Monday, January 31, 2011

9 months

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Thursday, January 27, 2011


I have not progressed very much, and my whole little family is battling seasonal allergy aches and pains (especially my tough little guy, he has a terrible cough), we are not quite ready for a kiddo to join us but I am to achey and exhausted to nest properly. I was feeling overwhelmed and crazy yesterday. Just ready to go into my doc and say: "get it over with, let's re-schedule the c-section for tomorrow".
I was driving and flipping around the radio and happened upon this song...and just like that I felt energized, I felt comforted, I was reminded that:
This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I've gotta trust You know exactly what You're doin'
It might not be what I would choose, but this is the stuff You use.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday, January 24th. 7:00 PM

Even I am sick of myself these days. I told my husband that I am not thrilled with how I react to being incessantly uncomfortable, nor proud. He however lavishes me with compliments; "you're so lovely" this, "you're doing such an amazing job" that. He's a trooper, and I adore him. I can't imagine having babies with anyone else.

Colin has embraced the concept of "baby" fully. Yesterday as we sat on the couch, he leaned over and said "what is my baby doing?" I told him to ask the baby through the microphone (my belly button) and he leaned over and said "what you doing in there baby brudder?" It was so adorable that my head exploded.

Colin has also started karate. This was our bid to burn some energy and to do something special for just him. He seems to like it and I like the fact that it's on our cute little Main Street about 5 minutes from our house. The school is run by an awesome family and they are so patient with the little guys. I have yet to attend a full class with him but tomorrow we give it a go. Thank goodness for Nana!

Babylove is still growing. Firmly entrenched. Head down, 1 cm dilated, soft and thin. All that. I am a slow laborer and so the last few weeks of my pregnancies are really rough. This time around I have my eyes focused on the prize, a no pitocin induced, no c-section delivery. I have been having contractions off and on regularly for the last few weeks, just like last time. And terrible terrible insomnia, just like last time. Non-stop heartburn, just like last time. New this time? Incredibly debilitating back pain (attempted to control with Tylenol to no avail), much MUCH stronger contractions off and on throughout the day (last time it was more like Braxton Hicks with only some of the contractions being "real"), I have begun losing my mucus plug little bit by little bit (yay! finally something like a normal pregnancy! I didn't experience any of it last time!) and a three year old with boundless energy. On Wednesday we are going in so my OB can strip my membranes, just to see if we can get things moving along. I am glad for that, her non-medicated approach. I am also trying some "old fashioned" ways of getting things moving so we'll see what works!

With any luck this time next week I will be holding a tiny bundle. But if not, another picture will be forthcoming. I will attempt not to flip off the camera.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Song and Dance

inspired by the lovely news that I am 1 cm dilated and that my OB thinks I may in fact deliver a little early (in the next week!) I have been hard at work compiling my labor and delivery playlists

One of the myriad odd things I did to earn money in college (build sets for an opera, work the morning shift at a bakery, wrote grants for small non-profits) was sound design and sound engineering for local theatres. Now this is not at all what it sounds like, I was really a glorified DJ most times but it was usually good for a couple hundred bucks (less than Stage Managing, something else I did, but less time commitment). I pulled together music (generally royalty free blahblah) and put it order, showed up for dress rehearsal week and was a button monkey in the booth for a couple weeks or however long the run lasted.
(As an aside, my husband is an ACTUAL sound engineer (who does it for a living), as is our friend Phil (who mixes for headliner bands that you have heard of), and they do a whole lot more than press play on a CD player and push a slider up to make it louder or quieter in a 100 seat theatre. They have to actually mix the instruments and performers and what have you and get paid WAY more money than I ever made...and thank God because they are damned good at what they do)
Anyway, one of the fun things I have done to prepare for Babylove's arrival is to make myself some mix CD's to listen to while laboring. Some mixes have songs I can sing along to (does anyone else sing when they are in pain? No? Just me?), some have only instrumental songs. I asked Facebook for good suggestions and was delighted with all the good songs people came up with.
I added in some songs that make me smile, among them Sam and Dave's Hold On, I'm Comin' and Elizabeth Mitchell's Little Wing. And of course, since Babylove's first concert (in utero still counts!) was Jack Johnson, Better Together.
So now I'm curious: what are your top 5 labor and delivery songs? Songs that you could blast to make you feel strong and joyful and ready to have that baby!


“Do you know a cure for me?”
“Why yes,” he said, “I know a cure for everything. Salt water.”
“Salt water?” I asked him.
“Yes,” he said, “in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the sea.”

~Isak Dinesen

The Birth of Colin Jacob Taylor, April 15th 2007
I spent the second week of April miserable because I am in fake labor. I have regular contractions, am 4 cm dilated and 95% effaced and yet? STALLED. Full stop, no progress after that. I want to kill everyone, I weigh 200 pounds and have heartburn all the time.
On April 12th or so, after being stalled for a week, my doctor says: "no baby by Sunday? We'll induce ya!"
Not thrilled about this but really want the baby out.
Say okay.
On April 14th (Saturday - after my sister has come up and gone back down to Tucson twice and the day before my sister and brother in law leave for Texas until their wedding in November basically) the phone rings at 5 pm: "Hi! come to the hospital! Get an IV! Have a baby!"
It's a bit anticlimactic.
SO we do so.
At least the first two.
I labor.
I watch the beginning of "Young Frankenstein".
I say some funny things that Luke records.
The initial IV of penicilin (I am a Strep B positive kind of girl) pokes through my vein and I get a crazy bolus of water under my skin. They flush it.
The second IV burns like a mother. I'm told that's normal.
I forget to use my video camera.
The Pitocin kicks in.
ow ow ow.
Contractions, while less painful than I anticipated, still hurt. Like woah.
I ask for my epidural. Because God created drugs for a reason.
In the midst of my contractions they make me walk.
Yes walk.
to my L&D room.
I hobble down the corridor.
I curse Scottsdale Shea.
I sit on the bed.
The lovely epidural man comes in. I love him. Way more than Luke at this moment.
He stabs me in the back and I barely feel contraction later...I feel nothing. BLISS!
The nurse hands me an oxygen mask because the baby's heart rate keeps dropping when I contract.
This makes me nervous but not a huge amount.
The same nurse checks my progress - I have not progressed.
Then she looks mildly alarmed.
She asks me about placenta previa.
I know I do not have this but being asked is not a calming thing.
I notice a rather large amount of blood on her glove.
They call my OB.
The Doctor comes in.
(I'm sure I spoke to my mom and my dad and sister and my in-laws but I have no recolelction of that - my mother has told me that they were in the hallway after the internal exam and the nurses were freaking out about the amount of blood and were rushing to call my OB)
She lays it out for me:
Baby in distress, lots of blood from me = C-Section.
I am not pleased.
Doctor reminds me that we could do it my way but if I don't progress and things continue that we'll be rushing down the hall with more of an emergency than we already have.
I say okay.
I cry.
I get little scrubs as does Luke.
I love him again. He is quite the rock at this point.

After this it gets hazy:
The OR was freezing.
I had a bad reaction to the drugs.
The baby's cord was wrapped around his throat, and I could feel them cauterizing my veins as they worked.
Right after they took Colin out they knocked me out because I was having a panic attack like woah.
I couldn't breathe, my heart was racing I was shaking uncontrollably.

Luke took pictures bless him.
He captured the 8 pounds 8 ounces on the scale.
We birthed a tiny tax refund at 3 in the morning April 15th.
They took us back to the room (which was massively huge) and tried to get me to breastfeed, as I am drugged out my skull this was not easy.
We give up.
I cry again.
I feel like a failure.
Then I fall asleep because failure or no I had just been working for quite a while also, major surgery.
Luke got to feed Colin his first meal outside of my body.
It was formula.
I assume he liked it.

The next 5 days were clearer.
And not as eventful (until our last night when Little Tiny decided to rip out his umbilical stump on the only night I was alone as I had sent Luke home to sleep on something comfortable. THANKS SON!) and finally we brought home our wee linebacker.

I have been told by several nurses after recounting my birth story that it sounds like I had undiagnosed previa. This was sort of confirmed this time around when I was sent back for another ultrasound because my placenta was lying a little low at 20 weeks. And when my current OB told me she would not use pit on me because I am high risk. FUN!
I left my old OB for a myriad reasons, not the least of which was the chaos of my first birth. This time around I have a doctor who listens to me and respects me. I also have a doula coming with me who is a dear friend who knows the medical lingo and will fight for what I want. Despite being high risk my OB considers me a very good candidate for a VBAC and I am looking forward to going into labor naturally and experiencing the delivery on my own terms.
That being said, I have no birth plan other than: Meet my healthy, strong child. This time around I have learned that more than anything else, everything is in God's control and so I have had an easier time preparing for labor and delivery. I know that everything that comes together is done for my good and that He will be with me no matter what. It's a comfort and strength. 2 weeks to go!

Friday, January 14, 2011

January 13th, 2011. 8:00 am

just rolled out of bed edition

mercy. uncle. I give. 37 weeks hit me like a ton of bricks. With all usual pregnancy blah blah (insomnia, heartburn, muscle pain, fatigue) plus an incredibly active 3 and a half year old, AND a husband who just got done with one of the busier periods of work so I was alone a lot the last several weeks in addition to regular fake labor (actual contractions that lead nowhere after an hour or two), the news at my 37 week check up that I have not progressed at all almost made me cry. Not only not progressed at all but haven't even moved in the direction of being done. oh me. oh my. oh sigh.

Luckily, with the downheartening news came a bright spot. My very active, not particularly obedient little kiddo will be starting karate soon! It is in fact my fondest hope that this class will help him burn off some energy and learn how to follow directions. He is on an Indiana Jones kick which is hilarious because all of his toys now rescue someone or go on adventures while he sings the theme song. So awesome. Colin is also beginning to acknowledge that his "baby brudder" will be here any day and seems to be looking forward to it! He helps me fold tiny newborn clothes and likes to pat the massive belly. He enjoys getting a kick or a roll in response. He has also been very affectionate with me of late. While I have not always been the nicest mommy he always takes time to stroke my cheeks and say "I wuv you mom. you da best" and somehow we make it through another day. He really is such a sweet boy, my complaints about his non-stop-ness notwithstanding. :)

Babylove is growing growing growing. Last time around I gained weight all over and that helped balance out the big belly. This time I have been very aware of what I am eating and so my weight gain is under control. However the downside is that my belly continues to grow and so it is just out there, hanging, causing me near constant back, hip and shoulder pain trying to balance it. I should be grateful that I am not as big as I was last time, but the non-stop pain makes it hard to be thankful a lot.

All in all I think our whole family is just anxious to meet our newest member. And to have less in pain mama back! We are all looking forward to the move in the next few months and even more to the quiet summer we have planned after that! How has your recovery from holidays been going?

Monday, January 3, 2011

the bump lovers

so if you are, or have been, a pregnant woman, you know that there are some people out there who LOVE to feel a baby bump. Some are welcome pats (like when my mom talks to the babylove up close) and some are super creepy (like the time a random man touched my stomach in a Michaels WITHOUT ASKING FIRST and I had to say something snotty about not rubbing his bald head for luck). Whatever the case, when you have a protuberance housing another being, people just want to get up close and personal with it.
It has been an amusement to be pregnant in a very close Christian community this time around. (I put the specifier "Christian" on there because it's widely known that we, as a people, are big on the procreation thing and so babies (and their housing, let's not kid ourselves, I know where I stand) are held in high regard.) I have many dear friends who are so looking forward to meeting the newest addition of our family that they want to get to know him right now. And so I spend a lot of time with my college girls like this:

and joyful is the girl who gets to feel the kicks and flips of the kiddo. Oh there are shrieks of delight and love! It is hilarious and sweet. It's even better when the boys get to feel him moving around, they are in awe of the process and love asking how I am doing and if the baby is coming soon. It makes the whole thing just a love festival and distracts me from being uncomfortable most of the time.
To sum up: I wish everyone had such a large crew of folks excited to feel those alien movements, because it makes everything hard a little bit easier.

January 2nd, 2011(!). 8:45 AM

we had Christmas and New Years and single parenting and baking and preparing for a move and WHEW. But before all those's an update on Mama and the Squiddos.

35 weeks. I will state for the record that somehow this pregnancy has gone by incredibly quickly and dragged on for years. I am very much at the "please dear Lord am I done yet?" point. But I have been trying to savor these last few weeks with Colin being an only child. I don't know how well I am doing, I am in a lot physical pain with the belly burgeoning larger and larger, and I am exhausted a lot. But my favorite times are when he and I cuddle up with a book and he tells me the story.

I have said it before and I'll say it again that 3 is the worst age so far. And the best. I have a bright, exuberant, energy filled kid and I am trying to reconcile my very low key personality with his need to be going going going. The last few months have brought an ability to play independently quite well and I am eternally grateful for the respite. He loves to build and imagine stories. He is still narrating his play and has no desire to capture it through art or writing (much to my sorrow all the usual toddler craft blah blah holds ZERO appeal for my rough and tumble boy). The downside of the bright and energetic personality is the myriad power struggles we go through. I am learning to choose my battles and more than once this winter we have left the house shoeless, thank God we live in Arizona. Any advice on how to cope with a smart kid asserting his independence in deliberate defiance of requests is greatly appreciated!

I have been having the usual weird pregnancy dreams (babies being born as fish, finding that my husband's father is actually an evil genius set on world domination, losing Colin in an amusement park only to find him running a roller coaster, you know that old chestnut) and insomnia and nonstop peeing. Nights have been rough, my Braxton-Hicks are a daily thing and the heartburn is miserable (another baby born with a full head of hair I bet!) but all complaints aside I feel very ready for this next boy. Not in the sense that we have the boys' room all set up (we don't) or that I know how Colin, ever possessive of his mother, will deal with the new interloper (this makes me nervous), but in the sense that we are ready for our family to be together and I am ready to meet my son. We have a perfectly lovely name chosen, we have an amazing support system in place to help us through this transitional period, and I feel less anxious about this birth than the last. I am grateful for the confidence I'm feeling these days...even as I suffer tha aches and pains of the last 6 weeks of pregnancy.

It will be QUITE a transitional period too as our family prepares to move out of the house we have lived in for the last 4 years and into a much smaller place MUCH closer to our church where we spend lots of time. The ability to do this is a blessing, and it will be a lot of work (and a lot of getting rid of 4 years of accumulated clutter!) but when we are in our new place I will be super super grateful to not have to drive 45 minutes to church 3 times a week!
The holidays have well and truly kicked my ass but I enjoyed so many moments in them. Here's hoping the next year will allow me to build on the lessons I've learned so far and experience a million more marvelous memories!

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