Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life Right Now

Life has taken a crazy turn since adding our sweet Sunflower to the mix.  Both Fritter and Ladybug adore her which is definitely helpful. 

Ladybug adores her a little too much sometimes, and I spend much of my time when Sunflower is awake keeping her safe from a well intentioned sister.  I think she believes Sunflower is her very own live doll.  She's better than any of us at getting her to take her paci though.  Probably because she has so much understanding of the paci mechanics that the rest of us don't have.  ;-)

Fritter is so sweet with her.  He's a big kid now, and has quite a bit of self control around the baby.  I can trust him enough to have him sit next to Sunflower on the couch while I'm taking care of something else within the line of sight.  He gives her sweet kisses on the head and is so gentle with her.  I'm curious to see how the dynamic between the three of them develop as she grows.

I am still not able to get much more than the basics done around the house.  I'm thinking my time management needs to be looked at, but I need to find the time to do that.  ;-)  It seems now that whenever I do anything, something else suffers.  So I am learning to prioritize tasks.  Changing a diaper is more important that finding someones lost toy.  Sometimes finding someones lost toy is more important than sweeping the floor and other times sweeping the floor is more important than finding someones lost toy.  Holding a fussy baby that really just wants to be held is more important than scrubbing the bathroom, but breaking up a fight between the two older kids is more important than holding a fussy baby that really just wants to be held.  We are all learning to have more patience, and sometimes we have to wait while someone else is helped.

I am also learning to be an opportunist.  Dad's playing with the kids for a few minutes and baby is sleeping?  Hurry!  Fold the laundry!  Kid's are all napping at the same time?  No time for reading!  Take a nap!  Sweep the floors!  It's early morning and everyone is patiently watching tv and drinking milk before breakfast?  Blog!

There are so many things right now that I want to get accomplished, but I know I can't do them all at once.  So I've made a few goals for our summer, and here they are in the order I hope to accomplish them.

Begin potty training Ladybug (this dreaded task starts Monday)
Ladybug and Fritter start swim lessons
Fritter start reading program (we're using this one)
Ladybug say goodbye to paci
Ladybug move to big bed

As you can see, there are big changes ahead for little Miss Ladybug.  But I'm sure she can do it.  One step at a time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Potty Humor

Our cat is a little weird.  She prefers to drink the water out of the toilet.  No matter if we put nice clean, refreshing water in a bowl for her next to her food.  She'll snub it if she can get access to her preference.

This morning, I was in the kitchen cleaning up after breakfast when I heard Fritter yell at the cat.  "Boojum!  That's MY potty!  Get out of here!"

Coming to investigate, I saw the cat hightailing it out of the bathroom and Fritter close to tears.  "What's wrong, Fritter?"  I asked.

"Boojum was trying to go poopoo in my potty.  That's my potty and she is not supposed to go poopoo in my potty!  She's a very bad cat."

It took everything I had to keep a straight face as I told him that she wasn't trying to use the potty, she was trying to drink out of the potty.  I think Fritter might be scarred for life.

The culprit.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Carrot cake is a legitimate breakfast right?  What if I add a side of scrambled eggs?  And a handful of Whopper's eggs?  Hey, it's Easter!  Let's feast!  ;-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sunflower's Birth - Part 3

Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.

We got to the hospital around 9am Wednesday.  While being admitted, we were told about a woman who just a few hours before came into the hospital, and during her admission, screamed "It's coming!" and lay down on the floor and gave birth to her baby.  Meanwhile her husband was rushing in with their two year old daughter dressed in only a diaper and bedraggled hair.  He stood there after she pushed the baby out with a dazed look on his face and said, "I don't know how we're ever going to get that back seat cleaned!"  A funny story, and it shows how dramatically different each woman's labor can be.

I was so nervous when they checked me, but was delighted to hear we were at 7cm and 90% effaced.  I cried with relief.  My contractions were doing what they were supposed to do.  This gave me strength I really needed.  As they lead us to our room, we passed one of the labor and delivery nurses who was also in labor.  We had just taken the last room, and she was stuck laboring in the front area with nothing but a curtain to give her privacy.  As thankful as I was to have a room, I said a silent prayer for her.  Apparently every baby close to it's due date had decided to be born that day.

Once in our room they hooked up the telemetry unit to monitor baby.  Things sounded good, which was another relief.  Soon, we thought, soon we would see our baby.  Our doctor arrived in good spirits, and suggested we break the bag of waters.  I don't like any interventions, but in this case we thought it was a good idea.  She promised we would see baby very soon after doing so.  Remembering my 30 minute transition with Ladybug, I felt I could handle it this time if only we would meet our baby soon. 

After she broke my water, besides contractions being slightly more intense, not much changed.  For hours the contractions stayed at 10 minutes apart, 2 1/2 minutes long.  When I was checked again, I was found to be at only 8cm.  Discouraged, and tired, and ready to give up, our doctor suggested we get an IV to give baby and I fluids.  And soon after that she suggested we get a small amount of pitocin to speed things up.  Not five minutes after the pitocin was started in the IV, I entered (finally!) transition.  And oh, what a transition it was.

Baby had still not turned, and though I tried my best to relax between contractions, there was not much time to.  At some point, something changed, though I would not call it an urge to push, I knew it was time.  Because I was so exhausted, I didn't have the strength I needed to squat, which especially in this case would have been ideal.  I tried the up in the bed position, but the pushing contractions were so weak, I could barely feel them, and I was so weak, I could barely push.

Sunflower's heart rate really started dropping, and (I found out later) our doctor called in the "swat team" to section us right away if things didn't improve.  At one point I opened my eyes to find my dh only to find he had been pushed towards the back of the room by all the extra nurses and looked more than a little worried.  I had I don't know how many nurses twisting and turning my body to help baby descend and help me push.  Eventually the doctor hooked up the vacuum extractor to Sunflower's little head to help her come out, and after quite a few more pushes with this help, our little girl was finally born sunny-side-up at 2:46pm.

Dh told me that her head looked like it had a rhinoceros horn on it, and she was very bruised and beat up.  But she was otherwise healthy and beautiful and took to nursing like a champ.  I felt like I had been hit by a train, every single muscle in my body was sore.  But at this point I didn't care.  I was thankful to finally hold my baby and not feel the pain of the contractions.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Welcome Sunflower...

...into holy Mother Church!

I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Us with Father Peter, and our good friends who stood in as proxy Godparents.

Let them eat cake!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sunflower's Birth - Part 2

Part 1 is here.

The bath slowed things down enough that I was able to get a smallish nap in between contractions.  And when Jen came back I felt rested enough to try to get things moving along.  But no matter what we did, contractions stayed where they had been the entire time.  10 minutes apart, 2-2 1/2 minutes long, and incredibly strong and painful.  I was beginning to get emotional, thinking I would never hold my baby, and I was so tired of being watched.  Dh must have felt the same because he went for a run and came back very winded.  ;-)  I decided a walk in the fresh air would do me good, and though Jen and my dh both tried to come with me, I needed to be alone.  I went around the block and that brought the contractions a little closer together, but after about an hour of that, they went back to the same old story.

I remembered my labor with Ladybug, and Michelle's comment to research prodromal labor.  I had done that before-hand and all the recommendations were to rest as much as possible, and labor would happen when it was ready.  But this was so different.  Except when I took a bath, the contractions never really petered out, and they were so long and so painful that I started to get worried something was wrong.  This, combined with my fear that if things were this painful now, how could I ever manage it when it got harder, managed to destroy what little emotional stability I had.  I was exhausted, I was scared, I was tired of being pregnant, and I just wanted to hold my baby.

Jen checked me again and I was still at 4cm and 80% effaced, but now with no bulging bag.  An entire day of contractions had gone by, and there were still no obvious signs of progress.  Jen went home that evening to get some rest, and we asked our friend Mrs. R to keep the kids for another day.  Surely we would have our baby that night sometime?  It was odd, dh and I having the house to ourselves.  We talked about going to a movie, or to dinner, but the contractions were so long and so painful that we decided to just stay home.  I tried to rest, but sleep would not come.  After talking with Jen on the phone, dh decided to run to the store for Tylenol PM to help me sleep.

Thankfully, I managed to get a few hours of sleep, though I still couldn't sleep through contractions, I could fall right back asleep when they were over.  At some point in the night though, the intensity increased and I could feel baby shifting around.  That managed to make things even more intense while keeping things at the same pace.  Around 1am, I called Jen to ask her opinion about different options.  She presented me with the idea of Castor oil, but I was resistant.  I've read horror stories about it and though I wanted something to happen that was different, I also didn't want to be stuck on the toilet for the rest of my labor.

Finally, I decided it was time to let my doctor know how things were going.  I asked her opinion and she told me we should go into the hospital to get an epidural so I could sleep.  That also sounded crazy.  Being stuck on my back would do nothing for baby's position and as Jen warned, could stop my contractions completely.  I decided to weather the rest of the night at home.  The next morning, Wednesday, we decided we would pick up the kids and try to just go about our business.  Obviously, baby was not going to come out any time soon, and we missed our kids.

While dh was gone, I called my doctor again to update her, and she was upset I hadn't gone into the hospital that night.  She felt I had been laboring long enough without baby being monitored (remember, we were trying for another VBAC) and was worried about my scar.  She wanted us to go in and have my water broken.  She said within a few hours of breaking my water, we would have our baby.  As excited as I was to finally be doing something, I was also scared.  What if we broke my water, and baby went into distress?  What if I still didn't progress?  Being a VBAC, most doctor's are hesitant to give pitocin because the strong contractions bring a higher risk of uterine rupture.  Was I setting myself up for a labor full of interventions that would eventually lead me to another C-section?  Should I just wait it out at home until baby was truly ready to come?  Conflicted, I called my dh and told him to leave the kids with Mrs. R and come home.  I told him what the doctor said, and he felt it was a good decision to go in.  With Jen's help we would do our best to avoid too many interventions. be continued...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sunflower's Birth - Part 1

I had been having pretty strong Braxton Hick's contractions for about two weeks.  Strong enough that I truly felt labor was going to start any day.  I canceled things and stayed close to home.  It was where dh and I both felt I should be.  Day after day past, and still nothing real happened.  Dh was getting frustrated, I was getting impatient and tired of being watched.  I look back and realize that I should have kept myself busy.  But nothing sounded fun or good to do.  I was ready to have a baby, but baby wasn't ready to be born yet.

Finally on Monday the 28th, around 4pm, the first real contractions started.  And wow, were they real.  Immediately I had to start my relaxation techniques.  They were long, really long, about 2 minutes, but only about 10 minutes apart.  I called my doula just to alert her, and asked when she felt she should come over.  She felt that because I had had a normal birth with Ladybug, this birth would go much faster and be much easier.  So she wanted to come when contractions were around 6 minutes apart.  I went to bed Monday night with contractions still 10 minutes apart and still about 2 minutes long.  They were incredibly strong and I felt them almost unbearably down my thighs and all around my back.  Sleep mostly eluded me.  But I was excited, knowing I was going to meet baby soon.

Tuesday morning, we awoke, sure we would have a baby that day.  We called our friend to come get Fritter and Ladybug, and our doula wanted to come by to check me and listen to baby.  While our friend Mrs. R was here, the contractions started coming closer together.  As she and my dear husband joked and bantered, she also helped to push on my back.  It was comforting having her there, and nice to have the distraction for my dh.

Jen, our doula came soon after Mrs. R and the kids left.  She checked me and found me to be at 4 cm and 80% effaced with what she described as a bulging bag and a very low baby.  She felt it was possible baby was posterior (sunny side up) because of the strong sensations I was feeling, but when she listened to baby with her fetalscope, the heartbeat was easy to find, which suggested an anterior (face down, and preferred) baby.  Jen stayed for a few hours, suggesting different positions to help baby get in a better position if she needed to.  Contractions stayed right around 10 minutes apart, were still very strong and lasting a long time.

Jen felt I should try to take a bath and get a nap, and she left with the promise she would check back in a few hours unless we called and needed her sooner.  Dh settled in to read a book while I took Jen's advice.  We all expected we would meet our precious baby before nightfall.  How wrong we were... be continued...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hello There!

We are still here, enjoying our babymoon.  I keep meaning to sit down at the computer to blog C.M.'s aka "Sunflower"'s birth story, but everytime I do, the baby wants to nurse, or the phone rings, or the laundry buzzer goes off....  I'm finding these days to be crazy and mixed up and completely wonderful.  And what do you know?  The baby needs me.  Talk to you all soon!  Hopefully....   ;-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rain Is A Big Deal Around Here

 Notice the bare feet.  He came out of his room this afternoon like this when we noticed a few sprinkles.  And by few I mean like three raindrops.

You read that right.  It says 80 degrees.  We can't help it.  We get excited when there's a cloud in the sky.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What I've Learned On My First Day Alone With Three Kids

That I must be crazy.  And very blessed all at the same time.

That if I want to get all kids reasonably dressed, cleaned, and fed AND throw in a load of laundry and unload the dishwasher, I'd better not expect to get myself reasonably dressed, cleaned, and fed before 10am.

That I just can't do everything at once, and somebody (or something) is just going to have to wait.

As long as the clutter is mostly picked up, I can overlook my (massively) dirty floors.

That I am so in love with C.M. and so is everyone else.