Wednesday, December 7, 2016

First Day at the Hospital

I'm not a huge fan of hospital stays.  I don't like people walking into my room at all hours of the night and I think being home is more comfortable but there are certain things about being at a hospital that I can appreciate.

1) I can order food whenever I want...and I do.  Is it great food.  No, but it comes relatively fast and I don't have to clean it up.  Plus if I want a cherry popsicle at 2:30 in the middle of the night someone will go and find me one.
2) You don't have to worry about getting your clothes dirty.  Look having a baby can be messy work.  There is a whole lot of body stuff happening.  Get dirty, someone will come and help you change and that someone will put those messy clothes somewhere and you will never have to see them again.  This particular hospital does pink gowns in maternity which was fun.
3) And speaking of cleaning you won't have to clean anything in that bathroom either or the sheets so feel free to bleed without worrying.

The blessing of a C-section was no one came in to press on my uterus during the night.  Good grief that is torture.  I did have to have blood drawn and poor Little Man had to have quite a bit drawn as well.  Because he was technically a preemie they had a policy at the hospital I was at that they had to do a glucose draw on him every time he ate for the first 24 hours.  By the middle of the night his poor little heals looked like he'd been walking on glass.  Finally he got a reprieve.  One of the night nurses told that if I wanted to "forget" to call her when I was doing my night feeding we wouldn't have to do the draw.  Of course that is how she reported it in the morning to the incoming Ukrainian no nonsense nurse.  She was not impressed with me, although I'd like to think by the end of the day she had warmed up to me.  Some items of note from our hospital stay...

-They didn't put a shirt on Little Man.  They had a wrap thing for him but no one got him dressed.  I had some clothes for him but I didn't bother either so for the first two days of his life he was jut a kid in a diaper wrapped in blankets.

-The Olympics were happening so when I was all alone of even sometimes when people were there we spent a lot of time watching the Olympics.  Can anyone say synchronized diving, Gold Metal soccer match, Usain Bolt and gymnastics.  It was lovely.  If you are going to have to be stuck in a tiny room for two days do it during something interesting, like the Olympics.

- Our room was super tiny but was still one of the bigger rooms.  The hospital is downtown and while it is the biggest one in our area it really has no place to grow.  As a result they've gotten the rooms down about as small as you can.  For the most part it wasn't that big of a deal but when you put J, our four other kids, my mother-in-law, my mom and her hubby in the room with us, well you can imagine it got really crowded.

-The kids loved meeting their little brother.  I happened to lose most of the pictures of them doing it along with all the pictures of J holding him at the hospital when my dumb phone died a week after Little Man was born, a fact that I'm still super sad about, but believe me, they loved him.

-My mom and her hubby showed up on the second day I was there and just did not leave.  It was nice to have her company and it was fun to watch Men's Volleyball with Rhys (he played college ball himself) but two things that were not lovely, with such a tiny room I just didn't feel like I could shower with them there and secondly she just kept trying to adjust my gown so that my boobs weren't falling out.  If you read my previous post you happen to know I'm not shy about nursing in full view in my own hospital area so this obviously got on my nerves, but we survived. 

-This was the first time I'd ever sent a baby on purpose to the nursery.  J didn't stay the night...there was this terrible, I mean just the worst chair that theoretically folded out but it was so uncomfortable he headed home both nights.  So there were two, two hour stints where I sent the baby away after he fell asleep and to be honest it was lovely.  Little Man was a very noisy newborn and I could sleep really well during that time and then when he woke up I could nurse him somewhat refreshed.  It was the first time I'd felt comfortable/exhausted enough to ever do that and you know I'm sorry ladies I judged for doing it before because it just wasn't half bad.

-I just did not love the resident who was taking care of Little Man.  He had a student who he was teaching but he just came off so condescending to her, I just didn't love him.  He then asked me why they'd delivered at 36 weeks.  I gave him the full run down and while I'm speaking his eyes get super big.  "Are you in the medical profession?"  "No," I told him, "but I do know a lot about what is going on with my own body."  "Hmmm..." "Also my husband is a doctor."  "Uh-huh."  In the end it ended up ok and I do appreciate that he let us leave with Little Man at exactly 48 hours even though the Attending wanted him to make us stay and feed him a couple more bottles, so sorry resident for my earlier judgement. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Cesarean Birth Story

Seeing as my little hammy is almost 3 months old it seems really late to be posting this but can we forgive a mother of five for being super busy.  

I knew I was going to have to have a c-section from day one.  During the c-section I had previously with Cheetah when they couldn't get her out the doctor made  a t-incisions.  That means he started with a lateral cut (the way most c-sections are now performed) but because she had wedged herself up and he just didn't want to or couldn't spend the time to get her out he then made a transverse cut.  I will never know why he did that but when he did he told me then that if I had any more children I would have to do it via c-section.

My new OB knew this and had a conference with the other OBs in the office.  They consulted text books and current OBgyn recommendations.  They decided that not only did I have to have a c-section but because the risk of rupture with a previous T cut is almost 8% (the risk of rupture after a typical c-secion is .1% and the risk of rupture after the much more "dangerous" transverse c-section is 1%) and because Cheetah had come so early that I'd have to be on progesterone shots starting at 16 weeks and that they wanted to deliver at 36 weeks.  This was a big deal for OBs to decide.  There was a time when it was not uncommon for OBs to induce labor for convenience or mothers choice as early as 37 weeks, but evidence showing that was harmful to babies has now made it so that typically even in scheduled c-section they try to make it all the way to 39 weeks and in inductions they make most woman wait until due date.  To choose to birth at pre 37 weeks was a huge deal but looking at all my risk factors they decided that it was the safest choice for baby.  A possibility of a few days in the NICU was preferable to me going into preterm labor, having my uterus rupture and having the baby die due to the cord herniating out of the rupture before I could make it to the hospital.  It was a hard choice, one that my husband as a pediatrician felt extremely uncomfortable with but ultimately we decided it was the safest option.  To prepare I received two steroid shots to help his lungs develop and we scheduled the c-section. 

August 19th we sent our three oldest off to school and kissed our youngest who was staying with Grandma.  We stopped at Hobby Lobby on the way to pick up some number 4 pencils our son needed for art class.  We had chosen to deliver at the largest hospital in our area, the one that has the biggest NICU, but it meant we had to pass five hospitals on the way.  I was scheduled for noon so we arrived right around 10.  I wore my "This is my last one, seriously" t-shirt and insisted Dr. J take a picture of me outside the hospital.  The nurses found it hilarious. 

The next two hours were filled with surgery prep.  I had to give a pee sample which somehow I managed to catch only like three drops of.  My vitals were taken and I was gowned.  The nurse shaved my lady regions with what I can only assume was a piece of broken glass.  They insist in their pre surgery instructions you allow them to do it rather then do it yourself but because I followed that instruction I was left with three weeks of the worst razor burn ever.  I also had the indignity of hearing the doctors comment on it when I was on the table :)  The anesthesiologist came in and we chatted about my previous surgeries.  Then he and Dr. J started talking med school.  At some point during this Dr. J changed into scrubs and a little hat and I got an IV.  We have no pictures from this time because I took them on my phone and it died just a few days after this.  It also had every picture we had of Dr. J and Hammy after he was born a fact that even now I still morn.  My OB came in to chat and then she helped wheel me into the operating room.  

At this point I was starting to feel a little nervous.  Being cut open is not something I enjoy and I also was having a hard time shaking the fear and distress of Cheetah's previous birth and the bad outcome of my miscarriage two years before.  The staff helped me up so the anesthesiologist PA could start my spinal.  My OB came around and held my hands while I was bent forward.  At one point I cried out (having a giant needle shoved into your back even with topical isn't always pleasant) and my OB reached up with her hand and brushed my hair out of my face.  It was such a human gesture, so non medical that while it didn't remove all my fears I found it greatly calming and then I went numb.

They laid me back on the table and Dr. J came in.  Giving birth in a c-section is such a weird feeling, very surreal.  It is hard to feel connected when your body is so numb and so much of the talk around you is medical.  They cut through the layers of skin, fat, and connective tissue.  My previous OB had told me that my insides were ugly full of scar tissue.  He must have cleaned it out though because when Dr. Wallman got in there she said everything looked great.  

She came to my Jack O Lantern uterus and within probably a minute we had a crying baby.  I'd requested that they delay cutting the cord for a bit and milk it before they cut it so that Hammy could get as much blood as possible.  In those minutes though he was sitting on my belly I could neither see nor feel him.  Dr. J turned to me and with a chocking voice said, "He looks so good.  I don't know how much he weighs but it is well over 5lbs."  It was.  We had all been guessing he'd be 5 something but he came out at a whopping 6lbs 11.8 ounces.  A great weight for a 36 weeker.  The NICU team then had to check him over.  I wanted him with me as soon as possible but because he was under 37 weeks they had to give him a one over before he could be brought to me. 

 There is a picture of Dr. J just after a wrestling match in junior high that looks just like the above picture...well besides the giant glove and the nakedness but the face and hair, spot on!

 He got the ok, they threw a hat on him and brought him back over to me.  This moment was magic for me.  Sure it wasn't the beauty of pushing a child from your body and lifting him up onto your chest but after Cheetah's birth when she was almost immediately taken away and my only glimpse of her was through glass this was balm of gilead.  I could feel his warmth.  I could smell his skin.  I could talk to him and kiss him and gently pat him.

Eventually they would take him away from me again.  He was extremely grunty a potential sign that an infant is having some respiratory distress so they took him away to check his O2 stats and suction him out a little better.  Here he is hanging out on a warmer in recovery while they make sure his stats are high.  They were and so they eventually gave him back to me.  The staff had a quick discussion about whether or not to send him to NICU for observation.  It was heartbreaking news for me to hear because it was a minimum 8 hour sentence.  I kept my mouth shut though and just listened.  I will forever be grateful for the nurse who promised that she would keep an eye on him and kept reiterating that his O2 stats were great.  It was because of her that I got him back and was able to take him to my room with me.  They asked me if I wanted to try nursing and I said yes.  The nurses helped me up into a sitting position because I still couldn't feel my legs and wouldn't be able to until long into the night.  I was holding him and mentioning how I couldn't feel my toes when suddenly he jumped right on to nurse.  The kid had a perfect latch and knew exactly what to do.  Be forewarned that below are pictures of him nursing.  In our home we are very open about breast feeding but if topless pictures of me will disturbing you you might want to stop scrolling now.

 I feel for all my kids when they get to this right boob.  It is just so much bigger than the other one that I seriously worry that one day it is going to suffocate someone.  Haha,  I can't be the only person who has experienced this.  All of my kids have been breastfeed and they almost always know how to latch but that doesn't mean they do it right.  When Captain E was a baby he actually sucked almost all the skin off my nipples before my milk came in.  Peach always had a terrible latch and every time I breastfeed her for the next two year it was painful.  Hammy was an angel.  It never hurt, I never got chapped, and he just seemed to instinctively know what to do.  I mention it because while I'm a strong advocate of breastfeeding it isn't always easy and it doesn't always go this smoothly.  Sometimes you are going to need help and sometimes it is not going to be possible.  This isn't a failure by the mother it just sometimes comes down to luck.

Sunday, August 7, 2016


These were my first seven jobs.

1. Babysitter.  This started for my mother and to be honest it sometimes paid and sometimes didn't.  My brother David ended up being the hardest kid I ever had to babysit.  You'd never guess now because he is super laid back but he was a tiny terror.  I best family I ever babysat for was the Carasco's.  They would give me a fifty dollar tip if I came short notice.  Their girls were great, they almost always ordered pizzas, and they had cable.  It was a win/win/win.  I liked them so much that I even one year cancelled new years plans to babysit their girls when I was home for Christmas vacation from college.  

2. Cold call insurance salesperson.  This job lasted me exactly one night.  My friend Melissa worked for a State Farm Agent.  He had a list of phone numbers that he wanted her to call at night when people were home from work.  He said bring a friend.  It was the pits.  No one wants to talk insurance when they first get home from work.  I did it the one night and backed out of doing it again.

3. Child Aide at the Foundation for Blind Children.  My friend Pamela worked for this woman who had a son with some physical and mental handicaps.  Occasionally I would go and help her out.  Every summer he would go to summer camp at the Foundation for Blind Children.  They hired her to be his aide for the summer and asked if she had any other friends who wanted to apply.  I had to drive downtown every weekday that summer and I missed our family vacation and girls camp, but it was totally worth it!  The kids were great and the people I worked with were awesome as well.  Plus I got to see my bestie all the time!  

4.  Library employee.  I worked in the request section of the BYU library.  Basically I just sat at a copy machine all day and copied articles that had been requested and then put them in envelopes and mailed them out.  Now that we have the internet I wonder if anyone even still does this job.  The worst part was trying to get some of those journals cracked open wide enough to get a legible copy.  I meet this guy there who a few weeks later showed up at my apartment with a bunch of his old roommates, "Oh we used to live here before our missions and just wanted to check the place out."  We hung out with those guys a few times including a pretty fun Halloween party at a Dojo they lived in.  Nothing ever came of it though and two years later when one of our other roommates little sisters happened to live in the exact same apartment those guys showed up again and pulled the same thing.  YIKERS!

5. Teaching Assistant.  I really hated my library job.  Don't get me wrong, I love libraries but I sat at a copy machine all day and had no one to talk to.  It was seriously depressing.  I was taking an anthropology class that I loved at the time.  It actually made me switch my major from Chemical Engineering to Anthropology.  Of course  biological anthropology class a year later lead me to my final degree in Zoology with  Human Biology emphasis but that is neither here nor there.  But I really loved this class.  It was like listening to a living, breathing National Geographic.  So one day I stayed after class and asked my teacher if he had anything I could do.  He was working on editing some film he'd taken on his last trip to Ghana.  Did I want to help.  Well of course I did.  It didn't hurt that this cute guy who sat a few seats away from me stayed after to ask if I was going to help and told me he was helping as well.  So I did that for a few weeks and flirted and went on a few dates with this guy Ryan...a relationship that petered out pretty fast when he found out I was 17.  He as 24 although still ended with one of he best lines I've to this day ever heard.  "Thanks for helping me getting over my ex.  Who knew dating a 17 year old could be so fun."  At this point I didn't really care because I was all lovely dovey over an 18 year old who lived across the street but while the guy didn't keep, the job did.  I worked for the anthropology department, although mostly this professor for the rest of my Freshman year of college.  I did transcription, film editing, ordered supplies, made copies, and while I wasn't always with other people at least I got to get out occasionally, plus the interviews and film were so fascinating and while I didn't keep this as a major I did finish out a minor in anthropology.

6. RA.  The summer after Freshman year my roommate and I without even talking to each other both applied to be RA's for the summer.  The nice part was we got free room and board and paid.  The lame part was every week we had to check in high school kids for summer camp and at the end of the week we had to collect and count all their linens before the cleaning crew could wash them.  On the weekends I lived in a resident hall all by myself.  It was to be honest kind of scary.  We also took turns working the front desk at Heritage Halls.  That part was great.  I know some people hate being a secretary but I think it is fun to talk to the random people who come in, plus it put us close to the mailbox.  That particular roommate and I happened to love the same boy who went on a mission that summer.  We used to get our mail together and compare our letters from him..."Why is yours longer," "Well why did you get two."  That was until our boss asked her out.  They were engaged before the summer was up and were married by that Christmas.  

7.  Video Librarian.  After summer was over I left BYU and went back to ASU.  My grandmother had been diagnosed with cancer that winter and it was extremely hard to be so far away.  So I transferred home for a year and half.  She ended up dying right before thanksgiving at the end of my time home and then I transferred back to BYU that Christmas.  I will always be grateful for that extra year and half I had to be close to her but I still needed to get a job.  I looked up a ton of jobs when I first got back and one that caught my eye was the Video Librarian.  ASU had a bunch of classes that they filmed for engineers who were already working in the field.  People who registered for the classes could then come and pick up the videos and watch them when they were no longer at work.  Here again is a job that I'm sure the internet has completely gotten rid of.  Someone had to work at the front desk and check the tapes out for them.  There were also a ton of TVS and VCRs in the library that students could use to watch the tapes there and we also were responsible for rewinding the tapes.  I got that job because my previous job in the library that I had hated.  You think I would have hated this one as well but I loved flirting with all our patroons.  They were all engineers and they loved the extra attention.  I also had three employees that I worked with and it was fun to have the company.  I was working there maybe a month when they offered me a supervisor position.  It was a great job and I loved it.  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Dr. J's Baby Bucketlist

So our baby is going to be delivered via c-section in just two weeks and a day from today and so Dr. J took a good ten days off so that we could do one big blow out before school starts and the kids go back to school.

We started with a camping trip with Great Grandpa Wid.  The day after J's last day of work we loaded the van up with all our camping gear.  Turns out it didn't fit very well so we had to pull one of the seats out.  I don't know what we would have done once the baby is born...I guess not gone.  We drove down to Utah and picked up J's new to us truck.  With all the "farm chores" we now have a truck just started to make more and more sense so his dad kept an eye out and when a good deal came in he called him up and let him know.  J went to the grocery store to stock up on food that night and then loaded all the camping gear into the back of the truck.  How/why have we gone so many years without out a truck.  It is seriously awesome, oh yes we were always broke.  But now that we aren't always on the edge of financial ruin it is quit nice to own one, although in two weeks we will have outgrown the truck as well.  It has only six seats.  Time to get a suburban?  That night my mother in law said to me, "So I was thinking we could keep Cheetah here with you and then we could maybe drive her out Friday to camp with her dad."  "What do you mean here with me?" I asked.  "Well surely you aren't going camping?"  I had a good look when I saw her face when I assured her that yes I was going camping, although truth be told in private I told J that if I had my baby up in the middle of the woods I was taking zero responsibility for it and I was going to kill dead.  Luckily I did not have to make good on that threat.

The next morning we loaded the kids in the truck and drove up to meet Grandpa and my husband's Uncle Steve.  Then we followed them up into the Uintas.  A mountain range somewhere in North East Utah.  If any of you have ever been to Mirror Lake then we were close to that.  Wid had picked out a nice little primitive area for us to set up in.  He put up his potty rocket...a tall tent around a bucket with a toilet seat and TP.  We set up three tents and put up a big pavilion cover where our water, tables, chairs, and food sat except at night when we loaded all the food into the cars to try and reduce the chances of attracting unwanted guest.  After that J took the kids for a quick hike and Wid and I got started on dinner.  That night I read a little to the kids before turning off the flashlight and then we all lay down to sleep.  We'd left the cover off the top of our tent and the stars were AMAZING!  I mean seriously there were so many of them.  Unfortunately I spent a lot of time looking at those stars because sleeping was nearly impossible.  I'd fall asleep for half an hour then wake up, try and get comfy, stare at the stars some more, and finally maybe two hours later fall asleep for another half an hour.  At one point I finally said, "Screw it," and climbed into the truck next to all the food.  I sleep for maybe an hour in there but because there was no room on the seat to put my feet they got super swollen and I woke up again.  I swore at that moment I was heading home tomorrow.  Finally daylight came, the rest of the family woke up and we ate breakfast.  We then went to a little mountain lake to fish.  Between J, Wid, Steve, and I we managed to keep the kids in bait and the lines relatively untangled.

All went well until Wid fell at the lakes edge, bruising his side on a log and breaking a porcelain veneer.  He'd had a lead weight in his mouth when he went down and apparently bit down on it really hard when he hit the log.  Luckily besides a bruise, a little gap in his smile, and a little wounded pride he was ok.  He did spend the rest of the fishing trip sitting though to avoid having another mishap. This was one of the main reasons that J wanted to get this trip in.  His grandparents were phenomenal backpackers and campers and when he was about the age of Cheetah they started taking him along on their trips.  He hiked with boy scout troops, ward groups, family group, friend group, the powder puff and huff, which was a yearly trip backpacking trip that Wid took the teen age girls of the ward and their mothers on, and other ward powder puff and huffs because when other people heard what he was doing they wanted to do it in their wards as well and asked him to lead it.  J has been all over those mountains and also mountains in Southern Utah, desert, and slot canyons with his grandparents.  As they've aged though they've had to slow down.  The last five years have been particularly hard for them and J realized this was probably the last opportunity he would have to camp with his grandpa and so he took it. 

Wid's fall must have brought good lucky though because after that the kids were reeling in fish left and right.  We ended up with seven that made it to the shore and were grabbed by an adult before they slipped off the hook.  J taught the girls how to clean and gut the fish.  Our son had zero interest and found that whole part seriously distasteful.  Definitely not a surgeon in the making but on the other hand probably not a serial killer either so I will just take comfort in that.  The girls on the other hand, well it could seriously go either way.  Cheetah was scary with the bonking stick and even at one point tried to bonk her dad.  After clean up we took those fish back to camp and had a yummy dinner of rainbow trout, buttered rice, fruit, and potato chips.  Although I had sworn I wasn't going to stay another night by the time night came around I was ready to try it again.  This night was really no better but at least this time I tried to switch my position every 30 minutes or so so that no one part hurt more than any other part.  I also manged to only have to get up two times in the night to pee.  That seemed like a relief.  The next day we broke camp and did a short hike around mirror lake.  Then we headed back to Wid's house to unload his trailer and then to my mother in laws to shower.  After my shower I sat down on the couch and promptly feel asleep.  When I woke up my mother in law had started all my laundry and I realized there was no way we were driving home that night, so instead we went to a cool little water park they have in their town, at pizza, and then I had the first good night sleep I'd had in three days.  The next day we were able to head home with our van, our truck, and all clean clothes!  My mother in law is the best.

Sunday I had to give a talk at church.

Monday we got caught up on chores, I went to the doctors (you know that annoying, you have to go in every week time in your pregnancy, well we are there) and we went out to eat.  While I was at the doctors my sister had teased me I should mention our camping trip and our water park plans.  My OB's face went white when I told her about camping.  "Are you crazy," she said, "I'm so glad I didn't know about this before the fact, I would have been a wreak."  She then made me promise I would go on zero water slides, "Haha, I said, "You know they wouldn't let me."  "You are no longer trustworthy," she teased.

Tuesday we took the kids to Roaring Springs.  J took the three older kids on all the big water slides.  I spent my time with cheetah in the wave pool (which by the way pregnant ladies were not suppose to be in), the lazy river (which she loved), and the baby splash pool which had three slides which were just her size to ride down alone.  There was a purple and blue one she'd ride down on with a tube, a yellow one that was a big straight slide that non pregnant moms could go on with their kids, and a green curvy one that you rode with no tube.  She was hilarious and fearless and probably went down those slides 100 times.  We also meet up with J and the kids a few times to eat and then he took all the kids several times on a huge magic carpet ride slide.  She loved that as well and the other three kids had a blast on all the slides they went on.  Originally J and I thought we'd leave at around five but at eight when the park shut down we had to be pried out of there. 

Wednesday we drove to this tiny little state park that had a short hike to a water fall and pool.  The kids loved it and J swam them all out to touch the water fall a few times.  We then drove to Silver City.  I'm not going to lie that trip was terrible.  We'd been there zero times and the road going out there is 20 miles of dirt path/rode.  You aren't really sure you are going to a real place and at one point I finally just lost it.  I had to pee so bad and all the bumps were killing me.  J pulled over and I peed on the side of the road only to a mile later find a real toilet and the "town".  It apparently was a mining town that in the 1930's dried up.  Now there are just a few summer residents who give tours and sell rocks, and jewelry and stuff.  In the winter everyone leaves and one lone guy gets snowed up there until spring when they come dig him out.  The lady running the jewelry shop we were in told me he was a little crazy...can't imagine. 

Thursday we took the kids to the petting zoo to meet up some friends from Indiana who now live out here.  We then came home, had a relaxed lunch, watched a few episodes of Merlin and then worked in the garden and the orchard.  My kids picked three giant boxes of nectarines and J says we have probably twice as much of that still out there.  I don't know what else J wants to do before the baby comes but he is certainly keeping our last week of summer busy. 

My bucket list before the baby comes included putting up the bassinet.  Captain E and Peach did it for me.  Getting an infant car seat. delivered it last week.  Washing some baby clothes.  Done.  And finally getting my eyebrows waxed because this lady has let them go so long they are beyond the help of plucking.  Hopefully I can make that happen before my next week ;) 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pregnancy at 35

Twelve years ago today I birthed my first child.  I was exceptionally tired.  I'd been laboring for 35 hours and had decided that there was no way this baby was going to come.  I was in tears when I finally asked for an epidural.  A half hour later my favorite midwife told me I was finally dilated to a ten.  He got me in the pushing position and I started to push.  I tell you that kid was jammed in there.  It took three hours of pushing and finally after 38 1/2 hours my son was in my arms.  It was the most terrible, painful, exhausting day of my life but when I saw his sweet little face and very cone shaped head it was all worth it.  I was able to experience that joy two more beautiful times and then almost five years ago I had the scare of delivering a baby ten weeks early.  Two years after that I had the heart ache of a miscarriage at 12 weeks.  Those last two experiences were very jarring.  We took some time off and we even considered being done adding to our family.  We have four lovely children who fill our lives with joy and noise every day.  We were done with potty training, with crying newborns and toddlers on planes, with most sleepless nights, with spit up, but there was this little part of me that still wanted one more kid.  I wasn't the only one. 

My kids were constantly asking when we would give them another brother, one child more than others, and my husband would tease me about when we were going to have another kid.  Last year I decided it was time to make a choice, if we were going to have another child we needed to do it now and if we weren't  we were going to do something permanent to put that baby train forever on hold.  My husband and I talked about.  We prayed, we fasted, we prayed more.  Dr. J instantly felt good about it but I felt fear.  Cheetah's birth had left me scared and scarred, the miscarriage was one of the worst experiences of my life.  I didn't know if I could or should face those possibilities again.  These were the thoughts running through my mind for the week following Dr. J's good feeling confirmation.  Then one day as I drove the kid home from school Andrew McMahon's song "Cecilia and the Satellite" came on.  I've heard this song a ton of times.  I like it quite a bit but at this point it is mostly just background noise for me.  This time when the words, "Don't be afraid," came on my whole body went to fire and in that instant a voice inside of me said, "Don't be afraid, everything will be ok," and I knew it would be.  I had the confirmation I had asked for.  I came home and told Dr. J I was ready to try.  We decided that 35 was the year to do it.  If we could get pregnant and have a baby before I turned 36 we would, if not, then we would accept that this was not in the cards for us.  So I stopped taking my pill and for months, and months, and months I didn't get pregnant.  I was keeping a count down on when my birthday was and nine months from that date and we were quickly approaching the cut off date.  I told Dr. J I didn't think we were going to make it, and then my period didn't come.  And that is how I ended up being due to have a fifth child right before my 36th birthday.

This pregnancy has been a little more complicated than the rest of them.  We have quite a few hospitals around us but because our daughter was born early and had to be in the NICU Dr. J wanted me to deliver downtown at the biggest hospital with the highest level NICU as a just in case precaution.  Because of my previous C-section (a T-cut) I had to scheduled a C-section for this one.  This is my first time ever choosing an OB to deliver my baby.  I actually love my OB.  She is super fun and spunky.  Also because of Cheetah's birth I have to get progesterone shots once a week.  Dr. J does them at the house.  I'm not going to say they are amazing but we've figured out a routine to reduce how painful they are and if it keeps this baby in as long as he needs to be in then it will all be worth it.  Oh did I mention the baby is a he.

I had/possibly still have placenta previa, we are waiting a few more weeks to check with another ultrasound and see if the placenta has been stretched off the cervix.  When we found out they had to do a bunch of extra ultra sounds and in one of the first ones, the tech asked if I wanted to know the baby's gender, "guess what mom, it's a boy."  I cried, and cried, and cried.  Then I came home and made a balloon box to tell the rest of the family.  When the kids first asked me to have another baby they did so because they wanted another brother.  I told them we'd only do it if they agreed to be ok with the baby being a girl because you don't get to make guarantees like that, but when I found out the baby was a boy everyone was thrilled.  Don't get me wrong, I love my girls and I would have loved another girl but when there are four woman living in your house and only two men finding out you are adding another boy is a big deal. 

Besides plecenta previa I have just been so tired.  I remember my midwife, Ray, telling me when I was pregnant with Captain E that pregnancy when you are young is easy and that he saw all these woman in their 30's who were so tired, haha, now I am one of those woman.  I've also had some bad luck I've never had before.  My OB teases me that it is because my husband is a doctor.  This was my first time having placenta previa.  You know what happens when you have placenta previa?  They put you on pelvic rest for months.  How do you like them apples?  Then I got varicose veins in a place I had heard you could get them, but never had before.  Let's just say ouch, maybe pelvic rest isn't such a bad thing.  Then the last few weeks I've developed symphysis pubis dysfunction also known as "broken crouch syndrome" which basically just means that the hormone my body releases to get itself ready for birth is allowing my hips to pop in and out of place.  Just so you know, that does not feel good.  I teasingly told Dr. J that if this had happened in my first pregnancy we'd only have one kid.  I guess for the luck of our other four children it didn't happen until my last pregnancy.  Besides these inconveniences though everything has been going pretty well.  We just have ten more weeks until this little guy joins us and we are all pretty excited!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The True Spirit of Mother's Day

Mother's Day, a commercialized holiday that we feel the need to take care of so that our mothers don't feel left out.  I mean isn't that seriously the truth?  I'd feel a little guilty about calling it out but Anna Jarvis who pushed for the creation of the holiday actually ended up seriously disappointed with the commercialization of it...and that was before the internet.  My e-mail and Facebook has been getting Proflower, Sherri Berry, 1-800-Flowers, Shutterfly, and Edible Arrangement hits for a month.  Yesterday I finally got my act together and sent flowers to all our mothers.  Mothers I love you.  I hope you know that when you get those flowers but truthfully those flowers were more motivated by feelings of guilt than the fact that I wanted to send flowers on that day.  I want you to have all the flowers in the world, don't get me wrong, I just feel a little bad about sending them out of guilt.  That's not really what motherhood is about.  Motherhood is about sacrifice and love.  There are rewards along the way but they aren't push presents or guilt sent flowers or cards.  It is hugs by arms that can't even fit around you that eventually grow to be arms that totally engulf you.  It is sticky faced kisses.  It is the tears that sneak up on you when you watch your child dance, run, score a goal, get an award at school, or hear from a random adult or kid how impressed they are with them.  It is snuggles on cold days.  It is burned toast breakfast in bed.  It is your daughter sneaking around for a week with her gel pens using her best self taught cursive to make you a book.  It is when your grown daughter calls you up and says, "How do I do this,  I don't know how to do this?"  And yes I guess it is also guilt sent flowers because even though they are sent out of guilt, they are sent out of guilt because I love you and I don't want you to be the only mom on the block not getting anything because you deserve better than that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

14th Anniversary

This week was my anniversary and I put together a little video (ok it is not little, it is seriously 7:30 minutes...for that I apologize) to celebrate.  It was such a great week.  My husband actually had the whole week leading up to our anniversary off.  We spent tons of time working in our yard, we went out to fancy, fancy dinner, and we celebrated with our traditional family birthday cake.  It has been an amazing 14 years.  We've had our ups and downs but more ups than downs and there isn't anyone I'd rather spend my life with.  I feel so lucky every day that the guy I married ended up being he best friend I'd ever had. 


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