Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saphira's birth story

If I were to sum up this birth, I would say violent but fulfilling. It's ironic because she was my fourth and my smallest (8 lb 5 oz). The only explanation is the speed with which she came.

I woke up Thursday morning with the bloody show and contractions 7 minutes apart. So I called everyone, and with my husband and midwife rushing me, we gathered the kids from school and went to the birth center. We spent a peaceful day there doing all the things I imagined I would: baking frozen pizza and cookies, going for a walk, resting in bed, etc. I think I was a little too relaxed because the contractions petered out. So at 4:30 I sent the photographer home and we left. I figured I could at least go to class. So I did.

Of course, as soon as we left the birth center the contractions started up good and strong, ten minutes apart. Maybe it was the house music we were listening to in the car. My husband and I preplanned that he would pick me up from class an hour early. It was a good thing we did because labor was really picking up at that point. I took a bath to see if that would stall labor, but during the bath contractions went from 7 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart!

Timmy and I got back in the car and sped back to the birth center (which is 40 minutes away). I was pretty much in transition during the ride there because I was at the point where I was saying "I can't do this. I don't want to do this anymore". Mostly I just called out "Father. God. Jesus. Help me. Momma." and some swearing. We might not have made it if Timmy hadn't been doing 90 the whole way.

I was scared that no one would be at the birth center when we got there (because the midwife hadn't been able to call us back and a recent news story of a similar situation making me paranoid). So when we got there and the lights were on and the door was open I broke down in relief. I walked in the door sobbing. My midwife, Meredith, had put some water in the tub already so I got right in but labor was so hard and furious I got little relief. I was too hot so I got out. (Afterwards Meredith told me the water needed to be 6 degrees warmer to actually birth the baby there. I could not have tolerated it any hotter).

I was inconsolable at this point. Relaxing through each contraction -though possible during active labor- was completely unhelpful during transition. I preferred to tense up and brace myself against furniture and struggle through each contraction. For instance, during one I was on the floor on my hands and knees, slapping the tile floor as hard as I could hit it. After getting out of the tub I crawled into bed and lay on my side, screaming random demands to: open the window, turn the fan on, point the fan on me, get me a bowl for me to throw up in. Then I felt a little pushy. Another contraction and I just started pushing -laying on my side with legs still together! My water broke and more (mom's know what I mean). Just like my last birth, the midwife was not expecting this and she frantically got on the phone to call for her back-up.

The violent part
I turned onto my back, laying sideways on the bed and pinned Meredith against the wall with my legs as the next contraction hit. I was absolutely roaring as I pushed half her head out. With Dimitri I got the whole head out in one push which was a relief. But with Saphira's head only partway out I was in so much pain I just wanted her out. Meredith was commanding me, in her most serious voice to stop pushing. My husband was on the opposite side of the bed, at my head. He saw how out of control I was and he grabbed my arms and pinned me down as I was trying to grab the baby's head and pull it out. I'm screaming that when I push it feels like it's tearing upwards, which is a scary prospect. Thankfully it didn't. The next few contractions were a violent battle with me writhing in pain and pushing, Meredith telling me not to push, me asking her why, me telling her no, and begging Timmy to let go of my hands. Then she was out.

Finally peace
My first words were something along the lines of "Thank God she's out". Meredith immediately put her on my stomach. She was soft and beautiful, amazingly clean, purplish in color- I thought that it was her complexion and commented that she was darker than my other kids. I pushed the placenta out and asked Meredith to make sure it was a girl. It was. phew.

Even though time is immeasurable to a laboring woman, Meredith said I delivered her 17 minutes after arrival. In that 17 minutes I went from 7 cm to delivery. It may have been short but it was agonizing. Probably because of the speed, I couldn't have taken any more.

The birth was almost the opposite of how I planned. I delivered on my back instead of in the tub. I didn't catch my baby or even see her coming out with a mirror. I was anything but calm. None of my friends or family was there. I got no photos... But as my midwife said, maybe it was exactly what it was supposed to be- just me and my husband. We certainly think so. It was a scary moment, the two of us. A meaningful moment.

I'm glad there was no video. The delivery was scary enough to live through once. I don't think I'd ever want to see it again. I am proud of what I did though and in a strange sort of way look back fondly on the birth because it was hard but I found the strength to do it.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

I think I'm in labor

It's pretty mild, but I'm pretty sure this is it... I'm nervous. So, the next update, I guess, will include news of a baby. :) Or a really disappointed pregnant woman.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I spent the day at the hospital

... but not for Saphira. I had to bring Wolfie in. About once a week for the past two months he gets abdominal pain and throws up. It comes and goes for about five hours. I know the doctors won't be able to figure it out. I need House to actually get a diagnosis. The problem is, about half the time it happens he's at school. So the school nurse is really concerned... as in if I don't do something she'll probably call social services on me. So I took him to the Emergency Department today to satisfy her, where they tested his urine and did an x-ray and, of course, found nothing. But it took five hours and my kids were starving and bored and antsy and basically it was awful. I knew it would be, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I'll take him to his pediatrician tomorrow. Speaking as a bit of a medical investigator myself, I'm thinking the first step in diagnosing this is an elimination diet. But that sounds like a lot of work, so I've been putting it off.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

2 Days and counting

Still no baby

Monday, March 24, 2008

In honor of World Water Day (Saturday March 22)

This is so me

I know. I'm a dork. I'm annoying. But this is so me.


No baby yet

It's the day after my due date and no baby yet. Dimitri came the day after his due date... but that morning I (TMI*) had the bloody show and no such luck with Saphira. So I wait.

To make matters more exciting, Timmy started a new job today! I know the timing is awful, but we're broke with no income, so he jumped on it. I'm actually pretty calm about the whole thing. I'll only need him for a few hours when I'm laboring. Then they can drop me off in the peaceful hospital room and everyone can leave me alone for our baby-moon. Hopefully the delivery will be after hours. He did mention my impending delivery in the interview so hopefully it won't reflect too badly if he has to leave.

(* Too much information)


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Jellybean

We adopted Jellybean from a local rabbit rescue organization about two years ago. We got him the day before Easter (purposefully) so I was going to rename the rabbit "Easter"- but "Jellybean" was close enough, so we let him keep it. Whoever named him that will never know the irony of his name. This is one strange rabbit. He won't eat fruits or vegetables but he loves to eat candy!! They couldn't have know that because he was rescued from the woods (but "wild" bunny's are not white). We always have to keep a look out for candy on the floor where he roams around. (Bunny's are easily litter box trained).

I'll admit I went looking for a replacement bunny for my Bugzy who died two years ago. I wanted another white rabbit just like him. So that's how we ended up with Jellybean. My middle son who went with me claims, to this day, that we should have gotten another rabbit. Perhaps he's right. Jellybean isn't the friendliest of rabbits. He likes to lunge and growl at my three year old. We just laugh when he does that though, because he wouldn't know how to kill a bug, let alone hurt a person. I love him to death though. He's my *other* baby. I like to cradle him and I know he trusts me because he always lets me pet and hold him.

I recently admitted to my husband that I'm allergic to Jellybean. He makes me sneeze and when I hold him my eyes get itchy. But you couldn't pay me to give him away. I love him SOOO much. My husband knows this. So despite his repeated threats to give away or eat my bunny I know he'd never do that to me. Sooooometimes he likes Jellybean too.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wise Wolfie

Sometimes my son will say the most profound things. Yesterday was one of those times:

"Mom, why is it the Easter bunny and not the Easter bird? I mean, bunnies don't lay eggs."

My response: jaw drop. "I don't know"... OK, I had to look it up on Wikipedia because curiosity was killing me. This is the explanation they gave.

"As for rabbits laying eggs, one possible explanation arises from the fact that hares use a hollow called a form rather than a burrow. Lapwing nest on the same sort of ground, and their nests look very similar to hare forms. So in the Spring, eggs would be found in what looked like hare forms, giving rise to the belief that the hare laid eggs in the spring."

It's still weird.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Casino gambling not likely in MA

Gov. Deval Patrick has been pushing the idea of casino gambling pretty much since he was elected. It looks like, as of this week, the bill is going to die. I'm quite pleased. I understand how tempting all that revenue is. Especially since so many of our constituents go next door to gamble. But Patrick's figures depend on a huge increase of gambling losses for Mass residents. I can attest to the the societal and familial devastation this will have- not a loss that can be made up for with that increase in revenue.

Speaking to the issue on a spiritual level: The South East Asian community is ravaged by gambling. I am convinced there is a demonic stronghold on them making them vulnerable to this sin. It's nothing that Jesus can't defeat. But given the percentage of S.E. Asians in my city- the revenue tempting our legislatures would never be able to undue the destruction. Thankfully, our local representatives are leaning against MA casinos. I'll email them to encourage that.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Morning Sickness again

Morning Sickness came back about three weeks ago. I've been nauseous off and on, but today I actually puked. Fun. Fun. So, um, hopefully this will be over soon.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

When I'm really bored I read...

When I'm really bored- like when I'm nine months pregnant and just sitting around waiting to go into labor, I read "Best of" posts from Craigslist. This one was a beautiful story of a mother's love. I thought I'd share it with you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

No trans fats in Boston

Yesterday the Boston health commission voted and banned transfats in Boston restaurants and cafeterias. "Boston food businesses will have just six months to stop using trans fat-laced margarines and oil in their foods, while hospitals, schools and eateries will have a year to make the transition." I think this is fabulous. Trans fats are not a substance found in nature. It is like poison to the body. Thumbs up from me. I hope the school lunch makers in Boston are the same ones for my (nearby) city. Then my kids will benefit too!


In class yesterday we learned about all the personality disorders. I learned about antisocial personality disorder. ("Bad boys"). Um, yeah, that's my husband to a T. So that was kind of a sucky epiphany.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A cool product

I just saw an ad for this middle ear fluid monitor. I love the idea! Otoscopes are sooooo hard to use but going to the pediatrician every time your baby is cranky is annoying. This can give you another piece of information. Obviously I wouldn't rely on it 100%, but it could help. I want to buy one.

I called it!

I actually said to my friend this weekend " I'd be happy with anything over 80 on my test. I probably got an 83." Weeeeelllll, I got an 83!!!! That's so cool! And to put that in perspective for you- the class average was 77. Some even failed. So, you see, I'm quite satisfied with that 83. Now to see how Saphira affects my grades the rest of the year... but at least I'm off to a good start.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Newscaster gets owned

I don't think I've shared this on my blog before. I actually keep it on my favorites for when I need a good belly laugh. Yes, I have a morbid sense of humor. If you do too you will like this.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lookie what I found

I walked into the kitchen today to find my mother in law sitting in this homemade sauna. How cute is that?

Monday, March 10, 2008


It's 5:00AM and I'm totally nesting. I cleaned my entire house, did all the laundry, sharpened all the pencils and even scrubbed the bunny cage. I bought a cute little night light for the changing table so I can change her diapers in the middle of the night without waking anyone. The only thing left to do tomorrow is file paperwork and return a library book I found under the desk. Then... I'll go crazy. Nesting is a good sign, but not a guarantee of labor. I know she could technically wait another month to come, (as I'm due in two weeks) but with school vacation next week I would really appreciate it if she came now. Please.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Funny blog

This blog is called Stuff White People Like.
It's particularly funny to me because I make fun of white people all the time- well all races really. I don't discriminate. :)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Big test tonight

I have a big nursing test tonight. I'm a lot less confident than I was on my other tests. I've (of course) been distracted by the pregnancy. Also, I don't have the school books because we don't have the money. I'm not feeling too bad about that though. I see it more as a "pride goeth before a fall"- thing ya know? Cuz last semester I was "too smart" for school books. I didn't "need them" so I sold them. Well, now I need them and can't have them, so that's probably what I get for my cockiness in a twisted sort of way. Anyway, I'm totally cramming. We'll see how it goes.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Getting anxious about the impending birth UPDATE AT BOTTOM

I know you can't plan your birth to a T. I know you can't count on anything. It's in the baby's and God's hands. But as it gets closer I'm getting more and more anxious that it go perfectly. I had my blood tested today for iron levels. If it's not high enough (30) than I have to have a hospital birth. I'm going to freak out; I mean seriously freak out if I can't have my water birth. Seriously, I'm tearing up writing this.

On top of that, I was reading my pregnancy books this morning- and then talking to a mom at the birth center who just had her first baby 6 weeks ago. Usually that just makes me happy/excited/inspired to go into labor. But today it just makes me upset/anxious/impatient. I want to have this baby NOW. NOW. NOW.

I asked my midwife today if I could bring candles and she said just electric. It's such a stupid little thing but even that upsets me. I want real candles. It's so stupid. And then the subject of induction came up (theoretical, not for me, specifically) and I could have sworn she said "we've had great success with Cytotec". Did I hear that right? I mean, Cytotec is a very very dangerous drug that should never be used to induce labor. I wouldn't let anyone near me with that stuff. Why would she say that? Why would they use that? That makes me confused and less confident in them.

So that was my dumb day. :(

It's the next day. I got my lab results back. In the words of my midwife... I just barely made it. 30.6 I'm shocked. Shocked. I can't believe it. I'm good to go for the birthing center. I was SO depressed last night. I don't even know what to say or do. Praise God.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

O.K. Saphira, you can come now

Today was my last clinical day (actually canceled because of the snow). I can only miss 3 clinicals/labs or I have to redo the semester. Labs are a lot less consuming so I should be able to do those with the new baby. She's also mature enough that I can have my water birth. There's nothing more to wait for, except that she's not due for three more weeks... You can come any time now, Saphira.

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If it's just a game, why does it hurt so much?

Last night in my dreams I was crying about the Patriot's Super Bowl loss. It's been about a month and I'm just starting to be able to talk about it. Though, I doubt I'll ever be ready to watch the game again or analyze what went wrong. I asked my husband why it hurts so much if it's just a game. He said it's not just me. It's everyone. We're all hurting.


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