28 July 2010

Betrothed

On Sunday, Mama got on an airplane and left us to our own devices (very sad), so my no free time dropped down to negative free time. I haven't uploaded photos. I haven't got any clever post on the brain. But I do have one simple offering:

T and Mimi are just two days apart. I am in love with them. Especially when they're sleeping.

18 July 2010

Study Like a Scholar, Scholar

Sometimes I want to wear Old Spice. Their marketing is phenomenal right now. Unfortunately for Old Spice, I'm not a man so I will probably stick with Dove.

However, I may make a special trip to Provo just to hit up the HBLL.

15 July 2010

Tutorial: How to Jump in the Pool

It feels like summer here and I am in heaven. To honor my favorite season, here's a glimpse from last year.

(Wow, I don't miss being pregnant. I do miss that dress, though)

{June 2010}








14 July 2010

The Emancipation of Mimi: Part 3

If you are just tuning in, you can read The Emancipation of Mimi: Part 1 and Part 2 here and here.



Just kidding. No hell broke loose.

Nurse J said she was just going to check to see how far along I was and informed me it would be a little uncomfortable. I mentally laughed at the comment, seeing how I was in labor. Without medicine. On purpose. I was sort of planning on some minor discomfort.

Yes. Yes, I was ready. But because Nurse J was so busy being in charge, I still didn't have a saline lock in my arm. A handful of other nurses ran in and began preparing me. I also heard some shouting about getting a room ready, though they probably weren't actually shouting. At this point, my sense of hearing was incredibly heightened and I noted things I normally block out.

Then, I received my ER moment. They ripped the monitors off of me and raced me through the hallways on the gurney. I must admit, if you are in transition and have the opportunity to have a nurse run through the halls with you, take it. The breeze on my face was quite refreshing and the distraction proved to be extremely useful.

We reached the delivery room and they helped move me onto the bed. I was on all fours, but my shoulders were getting tired, so I moved to the floor and laid my upper body on the bed. Sweet relief. My doctor rushed in and was preparing rapidly while I just thanked God that I was finally in a position that minimized the pain.

Unfortunately, the doctor knew I was in the wrong position after one push, and I did too. But I was finally feeling some relief after being on my back for so long that I begged her to let me try again. After two more pushes and being spoon-fed ice chips (my power food, apparently), I was ready to get in a position that would work.

They moved me on my side and I pushed some more. All of the nurses were yelling like it was some raucous sporting event. "Push push push push harder harder harder harder!!!!"

But I couldn't push harder. Until I let a scream rip through my throat.

The contraction passed and the baby was still in. There was another contraction and this time I started out screaming. The strange thing is I wasn't screaming in pain. I couldn't really feel the pain because I was too busy trying to get the baby out. The screaming was the only way I could garner enough strength to actually force that 13" head out of my body.

And it worked. I looked up and saw the baby's head.

Hi baby.

I said that, though I didn't mean to. I also caught a glimpse of one of the nurses who seemed to have an amused look on her face. Patrick later let me know that during my screaming, the nurses seemed to be saying, "Whoa!" Yep, it was that loud.

One more scream (I mean push) and the baby was out.

Patrick, is it a boy or a girl?

I don't know. I can't see yet.

Elizabeth saw, but she didn't spoil the surprise.

An hour and 15 minutes after arriving at the hospital, the doctor placed our squirming, screaming, messy baby girl on my chest. I was in shock and in love.

13 July 2010

The Emancipation of Mimi: Part 2

If you want to catch up, you can read The Emancipation of Mimi: Part 1 here

I asked Patrick to take a picture of me before I delivered. This is what he gave me.

This was his second attempt. I am not one of those women who has the time to get dolled up for the hospital, but at least I'm standing upright.

The drive to the hospital was uneventful--no freak-outs, no missed exits, no babies in the car. Patrick called my doctor to let him know we were on our way while I allowed anticipation to fill the few moments between contractions. This was really happening. This baby, who seemed so unreal the entire 9+ months, would be joining us shortly. This baby, who was such a surprise in the first place, was going to enter our world today. This baby, who forced/encouraged me to spend more quality time with Jonas, would soon be forcing/encouraging me to spend less time with Jonas. And this baby, whose gender was still a mystery, would no longer be a mystery.

Upon arrival, Patrick dropped me off at the entrance and after confirming the third floor was where I wanted to be, I immediately found a couch in the sitting area and unselfconsciously labored right there in the lobby. Elizabeth caught up with me as I was getting in the elevator, and though Patrick was right behind her, I couldn't hold the door open for him. At 2 minutes apart, those 15 seconds were a precious commodity.

Once in labor and delivery, I informed the nurse that I would go quickly, especially if Jonas was any indicator.

Sure, sure. With a verbal eye roll inserted there, too. She was nice, but probably thinking I was just overreacting.

Despite all of my positive thinking and visualizing, things didn't go as I had planned. All of the rooms were full, so I was placed in a triage type of room--hospital bed and a curtain in a little nook of the hallway.

"Don't worry, this is only temporary. You won't be having your baby here. We're just going to wait for a room to open up."

Now it was my turn to say sure, sure. I thought there was a good chance this was where I was having my baby. Not ideal, but feasible. I wouldn't be able to set up all of my birthing things (ball, CD player, etc.), but at least I wasn't in the car.

Patrick made some sort of joke, which I didn't appreciate (though it was funny later) and I headed into the restroom to prepare myself for this baby. I could hear Elizabeth whispering to Patrick how she told her husband to shut-up while she was in labor and that he shouldn't take my lack of appreciation too seriously.

When I came out, I was informed that Doctor E. wouldn't be able to make it and his colleague would deliver my baby instead. I started to cry. When Jonas was born, my doctor missed it by 30 minutes and I was grateful because I didn't care for him. Doctor E. is different and I often mentioned how distraught I would be if he couldn't deliver my baby. So here I was in the hallway of the hospital with my biggest fear being confirmed--no Doctor E.

That's when I told Elizabeth I didn't want to have a natural birth without Doctor E. The look of terror across her face would have been amusing if I weren't serious. I love my doctor and I knew as long as I was in his capable hands, I could do anything. Without him, it didn't even seem possible to go through with it.

Fortunately, I didn't have enough time to entertain the thought of medicine. I'm sure Elizabeth said something to convince me to proceed with my plans, but I don't remember because my contractions kicked in and I couldn't really think straight while I was using my pain management techniques. Each time a strong contraction could course through my body, I saw my little J waving to me as we drove to the hospital and I was filled with incredible joy knowing I was bringing another little one into our family.

Using my pain management techniques was a challenge at home because of the inordinate amount of disruptions that seemed to only occur during Jonas' nap time. That must have been divinely inspired because the disruptions during the labor far surpassed those at home.

When Jonas was born, Nurse Robin was phenomenal. So phenomenal, in fact, that my second biggest fear of childbirth was having a poor/uncaring/uncompromising nurse.

Enter Nurse J. Ugh. Second fear confirmed. She reminded me very much of a nursing student who has never given birth, using a textbook her guide rather than the needs of the patient and a little bit of common sense. Unfortunately, I required a bit of flexibility since I didn't want my baby's birth to be of the textbook variety.

After the first 2 minutes, I knew I didn't like her one bit. She didn't look me in the eye and was always looking over my head when she talked to me. There was nothing genuine about her and I could feel disapproval radiating from her. My discontent didn't end there.

Exhibit A
As she strapped me down to the bed on my back (which is the most uncomfortable position for laboring, I might add), I informed her that my doctor approved minimal monitoring.
Well, we have to monitor you 20 minutes out of every hour.

Yes, that's fine, but my doctor said you could use telemetry monitoring so I can walk around.

We don't have those today. They are all in the shop being repaired.
Uh-huh. Sure, sure. Don't lie to me. Just tell me you don't know how to use them.

Exhibit B.
What's your pain level?

As I informed you before, I do not want to be asked what my pain level is. I'm using self-hypnosis and any suggestion of pain makes it very difficult to concentrate.

(snaps) well you have to tell me. It's hospital policy and we have to do it to assess your vitals.
Uh-huh. I'm soooooo sure. Since every other nurse and doctor I've talked to about this has told me it is not a mandatory assessment.
Blah blah blah more lies about hospital policy, perhaps to try and convince herself she was telling the truth.
Exhibit C.
Do you have a birth plan?

(no answer, since I'm in pain--something she should have realized since she had to assess my vitals)

(Elizabeth) Her doctor faxed it in two weeks ago.

Well we never received a copy. Do you have one with you?
Really? I mean, really?! Instead of just going to check, you want me to go in my backpack and retrieve it for you? I know you're at work, but I'm the one actually in labor (Oddly enough, every other nurse who worked with me had a copy).

Exhibit D.
How far apart do you think your contractions are?
This is where I got really mad. If you have to monitor me, then CHECK THE MONITOR!!!!

I didn't say any of this. There simply wasn't enough time between my contractions, which would have been evident had she looked at the monitor. You know, the monitor for which she was forcing me to lay flat on my back on a gurney with elastic bands strapping me in.

In between each asinine question, explanation of procedures that "had to happen," and refusal to be flexible, Nurse J stood next to me punching things into the computer. I have strong suspicions that she was faking it in order to assert her authority (or perhaps refining the chip on her shoulder).

Exhibit E.
The last straw was when she had me sign papers in between my contractions. Papers that I specifically made a trip to the hospital with my toddler in tow to sign 5 weeks prior. Papers that I'm certain were in the file that she refused to check, probably alongside my birth plan.
I already signed these when I pre-registered.

No you didn't. No one signs these in pre-registration.

Yes I did. That's the point of pre-registration, but if I must sign them again, I will.
Of course, my contractions are right on top of each other at this point. I am not an ornery woman while I labor and I would even consider myself quite nice, but my anger began to bubble over as she held a clipboard 4 inches from my face, tapping her foot as if I were inconveniencing her.

Oh, I'm sorry. I'm busy having a baby so your papers (that I already signed) will have to wait. Perhaps you can move that clipboard before I shove it down your throat.

I didn't say that, but I wanted to, so I settled for purposely dropping the pen on the floor so she would get out of my face. I gained an inordinate of satisfaction out of bothering her.

Finally (finally!) she left the room for a moment. I wanted to switch nurses, but knew there was no time. Instead, I silently vowed that if we had any more children, I would have a home birth. I then felt the urge to throw up and knew immediately that I was in transition.

I told Elizabeth what I was thinking and she called the nurse over.

She needs to push.

And that's when all hell broke loose.


12 July 2010

The Emancipation of Mimi: Part 1

Our last photo together featuring Jonas as an only child, right before leaving for the hospital.

I love me a good birth story. It seems as if they would get redundant because, hello! We know what happens in the end and there are only a handful of ways the babies can come out. But each woman’s experience with her labor and delivery is so vastly different, which is why I can never get enough of them.

I love both of my birth stories. Jonas’ labor and delivery was straight out of a movie. Water breaks in the middle of the night. Hard contractions start immediately at 3 minutes apart. Worried about making it to the hospital on time. Patrick freaks out and misses our hospital exit. Doctor is on vacation. Minor complications. Vacuum. New screaming baby. Overjoyed, crying parents. It was beautiful.

I wasn’t sure what to expect the second time around. Everything about this pregnancy has been different than the first, so all of my preconceived notions and schema went straight out the window months ago. But for all those interested, here is the first of a four-part saga of The Emancipation of Mimi (or perhaps Mimi's Dramatic Entrance if you are not a Mariah Carey fan).

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Thursday started out like most other days, except I was actually feeling good about my morning productivity. I woke up at a decent hour (finally) and cleaned out the fridge, scanned and put away all my documents, and even made lunch for Jonas and Margie before 8 am arrived. I was starting to feel human again.

And just like almost every other day during the pregnancy, Elizabeth came over to do our workout for the day. I was doing a modified version of Cindy (part of CrossFit’s The Girls WODS—high intensity benchmark workouts with girl names)—as many rounds of 5 pull-ups (ring rows for me), 10 push-ups, 15 squats as I can get in 15 minutes without overheating or allowing my heart rate to get too high.

After 3.5 rounds and during my 8th squat, I felt a familiar pop; a pop I had only felt once before. Stopping dead at the bottom of a perfect 90 degree angle, I felt a warmth spread across the lower part of my body.

Uh-oh. I’ll be right back.

Being past my due date and still exercising, I was no stranger to peeing my pants in a workout (oh, is that too much information? If so, please understand you are reading a birth story and it will get much worse before it gets any better). I couldn’t determine if my water broke or if I drank slightly more water than normal before heading out to exercise.

Hard contractions didn’t start immediately like they did with Jonas, so what I thought would be a firm excuse for quitting early was null and void. I cleaned myself up, went right back outside and pounded out 2.5 more rounds (for an even 6) before my time ran out.

After finishing up, I was fairly certain I was in labor, so Elizabeth took Jonas to her house (armed with his already-prepared lunch, I might add) while I showered and determined whether or not my water had broken. I called Patrick to warn him since his commute is about an hour and after my 20 minutes of water-breaking research, I called him again to come home, hoping he wouldn’t meet me at the hospital with a baby in my arms.

45 minutes after the pop, it began.

Contraction.

10 minutes later, another one.

8 minutes.

7 minutes.

6 minutes.

6 minutes.

6 minutes.

5 minutes.

Elizabeth brought Jonas home and was readying herself to take me to hospital. Michelle arrived as our trusty babysitter. Despite my quick progression, I dawdled around the house, not really wanting to say good-bye to Jonas and still hoping Patrick would make it home in time to take me.

God must have heard my silent prayers because my contractions held steady until Patrick came home and could get himself ready, at which point they promptly moved to 3 minutes apart and Elizabeth was forcing me out the door because they were so close together.

Before we left, I squeezed Jonas for what simultaneously felt like forever and no time at all. This was it. All of my sadness and anxiety about to manifest itself in a few short hours. The next time I would see him, his world would be forever changed. And mine, too. How could I do this to him? How could I take away this perfect little life of his? It would be for the better, yes, but change is still hard and I was struggling with it.

As we were loading the car, Jonas watched from Michelle’s arms. I was filled with an irrational guilt because I wanted to be the one who would comfort him the moment the baby entered his world. I wanted him to know he wasn’t second best and he was still my baby, too. I didn’t want to leave such an important responsibility to another woman. And yet, I had too. The first of many things I would have to let go and a stretch for my Spirit.

We got in the car and as we began to drive away, I waved to Jonas until I could no longer see him anymore. He waved back enthusiastically with his smile that is engraven upon my heart and I didn’t want the moment to end. We turned the corner and I burst into bittersweet tears, knowing the next time I saw my little boy, we would be a family of four.

11 July 2010

Mimi is already over 3 weeks old and pictures of her on the blog are pretty sparse. Turns out two kids is a lot of work. I haven't even thought about uploading any photos later than day 4, let alone actually getting around to doing it. Perhaps in another season of life when I'm getting more than 2 hours of sleep a week.

Here's a sampling of the family princess. I'm amazed at how quickly her appearance, demeanor, everything has changed. That will be evident if I ever get some updated photos on here.






There you have it. Stay tuned for more updates. Part 1 of the birth story will appear tomorrow.