Saturday, May 21, 2011


Sitting here crying my eyes out over this post. It brought back so many memories.
Dino was born at 36 weeks gestation. A tiny bit early but not too bad. However, he did have some blood sugar issues which required an IV. And for that he needed to be in the NICU.
Imagine, if you will, a first time mom, one who had planned a natural childbirth and a healthy baby. Now imagine that she got neither. (well, Dino wasn't unhealthy, he just wasn't in tip-top shape)

I went into labor 4 weeks early. My water broke Sunday evening. Monday I would be 36 weeks pregnant, 4 weeks from my due date, and it was also to be our final birthing class. I intended to have all natural childbirth, just like my mom had done it, just like many of my aunts and cousins had done it. I was all set, or so I thought. We got to the hospital just before midnight. The doctor's did not think my water had actually broken because I was so early and not in full blown labor. However, it was a slow night so they admitted me. About an hour after I arrived a doctor came in the room and told me there were several tests they used to check if the amniotic sac had ruptured. He (Dr. Payne funnily enough) told me that he be doing a few of the tests. First, he was going to insert a speculum to take a sample. But when he got close enough to that area, he saw some liquid seeping. So he asked for the strips they use (don't know what they are called, but they turn a certain color if they come in contact with amniotic fluid) to test for fluid and it turned positive immediately. He said he still wanted to do some more tests. He again started the test that required the speculum (again, I have no idea of the different tests and the names, I'm just drawing on my memory of the time) but he never finished. Once he got close enough and I spread my legs (hate that) he said, "Never mind. Baby is coming today. I see hair."
So I was officially in labor. I was 3cms dilated at that point and having some contractions. The nurses hooked my up to the monitors and my contractions started getting stronger and coming closer together. Someone came in to insert an IV and that's when I lost it. I was already nervous because it was too early. And now I was getting uncomfortable from the contractions. Then when they tried the IV, they couldn't get it in right and it hurt. They tried in both of my hands several times. Both hands swelled up and started bruising. Eventually they ended up putting the IV in the crook of my right arm, which meant I couldn't bend my elbow. It was very uncomfortable and I panicked. I asked for an epidural. I was checked and found to be 5 cms so they gave me the epi. And then things stalled. So they gave me pitocin. (none of this was anything like the all natural delivery I had planned...) And then Dino's heart rate starting going nuts. I was only 6 cms by this point, 3 hours after the epi had gone in. And Dino kept reacting worse and worse to the contractions. So a decision was made to have a c-section. I cried, but I was so exhausted by this point, I just wanted him to be okay. It was 6am and I had been up for almost 24 hours at this point and I just wanted him to be born. So off to the OR we went. He was born at 6:59 am, weighing in at 6lbs 11oz and looked great for being 4 weeks early.
He stayed with my for almost that whole day. That night, after checking his blood sugar levels several times, he ended up needing an IV, so off to the NICU he went. I was released on Thursday, and it was the hardest day of my life. Seeing all the women leaving the hospital with their babies was like a knife through my heart. It was awful.

And it didn't matter that Dino was the biggest, healthiest baby in the NICU. It still hurt. And then I felt guilty for being upset when so many of the babies in the NICU were in such bad shape. Those few days were very hard, some of the hardest days I've ever experienced. And even though it was almost 9 years ago, and all the details are fuzzy, the emotion is still razor sharp in my mind. It hurt. It was hard.
But Dino wasn't there long. He came home on Sunday and never looked back.

So when I found I was pregnant again, I was thrilled that I'd get a do-over. I couldn't wait to have the perfect birth I'd dreamed of. Hub and I practiced and planned and made sure we were going to be ready whenever I went into labor this time. I just knew I'd be one of those women who had a VBAC.
Then came moving day. We moved in with my parents on Tuesday (10 days before my due date). Wednesday I noticed Frog wasn't moving too much. I did all the things you're supposed to do and he moved some, but I kept a close eye on him. Thursday I woke up and he didn't move. And he always moved a ton in the mornings. I called the doctor's office and talked to a nurse. I had an appt for the next day and the nurse said I'd be fine to wait. "Babies slow down this close to your due date", blah, blah, blah. But she could tell I wasn't satisfied. She told me no doctor's were in so I'd have to see a midwife. I said fine and rushed in immediately, no shower, no Hub, no nothing. My mom did come with me to watch Dino. We got to the office and they hooked me up to the monitors. I was reassured to hear Frog's heart beating away. But he still wasn't moving much. He did move some. After almost an hour of monitoring, the nurse took my strip to the doctor that was there on call. A midwife came in and told me they thought it would be best for me to head over to the hospital. No one acted like it was a big deal. So mom and Dino and I made our way over. I tried calling Hub when we got there (this was before everyone and their brother had cell phones) but couldn't reach him. I found out later he was already on his way.
So I get to the hospital, mom calls my sister-in-law to come get Dino and I am all happy-go-lucky thinking I'm getting ready to have an induction. A nurse comes in and tells me to get on the bed because I need to be monitored. I thought she was rather mean, but my mom told me later that she knew something was wrong. I'm on the monitor for a few minutes (Hub was here by now) and the nurse leaves the room. Within a few minutes she returns with a ton of people. Someone starts prepping me for surgery, someone starts an IV, someone is getting me to sign papers, someone is telling me about getting a spinal, someone is telling me something else, there were people everywhere. A short time later I was in the OR and getting a spinal. It happened so fast I had no time to process any of it.
Frog was born at 1:45 pm and weighed 7lbs 15 oz. He was with me for about an hour, while they stitched me up and for a few minutes in the recovery room. But he was not doing well and they took him to the NICU shortly. It really happened so fast I didn't have time to think.
But once I was in my room I had plenty of time to think. And I really did quite well. I was familiar with the NICU having been there with Dino. And I just didn't think it was a big deal. I didn't stress or anything. I was so tired from the delivery that I let it all float away. I saw Frog for a few minutes. They wheeled me to see him before they took me to my room. But then I just slept. It wasn't until the next morning I realized he wasn't good. But even then, I just kept thinking he was more like Dino had been and was just in need of a little time.
No one could ever figure out exactly what happened but he had some kind of infection. He was on antibiotics. His platelets were low. At one point they were sure they would have to give him a blood transfusion. But that didn't end up happening. No one was quite sure what was going on. But he very quickly got better. He still had to stay in the NICU. And I went home for the second time with no baby in my arms. Until then, I did not cry one time. But when they brought all my discharge papers, and I had to get ready to leave, then I lost it. I cried and cried and cried. It hit me then that I was leaving the hospital for a second time with no baby. It was not fair. It downright sucked.
I was mad, and hurt, and upset, and just lost. I was glad to get home to Dino, but felt like part of me was left behind at the hospital. Those few days were torture.
But Frog did well, and he came home on Wednesday, for a grand total of 7 days in the NICU. Not bad at all.
My OB did tell me at my 2 week check-up that she was glad I came in when I did. She said Frog's umbilical cord was tested and there was no oxygen found in it. She said that it was very likely that had I waited or had I gone into labor that Frog would not have made it. I'll take a 7 day NICU stay to that any day.
Doesn't mean my experience wasn't still hard, but Frog is here now and very healthy. I thank God for him every day, for all three of my boys.

And now, just to round it out and complete the picture, I guess I should write about the day Monkey was born. Two weeks earlier (I was 35weeks2days), I was put into the hospital. My pregnancy had gone okay, but my blood pressure had gone sky high and I'd gained 20 pounds in two weeks. So I went into the hospital overnight for observation. Turns out all was fine, but they kept a close eye on me for the remainder of my pregnancy. I had an appt every week and twice weekly Non-Stress Tests (NSTs). When I went in for my appt the next week, they told me it was possible that we would need an amnio to check for lung maturity and that I'd probably have Monkey the next week. It was a fine line between needing him to stay in and grow and needing him to come out. And they were trying to watch but stay proactive at the same time.
Meanwhile, I'm having all kinds of contractions that are painful but not kicking me into labor. Every NST I had someone would ask if I felt the contractions. I was always like, "Ummmm, yes!!"
So on the Friday after my last appt I started some harder contractions. They continued all weekend and into the next week. I would get 5 in an hour, then only 1 an hour for several hours. Then I'd get 6-7 in an hour for 2 hours. And just over and over again. Never regular but not completely stopping either. So when I got to my appt on Tuesday, I was so ready to hear someone tell me we'd schedule an amnio and Monkey would be coming soon. When the doctor (and I went to a teaching office, so this doc was a newbie, very young) arrived, she examined me, found me to be 3 cms dilated, and listened to me talk about all the contractions. She then told me to schedule my c-section for "two weeks from today." I bawled like a little baby. I told her there was no way I could make it two more weeks. I'm sure OBs hear that all the time and think nothing of it. But I meant it.
Unfortunately, the doc also meant what she said. So off to schedule my c-section I went, and then on to the waiting room to wait for my NST. When I got hooked up for the NST (a couple hours later), Monkey was sleeping so they kept me for awhile waiting on him to move enough to get good readings. All the while I was having contractions. One nurse finally came in and looked at my strip. She quickly got a doctor. This doctor said she didn't like my contraction pattern (and again asked if I could feel them. I guess because I wasn't screaming and writhing in pain no one believed I was feeling them) and because I'd already had 2 c-sections they wanted me at the hospital to be monitored.
I figured it was like my last hospital visit 2 weeks earlier so I didn't want to call Hub. But when I got to the hospital, they sent me straight to pre-op and starting prepping me. I still didn't believe it but my nurse finally convinced me to call Hub. I was contracting the whole time and just waiting. The doc who had examined me earlier, and who I'd bawled on, came in and examined me again. This time I was 5 cms. She declared me in officially in labor and looked rather sheepish if I do say so myself.
Hub got there in the nick of time and I was wheeled back to the OR. Monkey was born at 4:54 pm weighing 9lbs 10 oz, and he was 3 weeks early!
And most amazing of all, he spent every single minute of the hospital stay with me. He only left my room once to go get a hearing test. And the day I left the hospital, Monkey left in my arms. Finally!! At last I got to take a baby home with me. What a wonderful moment that was!

And now I have a 4 year old, a 6 year old, and an 8 year old. Three wonderful, healthy boys. They are my joy! I am a blessed woman!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Psssst, hi, it's me.

Hey, what's this? A blog? What's a blog? I have a blog? When did that happen?

Hee-hee, yes I do remember that I have a blog. I just haven't been in a blogging mood for awhile. But I've been getting the feeling back, that feeling I get now and again to write. I'm not a terrific writer, but I do love to put down my thoughts.
So I'm back.

Here's what's been going on here:
The same thing that always goes on here. Life. It moves at lightning pace. Always.

Dino is an amazing child. He is growing so fast I'm afraid to sleep for fear he'll be married with kids when I wake up. He'll be 9 in a few months and is just finishing up third grade.
**A quick aside: I know plenty of homeschooling parents who do not pay attention to what grade their child is in. I am not one of those homeschooling parents. While I don't follow the curriculum set by the state, I do tend to follow the general idea and teach the boys according to what grade they would be in if they were in public school. And even then, I have noticed that we are still different sometimes. Dino and Frog both have birthdays that are within days of the cut-off date for starting school. So I started kindergarten with both of them just days after their fifth birthdays. Some in our community have kept their children of the same ages back a year. So no matter what, we are different. It's all good. But back to me, I just work better with the thought in my head that each of them would be in such and such grade, so we should be teaching this. Works well for me that way.**
Dino is just finishing up another season of baseball. He really enjoys it. He isn't the best player out there but he enjoys the game. His coach tells me that he really gets the rules. He pays attention and tries to do what the coach tells him to do. He just isn't extremely blessed in the athletic area. (takes after both of his parents) He is also already looking forward to football season. And he's going to try playing basketball this winter.
Yikes. For a non-athletic child, he really plays a lot of sports. I want him (all of the boys) to stay active as much as possible. Being an obese woman, I am determined to not pass my eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. So I try to keep the boys moving as much as possible. Sometimes they think I'm the meanest mom in the world because I make them stay outside for hours.
Dino is doing really well in school. He loves history. I love that our curriculum is literature based because it has so many wonderful books to read. Dino has become absorbed in the books. He loves to read. Loves to read!! It is not hard to get him to read his school books. (not quite so easy to get him to do his math....) I love to watch how engrossed he gets in a book. He will read and read and read. He bought himself the complete set of "The Chronicles of Narnia" and read the first book, "The Magician's Nephew" the first day he had it. I love that he loves to read. Does my heart good!

Frog is growing fast, too. He will be seven in a couple of months and is finishing first grade. He is reading now, too. I wondered how it would go with him. When I taught Dino how to read (in first grade) I had switched to a new curriculum. After using it, I decided I didn't like it as well as what I had been using, so I switched back. Then when Frog was ready for first, I got all the Sonlight material to use. Even though I knew it was wonderful material, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to teach Frog how to read as easily as I taught Dino. I was worried that Dino was just a natural reader and I didn't do much, and that the curriculum did more. So switching curriculum on such a fundamental skill worried me. I know, I know, silly. But reading didn't seem to click as quickly for Frog as it did for Dino and I spent much of the year worrying. And as it turned out, all for naught. Frog is a reading champ now. He's been reading everything he can get his hands on. He's finished all the readers for first grade and is now reading some of the second grade readers. I've got to find something for him to read this summer so I can save something for him to read in school next year. Again, I love it!
And Frog is really good in math. He has almost caught up to Dino. It's not making Dino happy, but I don't want to hold Frog back. So we'll take it a step at a time.
Frog just finished up his soccer season. He's getting better all the time at that. He is more athletically inclined than Dino, but still not the superstar of the team. Hub and I just don't seem to make 'em too sports-minded. Oh well. Just so long as they stay active......

Monkey is, well, he's my baby. I want him to stay a baby. Okay, not really, but maybe a tiny bit. He's now four years old and trying to do everything his brothers do, everything. Sorta. He wants to do it his way, For instance, when we signed the older two up for baseball and soccer, we asked Monkey if he wanted to play a sport. He was not even remotely interested. He told me, "If you can sign me up for a train building class, I would do that." And that is him all the time. Always wants to be in charge, always. At one point I was worried that he was color blind because anytime we talked about colors he always said green or red. Never any other color. Then one day he just told us all the other colors correctly. He just didn't want to do it before.
He's like that with everything. If he doesn't want to do it, no amount of persuading will get him to do it. I tried to get him to write his names for a long time. He flat out refused. Then one day, out of the blue he wrote his name. After that I tried to get him to write some other letters. No way, no how was he going to do it. Again, he flat out refused. He would write numbers all day long, but no letters. Now he's writing some letters. Not the ones I ask him to write, but what he chooses to write.
I thought about starting him in Kindergarten this fall, watching him this past year has made me rethink that thought. He and I are not ready to tackle that job. I will not stress myself out that way. We will take it a day at a time and see how pre-K goes. We'll start Kinder when we are both ready.

So, that's what's been going on here. Well, sorta. That's what's on my mind tonight. I just put in my order for next year's curriculum so homeschool is what's on my mind right now. Next week I'll have something else on my mind and will be ready to post again.

Oh, one quick thing about me. I am a knitter now. Ha! Imagine that! I never thought I was crafty. But it turns out I am when it comes to knitting. We had a homeschool co-op last fall and the moms could take one class. I took knitting and haven't looked back since. It just clicked for me and I can pretty much do whatever I want. I haven't tried a sweater yet, but I have done so many other things. A whole new world has opened up for me. I love it. So maybe my next post will be all about knitting. Who knows. I just have a feeling though that I am feeling the need to blog more now and so at least there will be a next post. Yay!!