Labor & delivery

22 Sep

Well, as you all know by now Lucas was born on August 28, 2012 at 4:14pm. Lucas was an easy delivery for me; just like his sister. Just after eight hours of Pitocin he was born. It was recommended to me to ask to have the Pitocin turned off once my body kicked into full labor; which I did, however once it was turned off my labor slowed too much and the drip had to be started again. I am a baby when it comes to pain (my mother would even agree with this statement) and so I asked for an epidural after five hours. By the time the anesthesiologist came to administer it, my contractions were hard and extremely painful to the point that I was on the verge of tears (I almost even considered asking for pain medication until he/she arrived), with my only relief coming those two minutes in between.

Once I started to deliver, Lucas came with three pushes and then I heard a huge cry (I thought I was crazy – Olivia never screamed that loud when she was born… lol). My placenta on the other hand wasn’t so easy. My body did not want it to be delivered for some reason and an OB was called in to help. Both my midwife and the OB essentially pulled it out by ripping (or tearing whichever you prefer) it out; and then I was on IV antibiotics for twenty-four hours thereafter to ensure that my body would not develop an infection from the procedure. Let’s just say for sake that with Olivia’s birth I had more external pain after labor & delivery (I had a longer, but less severe cervical tear) and with Lucas it has been way more internal pain (with external, as my tearing was smaller but deeper).

I’ve been consistant with my pain medication and have only in the last week and a half started only taking it as needed. However, in doing so by the time I get to taking it I’ve been dealing with the pain for ‘X’ amount of time and end up having to take a dose now and a dose six hours later for the pain to subside completely.

With Devin going back to work, things have been a wave of up’s and down’s for me. The ‘baby blues’ hit me now and then; but I’m working my way through them well. I think that I’ll save the ‘baby blues’ topic for another time…

Although being pregnant id one of the most magical and elightening times that I’ve ever experienced (in both pregnancies), having to be induced with both babies after forty-one weeks becomes very cumbersome. Throughout most of my pregnancies, I’ve always held my breath because of the ‘what ifs’ that could happen. Now I’m back to holding my breath for the ‘what ifs’ that can occur in newborns. I don’t think that any mother really breaths that big sigh until after the baby is over a year old. And so, until then I’ll be walking on egg shells (as it were) and trying to build a family of four with Devin. =)

Am long overdue…

24 Aug

Well, what can I say? Lucas has decided that he wants to be like his sister, Olivia, and not want to come out on his own. As of the day I’m writing this I am one day shy of being pregnant 41 weeks. Generally when someone I don’t know all that well hears this, the question I receive is: “They must have misjudged (or miscalculated) your due date.” Here’s the thing with that… It’s kind of hard to miscalculate an IVF pregnancy baby.

With a long and heavy sigh, I’ve come to the conclusion that an induction is probably inevitable at this point. Although I’m not completely against having an induction; I would much rather prefer my body going into labor on its own. Maybe that is wishful thinking. However, I was induced with Olivia at 41 weeks so therefore I have not had the experience of laboring at home with contractions until they are so far apart before going to the hospital or having my water break/leak and therefore going to the hospital thereafter.

Once I hit my 40 week mark last week on Saturday, I’ve heard from a lot of people telling me that he just isn’t ready and will come when he’s ready. Although I completely agree with this statement, it makes me absolutely crazy and I bite my tounge not to lash out. With being full term, the sigh of relief of his heart, lungs & brain being fully formed, there really isn’t any one particular reason why I have not gone into labor as of yet. This little man rolls constantly from the left to the right and has not stayed engaged.

Essentially what that means is that my body cannot efface (thinning of the cervix for the waters to break), nor can it dialate. If he decides to stay on my right side, as oppose to my left once I do go into labor (either naturally or through induction); labor is that much harder on a woman’s body. From the research that I’ve done, no pain reliever on the market really helps the laboring mother and one of the worst things to ask for is an epidural. However, the epidural is the only pain relief that can help; but it will make labor and delivery that much harder and longer.

I’m sure that Devin laughs at some of the things that I’ve done to try and induce labor here at home: walking, going up and down the stairs, swinging on swings, climbing a toddler rock wall, going down slides, a ton of Mexican food (of course with the hottest salsa that is offered by the restaurant), galloping (go ahead laugh; but please don’t judge), pineapple and a bunch of other things that I’ve heard from wives tales. None of the above mean anything however if your body is not ready for labor. Essentially, I’ve been making an idiot out of myself (which generally would not bother me – haha) and if nothing else getting more frustrated as the days pass by.

Most often times, I feel fine during the day and as the day progresses into late afternoon I start to feel more and more miserable. I become irrationally tired, my back begins to hurt, I feel myself starting to become cranky and snarky, my feet and hands start to swell slightly and the only thing that I can think of from about 4:00pm on is my bed.

I know that in the end once that little man is in my arms, all of this complaining with just be an after-thought and I will look back and tell myself that I was just being a “babyshine” (also known as a crybaby – this was a word my brother and I used to use when we were kids). I know that I just need to suck it up and hang in there, but I’ve gotta tell you all… This last week has been extremely hard on me. Hopefully I will be writing you all and giving you plenty of things to laugh at me about in a week’s time, but until then please do not tell me that he’ll come when he’s ready. LOL!

Teaching tragedy to a 2 1/2 year old

21 Jul

The morning of July 20, 2012 felt like any other day in our home as I woke up with Olivia; we came downstairs, I retrieved her sippy cup of milk and her morning muffin while I put Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the television (this is a long time ritual that we’ve had since she began day care and just have not fell out of). I myself, settling down with my morning cup of coffee and my phone to check email, local news, Facebook, etc. Like everyone else, I was shocked to see the reports flowing in from every news media and social media site of the shooting that had taken place in Aurora, Colorado. Not to mention that I received a text from a dear friend of mine that an acquaintence’s son had been at that theatre during the time of the shooting with some friends. Talk about the boulder crashing relatively close to home.

Periodically throughout the day, I would tune in to both local and national media channels to see whether or not any updates had been given on this horrific act. As with any tragedy, news that given at that moment is not 100% accurate as those persons working the tragedy have not completed their jobs. I’m sure that we all heard various reports on the death toll, how many persons were in the hospitals, and so on and so forth.

Throughout the day, one cannot keep their eyes glued to the news with a toddler running around. They have no concept of what happened, the reasons why it happened, or the outcome of what will follow in the coming days. So Olivia and I proceeded with our day which included lunch at the neighbors so she could play with their daughter, some sliding around in the backyard, another Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode before naptime, etc.

Upon returning home from dinner that evening, I heard that Dan Oates, Police Chief of Aurora, Colorado would be holding a press conference at 9:00pm, in which I had started watching. During the press conference, Olivia kept asking whether or not I was watching television (hello mom… where’s the cartoons?). When the press conference was over, I had the following conversation with Olivia:

Olivia: “What happened mommy?”

Me: “A lot of people have gotten hurt and mommy wanted to see if they are okay.”

Olivia: “People hurt, mommy?”

Me: “Yes, baby.”

Olivia: “People hurt, mommy?”

Me: “Yes, baby. They had to go to the doctor and mommy wanted to see if they were okay.”

Olivia: “Doctor give [people] medicine and band-aids. They [wil be] okay.”

While watching her nightly Sesame Street and reflecting upon this conversation, I only wish that medicine and band-aids could help cure the violence and death that have happened to the victims and their families. Additionally, my heart is proud that Olivia semi-understands what hurt means and in her two year old mind that all can be fixed with just a simple band-aid for people (and daddy’s batteries with toys).

No, I don’t pretend to be a pediatric psychiatrist to understand what happens in a childs mind in the early stages of development; however, I also don’t believe in not telling the truth to my child either. Of course I could have come up with some fairy tale story to tell her. But, I just don’t believe in hiding the truth either. We all live in a world that tragedy happens, both on small and large scales here in our own country as well as others. We have wars, terror attacks, personalization of bullying, murder, rape, incest, etc.

We as parents do our best to shield our children from the horrors of everyday life, as we want them to stay young and ignorant to the day to day rituals that occur that are beyound even our own reasoning at times. Aside from moving to our own private island somewhere to get away from it all, we have to just hold out hope that one day such things will not be a part of our own childrens lives as they grown up and become adults themselves. And maybe, just maybe, a band-aid and some medicine from the doctor will help cure the evils that are in our own world.

Punishments, both new and old

25 Jun

We all have had our own personal stories to share of how we were disciplined as children. Heck, there is even a poster currently on Facebook saying something along the lines of getting spanked, whipped and other things that has taught our generation respect and boundaries. Which leads me to wonder what the ideal way to discipline our children really is. My reasoning for asking is because if you read anything that has been posted by psychiatrists or psychologists, spanking and yelling causing our young ones to have issues later in life. While this fact may in fact be true, I wonder whether or not it is the excessive portions of spanking and yelling that do that to a child.

Yes, I was spanked as a child and I even met my father’s leather belt once. However, that belt scared the bejesus out of me and I can say with honesty that I never wanted to endure meeting that leather belt again. Of course I was also grounded from toys, playing outside, the phone and whatever else my parents deemed as fair punishment for me at the time; I however believe that the worst form of punishment came when I was sixteen years old and in high school.

I was caught smoking in the girls bathroom by a hall monitor (don’t judge people – this is a story afterall… lol). I was then taken to my assistant principals office who therefore in turn allowed me to finish the school day, stay after to get my assignments that I would miss from my classes, etc., before calling one of my parents to tell said parent that I had been suspended for three days for said crime within the school. In that one instance, I hoped beyond hope that my mom would be home to get that phone call because we didn’t ever cross dad. I unfortunately was not that lucky. My principal told me that my dad was on his way to pick me up and I was to remain inside his office until his arrival. Imagine me sitting there, sweating palms, wondering what my punishment would be: grounding, a spanking at sixteen years of age (oh my word the humiliation if that ever got out), would I have to quit my job, oh the endless questions running through my head before that dreaded arrival.

My dad walked into his office, asked if there was anything else to my assistant principal and then looked at me and said let’s go. Mind you, we lived only a three minute drive to our house and I just sat there waiting to get yelled at on that short drive, telling me what my punishment would be, and so on and so forth. However, not a word. Silence. No radio. Just the hum of the car driving down the road.

Upon entering of the house, I sat in the kitchen to begin my homework as I did on days that I had any to do. When it was time for me to get ready for my job, my dad told me that I would not be going into work until I was able to go back to school; but to be thankful that I had an understanding boss who allowed me to keep my job after my dad called me out for the next three days. And so I sat in silence in my parents kitchen, trying to do my homework, silence within the house until my mom came home from work and began making dinner.

We ate mostly in silence, with my parents mainly speaking with my brother until he was done and had gone out with his buddies. I cleaned the dishes and the kitchen and then sat back down at the kitchen table until I gain enough nerve to walk into the living room to watch television. Right before I was heading to bed (I believe it was roughly ten o’clock), my dad told me not to worry about going to bed and told me to stay and watch the rest of the movie that they had been watching. I know that I had to of said okay, but all I can remember is sitting back down on the couch in disbelief because I knew that something was brewing. I asked my dad at that point what my punishment was. All he told me was that I was not grounded from going out or from speaking to anyone on the phone, I just could not go into work. My thought was that this was an odd punishment. I’ve never gotten off so easy from something that I had done wrong before…

And then the next morning my punishment started. Oh yes, I stayed awake with my father that night. I believe I went to bed after watching Jay Leno or one of those late night shows with him. At five o’clock in the morning, I was woken up and my list of chores began. My first chore was to clean out the basement. The basement became a catch all for everyone’s stuff throughout the years and pretty much became nothing but a house’s worth of everyone’s collectibles and whatever got thrown down there that we all avoided until a later time period. Let’s just say that I worked for two days on that basement before it was in some form of organization. My father allowed me to break for meals and to use the bathroom of course, but I worked from almost the time he woke me up until the time I crashed and burned at about eight-thirty each night. On the night of the second day, I wondered what he had in store for me because the basement was almost complete and would not take me a full day’s work to finish…

That third morning came with my wake up of five o’clock and I geared up to finish the basement. I remember being half excited as I neared the end, as it was only two-hours into the morning and I was within an hour of being done. But, I didn’t want to get overtly excited as I knew that my punishment would not end so easily. Once I was finished, my dad had called me into the backyard. I was to weed out the vegetable garden, as well as pull the weeds on the other side of the yard that were over growing from the neighbor’s house. Two hours thereafter as I finished the weeding, he pulls out a five gallon bucket, Dawn dish soap and a toothbrush…

I was to clean each decorative white rock throughout the front and backyard and leave no speak of dirt on any piece. To give you all an idea, my parents have white decorative rocks in three areas in the front portion of their house, and along the entire length of the fence and half the back-end of the yard within the backyard. I remember staring at him like he was crazy. “Clean rocks? Who in his right mind worries about clean rocks? Rocks are supposed to be dirty – they are rocks for crying out loud!!!” are the thoughts I had as I was standing there looking at him with I’m sure a dumb-founded look on my face.

Looking back on that four day punishment of nothing but organizing and cleaning, I can honestly say without a doubt in my mind that cleaning those stupid freakin’ rocks was the worst punishment I’ve ever had to endure. In my Type-A personality, I’m sure that you all know that organizing and cleaning a basement didn’t really bother me all that much; weeding not so much either. However, rock cleaning… I still shudder a bit at cleaning them all over a day and a half before my dad finally let me off the hook to have ‘a day off’ that Sunday before returning to school.

My basis for sharing this form of punishment with you all is because I wonder what will work for my kids later in life. Rock cleaning will not have as much meaning to Olivia now, as it will later in life. lol. Do you all believe that time-outs really work? Do any of you spank you children on occassion when nothing else is working? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

Bedtime transitions

19 Jun

Mistakes, boy do we know how to make them as parents. For me, when I know for sure that I’ve made a mistake I try my best to overcome that mistake and move on from it. However, some mistakes are not that easy to get over. They are not as easy as fixing something on the computer, or apologizing to a family member or friend for a comment that had been made out of context. No, parenting mistakes tend to stick with you for a while and as a parent you have no choice but to deal with the consequences. Several years ago, while watching some random tv show (I think that it was a rerun of Dawson’s Creek of all shows to watch) I heard a quote and it has stuck with me throughout the years: “There is no right or wrong; just the consequences of your actions.” Man alive does that quote mean more to me now as a parent, than what it did when it was just me as an adult. As an adult, we tend to just suck it up and move on; but as a parent, we see the residual effects of those actions on a day to day basis.

Okay, where this is leading to. Just about a month ago, Devin and I finally finished Olivia’s big girl room. New paint, new bed, new linens, chair, dresser, you name it we had purchased it for her. We were so excited for her to be a ‘big girl’ and making the essential transitions for being that of her age. However the changes were not coming as readily as we had hoped. I laid with her for the first couple of nights (mistake #1) until she fell asleep, as I did not want her to feel scared in her new room (yes, apparently I have become soft with motherhood). She at some point in middle of the night would come running into our room, snuggle down with mommy & daddy and would awaken in the secure place beside us.

After four days of this, we found ourselves at Surfside Beach & Myrtle Beach for a five day retreat/vacation. Since she is as big as she is, we didn’t think that a Pack & Play would be worth bringing as there would not be a whole heck of a lot of room (mistake #2). Hindsight tells me that we should have brought it so that she knew that sleeping by herself is still the normal. However, we cozied it up in a Murphy Bed each night and woke up to the sound of the waves with one another.

Upon our return trip home, it was back to trying to get her to sleep in her own room. Mommy back laying beside her until she fell asleep and me getting frustrated because she wasn’t falling asleep very quickly and my mind wandering with the several other things that I could be getting done around the house. Finally after three nights, I caved and allowed her to fall asleep in our room because we had an upcoming visit from my inlaws who would be sleeping in her room during their visit.

Although I still had to lay with her, she slept soundly and without fear, crying or hysteria over wanting to sleep with mommy & daddy. Now that the dust has settled, trying to get back into a regular routing is hard. Devin parked himself outside of her door in a rocker for just over an hour on the first night preventing her from running out and me from going in to comfort her. There’s something about hearing “mommy night-night,” “mommy/daddy room,” and even “mommy hugs & kisses” that just tears at my heart strings. I know that it’s for the best and she’ll get over it, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make me crazy with worry while the hysterical crying and wanting to be comforted is going on.

Which leads me to wonder how things are going to be once Lucas arrives in August. Will Olivia decide that mommy & daddy’s bed absolutely must be her’s again? Will she want to sleep each night in a crib? Will she want to sleep with her new brother? Will she try kicking him out of bed? I know that bedtime transitions are a growing pain for every new family, but I’m trying my best to make mental preparations so that I can be prepared for them. Until then, I’m doing my best to remain calm and cool while fighting the urge to comfort her during bedtime.