Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year!

Despite how I've felt about the rest of the holidays, I am looking forward to the New Year! I love a fresh start. As a kid and teenager it was always about a new start for school-new books, new clothes, new friends (because we moved often enough that I usually started each year at a new school!) and just in general a clean slate. Now, it's always about the New Year (although we do get new school books and supplies once a year around here since I homeschool the kiddos-is that my secret reason for homeschooling? Hmmm...). The new year gives me a chance to figure out a few goals that I want to work towards. Goals that will make me feel better about me.
So, this year here it is!

1. Gotta have the obligatory weight loss goal. This year it's extra necessary since I just had a baby, and unfortunately, he didn't weight 50 lbs. I was really hoping he would...then that would justify that weight gain. Oh well. Guess it's all on me now. :) So, lose weight and exercise??

2. BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET!!!! Gotta get that budget under control. My (lofty) goal for this year is to pay off our "small" credit card balance. It's only "small" if you are looking at that as a relative term. I don't know if we can do it, but I will sure give it a try. The first step is to quit using it. Ha.

3. Quit yelling. Period. I read once in a parenting book (Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel) that yelling at your kids and expecting them to respond is like honking the horn on your car and excpecting the car to respond. It just doesn't make sense. And yet, I continue to yell. I'd like to practice the act of whispering when I feel the need to YELL. Maybe, just maybe, if I do this my children will follow suit and not yell so much. Our house is small and our family is not. Quieter would be better.

4. Not only do I need to budget my finances but I need to budget my time better. It is a resource-one that is more valuable than money if you really think about it-and should be treated as such. Time is a blessing. God gives it to me. I need to use it wisely. I think that the chaos in my house would be less if I budgeted my time (and my children's) more carefully.

5. Read my Bible more. I know it's good for me. And yet I just don't do it. I know that right now might not be the time to expect that I will do it for a certain amount of time every day (my plate is pretty full and I'm trying to find my groove as a mama of four) but just to do it once a day. Maybe post a verse somewhere in my house (kitchen?) that I can see it and think on it. Learn it. Hide it in my heart.

I think that's enough for now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In Touch With Real People?

So, apparently our president-who is in touch with real people and knows what it's like to be a regular person thinks it's real and normal (in a down economy) to spend 2 weeks at Christmas time in a 7,000 square foot house with a phenomenonal view of one of Hawaii's most beautiful beaches. For the low price of $4000 per night. And don't forget the two neighboring houses they rented for friends and family. 'Cause that's real and regular. Never mind that the average American is struggling to make his mortgage payment. Never mind that food banks are at an all-time low right now because everyone is in need. At least the "regular" person minded president will be swimming in the lagoon style pool that the house is built around. Oh, and the average Hawaiian person (according to GMA's exclusive) doesn't have a real evergreen tree for Christmas-they are not common in Hawaii and are therefore very expensive. But! Don't fear...the Obamas have one! Phew. I was worried there.

Now, I'm not saying the President and his family don't deserve a vacation. I'm sure it's stressful being the President. But, that is just not how "regular" people live.

Can I point out where our former President spent most of his vacations? Yeah. At a ranch in Crawford, TX. I believe I heard that he spent at least some of his time clearing brush. Hmmmm.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Perfectionist No More!

Oh, I still have ideals in my head about how things *should* be. But I am realistic enough to know that I can't do it all now. Not that I could before, but I sure tried-and drove my family crazy in the process.

In years past I might have gone all over town looking for cute hats and making sure the kids matched and had haircuts within the previous 3 months. Oh and found the perfect spot to take the picture...for an outcome something like this:

This year my Christmas pictures look something like this:

Ok, that was not a facsimile, but the actual thing. No Christmas clothes or hats or even colors this year. Didn't even pose them in front of the Christmas tree (that was decorated entirely by the children and looks nicely imperfect-you know the look, globs of ice-cicles in some places and none in the others, some ornaments not even used-what's up with the discrimination of ornaments??? but it looks like a happy tree! Isn't that what counts? Martha Stewart would not be impressed, but hey, she was in prison for a while. I wasn't impressed with that! Oh, and our angel has lost her lights. I have had the same angel since we got married and she has finally stopped lighting up for us. :( But I'm emotionally vested in her. She's part of us now.

And you know how you can buy small extension cords for your Christmas needs? Why would you want that small, unobtrusive green cord when you can have coils of large,orange heavy duty extension cord piled up behind your tree? THAT is the look for this year. I'm *almost* convinced myself. Maybe I'll just hide it behind a pile of folded (but not yet put away) laundry! That will help, right?

All this to say, "Okay God! I get it! I am not in control of everything and everything can't be perfect or even close to perfect! Please stop teaching me these lessons...I promise. I've learned my lesson!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Trip to the Doctor

The above pictures were taken by Sear's (the kids' ones were just before I had Nathan and the one of Nathan was when he was 2 days old)
So, today Nathan needed to go to the doctor for a little check-up (which usually serves as a nice pat on the back for me-and hey, us moms need those wherever we can get them). He was born exactly two weeks ago today (sniff-sniff) and weighed 9 lbs 7 oz. When we left the hospital 24 hours later he weighed 9 lbs 1 oz. Then at 3 days old he was 8 lbs 5 oz (blessedly the pediatricians we have seen have all had faith in breastfeeding! We were told that it's fine for them to lose up to 15% of their body weight before my milk comes in). Well, (drumroll if you please) today he weighed 9 lbs 12 oz!!! Yay Nathan! Yay mommy milk!!!!! I got my pat on the back for doing a good job (I know, pathetic...but it makes a difference to me). His circumcision is healing nicely and his cord fell off sometime in the night-I have yet to find it-ewww!

Now. Here was the part I could've lived without. Late yesterday afternoon Haley's runny nose (which we weren't concerned about at all-kids get 'em, right?) was joined by a fever. Not good. Then in the night she threw up. Really not good. Lots of prayers (from us as well as family and facebook friends) and hallelujah! Her flu test came back negative! So, she's just miserable and whiney. We've learned through this that she is not a good patient. Our poor pediatrician. *yikes* Despite her best efforts and mine, she was unable to see in her ears or her mouth. I've never seen a child scream quite so effectively with her mouth clamped shut. There was no budging it. So, no telling where the fever is coming from. I'm kind of going back and forth I go ahead and give her the amoxicillan that the dr prescribed (she's only had antibiotics once in almost 3 years, so I'm not tooooo worried about over-use) or do I give it a couple of days and see if this goes away (ie if it's a virus)? Since it's getting late and the weather is nasty I think I'll put that decision off for tomorrow. I need to go grocery shopping anyways...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Now, the Words! :)

The story starts the week of Thanksgiving (the week my awesome doctor was, of course, on vacation). I went in to see another doctor and on the way "ordered up" no dilation but a side of softening (of the cervix that is). When I got to the doctor she did the group B strep test and checked my cervix. My request was denied. I was 2-3 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. I know that's not necessarily that dramatic, but remember this is my fourth baby and my others have all been very quick deliveries. And at that point I was 36 weeks and my doctor would not be back until the following week (I love her and really wanted her to deliver this "little" guy). The doctor I saw on that day ordered an amniocentesis for the following Monday with a specialist to check for lung maturity and also scheduled an induction for Wednesday (the 2nd)-the day my doctor would be in the hospital delivering all day! So, I went home with the goal of not getting any further than the 2-3 I was at. No Thanksgiving cooking for me-which at this point in the pregnancy game was just fine with me. I could barely walk.
So, fast forward to the specialist appointment on Monday (November 30th). I was not looking forward to an amniocentesis but had looked up enough information to know that there was not much risk at 37 weeks pregnant (worst case scenario is that it would put me into labor-which was why we were doing it anyway!) so I was going to just grin and bear it. First thing they did was an ultrasound to check on baby. He was doing just fine in there but they estimated his weight to be 8 lbs 14 oz!!!!!! Holy moly. The week before he had been estimated to be 7 lbs 12 oz. That was 1 lb 2 oz in one week! Yikes! But when the specialist came in he refused to do the amnio and was extremely rude to me. I left there very upset and went straight to my doctor's office to get an appointment with her the following day (I was going under the assumption that without the information provided by the amnio there would be no induction on Wednesday).
That night I decided that I would get things moving if it killed me. We went to Walmart and walked and walked and walked. When I had a contraction I would squat down right there in the store (to open things up more). I left Walmart in pain (hips, back, legs) just sure that nothing else had happened...
When I went in to see my doctor the next morning everyone was super sweet to me (from receptionist all the way to Dr Nowitzky) because of the way the specialist had treated me. First thing my doctor did was check my cervix. I was now dilated to a 5!!!! Ok, so the walking and squatting did some good! I did get more out of it than the soreness. At this point Dr N and I were both kind of shocked I think. Then she did something so cool. She treated me like a human with a brain in my head and we discussed the best scenario: try to get some more time out of me or go with the induction the next day. After discussing it for a while (she had no major reservations about the induction and doubted that she could get me to 38 weeks) we decided it was much preferable to get to the hospital in time for the delivery! So, she said she'd see me in the morning! Yahoo!!!!
Harold and I arrived at the hospital at 5:30-thirty minutes ahead of schedule, but hey? Who's eager? They were pretty quick at taking us up to the room-which happened to be the same room I had Haley in! They would not let him come back with me at first. Apparently they think women won't answer some questions honestly (like if your husband beats you) if he's sitting right there. I answered all of their questions and finally he got to come back. They got my IV started but couldn't start the pitocin (induction) until they had 30 minutes worth of the baby's heartrate on the monitor. Problem? He was moving and I had so much fluid that kept the thing from registering. Finally I had to lay in a really uncomfortable position for 30 minutes to get the strip but we got it. Too bad that was during shift change. Ugh. So, then we were ignored for a bit during that time-while I was still lying in that awful position.
They finally started it at around 8am I'd say. And I think I remember this from the other babies/ seemed like it was very anti-climactic. I wasn't feeling much in the way of contractions at all. But don't worry. It soon picked up. Yikes. Then my doctor came in at 9:30 and (I just love her...don't know if I mentioned that!) broke my water. She was able to show the student nurse I had allowed to be a part of things what "polyhydramnios" is. LOL She told my husband and I that it was at least 2 to 3 gallons of amniotic fluid I was lugging around! (Sounded like Niagra Falls as she was pressing on my tummy to get as much out as possible! Crazy!) Even at this point I didn't realize how much/heavy that is until I came home from the hospital and lifted a 1/2 gallon of milk...thinking about picking that up multiplied by 4 or 6...!
As soon as she broke my water things really heated up. I had decided to go without the epidural if I could make it (more on my thoughts on that later). At that point (9:32) I was at 6 cm. After a short time I told Harold to get the nurse to check me because if I was not making progress we needed anesthesia in for an epidural ASAP. The nurse happily reported that I was 8 cm! Yowzah! At this point I think I was handling each contraction by taking a deep breath and moaning "owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" instead of blowing the breath out. My poor husband didn't know what to do for me (we never planned for a "natural" childbirth. We always wanted/planned for drugs!)-but I assured him later that there was nothing he could have done. He just needed to be there. My nurse was great in that she kept having me look at her and was very assertive. She would not let me look away from her.
I have no idea exactly how the timing played out. I was definitely not watching the clock. I do know that every time I felt the tightening begin again I would just want to cry.
The next time the nurse checked me I was 9 cm. "Don't push yet" Yeah right. That lasted about 2 seconds and I loudly informed them (in between yelling at everyone that I could NOT do this) that I WAS pushing. Sorry about their luck.
Harold says at that point the nurse began pushing the buttons on the wall yelling for my doctor to get there right away. She knew it would be a matter of a few minutes once I started pushing. (Oh, don't forget the part where I'm sweating profusely in the room that was minutes before frigid...and swearing to everyone that would listen that I was going to throw up).
My doctor rushed into the room and "suited up" and about 4 minutes later Nathan Pierce arrived in the world. Too bad I was still in pain. The placenta still had to come. Ugh. See? With an epidural you're blissfully unaware of everything that happens after the baby comes out. You're just looking at your baby.
We noticed he was blue and his head was purple (you might notice that in some of the pictures from my previous post). This, we learned, was because he was born so quickly that his face and head were bruised in the process. Poor guy. :(
He nursed like a little champ right there in the delivery room though-and still does!
My doctor came in the next day and wanted to know if that delivery was my choice or if I was pushed into it. I assured her that it was my choice. Again, she proved to me that she is her patients' advocate. We had discussed, during my entire pregnancy, a pain-free delivery. And knowing that was my desire she was very upset to think that I might have been coerced into a painFULL delivery. All is well that ends well though and my little guy is worth every minute of it. And hey, I have now experienced the whole she-bang. Not that I'd do that again...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Birth Story Minus the Words

I had fully planned to do a birth story and have it with pictures...but I've been having trouble *ahem* sitting at the computer. ;) And because of some swelling in my legs and ankles have been put on "bed rest"!? by my doctor. So, for now pictures will be what you get. :) They're posted backwards from latest to earliest...oops. And he was 9 lbs 7 oz, 20 inches long. He's doing great!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Baby News

Well, the baby will now be here tomorrow morning most likely. If not sooner! I had a horrible appointment with a "specialist" that I won't go into. It's done. He's not nice and I wouldn't ever go back to him. That's all I'll say about that.

I went to my dr today (more cervix talk here...there's your warning) and I am now walking around dilated to 5 cm. If you don't already know...that means I am half way there. Holy cow! In the past I went from 0-10 in about 4 1/2-5 hours. This baby is coming whether any doctor wants to induce at 37 weeks and 2 days or not. The issue we discussed at my doctor's office this morning (so glad she's back from vacation as I LOVE LOVE LOVE her-she treats me with dignity and like I have a brain! Thank you Dr Nowitzky!) was we can either induce it and have him born at 37 weeks in the hospital where they can check him out...or at home. Where they can't. Or even worse than at my car! It is a real concern since I have had them so quickly in the past and this one is number 4!

Now, the guess is to see how big this baby is. I'm guessing he'll be born before 10am. And I think that he'll weigh between 8 lbs 12 oz and 9 lbs 2 oz. I can't wait to meet him. I had the realization an hour or so ago that at this time tomorrow I will be nursing this baby and holding him in my arms rather than my poor stretched out belly!!!

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