Monday, June 25, 2012

Hashi Toyota Motorola, huh?

It says "Daddy's Little Angel" taken when she was six weeks old.

Ernest the Goober Child who is striking what I would call a televangelist pose.

Onward to our subject:

I can't help but laugh when people say "Huh?" to the name of this hashi thingie... It's called Motorola disease.  I mean Toyota Corolla?  Karate Giujitsu?  Lol, okay I'm a dork.

Down to business:

"Hashimoto’s is an immune problem not a thyroid problem. The immune system is destroying the gland, and that is the reason the thyroid is producing less hormone." Source

I need to reboot my immune system.  On one hand I'm relieved I can cover the symptoms daily by taking a pill.  On the other hand, I don't want a band aid.  I want this to be fixed!  Don't medicate my symptoms, fix my body so it don't have symptoms in the first place!

Kendall has, SURPRISINGLY, been very supportive of my decision to change up our eating habits.  Like I've said before, I cook and serve as much as I can from a natural approach meaning less top Tombstone pizza and more roast with veggies. (Note: I do carry an emergency bag of frozen burritos in the freezer.  Don't judge.)   However, I have taken it to a higher level of dedication and reform. 

My favorite 'good for you' blog on natural eating is Nourishing Kitchen.  It is the complete opposite of the SAD (Standard American Diet) and is downright dirty when the topic of McDonald's is approached.  This is where I get my recipes for bone marrow broth using dog bones and Kombucha.  I searched 'thyroid' and ten hits were on the first page. My favorite post concerning hypothyroidism is the one simply entitle Foods to Promote Thyroid Health.  Alrighty then.

The least, the very least, I can do is change my eatting habits.  I'm a firm believer that my midwife urging me to consume more protein during my pregnancy with Emma led me to gain little weight with her, thus I am below my starting weight.  Now if I could only lose Eleanor, Ernest, and Ethan's pregnancy weight...  That said, I'm ready to buckle down and take it to the next step.  No sugar and no coffee.  Gasp.  Lord help meLord help my husband!

Day one went well.  It only went well because I ate a chocolate chip cookie on the way home from church and then realized it, mid bite!, that I was consuming said chocolate chip cookie so I threw it in the back to the two year old.  He has a great metabolism, let him eat it!  (For now.  We're doing a family eatting overhaul so even the kids are going to have to let up on the sweets.)  However, I skipped on the post-church coffee.  And today I added no sugar to my sun tea.  I rock!  Let's see how day three goes. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A bump is a lump no matter how small

Oh you pesky health issues, be gone!

April 2011 I felt a bit of a lump on my throat while putting on my moisturizer.  I decided to have a full physical performed and specifically asked that my TSH (thyroid stuff) be checked.  After googling some pesky issues, and hearing some reassurance from a friend that it did indeed sound like thyroid problems, I was anxious to hear the results.  Sure enough, my level was at a 11 and it should be under a three.  My hair was falling and clogging my shower, I was very tired, and I couldn't seem to lose my Eleanor-baby-weight.  I had been thinking that I had these symptoms because Eleanor was five months old at the time and it was my hormones leveling out.  After the physical I was given a prescription for synthroid which is a synthetic version of TSH and I started to feel better again.  However, that pesky lump never did make its exit.  And then I became pregnant with Emma in May.

Skip to summer of 2012.  Emma is born, this lump has grown, it is tender, and I'm annoyed at its very presence in my body.  Lump, I'm so over you.  I made an online appointment with a random doctor instead of my family physician because I wanted to keep the two seperate.  Weird, I know, but it's my brains fault and I just follow through.  She recommended having an ultrasound and we were scheduled for the following week.  At my ultrasound, which took all of ten minutes, I could actually the doggone thing staring back at me.  Ewwwww!  I did not like the idea of a "random mass of cells" making its home in my neck, much less being able to view it.  It was also new feeling being in ultrasound without hearing a new itty-bitty heartbeat.

My thinking- "My ultrasound is on a Thursday.  I don't want the doc to call me until Monday.  Anytime before that is bad news." Well, she called Friday and scheduled a biopsy the following week. Great.

So how does one go about having a biopsy performed on your neck?  Good question.  The sweet ultrasound tech reassured me that it was painfree other than a stick of benzocaine.  (Or is it lidocaine? Novacaine? Whatever 'caine' it is, sign me up!)  I'd already gotten the scoop on how it all really feels from a friend that has this procedure done annually, God bless that woman.  She said her eyes water and her toes curled.  I was not looking forward to this.  Plus, in all of my wonder, I youtubed the procedure.  NEVER EVER EVER YOUTUBE MEDICAL PROCEDURES!

I kept the room light with jokes about usually seeing my uterus in this room and how the doc had better get this done right the first time because it's pretty hard to find a willing friend to watch all four kids for free, ha!  Anyway, numbed me up he did and boy howdy it was a lovely pain followed by "Nope, don't feel a thing!" And then he started the procedure....

I sang every song in my head that I could think of acompanied by mental visions of puppies, cupcakes, and chocolate bars.  Lord Jesus help my find my happy place ALMIGHTY!  "Did you feel that?"  As if the nail marks on the chair and the fact my toes are curled up into my butt don't give it away.  "Yes sir, I did.  It was...uncomfortable."  Ok so he dosed me up with some more numbing love and poked away.  Oh- the doc pokes your lump with a needle REPEATIVELY to fill it up with bad mojo's cells. Good grief.  Finally, he just went at it with five needle pokes and got it done.  I really do believe that it was the lump that didn't want to cooperate in this mess and I do not place blame at all on my radiologist.  It's not his fault my psycho neck cells have an attitude.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A day in my life: Let's go to the doctor's office!

At the end of the day two days ago I sat in my recliner, nursed Emma, and thought to myself "Wow, I don't know how I do it either."  The days are long and short all at the same time.  They are tiring both physically (you try carrying a three year old, one year old, car seat, and groceries downstair during nap time!) and mentally.  How many times a day I say ELEANOR ANN, I do not know.

I decided to take all four kids in for their physical all at the same time.  There is a tremendous amount of isolated thunderstorms in our area right now, so you are either cold and wet or hot and humid.  Our appointment was at 4:00 and we took up the entire hour with all four kids all in a row.  I'm just setting up the scene for ya folks, hang with me.  I knew that this was going to be an interesting affair since I wasn't going to take in the sit and stand nor put Emma in a sling since when we arrived at the clinic it was 3:49 and pouring rain.  For the first time, I was early with all four on my own.  Granted Eleanor had no shoes on but that's the norm for us.

We have a pep talk in the minivan before we show the clinic what they are in for. 

Crazy woman with all those kids: LISTEN UP.  We are going to go see the doctor.

Ernest:  We coming home with a baby, mama?

Crazy woman with all those kids: Nope, we are going to have a checkup.  He's going to look you over, make sure everything is working fine, then we'll be done.  Easy!  No screaming, yelling, or running in the office!  THIS IS A WORK ENVIROMENT, NOT THE PARK.  Does everyone understand?

Everyone nodds in agreement.

Crazy woman with all those kids: Be respectful of the workers and other sick people here, got it?

Everyone nodds in agreement.

We commence unloading.  Eleanor is unbuckled and stands on the edge of the door while I unbuckle Ernest and get Emma's carseat out.  Eleanor is not trustworthy of staying close to me and will most likely dart into traffic like a scared deer.  Ernest has enough commonsense to not run around but will jump with excitment about being anywhere but at home, thus scaring nearby drivers which I am happy about because they all drive too darn fast in the parking lot anyway.  Ethan mozy's on out.  Hold Eleanors hand on the left, carry Emma on the right, Ernest and Ethan are holding hands, here we go.

Ernest: Mama, we go to da doctor?  Whhhhhhhy?

Crazy woman with all those kids: To make sure everything's working correctly on your body.  We don't want you to fall a part.

Ernest:  Oh.  (Serious look) Why?

Crazy woman with all those kids: Look Ernest!  There are fish in that water!
Questioning almost-three-year-old is now fixated on fish, I am now able to not have to answer yet another queestion.  Whew.

I am now standing in a way too long line in a hot and humid lobby with Eleanor trying to put on her shoes, Ethan asking what type of fish there are, Ernest screaming "Mama look!  LOOK!  A baby fish!" and Emma is starting to move around. Why is there NO AIR CONDITIONING!?!?

After fifteen minutes of "Here, sign here date there and promise not to sue for anything" I haul them all down the warmest hallway ever while carrying Eleanor (with still no shoes on), Emma in the other hand, Ethan carrying Eleanor's shoes, and Ernest running up and down ahead of me.  "What did I say in the minivan?  No running!" and he smiles his little smile and says "Ok mama" as he gallops off.

Ok, now I'm too tired to type.  In the end, Dr Jensen is holding Eleanor on a hip, the nurse is giving out stickers and books, and Emma fell asleep.  I'm hot. I'm sweating and sticky from this humidity.  Something smells like poop.  And I'm going to bed.  After I take a shower, do the dishes, wipe off the table, and make a trail to the bedroom.  It's just a season?

We have stopped immunizing our kids for the moment.  As in, let me get a better feeling about what I'm doing to my child before I take any further steps.  I don't mean to cause waves in the medical field, I do believe the majority of our nations doctors are doing what they feel is best for everyone.  That said- we did not poke anyone today. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

How to say "I love you" in the language of Crystal.

I finally took a "What's your love language" survey and low and behold Acts of Service is highest in the ranking.

9-Acts of Service
8-Quality Time
6-Recieving Gifts
4-Physical Touch
3-Words of Affirmation

From the Love Languages website, the Acts of Service explanation says the words I'd most like to hear are "Let me do that for you." That is amazing, Kendall said "Is there anything I can do for you?" and I about fell over.  It's true.  I do feel like I have plenty on my plate and if my mate would like to help alleviate the load, or at least make it more simple to accomplish, then I am all for it! However, "laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don't matter."  TALK ABOUT HITTING THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!  I have a hard time with Kendall having a Saturday of doing nothing, or not having a goal in mind for the day.  How can anyone sit and do nothing when there is so much to do?!  I see lots to do!  Not only is there the daily grind of laundry, dishes, and poopy diapers, but there is so much to see and do in the world!  We live down the street from a gorgeous wildlife refuge, let's go for a walk!  Let's build something! Let's do... anything!  Watching a movie in the middle of the day is completely aggrivating to me.  Taking a four hour nap makes me furious.  Even when I'm the one doing it, why'd you let me sleep so long!  Poor Kendall can't win sometimes.  I also believe I was raised in an enviroment where if you can physically work, then you will be working.  Mom rarely napped, even when we were little.  Mom rarely sat down!  Dad built things, fixed stuff, and was generally moving around until he became too sick.  Then he watched every episode of This Old House and  How Stuff Works. 

Quality time goes hand in hand with Acts of Service.  If I'm being helped in something that is meaningful to me, then we are spending quality time together.  For example, when Kendall is cleaning out a closet, and I'm folding laundry, this falls under Quality Time with a bonus of Acts of Service.  It's like he's saying "I know this closet has been bugging you and you are busy folding laundry, so I'm going to "Acts of Service" you and take care of this closet while you are folding laundry so we can "Quality Time"." Confused?  Also, I want us to all be together as much as possible.  I don't want Ethand playing video games, Ernest coloring, Kendall playing computer games, Eleanor making a mess, while I'm doing dishes.  Why can't we all play a game while the kids are awake, then I'll finish dishes while he puts them to bed, then we can watch a movie and hang out before we hit the hay?  This all makes perfect sense to me in my own world.

Gifts are a big deal to me three times a year.  I'm not going to lie, it's true.  My birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas.  Three times is not large task and I'm not asking for ruby slippers and a new Mercedes.  I like to celebrate life and the moments in them.  Birthday's are for celebrating the birth of that particular person and being grateful that person exisits and is in our lives.  I carefully choose presents for people for events, never leaving it to the last possible second.  And even then, it's thoughtfuly purchased with the full intention of the reciepent appreciating it.  Wowza.  So three times a year to think of something nice for me is so doable (in my world once again).  Bonus: going to the grocery store and picking up a single carnation from the floral department 'just because', coming home from the flea market with a plate that he thought I might like, etc.  These are all reason's I have four children.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Drink your worries away

I have started juicing apples, carrots, and celery to make a type of juice fast drink thingie.  I feel like I'm full of funky toxins and I want them out.  My body has yet to reach a point where I feel comfortable saying "I have recovered from child birth".  In the past it's taken all of a week.  A part of it is indeed not being able to rest like I have been, I feel the pressure to keep the house picked up and have a nutrious meal.  I don't really care if it's good or not, just more nutrion than macarroni and cheese.  Go me.

The surprising thing is my kids really have enjoyed these juices.  They are not overly sweet at all like grape juice or apple juice.  I feel like they are the most natural drink beverage I can give them, other than water of course and even then there are all sorts of chemicals in our cities water, so much infact that before we bought our water filter it burned my nose to turn on the faucet.  You know it's bad when you want a drink of water and it smells like a pool.  I'm headed out the door now to purchase some kale and more apples. Here's to a happy healthy lifestyle!

Trying on suits for our family picture.  Ethan's a size 8 and Ernest is a size 3t

Friday, April 6, 2012

Emma's birth story

Ready to have a baby and be comfortable again.  Check out that belly!

It took seven pokes a super-cool-Star-Trek-looking gadget to get an I.V. going.  I recommend having a shot of benzocaine to numb an I.V. spot before attempting a full on stick with the needle.  Eventually my nurse had to use a smaller needle and it held on with a prayer.  I had the sore arms and bruises to prove those needle sticks!  I kept saying "I've stepped on Lego's in the dead of night and thety hurt worse than this!"  But I.V.'s are still an owie in my book.

Walking around to get the pitocin to work.  I had a pole next to me and would take off all of those belts and straps so I could walk around.

The pitocin was started at 4:30pm.  At 8:00 I had my nurse check me and she said I was "easily at a five".  I would have been happy with being three centimeters!  At 8:30 my doctor came in and broke my water and immediately my contracts were extremely strong and exactly two minutes a part.  I was laying in bed and said "I need to get on my birthing ball before these contractions get even harder and I can't move."  I waited until a contraction ended and then moved onto the ball.  Christina was quietly saying "Good job" and "Breath your baby out" which is so true.  I concentrated on having a loose jaw, non-clenched hands, and to not tense up when feeling a contraction coming on.  It is so 'against nature' to not tense up, it's like not holding on for dear life when you see you're in a head on collision.  However, it helps the contraction do its job if you chill out and don't get scared.

I asked Christina to braid my hair.  I wanted to at least have my hair out of my face for pictures.  In this picture I look like I'm at about 9 cm.  The ice pack is on my arm from recieving antibiotics that hurt like the dickens!  The nurse rushed two doses into my vein at one time and boy did it sting, so we put an ice pack on my arm.  I felt like a wasp sting.

After about forty minutes of intense labor I looked up at Christina and said "I feel grunty" which are code words for "I am about two contractions from pushing out a baby".  I wiggled back into bed, saw that Christina and the nurse were at the foot of the bed, felt at peace enough to push without having to announce that I needed to, and pushed her out.  Pushing a baby is out is bittersweet.  I can relate it to puking your guts out- while it hurts and is highly uncomfortable, you immediately feel so much better that the pain is almost welcomed.  Or something like that. :D

Kendall wasted no time calling people.  She was born at 9:11. 

I am not the type of mother who immediately wants to see her baby.  I always ask for 'a moment'.  I just need a moment to close my eyes, come down a bit from my adrenaline rush, tell my brain to tell my body that my baby and myself are safe and healthy, and to just breath and chill out.  Then I welcome my baby with opens arms.

Have you ever realized how incredibly soft a newborn baby's skin is?  Unbelievable.  I was trying to accept that she is born and I'm no longer pregnant. 

Adoring our new daughter.  I love this photograph.

Our doctor did not make it back in time and our nurses delivered her.  Fine by me but I wanted to be sure we got a picture of him holding her.  I have so much respect and admiration for this man.  I'm glad we found him, he is incredibly well-knowledged and respects families choices. 

My friend first, my midwife second.  I cherish this woman.  She has such a heart for children and babies.  I always feel like a queen when I'm at her house, her and her kids wait on me hand and foot with ice water and home made tapioca pudding.  This is a picture of our end product :).

Our nurse who delivered Emma.  She was soft spoken and worked well under pressure.  Anyone could tell she had been a nurse for a number of years.

Cuddling my newborn.  I'm so happy to be holding her.  We went through a lot to get her here!

Emma was born pretty dry without any vernix (white cheesey gunk), long hair, long nails, not too much amniotic fluid.  Her cheeks show she was well fed in the womb!

Both Christina and the nurse applauded Kendall's professional swaddling skills. He had definitely swaddled a baby before!

Our trip from the "Labor and Delivery" side of OB to the "Let's heal up and go home!" side!

Emma's bath.  Kendall took this shot while I was asleep.  I had no idea she'd been out of the room until I noticed she was clean the next day!

The kid's first time seeing Emma!  Look at Ethan's face!

SO PROUD!  I had told Ethan that Emma would come at Valentine's Day.  Valentine's Day came and went so I said she'd be coming soon.  You'd better believe every time I went to Christina's house or to a doctor's visit he'd ask when Emma was going to come out of my belly.  Many times he said "Emma should come out now.  I'm just so excited.  Emma should come today."

Eleanor gets to see Emma.  Eleanor is 17 months old.

Our cousin's get to see Emma for the first time.  We were all so happy to meet a new baby!

Ernest holding Emma.  He held her for a few seconds then decided she was too heavy.  It was pretty cute.

COUSINS!  Our kids and Kendall's brother and his wife's kids.  Seven little children ages five and under in one hospital room!

Ethan cuddling with her.  About makes me cry.  This is totally him, and wasn't taught and he was told to do this.  He is naturally this sweet with babies.

Kendall's brother being sweet with her.  He has his own mess of kiddo's now!  It's amazing how we all have our families and how much they have grown!

Holding Emma with Ernest.  Ernest is more reserved when it comes to changes in his enviroment, I knew it would take some time for him to be comfortable around her.

My sweet family!  Kendall and the kids!

My kiddos.  Ethan's 5, Ernest is 2, Eleanor is 17 months, Emma is a day old.

A family of six!

My sweet friends came to visit.  Amy on the left is pregnant with her sixth baby.  Sue has six, or is it seven?, kids and drives a huge van plus she delivered her twins naturally.  I applaud these women!

Christina and her youngest daughter came to visit us.  They both adored Emma.

Two more of my dear friends came to visit.  My friend Anna on the left loves ladybugs so I made sure Emma was wearing her ladybug hat.  By this time, I had been able to take a shower and put on my own clothes.  It so nice to relax in my own nightgown instead of a hospital gown.  I tried to make everything feel as home-like as possible since the odd's of me having a homebirth or slim to none.

Emma Elizabeth

And a picture to make you laugh, Eleanor in her Hello Kitty sunglasses.  I love my life.

Thank you to all of my friends who have kept tabs on my pregnancy, labor, and family via blog and facebook.  Wasn't it such an adventure getting her here?!  I'm so glad it's over and I can say I've recovered much slower than I anticipated but Kendall was an incredible helper and all of the meals that have brought to our house have be appreciated.  I cannot say enough thank you's!  Thank you for bringing our family meals!  Thank you for praying for Emma and myself!  Thank you everyone for your uplifting words there at the end of my pregnancy!

Patience paid

Kendall recieved a phone call today from the ManagerKindaGuy (I don't know what he's called but it's some sort of authority figure from a 'career' type job aka: a job I've never had).  The ManagerKindaGuy recieved authorization from the owner and the head human resources lady to hire Kendall granted Kendall passes his background check and drug check.  There is no reason for Kendall to not pass these two checks therefore we have decided that he is hired and we are waiting for him to sign all of that official type of paperwork (W2 and whatnot) and he'll be HIRED.  Like, a real job.  A "JOB" job!  A CAREER JOB!

Three years ago I was 6 months pregnant with Ernest when he was laid off.  Eleanor was five weeks old when we stopped recieving any type of income.  Emma had just turned three weeks old when Kendall recieved good news of a new job!  Ever single pregnancy/birth has been accompanied by another life changing chapter (well, other than the fact that I was having a baby).  Amazing.  

I'm most excited about having a new adventure in life.  Kendall said I could start looking for new furniture.  As in, furniture with drawers that open and close easily!  And we've started looking for a new home.  Get excited people. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chanel No. 5

As I'm walking into the kitchen Kendall says "OH NO!  WAS THAT BREAST MILK?!?!?!!!"  Apparently he had dumped out a bottle from my pumping efforts to bring in some liquid gold.  I just smiled and said yes.  As I walked away I hear him say "It might as well been Chanel No. 5..."

Now  that's a man who knows the efforts of breastfeeding.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A day of "Fine"

We had a Biophysical Ultrasound done today to check on Emma.  Everything was fine, she didn't move around a lot until the very end, and she almost lost points until she did squirming around.  I really get fidgety when people ask "Does the baby move?"  Well, yeah.  I see her butt move from the left to the right and it's usually at night.  But no, she doesn't squiggle squaggle like she used to.  Quit putting doubt in my mind that she should be doing more!  Arrrrgh...  The sweet ultrasound tech talked to my doc about her getting all of her points but being slow to move until the end.  I overheard the tech mention to him that Emma's amniotic fluids were low but still in the normal range.  Doc said he wants me to come in on Thursday morning to check the cervix and make a plan from there.  Fine.

I called Christina and asked her for her opinion of the appointment.  She agreed with what I felt it was, fine.  Fine fine fine.  Oh the patience!  I want to have this baby all natural, just like my last two.  Natural without any I.V.'s or pokes.  Nothing holding me down or prohibiting me from moving into whatever position gets this kid out quickest.  I literally have to surrender the worry of 'what if' to God serveral times a day.

 We have all learned so much from these extra appointments and time spent at the clinic.  Having Christina nearby keeps me grounded and I know she'll speak up if something sounds weird that I just don't have the education to make a solid grounded judgement call on.  Does that sound harsh?  Yeah well I have to pee every 27 minutes (or so it seems) so having a level headed person around is a great idea at this point.

There was no hair to be see on Emma this time simply because she was squished and even I had a hard time figuring out what was what on the screen.  I was able to see that she was going to be born with some Eleanor Cheeks (read: full with no neck underneath).  On most ultrasounds the bones are a darker shade of gray, Emma's are pure white and hard.  Amazing.  Seeing her on ultrasound today gave me a greater sense of peace in knowing this kid is capable of being born at any moment and would be just fine in doing so.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Graceful homesteading blog giveaway has a wonderful little giveaway.  I have been following her blog for a few years now and am completely smitten with her family and life.  After reading a person's blog for so long, you can't help but feel like a part of their family!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Forever pregnant

We went in to be (potentially) induced this morning.  Yesterday we went to Christina's to discuss our plan of action and decided to use the pitocin, if nothing happens, stop the pitocin and go home.  Being induced is pretty tiring, to not have the end results you had wanted or planned on makes it the ultimate mental exhaustion.  If nothing happens, then nothing happens and lets go home.  Everything taken with a grain of salt.

Today we went in and Dr. J said let's have an ultrasound to double check the babies heartrate, amniotic fluid, movement, and placenta.  If everything's good, why rush things?  If there's an alarm, then let's go ahead with the induction.  Sound good to me!  Inductions are a medical intervention that are wonderful when necessary.  I have no problem being induced, however if I can avoid it with peace at mind that everything is going well and nothing alarming can be forseen, then all the better.  My bladder and back can handle this, right? 

The ultrasound from today showed no cause for concern so we packed it up and headed back home.  I considered the 2 hours of using the hospital room a mini vacation.  Nobody needed me and we had great conversations, bliss! 

An appointment has been made to see Dr J in the clinic on Friday, Christina will be coming along with me.  All to check check double check things.  In the mean time, I hope to go on my own.

Bonus- we saw her via ultrasound this morning and were able to see the hair on her head!  AMAZING!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Emma is still not born

Edit- excuse all the grammatical errors and sentence fragments.  Just go with it on this one....

Monday night I recieved about two hours of sleep after having intense back labor that would not let me sleep, along with a fussy Eleanor who was having a hard time staying asleep, plus Ernest was up several times.  I believe it was from me getting out of bed, laying down in bed, walking the floors, leaning on the table, up again the walk, trying in futility to get comfortable on the recliner, repeat.  I had not ever experienced back labor before in any of my pregnancies or births.  It was completely exhausting, you can't get comfortable no matter the tricks you try, plus I took two long hot showers with the water on my upper and lower back and emptied my hot water tank twice before calling my midwife.  Out of pure exhaustion I slept from about 4:30- 5:30 and  I was able to wake up Kendall and he rubbed the heck out of my back and I was able to sleep some from 6-7.  I woke up again with severe back labor and some good uterine contractions so we called our midwife and doctor to see if we could come in and recieve Pitocin and get the ball rolling. 
I laughed at myself in the mirror after realizing absolutely nothing I was wearing matched. Whatever, 41 week and 4 days in the picture and excited to go to the hospital.  Look at that belly!

I have had a wonderful midwife who is actually my friend first and my midwife second.  I had no idea of her midwifery background or capabilities until I asked her to oversee my prenatal health for Emma.  Humble is an understatement when describing her Godly character.  She has the biggest smiled on her face when we have our checks and geniuenly enjoys just measuring my belly and listening to the heartbeat, what a blessing!  She said "I'm coming over and we'll go in together" so she showed up before my kids had left to my sister-in-laws and before the doctor had gotten back to me to relay that I could indeed come in for an induction.  I was tired from the get go of this whole adventure yet fet the end of this pregnancy was surely near from the contractions and other signs of upcoming labor.  I was also very much in a state of 'bring on the pain I'm so over this' mentality.

Our kids were picked up, my doctor called back and said to come on in, and we loaded up and headed over to the hospital.  I looked over at Christina, my midwife, and said "I can't believe we are to this point!  I can't believe we are headed to the hospital!"  We were both giggly with excitment, it was pretty cute.  She dropped me off and I headed upstairs while she parked the car, Kendall drove the minivan on his own since we were anxious to get going. 

Resting after some walks and contactions. 
Once upstairs on the third floor of the local hospital we recieved the best treatment anyone could ask for.  Our nurse brought us all ice water and juice, Christina was well recieved with open arms from the nurses (not all midwives are welcomed with such hospitality since you are now entering the official medical world and are on their turf), and my nurse went over what we wanted and did not want during labor, delivery, and applied to our newborn.  No guilt or pressure over our decisions was made and they were very respectable of our privacy and choices.  It was great.
Walking the baby out is a great way to get your mind off the contractions.

Some sweet friends stopped by after their birthing class.  They are expecting their first baby in April and thought to come check on us and "Where's the baby?!"
We hooked up pitocin at 11:00am and started on a very low dosage of 5.  The highest it goes to is 26 and surely we felt we wouldn't need it, we just needed to kickstart this labor and get the ball rolling knowing my body would get the hang of the contractions and take off on it own, then we would take me off the pictocin and I could labor naturally and finish on my own.  Perfect plan.  Well, come 2:00 I'm still not dialated and my contractions are not close enough together or strong enough to be refered to as 'labor'.  We chose to up my pitocin every thirty minutes, have a cervical check every hour to see where we are at in dilation, and Christina, Kendall and I walked up and down the halls of the third floor.  Finally at 8:00 a med student checked me and said I was at a four.  Sweet Jesus that's awesome.  Then at 9:00 I was at a five, wow we're doing great!  Although I was extremely tired I was working on adrenaline and kept walking the halls.  The contractions were 3 minutes a part and slowing me down their deep 'pinch' and sharpness.  "Pressure filled" is another good word to describe them.  At 1:00 we were all delirious with lack of sleep and I fell asleep every two minutes sitting up up, would wake up to breath through a contraction, then fall asleep sitting up while Christina rubbed down my ever swollen saline-filled legs.  My right hand hand had become very swollen from the IV and saline so I had to be alert to move my hands around to reduce the swelling.  In order to put my feet up I had to lean back in the bed but that was utter discomfort during a contraction.   There is no worse place to be during a contraction being confined, whether it is a car or a bed, in my opinion.
Kendall was so sweet and helpful, plus everyone loved his jokes.  He played a great role of "the dad" during our stay.

My right hand was extremely swollen, and my socks left rings around my ankles.
I fell asleep, and at 4:00 my doctor came in and checked me.  After much deep deep reaching and several jokes about feeling my teeth, he gave me the most diasppointing news of my life- you're only at 2.  What. the. heck.  Apparently, the nurses and med student had been feeling the front of my cervix, which is extremely thinned out and feels like a bag of water.  When they seperate their fingers to know how dialated I am, their fingers were feeling uterine muscle and the 'lip' of the cervix.  You can feel the babies head, what feels like a bag of water, and even the babies own 'soft spot' due to the cervix being so thinned out.  Amazing, just not the right spot.  The true opening of the cervix is located in the back of the uterus and starts to move forward and easier to get to as labor draws nearer.  My cervical opening was still further in the back, and still at only a two.  When he told my nurse I'm still at a 2 her jaw dropped.  HOW?  I've been walking for hours, on the highest level of pictocin, have three minute a part contractions, yet I'm only at a 2?  What about all of the mind numbing labor, and back pain, and and and.  Nope just at a 2. 

Now my options were 1. start a new bag of pitocin, 2. go home, 3. have cesarian section.  Well, plan 3 is my emergency escape route and Kendall knows to only give the okay on one if the baby or myself are in emminent danger or distress.  And I don't want to go through another bag of pictocin.  I just don't wanna.  I'm tired.  I'm sore.  I haven't had a good rest or meal and would bring everything I have to the table to walk all day again today plus push out a big ol' full term baby.  My legs and arms are already so swollen with saline.  I've been on three rounds of penicillin to counter act any positive group b-strep found in me.  Our prenatal has been completely done at home so we started the penicillin 'just in case' it was positive.  Although I avoid antibiotics as much as possible 'in the real world' I felt that one round wouldn't hurt, no biggie.

After choosing to come home, a decision supported by Kendall, my "Whatever you want is fine" guy, and Christina, who had stuck it out with us in the hospital and in a daze of her own, I had complete peace.  I wanted to cry.  My nurses had set up everything for delivery and layed a blue cloth over it all, but the neat delivery bags used by doctors and nurses had be opened and layed out.  There was a bassinet waiting outside my door with a teeny tine newborn diaper, hat, and tape measure waiting for Emma to use. Every time I walked by my own room I thought "I can't believe I'm going to have another baby!  I can't believe that bassinet is for me!"  There were two newborn babies in the nusery that we cooed over on our walks.  And yet we left empty handed with our sweet nurses saying the hope to see us later today or tomorrow.  We have scheduled another potential induction for Monday.  My doctor had let us know Friday we could try, but I declined it.  Monday sounded better in my world.  A week of not thinking about it, of just living like normal and baking cookies with my kids and cleaning my bathroom sounded so much better.

Thoughts of disbelief mixed with 'now what?' floated through my head.  I'm supposed to have these three minute a part contractions and not be in labor? How am I supposed to take care of my kids on these contractions?  I'm supposed to live a normal life after a full day of intense mental focus and physical discomfort only to end in utter disappointment?  And what am I going to tell Ethan who has been asking if I could 'just let Emma out already' for days and days and days.  Christina told me later in privacy, it's okay to have a meltdown with Ethan and cry, it's okay for him to see diasppointments happen.  We are heartbroken, however not broken.  We will have a baby.  We will have a baby that is gifted to us.  I know too many mama's who have one or none and only wish to walk my shoes but can't due to physical inability.  I can still feel little (well, not so little, she's a bit over the eight pound mark and beyond full term) Emma rolling around in my belly.  I drank apple juice in the hospital and within five minutes we could hear her hiccuping on the monitors.  We even got it on tape and hindsite I'm so glad we did.  In the end, this baby will be born.  Whether she wants to or not, she has to be born. 

I am starting to wonder if she's going to be one of those thirty year old adults still living in their parents basement, though.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's a good day for blogging

*Good luck keeping up with me on this one.  It's more of a rambling of sentences.*

Also known as a Crying Kind of Day.  Ohhhhhhh how these types of days can sneak up on a person.  On one hand I want to play the 'pregnant card', and pregnant with a girl to boot!  But I've been taking my vitamins with all of the extras.  I don't get enough sleep, which is new because those who know me know we are an early to bed early to rise type of family.  Eleanor has been sleeping in until 8-8:30 which is unheard of in my kids.  However, we have lunch at 11:30, and BOOM down for naps at noon on the dot.  Ethan does not sleep for quiet time.  He lays on the bed and 'rests'.  I'm usually taking that time to mop the floor and catch up on dishes.  And though I do try to catch up on housework, it never seems to show.  If you were to walk in my home right at this moment you'd see laundry (CLEAN thankyouverymuch) to put away, the vaccum is out constantly, a dirty high chair that I think I'm going to put in the shower to scrub, and two bags of garbage by the front door to take out because I am not lugging garbage upstairs in negative degree weather.  Amongst other misc items to take care of. 
Nobody wants to see stretch marks, but isn't this the sweetest picture of the kids standing
 nearby to hear the baby's heart beep? Yes, the kids say the baby's heart beeps.  CUTE!

We went to an open gym kids event this morning at church, a total blessing!  It's so nice to give the kids a place to run and play without anything slowing them down.  We are able to bring trikes and put them in their play clothes (that gym floor is pretty dirty but that's fine) and let them loose!  I wore a denim skirt, big ol' Columbia boots, and am currently 35 weeks pregnant yet I shot some hoops with Ethan.  4 kids in 5 years.  Bring. It. On.

Then we went on to the next event, my favorite Bible Study at a little Baptist church.  The women who attend this study are phenomenal.  Very wise.  Sweet.  Plain ol' SMART.   "When I grow up I want to be like her," kind of stuff.

In the nursery at our homeschool co-op.
However, on the yuck side of life, today I cried THREE TIMES!  First, out of plain frusteration with Ethan.  That kid....  Lord, give me a break!  Show me that I'm mkaing a difference!  He won't take no for an answer.  Defiant.  Hard to handle.  He repeats questions constantly.  "Ethan, I already answered that.  Ask me a different question." Is this for attention?  I think it is.  I know that raising kids is trainning, hard work, constant, etc.  Yes I've heard it.  I've read it.  I've studied it all.  I am in a constant state of prayer.  No, really.  It is CONSTANT.  Pray without ceasing, right?  Okay, no problem.  It just wears a gal down. Like, Lord give me a break.

Ernest is every teacher's favorite kid.  They love him.  Constantly.  And he runs to me when he sees me.  "Moommmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyy!"  Love love love it.  To me, those moments are my "Christmas Bonus" that the people who work 40 hours get every year.  Or at least Chevy gets in Christmas Vacation. 
My niece had a pool party for her birthday so the day before I had the boys try on their lifejackets so we'd be able to slip them on and not have any problems at the party.  Go me and being ahead of the game!

Ethan finished one of his literature books and was very proud of his accomplishment.
Eleanor is a hoot and likes to look around at people to make sure they are looking at her.  Seriously.  She is a diva and will bully the two year old.  I have no idea how it's going to work out once the baby comes.  Eleanor is a 'mama's girl' and claims my lap and my face as hers.  She wants to see my face, my eyes looking at her, my lap is available for her and her only and will scream if Ernest sits in it to read a book. 

The words in my house that are most spoken are: No, Did you apologize?, ARE YOU GLORIFYING GOD WHEN YOU DO THAT?, and my favorite is- Lord Jesus help this child.  Well, after "I love you" because I try to shove it down their throats that eventhough mom is busy and going, mama loves you.  I sit on the floor to fold clothes and read an I Spy book with two little children in my lap and a five year old who wants to play with the baking soda/vinegar rocketship indoors right now.  As in, right now in the house who cares if it's -2 outside we'll shoot it off inside.  Like there isn't enough to do.  Lord Jesus help that child.
How to keep the kids content while waiting for the doctor?  Bust out the camera and tell them
to make silly faces or act like a (quiet) animal.

I love my family.  My job is hard.  It really is.  To sit and do nothing but reapply lipstick and facebook is a facade.  A total myth.  I wish my home reflected my hard work.  Too many times I look around and think Where did I go wrong!  Nothing got done!  I had my family sit down to dinner, got everyone a drink, everyone got a fork, and everyone was content.  Then Kendall was done and I said he'd better sit there and watch me eat because I need some time together at the table as a complete family.  My food is cold, the baby is out of milk, Ernest spilled his water, Ethan wants more, and I think "Nobody is bleeding, this is NOT a bad night at the dinner table". 

It is still STILL onmy heart that my kids are homeschooled.  It's so God.  Don't ask me why I homeschool, ask God.  Never in my life did I think I was going to be doing this.  It has it's ups and down like any other day or moment.  Ernest likes to do his 'school' with Ethan, although his consists of a coloring book and three crayons.  Eleanor gets 1 crayon and 1 piece of paper.  Good enough.  Or she's in bed asleep during quiet time.

It's now 2am.  Here's to a good night's sleep.
Make a face!

Lord, remind me that I am blessed with healthy children.  I am blessed with a wonderful hardworking man.  I am blessed with my own good health and a healthy baby girl who is due to arrive in a few weeks.  Lord, remind me that my kids love me and show it in their own little ways.  Go ahead and kick my butt Lord, I know sometimes I need it.