? Or when we got there and time just flew by until you torpedoed out into the water? I’ll do my best to summarize your story my girl. It has been quite a ride!

Your Daddy and I always knew we wanted to have more than one child. I think siblings are a great blessing and your Daddy wanted his kids to have them since he never did. So there was never really a question that we would have another baby after your brother joined us. What surprised me was how quickly I felt myself wanting another child. Within months of his birth I was ready to try for you and by the time he turned one we were both excited about when we’d find out about you. It took a little longer than we thought it would, especially considering how quickly we found out about your brother. In the end your timing couldn’t have been better since it gave me the opportunity to be home with you both while Daddy worked hard playing libraries during the summer.

When we finally took a test one Sunday morning I was incredibly disappointed to find it not showing positive. Quickly we realized the control line didn’t show up either and that the test was probably bad. After we came home from church I thought I saw a little dot on the ‘positive’ line and told your Daddy that the test was mocking me. It took a few days to get another test and when we finally took it I was already pretty sure I was pregnant and I was! We were so excited and had the opposite reactions that we’d had with your brother. I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling and your Daddy was pretty shocked. I think the reality of learning that he’d be the father of two hit him all at once!

Our pregnancy was pretty normal and your journal will fill you in on lots of the day to day details. We knew we wanted to use a midwife and I hoped we’d be able to use Well Rounded Maternity Center. In the end it all worked out wonderfully for both.

We were really hoping you would arrive just before or right around your due date of Tuesday, June 8th as your Grandma and Grandpa F. would be here. They came up on June 5th to attend the wedding reception of my cousin and had taken off an entire week to be here. When you had not arrived before the 5th your Daddy and I decided to invite Grandma to be at your birth if it happened while they were in town. While they were here they did all kinds of projects around our house, we went for lots of walks, Grandma and I went rummaging, she came to an appointment and heard your heartbeat and we all waited and waited. Your brother was born the day before his due date and we really expected that you would come around then too, but you had different plans. Grandma and Grandpa left on Saturday, June 12th having not yet met you. I was so disappointed and I know they were as well. We had the best time with them and they loved being with your brother, but you were the star of the show and you didn’t make an appearance! You had very different plans.

To be continued soon, I promise! Part 2 here.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Still Here!

We are slowly adjusting to life with two little ones here! Things are so different with our schedules now (due to Mike's work) that it is hard to know what makes things more challenging the new baby, the new schedule, or me taking longer to be up and running. All in all things are really going very well and I am so grateful to be feeling better. Our little peanut (who is no peanut, but I can't stop calling her that) is such a joy. She is so easy going, only gets me up twice a night and just goes with the flow for the most part. Unless she's hungry, then do not make her wait. The girl likes to eat....hmmmm, wonder where she gets that from? :)

I plan on posting her birth story soon. I'm writing it as a letter to her, but am going to share it here. I'll also be posting some pictures soon with all her details. I do believe that I'll end up calling her Peanut on the blog as it seems to be my nickname for her!

Hope you all have a wonderful 4th! Mike is playing in a local parade and I really, really want to take the kiddos, but we are expecting 90 degree weather and we'd be in it for a while since Daddy will be in the parade. I'm just not sure that is a smart thing to do with a 2 week old and an almost 2 year old, especially all by myself and not at my strongest yet. We'll see, but I have a feeling I may end up staying home. Then, because I'm crazy, we are picking up produce that night. We had no plans and the opportunity came up. I'm hopeful that it will be easy to freeze stuff that I can put up quickly. If not, I will probably give a lot away or compost it. I do not think I'm up for any big canning sessions yet. And we have lots more freezer space now as our company this last month helped eat up a lot of my freezer cooking.

Take care and enjoy your weekend!