Thursday, June 30, 2011

Things I love about my daughter

1)    YOU! Everything about your personality cracks me up. Sometimes, when you get excited, you throw your arms behind you – elbows locked, wrists bent backwards, palms facing up, and budda belly sticking out, you quickly do a horse-straddled stomp to your desired location. You usually wear a scowl when doing this, and it never ceases to crack me up.

2)    Our bedtime routine. You could be completely wide awake when I look at the clock- and think, “time for bed”. I sign “sleep” to you, and tell you it’s time for bed. I stand beside you and you grasp my index finger with your whole hand, and wave “bye bye” to Daddy and MacGyver. I walk you down the hall to your bedroom where I close the blinds, change your diaper if necessary, and grab your pajamas. I pick you up and sit on the rocking chair. Without fail, immediately you flop your head on my chest and arms around my side – Completely Still. It’s the best. It cracks me up too, because you can be wide awake moments before. I begin to change your clothes and put on your pajamas and you kindly let me lift your limp arm up horizontally so I can slide your arm through the sleeve. I flip you around to put on your bottoms, and you lie the back of your head in the space between my chest and stomach. As soon as I’m done, I flip you around and put one of your pink, fuzzy blankets and drape it over your back and make sure it’s up to your neck, nestling against your cheek. I put in your pacifier, and you calmly rock with me. With your arms around me and head on my chest, I sing to you or pray for you; I tell you how much I love you and how much I missed you today. Then I sing or hum to you again, and you rub your eyes with crab fists. After I have reconciled to part with you, I lift you up and lie you down in your crib. I get ready to turn by back and immediately you sit up- silent, pacifier in mouth, hands on the side of the crib. I say very calmly and quietly, “lie down please”, and you squat till you can plop your bottom down on the crib, and then drop the top half of your body on your stomach in a curled up ball. I stroke your face and rub your back and wait a few minutes, telling you how much I love you but it’s time to sleep. I do the sleep sign on your face, and your eyes close again and you snuggle your face closer to the blanket and sheets. I turn around and you stand up again, and I say “lay down please” and you do, again. After the third or so time, I leave as I see you standing up. I close the door and start to walk away, but instead lean my cheek against the door and listen for you. Silence. Completely still. You’re asleep for the night. I love you.

      3)    You absolutely LOVE your music, and LOVE to dance. Your dance involves, normally while holding on to the back of a chair or the arm of a couch, bending your knees up and down in a slight squat. Or you giggle and  make your arms stick out like a deformed airplane- not completely straight but not totally bent, and turn yourself in circles. You love copying MacGyver when he does this. Like clockwork, you start to dance anytime music plays- a commercial on the radio, the theme song to a television show, and especially when your CDs are playing.

 4)    You love the swing outdoors. It’s a three-seater with a shade cover and has the amazing ability to rock back and forth with absolutely no effort. It’s one of my favorite spots in the house, second to the couch by the windows in the front room. And as it turns out, it’s one of your favorite spots to. Although you do get up and back down, you always want back up. You sit next to me on the swing as we both eat our otter pops- I have two and you have one. We finish at the same time, and you sign all done, then more, as soon as you finish. You run around on the grass, tossing balls in and out of the pool, trying to eat tanbark, looking for Dad (he’s usually in the side yard weeding)….

5)    You still play with Bob. You’ll take his yellow chicken and start stomping off with it. Bob sees you and follows you and you hand it to him, but don’t let go. He pulls on one side of the toy as you laugh and pull on the other. One of you eventually wins the cutest game of tug-of-war I’ve ever seen, and then you do it all over again, running throughout the house, chasing to get the toy first. Bob barks at you when you won’t give it to him; you just thinking it’s hilarious.

6)    Softening my heart, you and Dad continue to grow closer as he spends the day with you. You two go to the water park, to the library for story time, play in the pool, go on walks with Bob, go to Home Depot, even go bowling and visit friends! You love sitting on his lap with your head cradled back against his chest; completely comfortable.

7)    Your many facial expressions. You do look exactly like Scooby Doo, but God had a sense of humor and gave you my facial expressions. Lovely. :)

These are only some of the things I love about you… I could always write more. But that’s all for now. I can’t wait to get home so we can snuggle and play, eat otter pops and giggle, dance and splash in the pool…. We love you. And of course, you’re part of Scooby Doo, which makes me love you even more.

Monday, June 20, 2011

You want to do a homebirth? what about the carpet?

Please view the AWESOME chart: It gives a personal perspective of the pros and cons for a home birth to a hospital birth.

I watched this video (see below) today, and thought *oh my Lord*. I actually said something a little more PG13 related, but seriously- oh my word!!!

I coworker asked why I am planning on doing a homebirth, and the majority of my reasoning comes from how my first was born. If the same thing happens again, and the cord is wrapped around Smiles' neck, then as his mother I will do whatever necessary to have him arrive safely. If that means going to the hospital and having a cesarean, despite my growing fear of that reoccurrence, if that’s what’s best for him- there are no questions.

I could have had an amazing delivery at Kaiser, filled with battery-operated calendars, dimmed lighting, a warm shower, and my husband there praying with me. The last part happened, the other three didn’t. And I think Scooby Doo was praying for him too. Putting him through that again…. To see husbands when their wives are in labor….

Here is where I come from: YumYum's Birth Story.

For Smiles, I have decided I want to deliver at home. Mainly because of the following reasons and questions that I asked of myself:

(1)    I’ve had Kaiser midwifes and an OB say that it may have very well not been necessary for me to have an emergency cesarean with YumYum.

The nurses never tried to reposition the baby upwards so the cord could loosen and hopefully untangle. Since my birth, two nurses at Kaiser asked me if they tried this with YumYum. I also think my blood pressure could have been lowered if I was calmer, and in a more comfortable laboring space. I labored in the regular delivery rooms for only 35 minutes. The rest was in triage, where women wait for the doctor to tell them they can be admitted since they are indeed in labor. I remember the room I was in for the four or so hours, being about the size of an eat-in kitchen, without the kitchen, just the eat-in part. Shove a hospital bed, a sink, a computer to monitor the baby, a nurse, a husband, an in-labor me, and the possibility of my mom or sister being there as well- it was crammed.

Mandatory Clause: At the same time, I know that from what we were told, having that cesarean saved my daughter’s life. I do not think that hospitals are evil. I am very grateful that the doctor on call that day did what she thought was necessary to keep the baby and I alive.

(2)    I have mixed feelings towards the hospital staff that day. I am angry that they stole something precious from me without my true consent, and I am grateful that they did what they thought was necessary in the moment. Should I have trusted their judgment? At the time, and still, I don’t think I know better than them as to what’s necessary or not. I don’t know what the breaking point is for how long a woman can be pushing before a c-section is needed, or what is considered too high of a blood-pressure. But I know my body. And no one else who acted on behalf of my body and my baby, did. I so appreciate them putting the baby first, but I need someone who can also consider what’s best for my health. This may sound selfish, but after the baby’s physical heath is secured, ultimately what is best for me, is also best for my child. A baby whose mother is detached, depressed, and unavailable is no kind of mom. I know firsthand. I LOVE my OB, but the chance of him being there when I deliver, I’ve been told, is “slim to none”. Normally when you deliver at Kaiser, you deliver with whoever is on staff that night. And I’m supposed to 100% whole heartedly trust this licensed stranger?

(3)    I do feel that a major contributor to my post-partum depression was the path that my delivery took.  I had a cesarean that I was completely put out for. I didn’t hold my baby for the first 5 hours of her life because I was still waking up from the drugs they gave me. I had trouble breast feeding her from day one because my skin-to-skin time with her was so late, and nurses have said that medicine that mom has during delivery can affect the babies ability to nurse. The stronger the meds and the form they are given- specifically the medicine they gave me to quickly put me out- also went to my baby girl. I did not want her to have that. I felt like a failure at the time. I hadn’t envisioned a perfect birth. I had hoped to hold off on pain medicine for as long as possible, and then deliver my baby “normally”. Why couldn’t have I had a normal delivery?

(4)    Many have said that I could have very well had an amazing first delivery at the hospital. What if everything would have gone fine with YumYum? Would I still want a home birth for my future kids? I don’t know. I don’t think there’s a non-bias way to answer that question because I think that you’re decisions are largely based off one’s experiences. I think the way I do because of my experience with YumYum.

(5)    What if the same thing happens with Smiles and a cesarean is necessary? Then that is what is necessary.

The first time they checked YumYum’s heart rate in the hospital, 4 ½ hours before she was born, the nurse said I would most likely have a cesarean because she was in distress. Her heart rate couldn’t keep up with my frequent and intense contractions, largely because every time I had a contraction the cord would get tight. If Smiles is in distress, we will know way ahead of time, that a cesarean could be possible and will take the necessary steps. I will labor at home as long as possible in an environment I am comfortable in, and then when the midwife says go to the hospital, I will. One thing I really like about my midwife is she is not anti-hospital. She believes that God has them there for a reason, and that Doctors and nurses who work for hospitals, can save lives. “They very well could have saved YumYum’s” she says.

(6)    You had a cesarean before? Is it safe to a regular delivery after that? For me- yes. Because I didn’t have a cesarean because of problems progressing (30% of all births), or too big of a baby, or a breech baby (3% of all births)- there’s no reason to automatically bypass the opportunity to have a vaginal delivery. Fetal distress (happens with cords wrapped) happens in roughly 9% of all pregnancies. It does not mandate a cesarean, but can lead to one. Having fetal distress in one pregnancy does not affect the likelihood of reoccurrence.

(7)       What about your chance of uterine rupture? My midwife at Kaiser said that because I have had one previous c-section, and YumYum was born less than 18 months ago, the chance of me having a uterine rupture is less than 1%. If this does happen, we are in trouble. However, she did say because I am within a 7 minute drive to the hospital, this is good- but it is still an extra 7 minute drive that, when in an emergency, no one wants to take.
Here are some other statistics I read:

"The risk of maternal mortality with repeat cesarean and VBAC is very low, but the risk is higher with a repeat cesarean: 0.04% vs. 0.02% per a National Institute of Health Study of 18,000 women. (Landon 2004: That same study found the rate of infant death to be 0.01%. They also conducted a review of 880 uterine ruptures in a 20 year period, resulting in 40 infant deaths in 91,039 VBACs which is a rate of 0.04%. They found the combined risk of infant death or brain damage to be 0.05% or 1 in every 2000 VBAC labors."

Facts about HBACs (Home Birth After C-section):

"It’s one thing to understand the risks of VBAC, but they must be countered with the risks of repeat cesarean, otherwise the patient is left with the false notion that repeat cesareans are risk free."

"Women who have a low transverse incision (side-to-side) have a rupture rate of 0.02 percent to 1.5 percent." (This is me)

So there are some answers to some questions some of you may have. But I mainly just write for me. :) That's all for today,


Interesting Links:
The Unnecesarean Blog (You’re not a bad mom if you want a cesarean… again.)
Fair comparison between VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and RCS (repeat cesarean): 

*Note: this is a blog in progress. I’m just writing thoughts as I go…. Blessings, 007

YumYum's Birth Story

YumYum’s Birth Story

The beginning of the best days of our life....
YumYum, our daughter and daughter of Christ
Born Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 11:38AM

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Tuesday, May 4; 37 Weeks 3 Days

I measured 50% effaced. Not dilated. My doctor, would now be traveling to the East Coast, taking his first ever 2-week vacation for the first time in over 20 years to see his son graduate college. Awesome. Well at least his vacation was no surprise. Despite Scooby Doo and I's attempts to convince him, the Doctor went on vacation anyways, and assured us we would be well taken care of. He said he expected YumYum to be one-two weeks early still, just his "gut feeling", but said if that didn't happen, we'd have an appointment with him at 40 weeks, 2 days.

Tuesday, May 11; 38 Weeks 3 Days

Very nervous to see a new doctor, and praying I would be comfortable with her. This was my first time with a new OBGYN Doctor in several years. To my comfort, the doctor was great. Although she did seem more worried than I was about YumYum's growth. YumYum was measuring at an estimated 35 weeks long.

I was now 50-60% effaced, and still not dilated. She noticed I had still only gained ten pounds since we conceived, so the new Doc ordered yet another ultrasound. (YumYum had already had an extra ultrasound to check her growth and my fluids at 32 weeks... she was fine.) The new Doc threw out scary words like "possibly induce" and "she'd do better outside"... the Doctor was nervous that my fluids were low and perhaps that's why YumYum was not growing as much... that perhaps she would grow better outside my womb. Words like "healthier outside" and "induce" are never words a Mom- much more a first-time Mom, want to hear 5 weeks before their babies’ due date.

Throughout this entire pregnancy, God gave Scooby Doo & I such a peace that our little girl was healthy and growing. I had mixed emotions for sure....Despite knowing everything would be okay, I was still a bit nervous that she was so small still. Excited to see our little one again, even if it was in black and white....

The ultrasound came back saying she was fine. The tech, Megan, was actually the same young woman who measured YumYum at 32 weeks, and she recognized me and remembered YumYum's name! She comforted me so much, and was so kind. (Thank you Jesus!) Megan commented again on how cute YumYum's "cute little cheeks!" were several times, and told me that our daughter was doing just fine, she just would be tiny!

Thursday, May 13; 38 Weeks 5 Days

Scooby Doo & I went to Bryce Jessup's retirement celebration at William Jessup University, my alma matar. We had a great time seeing old friends and making new ones, but left a bit early as my lower back was real sore, and I was yet again experiencing what I had now decided to call my Braxton Hicks contractions, even though everything I had felt up to this point were 100% in my back. It felt like every time I had thrown my back out, when you stand up, or roll over too fast without properly supporting your back or your neck- the pain was excruciating, but brief. The longest pains would last maybe 90 seconds. I asked Scooby Doo if he was okay leaving early, and he agreed, being so supportive and driving slowly over the speed bumps entering into our neighborhood, and rubbing my back once we were home.

Once we were home, I drank lots of water and the pains went away until about two hours later, when they started up again. In my head I kept convincing myself that "this wasn't it". I had previously had so much pain, these Braxton Hicks, in my lower back for the last two weeks now, and they had never progressed into anything. 'I wonder what a contraction actually feels like... could this be it? Just back labor?' I laid in bed, hoping they would either go away, or progress into full labor quickly and neither happened. I was up for about 3 more hours with these sharp back pains, coming in waves. I used the birth ball and rocked back and forth, leaning my forehead on our bed for support. Scooby Doo rubbed my back. I did various yoga positions to help stretch my tight muscles, focused on my breathing, kept trying to count through the pain... it was the only thing to keep me focused. I woke up at about 3 in the morning, frustrated that the BH contractions had gone away, and I had faded asleep, and that I was now waking up another day- pregnant.

Friday, May 14; 38 Weeks 6 Days

After some research online and weighing the pros and cons, and a bit bitter that I was still pregnant after last night's back pains, I decided to purchased Evening Primrose Oil and Castor Oil, two substances which are known for helping to speed along effacement and dilation. I figured in the end, she'd come when she was ready so why not help her along if she's close? I heard that Castor Oil could cause nausea and diarrhea, but figured I was already the first and the second would help just clear things "clean" so why not? How bad could it be compared to how uncomfortable I was now?

After coming home from Target I came home, announced to Scooby Doo that 1- I might be on the toilet for a little bit and not to worry, and 2- we're going into labor tonight (to which he responded "oh really" *with doubt*. To which I responded with slight sarcasm and an extremely high level of hope, "Yep. I'm done being pregnant and I'm ready to meet her!".

To help avoid any possible, and further, nausea, I did as many had suggested and mixed in the Castor Oil into some spaghetti. Despite its supposed "tastelessness", I found it tasted like eating pasta dripping with oil, and only had a small amount off my plate. I also took one of the Evening Primrose vitamin supplements. After about 3 hours, I though, 'Well that was a great waste of a good plate of spaghetti. These supplements are supposed to help contract muscles to cause diarrhea, and hopefully contractions. I don't even have to go to the bathroom.' Scooby Doo & I went to bed around 9:00, only for me to wake up again at 1:00 to go to the bathroom, and yep- #2 in plenty. Yuck. Immediately after they started.

Saturday, May 15; 39 Weeks

I didn't know if they were contractions still because they honestly were 500% in my lower back- excruciating, debilitating, immobilizing, back pain. I went into the nursery as to not wake up Scooby Doo, tried rocking on the birth ball and rocked in the rocking chair- tried to drink plenty of water. After an hour, my "gut" told me to wake up Scooby Doo.... 'he'd want to be awake if I actually was in labor'...

The pain was getting bad now, and I was having a hard time managing. Despite what I thought, I actually don't have that great of a pain tolerance. I think I had equated several previous injuries and experiences (black belt testing, countless knee dislocations, etc.) to having a pain tolerance. Negative. This just means you're active, not that you handle pain well.

So I went into the nursery and sat in the rocking chair. Scooby Doo came in and sat on the birth ball next to me *we switched later* :)... Scooby Doo switched from half asleep mode to supportive helpful what can I do to help husband almost immediately after seeing how much pain I was in. Both of us sure prayed this was it. I did as many yoga moves as I could remember, but the most helpful thing was something we had learned in one of our Kaiser birthing classes. I was in the cow position of the cat to cow, and Scooby Doo would be behind me, pressing my hips together. This was most helpful in alleviating some of the back pressure. Scooby Doo grabbed my phone and using a contraction timer application on my phone, began timing my contractions. I didn't care that they were all in my back and I didn't feel a single thing in my stomach; these had to be contractions *and I better be in labor*. I just kept imagining our precious baby girl who I couldn't wait to meet.

I ended up throwing up at one point because of the pain, and moments later peeing slightly on the floor. (Looking back on the next few hours to transpire, this was probably my water breaking). I could no longer control any part of my body or how I reacted to the pain. Scooby Doo kept bringing me back to reality and counting through the contractions with me **this helped immensely***. Focusing on my breathing helped as well; taking deep long breaths. Scooby Doo did great. I am so grateful he was there.... at some point I remember sitting on the loveseat and saying, "Scooby Doo I think you should probably start packing the hospital bag". At this point I needed him there with me every contraction, but there wasn't enough time in between them for him to take two steps away. They were coming back to back, with little to no break in-between. Scooby Doo began putting together our bag, and called my parents who would be watching our dog. I remember telling him - tell my parents that this still MIGHT NOT BE IT. I was terrified myself of this not being it, and was scared of disappointing them, and Scooby Doo, and being disappointed myself. **Amidst all this pain, who knew I could still be overly emotional! :)***

A bit after 5AM Scooby Doo and I ventured downstairs and walked about 200 yards. That was as far as I could go. My parents pulled up a few seconds later and gave us hugs and kisses and words of encouragement, and promised to be there as soon as we asked. Scooby Doo prayed for the three of us in the car on the way there....We checked into Kaiser a bit after 6.

We checked into the Labor & Delivery hospital at Kaiser, all the while praying that I was at least 3 cen. dilated so they would admit me. There was no way I could go home. I was in the greatest pain I'd ever been in.... They put a monitor on me and baby. I sat sideways on the bed and Scooby Doo was right in-front of me, counting through the pain, being a constant source of encouragement and support and love. A nurse that wasn't ours came in and said that Doctor was doing her rounds before changing shifts, but she was just down the hall. She looked at the print out of my contractions and said - "wow! You're doing great. Your contractions are really close together. Keep it up, Doctor will be here shortly." It would be an hour later before I would get checked.

I got checked and I was one cen. dilated, to which the nurse happily piped in to Scooby Doo, "She's in so much pain. I hear back labor is the worst. Can you believe this is only early stage labor!". I wanted to kill her. A small while later this same nurse asked me if I had taken any classes. I again had an urge to hurt her, since Scooby Doo & I had dragged ourselves to pretty much every prenatal class Kaiser offered, PLUS prenatal yoga (which I loved).

I was absolutely heart-broken I wasn't dilated further. Not totally because I hadn't progressed that much, but because I knew I couldn't get any pain medicine. The Doctor then went into a full dictatorship like character, telling me to get on my side. I calmly explained that my OB had said it was okay to be on my back, as long as I was comfortable. If I was lying on that nerve that makes lying on your back dangerous when you're pregnant, I would start to go numb. Otherwise, my Doctor said it was okay. She curtly told me that right now, I need to lie on my side because the baby's heart rate was too low. Once the baby's heart rate is stabilized, I can lie back on my back. Terrified and feeling like a child getting lectured in school, I rolled on my side and waited for things to be explained in more detail. The Doctor turned to the nurses and ordered me to get an IV, and some other medicine, in-case the baby's heart rate dropped even more. I remember asking why I needed an IV or anything else, and not getting answered, and the Doctor just talking over me. I finally said, "Excuse me! I need to know what's going on!" *We were still in triage afterall.* The Doctor explained that YumYum's heartbeat was dropping with my contractions. "For now," she said, "her heart rate comes back up after your contraction is finished but you're not really getting any break. Your contractions are lasting at least two minutes and are no more than two minutes apart. I'm worried you're dehydrated as well, so we're going to give you some fluids. If the babies heart rate doesn't go up, we might have to induce you. So we're going to keep an eye on you."

I remember freaking at the word "induce". I felt so angry that I wasn't being explained to what was happening to my body, my baby.... later on, Scooby Doo reminded me that they were doing what was most important and that was taking care of baby and making sure she was okay. It was not most important that I be explained every procedure. I got an IV from the mean nurse, and then prayed that there would be a shift change very soon for both our doctor and nurse. Half an hour, there was. :)

Two hours later, and around 9AM, I was beyond my pain limit *still*, and even though I knew the answer, I asked for pain medicine. To my surprise, they came me fentanyl which is a narcotic that they hoped would "help me feel better" and "take care of that pain". It *assisted* (helped is too strong of a word) slightly, basically allowing me to breath slightly during contractions. I remember the Doctor and nurses talking, watching me, saying "she shouldn't be in this much pain still"...."Did she already get the fentanyl?" ..."Yep, and her babies heart rate is unstable so we can't give her anything else yet".... "Gosh...".... ***thank you Kaiser medical staff. This was very helpful. Even though I am in pain, I can still hear you, and yes- I am still right here.****

Me oblivious to it, time was passing and at 10:30 the Doctor came in and said "she's still in this much pain? Let's go ahead and admit her so we can give her an epidural". ***I like you!*** The nurse asked, "would you like to check her again before you do?". "No, I will check her after she has the epidural and she's more comfortable." YumYum's heart rate was "stable", but continued to drop during contractions. However, at this point, it was still coming back up. The Doctor said there was still a chance they might have to do an emergency c-section, especially if I wasn't dilated much more, but, "I don't think that's the case. Your contractions are so close together and hitting so hard. But I am a little concerned about her heart rate. I want to get you an epidural to get your pain under control and slow down your contractions a little bit, and let the baby and you get some rest."

At 10:45 they wheeled me back into Labor & Delivery. I remember the lights passing overhead and it being all blurry... the pain had me so out of it. I had never experienced that sort of pain before. The anthestesiologist was about to go into a c-section, and the second was already in one. I remember my nurse saying "she's in a lot of pain and we will have her totally ready for you". Thankfully the anthestesiologist agreed to give me the epidural before he went into surgery. Scooby Doo stepped out for this part, and my Mom stayed with me. Right before Scooby Doo stepped outside, I remember telling him, "I think this is it baby." He smiled at me and said, "Yep, we're going to meet our baby today." ***My parents and sisters had been taking turns in triage, even though Scooby Doowas there most of the time. They were great... thank you!!!*** I remember telling the anthestheolsist that a contraction was coming (they were still every 90 to 120 seconds apart), and he said, "that's okay". He gave me the epidural during a contraction and... it didn't hurt!!! Stung a little, yes, but the IV from the rude nurse in triage was fifty times worse. I was grateful to the point of tears. Finally some relief. Slowly my legs became heavy, and it moved upward, towards my hips. The Doctor came in at 11:00 and wanted to check me, so my Mom stepped outside.

I was 5 1/2 cent. dilated, and she said I was doing great. They were going to go ahead and break my water, but didn't say anything about baby. I was numb down there now, so when she did I couldn't feel anything. She did say, "Oh, well that's not much. Honey I think your water already broke. Hmmm. Yeah, I think so because there's not much there." ... ***At this point I thought, You think! You think!! How can you just think someone's water broke! Don't you know?**** I wasn't the most patient during my labor. She kept looking at the monitors, and I asked if everything was okay. She said she was worried about YumYum's heart rate (I loved that this Doctor (Doctor Erica Sheridan) knew and called our baby girl by name now...). She stepped out for a few minutes, leaving me with the nurses who kept looking at printouts and pressing buttons on their fancy computers. I was still out of it, exhausted from the pain and not "all there" from the fentanyl. She returned and said that she was going to attach a small probe to YumYum's head that would let us know a bit more about how she's doing. She started explaining and I remember saying, "It's fine. Just do what you have to do." I had heard about using the fetal pulse oximetry during one of our Kaiser classes, and wasn't worried about it. She attached the probe and left again for a brief moment.

At 11:20, the Doctor came back. It had only been a few minutes. Poor Scooby Doo was still outside because he thought the epidural would take a bit longer that it did. Last he heard, I was 5 1/2 cent. and doing great. The Doctor came in and said, okay I'm going to put this on YumYum's head .... I still don't know if she actually ever put it on her head or not because almost immediately after she said, "if it doesn't go up soon, we're going to do have to do an emergency c-section." ... not really talking to me, but more to herself and the other nurses. By this time, those words had been thrown out so much this morning... I was still "blowing them off"... those words, not the Doctor. I just refused to believe that I would need a c-section. After all, it was the only chapter in all those books I hadn't read. Our baby was okay and was going to be fine. I had such a peace.

Yet another nurse came in from outside my room and asked if she could do anything. The Doctor said no, but why don't you go get Dad. "007, I'm going to go ahead and check you again, but if the baby's heart rate doesn't go up soon, I'm going to take you back for a c-section." She was very calm, as was my body (I had the epidural after all), but my eyes were watery and I was nervous. As she was checking me she started explaining quickly the process of a c-section. I was in a blur. They had just mentioned it up till now, but now it felt like the Doctor was going to full throttle thrust me into the operating room. It was very tense, and I could feel the pressure in the room. They were really worried about the baby. I knew she would be fine though. She said I was 7 cen. dilated, and as Scooby Doo was walking in the room, said, "Okay Dad if the baby's heart rate doesn't go up soon we're going to take her back for a c-section, okay? .... 2 seconds go by .... Okay I've had enough, let's go."

Several nurses who were already at my side, began detaching stuff from the wall so I was mobile, and unlocked my bed. Everything was moving so fast. As they were wheeling me out, I reached for Scooby Doo's hand and looked up at him. He was starting to cry, and I told him everything would be okay; baby and I were going to be just fine. He bent down and hugged me and I remember I could feel his tears and it broke my heart that i couldn't comfort him. He thanked me for being "so brave", and said I love you.

***As we left Scooby Doo said, "What should I do?" Left standing alone in the L & D room, they threw him a pair of scrubbs on their way out and said, "Throw these on. Someone will be here to get you in a minute."

I remember when they were basically jogging me down the hall, I couldn't feel my legs, and I wasn't in pain from the contractions anymore. It was such a welcome relief.

Scooby Doo had a nurse come back a few seconds later after we had all left, and led him back into the operating room. While he was still on the way, they had hooked me up to a bunch of machines, and quickly began. Unfortunately, my lower abdomen was not numb yet, and I felt a burning heat slice me. I don't know how much they cut, but they cut, and I could feel it. I said, "OW OW OW OW!" The anesthesiologist said, "You felt that!". "Yes! Yes!". He then asked me "pressure or.." "NO! I feel it! It burns!" (Scooby Doo walked in now). They had cut me, and I felt it. "Ok 007 we're going to give you something that's going to make you fall asleep okay?" I looked over at Scooby Doo and he looked just like the movies in his blue scrubs. I remember saying in my head *Thank you Jesus that he's here. I don't want to be alone.*

(From Scooby Doo, said to me)
I walked in the room, and there was a sheet up and a bunch of wires were going from your head area to down beneath the sheet. I reached down and held your hand, and kissed your forehead and told you that I loved you. The Doctor said that you'll feel some tugging and pressure and you told them that you felt it alot and it was stinging. The Doctors then asked you if you felt that, and you said yes, and that it hurts really bad. The Doctor up by your head said "Ok, we're going to give you something so you go to sleep". Then about 15 seconds later, your eyes closed and you were asleep. The Doctors then asked me if I was ready to see it, so I stood up, expecting to see my baby, but only seeing the open incision. They brought me a chair so I could sit down. I just stayed by your side, stroking your head, and kissing your hand. What seemed like just a minute later, they said "11:38". About a minute after that, two doctors brought her to the heating table, and I could see her. I stayed holding your hand, but watching the baby, as the Doctors were trying to get her to cry. It seemed like forever that she just laid there, but she then let out one long scream, but didn't breathe back in after she had let out her air. I'd say probably four seconds later, her body starting at her head, turned dark purple, down to her toes. A few seconds after that, she took a deep breath and the pink color immediately returned. The Doctors still wanted her to breathe consistently, and after about thirty seconds of tapping her and flipping her over, she was breathing just fine. The Doctor then gave her the second Apgar score of nine, and the Doctors then said I could let go of your hand because you were okay. So I left your side and walked over to YumYum and held her hand. They wrapped her up, and let me hold her, and I got to kiss her and bring her to you so you could see her. Your eyes were now open, but you couldn't focus on her. Your eyes were super fluttery, bouncing everywhere. I put the top of her head to your forehead so you could kiss her. You kept asking where she was, and she was right in front of your face. You couldn't focus on anything. I was holding her right in front of you, but you kept asking, "Is she okay, is she okay, is she okay". And even after telling you "yes, she was okay", you'd ask again.

I don't really remember everything the Doctors did or how long it took, but I was going back and forth between the baby and you, giving you kisses, and telling you how much I love you. I was pretty quiet, because I was kinda crying. It was a really scary time because I heard the doctors say that the cord was wrapped all around her and tying her up, and knowing that you were put asleep and had to go through a c-section. But it was a very nice relaxing thing to see her take that big deep breath.

Eventually the Doctors took me to the recovery room with YumYum. After sewing you back up, they brought you to the recovery room to be with us. While you were being sewed up, they were weighing her, taking her temperature, giving her two shots in her thighs, cleaning her up, giving her a bath, changing her diaper. They had already put one on.

When you came back to the room, you were still asleep. You were asleep and waking up for about an hour, and we were in the recovery room for about three. At some point, when you could keep your eyes open, relatively speaking, you asked the nurse if you could do "skin to skin", and hold her for the first time. The nurse said of course, and I put her in your arms.

***For me, this was the most amazing feeling as a Mom. Smelling her, feeling her soft baby skin against my body, talking to her in my mumbled voice.... this is one of my favorite memories."

I do remember that the entire time we were in recovery, YumYum didn't make a sound, even after the shots. However, the baby next "door"/sheet over, was wailing the whole time. You kept asking if that was YumYum crying because you were still out of it, and I said no, she hasn't cried yet.

At about one thirty, the Doctor brought your Mom back to see if we were okay, and that's when family started coming back to see her. The next three days were visitors, nurses, diaper changes, and very little sleep - on our parts. YumYum slept like a baby. To 007's horror, she later realized that the first night, YumYum had slept twelve hours straight through. The Nurses and Doctors said to let her. They kept coming in to do stuff to 007, and since YumYum wasn't crying, they looked after her.

All in all - it was a blur, a blessing, and the best thing that's ever happened- by far. We are blessed to have YumYum in our lives, and we are so excited for what the future holds. God watched over us in that hospital, without a doubt. And for that, we are eternally grateful.

Day 2 or 3...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Ramblings of a Non-Stay-At-Home Mom

How is it possible to be with your kids when they’re growing up, and at the same time, give them the life that you want them to have? Scooby Doo & I are both a part of YumYum's life, and we will both be a part of Smiles'. We are far past making sacrifices. If I stay at home full time, and don’t earn anything, Scooby Doo would have to get a second job working nights and weekends. I am so grateful that I married Scooby Doo, and I am so grateful that he has a career that he loves. We’ve said a thousand times that he could easily switch careers and make more money, but he does what he loves and it makes him happy. This is priceless.

God I feel discouraged and I’m wondering what direction you want me to go. I know you place the desires in our heart for a reason, but God I can’t figure this one out. I don’t understand why I have such a desire for something that doesn’t seem possible. Is my desire an expectation that I had placed on myself when I was younger- the desire to be a stay at home Mom until my kids started school, and then to get a job where I was home by the time they got home? Or is this something more? I know you wired me to be a Mom. I have many friends that are depleting savings accounts, moving into smaller homes, and cutting back to the essentials. Even then, normally one parent works 2 jobs and the other is at  home all the time. I don’t want that God. I want Scooby Doo & I both to be a part of our kids’ lives. Why can’t I stay at home during the day, and Scooby Doo go to work, and then we come home and have the weekends and nights together?

I’ve thought about going back to school to get my credential, and I’m sure I would love it but all of my nagging fears and insecurities come back: I barley passed the CBEST, which is supposed to be a breeze to pass, I don’t feel very smart (I wasn’t an A/B student because I was smart… I worked my tush off to get a B-), I wonder if I put my family through the debt of another program and me being unavailable (even if it was a night program) if I would change my mind in 2 years like I do every other job. I couldn’t put my family through that. I couldn’t put myself through that embarrassment of switching careers again, even though I know that’s how God made me darn it! I hate it! I always wanted to be the woman who was recognized for working in a career for 60 years and then retiring. Being the old Grandma of the place. God distinctly told me on a missions trip in High School, 007, you will not be that girl. I have given you an adventurous spirit and you will work in many different fields doing different things. Take heart, I have made you this way.

I know that at the end of September I will have worked at WJU for one year, and I will be eligiable for free tuition. I’ve thought about doing the teaching credential program. Why not? I don’t know how I would do the second semester (student teaching) while working. And I would want to get my single subject, so I would need to take a class or two at Sac State since WJU only offers multiple subject. I know I would love it. But God -

God I’m not taking heart.

I want to LOVE my job to where it fills me up at the end of the day. Scooby Doo & I agree that I don’t think that is ever possible. It’s not negative- it’s just a matter of fact that your job isn’t supposed to be the only thing to bring you joy. I guess I just expected to fall into a career, and LOVE it, then come home and LOVE it, and just LOVE everything. The idea of working at the same place, going to work everyday Monday through Friday, 8-5, until you die- YUCK! Why can everybody do this but me! Why does no one else have as a hard of a time? Why can’t I find a career that just fits, that I’m good at, that pays well, that allows me to be the Mom I want to be? Woe is me.

Okay. Done feeling sorry for myself. Just wanting to be at home with my kids. And I want to raise my kids with my husband because he is an amazing man that I NEED my kids to learn from and be around. Even if I were to get my credential, then the next five years when I was at home with the kids, how would we make ends meet? It’d be a great job to have (being a teacher) once the kids were in school. But do I just pray Lord that you take this desire to be with my kids in the beginning away? I know we’re young- we’ve had so many people tell us this. But I feel like so much of the future is already decided by natural selection.