Monday, January 26, 2009

The power of an exhale

I discovered something this weekend.

But first, a complaint. My hips hurt this time of year, normally. Whenever a cold front comes through, I start aching like a 90-year-old woman who has never heard of calcium. Now, add 30-40 pounds of weight and loosened joints, and it's just downright painful. The worst is as night, because every time I shift in my sleep, the pain wakes me up. And, rolling from one side to the other is agony.

But then, I remembered that concept of just breathing out, keeping your face relaxed, keeping your body relaxed to deal with pain. And, it works. Seriously. Crazy how effective it is. I wake up in pain. I force my face to relax -- although that sounds like a conflict of terms. I take a big breath in, and I exhale as I roll over. It still hurts, but more like a stubbed toe than an knife in the foot kind of pain.

I'll add that to the list of things to remember during labor.

Productive weekend

So, of the list below, here's what we got DONE:
  • Make Big Sis shirts with the girls
  • Take down the toddler bed in baby's room
  • Put up a different wall quilt in baby's room
  • Rearrange baby's room (Jay!)
  • Wash the baby bedding/sheets
  • Take as many naps as possible
  • Read up on the Bradley Method and other good birth stories
  • AND, a haircut for mommy
We also decorated the house for Valentine's Day and I started our taxes.

Then, with such poor sleep this weekend, I spent the rest of Sunday questioned my ability to wait for 30 more days. I guess if my labors with pitocin were more extreme, if they were bad experiences, I'd be more able to wait for labor. But, with my doc going out of town the week I'm due, with his offer to induce, and knowing how much more convenient it'd be for Jay, the girls, my mom, if I had a scheduled labor, it's going to be hard to wait. I know if I can hold off until the 15th -- when doc leaves town -- then I will wait until the 23rd (41 weeks). I guess from that standpoint, I just have to say no-to-pitocin for 20 more days...that sounds a little more manageable.

All this is under two assumptions: that I will not go into labor on my own, ever, and that I won't go into labor on my own before my due date. Those are two assumptions I feel strongly are more fact than fiction.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pre-baby checklist

Okay...trying to get back on "new baby" mode...

I'm a list maker and feel better if I have a list of what I need to accomplish. Keeping in mind that I have 4-5 weekends remaining until bambino arrives, and two of those Jay will be out of town and one of those is Super Bowl, here are the things I think I need to do or want to do before s/he arrives:

  • Make Big Sis shirts with the girls
  • Finish sewing two new baby blankets (more like nursing throw covers)
  • Take down the toddler bed in baby's room
  • Put up a different wall quilt in baby's room
  • Rearrange baby's room (Jay!)
  • Wash the baby bedding/sheets
  • Take as many naps as possible
  • Read up on the Bradley Method and other good birth stories

I already packed a bag for me, partially, and one for the girls with overnight essentials. I also purchased a baby book this week and filled out the first part of the book that I could complete. I bought batteries for our camera, safely reserved in my overnight bag. I also picked out coming-home outfits ... one boy, one girl, and one neutral. And, I washed all my 0-3 month clothes.

Additions to the list? What am I forgetting?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

You are my sunshine

How can you stay angry or sad when you have this face to look at.

Wednesday morning, Lainie was better. I could tell by her eyes, the moment she woke up, that she felt better. I could exhale. I could get a better perspective. And I could relax, because now I'm assuming that she'll at least show me she's sick or feeling bad before she throws a seizure. That's my assumption and I'm sticking to it.

I also apologized for getting mad at God. The saying goes, God's will be done, but He takes requests. I requested, I asked, but this time, I was told no. And like an insolent, ungrateful child, I threw a tantrum. A few days of perspective later, and I can see all the times He said yes and that my kids were okay, and I can see that Lainie really is okay right now, so I should stop my tantrum and just say thank you.

Today, we took advantage of the beautiful unseasonable weather and played outside. The girls had a blast swinging, sliding, and climbing on our play sets. It was so refreshing to breath the clear air, hear their giggles, and watch them run in circles. Even writing it now, I feel more relaxed. We all needed that.

I needed that.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Here we go again.

This is so ridiculous, it still doesn’t seem real.

One year and one week after her first seizure, Lainie had another seizure Saturday afternoon, January 17. She was getting sick Friday, woke up Saturday morning with a 102.5 fever, which we got down with Motrin. She woke up from her nap around 2:30, and I gave her motrin right away, even though she didn’t feel that hot. At 3, I took her picture, because she didn’t look “right” to me. At 3:10ish, she asked to watch a movie, so I turned on Dora in the living room and started putting a roast in the oven.

Then I heard that horrible, horrendous sound of her gasping for air…more like squealing for air. I ran in there, and she was in the middle of a grand mal aka tonic-clonic seizure. Jay was cutting firewood down the road with Maggie, so I scooped up Lainie, ran her outside in hopes that the cold air would shock her into breathing, and yelled at Katie to get my phone, shoes, her coat, and my purse. After about 10 minutes, the grand mal part ended and we headed to the ER. It took another 15-20 minutes or so for her to come out of it enough to make eye contact, about the time we arrived in the hospital room. Her fever was only 98.9 under the arm, adjusted 99.9. She showed no sign of any infection in her ears, nose, throat, lungs, anything. Her lung x-ray is fine. Thank God, she did not have another seizure since, or should I say yet?

I followed up with her at a pediatrician in Manhattan, now her new pediatrician. Good news, we know what caused the fever. While her ears looked fine on Saturday, she has an ear infection now in one ear. But, good or bad, new Doc doesn’t believe these are febrile — said her fever is just too low. She’s sending Lainie on for a consult back at Children’s Mercy in KC with the neurologists at the seizure clinic. I asked if we could/should wait until the baby is born, since car rides are so hard on me right now and I wasn’t sure my Doc would approve. Her Doc said she didn’t want to wait, and wants to get her there within the week. And my Doc, whose youngest just experienced his first grand mal seizure two weeks ago, said go, but take it easy.

I’m angry. I hate to say it, and I hate to write it, but I’m mad at God. I don’t understand why, why in the world it had to happen JUST when I was letting my guard down. Just when I could sleep at night and not freak out every time her eyes rolled or she made a strange noise. I’m trying to remember all the reasons I should be thankful, that she didn’t fall off the couch, that this seizure ended, that I heard my Grandma’s voice telling me to get her outside so the cold would shock her to breath, that she hasn’t had another yet/since. But I guess I feel like my trust is broken.

And, I knew something was wrong on Saturday. I talked with Jay for a long time Saturday morning, telling him that I’m just worried that something else is going on inside her, something to make her face puffy, the white of her eyes just not right, her bowels still hyperactive, and her immune system shot. I was trying to treat her like a normal kid, rolling this off as just a normal virus. But I guess I don’t get to treat her that way, to think that way, at least not yet.

So that’s our weekend. How was yours?

Friday, January 16, 2009

A good bad day

Tuesday night around 5, I got lambasted with a killer migraine. One of those that hurts so bad, it makes me vomit and drives me to literally hit my head against the wall to stop the pain. My medicine didn't cut it, nor did any natural remedies. After fours hours of this, and for only the second time in 18 years of suffering from migraines, I needed to go in to the ER to stop it.

Why is this a good thing?

Because, for all the joking and teasing I've given Jay about his helpfulness during previous labor and deliveries, he totally came through. All I had to do was walk downstairs and tell him I couldn't take it anymore. The TV was off, he was up with the phone in hand, asking who to call and what to do. He called my OB to find out what they could give me, who then called our local ER and gave them instructions. He arranged someone to care for the sleeping girls, got my coat and shoes on me, got me in the car, helped/dragged me in the ER door, held me up while they gave the shot, held the bucket while I got sick again and again, and carried me home and put me to bed. He stroked my head, squeezed my skull when it felt like my brains were exploding out, and took care of everything Wednesday morning so I could continue to pass out. He was a knight in shining armor! My hero! I haven't felt this loving toward him, or this loved by him, in a while.

You may say a migraine is nothing like labor, but it is. Think of it like transition, like the last 3 centimeters, the worst of it, but without a positive end outcome. And if Jay can help me so very well through that, then bring on labor! I found a coach!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pack WHAT?!

Oh, okay, fine. I am going to deliver SOME time in the next 7 weeks. And maybe, with all these contractions, I should pack a bag. Just for kicks, I looked on a site to see what they recommend I pack. And here's why they are wrong:

For mom
-Robe or bed jacket. DITTO ABOVE.
-Nightgown and/or pajamas (if breastfeeding, then bring ones made for nursing). THE LEAKAGE DOESN'T STOP WHEN THE BABY IS DELIVERED. LEAK ON THEIR STUFF.
-2 - 4 bras. YES. AND MAKE THEM BIG 'UNS.
-3 - 6 pairs of underpants. YES. AND MAKE THEM OLD ONES.
-Toiletries (toothbrush/toothpaste, soap, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, lotion, comb/brush, lip balm/chap stick). OKAY, YES.
-Elastic/Scrunchie or hair clip to pull hair back during labor. ABSOLUTELY YES.
-Going home outfit. YES. AND BIG AND STRETCHY.

And now's the part that really made me laugh.

-An activity (such as pre-addressing birth announcements or crossword puzzles) or a book to keep busy during early labor. DUDE. IF YOU CAN READ AND DO CROSSWORDS, GO HOME AND WAIT FOR REAL LABOR.
-Your baby book - you can record your delivery details and first moments with your baby and the nurses can put your baby's hand and foot prints on the appropriate page while they are inked for the hospital records. YES, BUT MAKE SURE IT'S FAR FROM THE "DROP ZONE".
-Cord Blood Collection kit (if you decided to collect your baby's cord blood)
-Makeup, lipstick, scented shower gel or body powder to make you feel better after labor...MUCH AFTER LABOR, LIKE THE NEXT DAY.
-Eyeglasses or contact lenses (keep in mind that you can wear your eyeglasses during labor, but you must take out your contacts). I HAVE NEVER BEEN ASKED TO TAKE OUT MY CONTACTS. DUDE, I WANT TO SEE MY BABY WHEN IT'S BORN!
-A few small gifts or one for all of the nurses that helped care for you. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? BRING SOMETHING BACK TO THE HOSPITAL LATER. IT'LL MEAN MORE.
-A small gift for the other children at home from the baby. OH, OKAY. I'LL AGREE WITH THIS ONE.

For partner:
Insurance information, Hospital preregistration information, Don't forget to bring your cord blood banking kit; Change of clothes and toiletries, if they're allowed to stay in the room; optional -- Things to be used during labor: soothing music, something to be used as a focal point, tennis ball, rolling pin or lotion for massage, watch, paper/pen, snacks; Book or magazine for reading; List of people and phone numbers to call; Camera/film (make sure it's preloaded and in good working condition before you go); Camcorder and/or cassette recorder with tapes.


Wow. I am pathetic, aren't I? :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fam update

In order of age...

Baby Quatro is doing great. Heartbeat around the 130 range and I'm measuring right on target. It feels like the baby is trying to move her/his head out of my pelvis, via my left hip. Stay head-down, baby! I've got February 24th set as my induction date. My due date is somewhere between the 14th and 17th, but I don't think I will go into labor on my own. 41 weeks sounds good.

Lainie is doing well. Saturday will be one year since her world got all-shook-up, literally. Yesterday, she told me "my baby fell down." A four-word phrase, a new record! Her homework for this month is to work on plurals, so she can get the concept of plurals and the idea of adding end consonants on her words. We should hear back from the speech department any day now on whether she's accepted, and are still working toward starting preschool after spring break.

Maggie is my Maggie, and that says it all. This week has been a hard one on her, and today she said both her ears hurt. I thought something was coming on. She tries so hard to be good, but it's just not her natural course of action. Adventure, disobedience, challenging authority -- that's more her style. We've re-initiated reading together at bedtime, just Maggie and me, and she is obviously appreciating that.

Katie is doing fine. If anything, she's going to be ignored because she doesn't cause problems. She is showing more obsession with planning and control; gee, I wonder where she gets that. And she told me last night all the reasons she has the best daddy in the world, even though Jay wasn't home at the time. I think that makes it more genuine. I told her I get points for picking such a great daddy for her, and then spent the rest of the night thinking about how right she is!

I'm 30-something-weeks pregnant, hitting that point where I wake up at an ungodly hour of the morning. Today it was 4 a.m. I can't hardly walk today, my hips hurt so bad, but I did go for a 50-minute walk with Lainie yesterday, so that's probably contributing. And I'm looking forward to lunch out with my cousin.

Pretty basic stuff, but it's my wonderful life!

Monday, January 5, 2009

A new year

Ah, another year gone. I can't say I'm sad to see 2008 gone. It was a tumultuous one, at best. But for every cloud, we did have a silver lining. Sometimes the clouds were so dark and devastating that that lining was hard to see, but eventually it dominated.

Christmas was mostly uneventful. Had I posted this on December 25, it would have been a very cheery post. The girls had a wonderful time, celebrating Christmas Eve at home and Christmas Day at Jay's parents. They really enjoyed it, the magic of it all, and it was great to see the holidays through their eyes. Maggie would have been happy if all she had received was the Dora the Explorer Pegasus Pony, which Santa so wonderfully brought for her. She enjoyed all her other gifts, too, but that's the one thing she really, really wanted. Katie loved it all! And Lainie loved her babies and is just now getting around to noticing her other toys.

December 26, Lainie woke up sick with the stomach bug. By noon, all she wanted to do was lay on me or lay on the bed. Anything that went in, came back up. And, unlike our previous experience with this stomach bug (FOUR TIMES last year), she didn't recover on her own. She ended up needing IV fluids on the 27th and 28th. At 4 a.m. in the 28th, she woke up, sat up, said the first words she'd said in 28 hours, and by 4 p.m. was home. So the rest of the break for her was in semi-isolation and recovering.

And now I'm trying to prepare for a new baby. House-wise, we're mostly done. The nursery is set up, and I need to wash all the clothing and bedding. We need to buy a new car seat, as our old one was officially "too old". Did you know plastic fatiqued? Well, after our car accident, I'm uber-paranoid about car seat safety, so I sold our old one that was 7 years old and need to replace it.

But mostly emotionally, I need to prepare. Today, I registered for baby stuff at Target online, just to try to get myself ready, to get a list of what we need to get. I registered to remind myself that a new baby is coming home, to try to get geared up, and in hopes of getting some coupons! heehee

But maybe that's part of my blues today. From my perspective, I feel like this baby has been treated (by extended family)like just an accessory for our family. S/he isn't getting near the hoopla that the girls got, especially Katie. Is it fair for a new birth to be less anticipated, just because it's not the first?

And enough with the random ramblings. Here's hoping my mood pendulum swings the other direction before I decide to post again. And here's hoping for a healthy 2009 for all.