Monday, September 24, 2007

Birth Story: Part 2

We arrived at Triage around 11 and were greeted by my friends J and T, walking the halls. Forrest and I went on to check in, and once we were hooked up to the monitors, found my contractions to be every 4 minutes, lasting 1 minute. I was checked, and was 1.5 cm, 60% effaced, and -2 station. Not wanting to send me home, they had me walk the hospital halls for an hour to come back and be checked again. We walked, and walked.... and walked....... I had to stop and breathe through the worst contractions, rocking side to side, holding on to the railing on the wall. After an hour, we went back, and rested. We tried to get some sleep (to no avail), and at 1:30 am, I was checked again. Thankfully, I'd made some progress. I was 3 cm, and 60%. They made me get up again and walk. This time, I was able to walk with J, while Forrest and T hung back and chatted. It was quite a joy to have my friend there, going through what I was going through. Looking back, it made the whole experience that much easier.

I wasn't checked again until 5 am, and I was still 3 cm. The nurse assured me that they were working on getting a room for me. She then encouraged me to keep walking, as my contractions were now starting to space out, and we didn't want labor to stall. As we walked out into the hallway, another woman was being wheeled into triage. Her face was calm, collected, and a bit tired. I leaned in to Forrest and said something along the lines of, "she can't be in labor, she looks too good". We met up with J & T and continued to walk. 5 minutes into our walk, the nurses station bursts into energy with women yelling out things, and running everywhere. We stood to the side of the hallway, and suddenly, out of triage, a nurse runs out carrying a baby. J's eyes and mine meet, and we realize that the woman who'd just been wheeled in had delivered her child in triage. She'd checked in at 10 cm (how on earth she was as calm as she was, is beyond me), and delivered in 2 minutes, almost in the toilet! They wheeled her out of triage and to her room, and we continued to walk while they cleaned triage up.

Our wait for a room was delayed even further at this point, since the triage-delivery lady had taken my room. We waited another hour, and finally, at 6 am, I was checked in to a room. At 6:30, my doctor came in, noticed my contractions spacing out (they were down to every 10 minutes apart now) and tried to convince me to start pitocin. I resisted, asking if there wasn't another method, and he suggested breaking my water. He checked me, and I was 5 cm, 70% and 0 station, so he broke my water. Forrest and tried to get some sleep, but I was too excited to sleep.

Around 8 am, the doctor came back to check on me, and my contractions still had not picked up. He was worried that my labor was stalling, and again encouraged the pitocin. We talked at length about the pitocin, and Forrest and I talked it over. At this point, I was pretty exhausted, having not slept a wink in 24 hours. We decided that it was probably best to go ahead and at least try a very low dose of pitocin. Within 30 minutes, my contractions picked up, and around 9:30 am, I asked to see the anesthesiologist for my epidural. We had the most thorough doctor in the world, who explained all of my options for pain relief... including some I hadn't considered. I decided to go with the epidural, since I'd had a good experience the first time with it. They inserted my epidural, and all seemed to be doing well until my blood pressure suddenly dropped. I suddenly felt awful, like I was withdrawing into my body, and started throwing up. Thankfully, the doctor was right there to administer whatever medication it was that was needed to counteract the drop in pressure. He had explained the possibility of this happening to us before it happened, so it wasn't quite as surprising as it could have been. I think it helped Forrest the most, as he was able to remain calm, knowing this was a common side effect.

Around 10:45, my doctor came back, checked me ant I was 6 cm, 90% effaced, and +1 station. I was incredibly exhausted at this point. Our family had arrived sometime that morning, and we finally sent them home at 11. We told them we'd call when I hit 10 cm, and started pushing so that they could be there shortly after the birth. Once everyone had left, Forrest and I were able to sleep. We took a good 45 minute nap (a heavy, deep nap at that) and woke up refreshed.

At 2 pm, I was having incredibly painful pressure on my pelvis, so much so that I requested a second dose of the epidural medication. After they upped the medication, the doctor checked me and announced I was 10 cm. Shortly after, I felt this incredible urge to push. I mentioned it to the doctor who gave me strict orders not to, since they hadn't gotten everything set up. I had to breathe through 5 minutes of setup, which by far was worse than any part of the labor thus far. The doctor told me to try one push, as he wanted to get an idea of how long it'd take. He asked me how long I pushed with Shepherd, and I responded 45 minutes. He then smiled and said, okay, we're aiming for 4 minutes this time. I laughed, totally thinking he was kidding, and pushed. He stopped me on the count of 3, and turned and told the nurses to get ready. He turned back and said, okay, push again. We pushed through one 10 count push, and then to the count of 2 on the second push, and the baby's head was out. One final push and she was here. I was able to hold her immediately, and cried. Forrest looked at me and asked me what her name was (I'd been having second thoughts on the name, and just decided I'd wait to see how I felt when she was born). I cried, and immediately responded, "Colette Rachel". She was beautiful....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oh, Hi!!!

That's right, I have a blog, don't I? And I haven't posted in quite a while, eh? So I guess some of you are wondering what the heck happened to me (or not). You see, I have a very good reason... a super great reason, actually.

It's called being a mother to two kids who are only 18 months apart. That combined with the numerous trips to the doctor (more on that in a minute) and a serious lack of sleep have made time on the computer a rare treat, and time to blog a rarity. So please forgive my absence. I really am okay.

As to the doctors visits, poor little Colette seems to have developed a nice little milk allergy, complete with bloody stools that have sent me climbing the walls with worry. Do you guys know how awful it feels to change your daughters diaper, and see blood, and know it's your fault because you drank dairy? Granted, I know that it's not really "my fault" because I was unaware of the allergy, but still... it still sucks. So that accompanied by her reflux (our family has a history of GERD, something Shepherd had too) has had us at the doctors quite a bit. Thankfully, both problems seem to be getting better. After only 3 days on Zantac, Colette began packing on the pounds (she'd only gained 4 oz the week before, and gained 5 oz in 3 days after Zantac). Also, in the last few days, she has begun to pass stools without blood in them, which makes me feel a million times better. I've been off dairy for almost a week now, so it looks like we're seeing some improvement.

As to how Shepherd is doing, he seems to have hit a weird stage. He's Jekyl and Hyde.... one minute pleseant as can be, and the next, he's thrashing on the ground in a fit of rage because how dare I deny him a cookie!!!!! The world must end now!! God save us!!! *sigh* I'm chalking it up to the whole transition with the baby, even though he absolutely loves the baby and hugs her and kisses her all the livelong day. My hunch is that he's missing out on attention, and he's not quite able to pinpoint why that is (which, duh!! the baby!). Hopefully, things will settle back down.

But despite all of that, I feel that I've been able to transition from a parent of one to a parent of two fairly easily. Yes, we have our moments, but honestly, it hasn't been that bad. I may be exhausted, but it is so worth every minute of sleep that I'm not getting to have both of my children. I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Land of Nod

Land of Nod, originally uploaded by meandscreech.

because I can't get over how beautiful she is....

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

18 Months


You turned 18 months old last week (or rather a week and a half ago). As usual, I was behind in writing your letter, and then something unexpected happened. Your baby sister was born 2 weeks early. So here I am, almost 2 weeks late, reflecting over the last month.

Your 18th month was hard for me, since I was GREAT with child. Your energy level had shot through the roof, and keeping up with you proved to be a big challenge. There were mornings I'd wake up crying, knowing I couldn't play all the games you wanted to play. There were nights I'd lie awake wondering how you would handle such a huge transition from being an only child, to becoming a big brother. I mourned the loss of exclusive time with you, absent of any distractions, and I mourned your loss of having our undivided attention and love. However, I was reminded time and again that this was an important step in our families lives. You would learn to share the spotlight... our hearts would grow and expand to hold all of our love for you, and for your new little sister. This was an adventure, I'd tell myself... and it will be okay.

Then, just as you'd turned 18 months, your little world was turned upside down. One night, mommy and daddy put you to bed, not knowing it was your last night being alone with them. The next day, you woke up to find Gram and Grandaddy taking care of you. Mommy and Daddy were at the hospital, anxiously awaiting your baby sisters arrival. The next day, you came to visit Mommy and Daddy in the hospital, and met your baby sister for the first time. And since then, you have loved her, and constantly beg to "holdit".

As far as you go, you continue to amaze us with your knowledge and how quickly you pick things up. It took only 15 minutes to teach you where your cheeks were, and you instantly were able to point out everyone else's cheeks. You're starting to put words together now... words like, "daddy shoe" or "daddy tool". You'll break out a "daddy hat" every now and then, and point to "daddy phone" when he's home. Now, if you'll notice a pattern, most of those words are about daddy. The only thing you point out as "mommy's" is the diaper bag or the van. And even then, you don't know the words for bag or van, so it's just "mommy!".

Shepherd, I think the thing I love most about you is the tenderness in your little toddler heart. A few weeks ago, there was a humongous wasp flying around in the kitchen while we ate breakfast. I hate wasps. They sting and hurt. So I took my sandal off, and promptly squashed that sucker flat. You took all of this in, and as soon as I'd killed the wasp, you broke into the most heartbreaking cry. You looked at me in horror, and screamed as I tried to comfort you. You'd have thought I had killed a tiny little kitten, not a venemous, evil wasp! At first I chalked it up to the loud noise of my sandal hitting the window, but then days later, as a big spider scurried across the floor, I stepped on it, and produced the same reaction from you. I guess we won't be telling you that those hot dogs you love to eat are made from "moos" (cows) anytime soon.

But by far, the best thing about this past month has been a renewed perspective of how much you really have grown. After coming home from the hospital, and holding you, I realized how much has changed in 18 months. Time has flown by, and for a moment, that first night home, time stood still as I rocked you in my arms for bed. You curled up on my chest, snuggled your face into my neck, and slowly drifted into sleep. As your breaths grew deeper, knowing you were asleep, I allowed myself a few tears... tears of joy for how much you've grown, yet tears of sorrow for how fast it has gone. I kicked myself for all those moments I had wished you'd just "grow up already!" and held you tight. I promised myself I'd try harder to enjoy each moment... to savor each and every day, because time passes so fast... and before I know it, you'll be a young man, no longer able to sit in my lap and fall asleep.

I love you, Pumpkin... with all of my heart.

Happy 18 months,