Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's Been Fun

Fun going over the previous births. And helpful to me, as well. Maybe it's odd, but I feel excited about the next one. Not just because it means we'll get to meet our new baby, but to see what kind of challenges it will present and how I deal with them. Hopefully well. But almost like a marathon runner or whatever you like, you want to do it better than last time. And much like a long distance race, it is a mind game. I am feeling mentally prepared in that I have everything at my disposal that I might want or need. But then there is always the unexpected curve ball and you think, 'OK, next time I'll prepare for that too.'  I can only talk about a next time because I am not currently in labor. I will re-read this post , post delivery and maybe add some thoughts.

Shane and I were discussing this morning over the Swedish pancakes he had made, how wonderful life is. And as the kids left the table to go on to  their respective activities  how full of life the house feels. One aspect of the first few weeks that is hard for me is adjusting to the loneliness of being on a schedule that only one other member of the house is on. And then it is only because that other member has very specific and urgent needs that must  be addressed and will not be put off until morning or after your shower.

But I am realizing #5 will not be like #1-4. Most of them can meet their own needs, or help the others when they can't. Some can even meet mine and the baby's needs and I am feeling like it will not be the 4 to 1 ratio of needers to providers that our week days were before. They can all cook, clean, make coffee, go to bed on their own, and are eager to hold and help with the baby. Some nights they might even want to sit up and watch whatever I might find on Netflix because I'm too tired to  read and Malachi can only sleep with me sitting up. And having to get up at 5am for work, I can't expect Shane to join me often. It is comforting to think I won't have to face it all alone. Which like I said is the hardest part for me, emotionally. The other part being sleep deprived, but again they can take care of the house  while baby and  I take a nap after a bad night.Plus they are all proficient baristas, chefs, house cleaners, baby sitters, and Scrabble players. It really will be a whole new world.

So I am looking forward to all of it. And to not wearing the maternity shirts that don't actually cover all my belly anyway and require a jacket or sweater if I go out in public. I only have one pair of pants, and they are not even maternity. And like the shirts, they require another top layer to give full coverage. I only have one dress for Sundays, which makes it easy for choosing what to wear, but with the colder weather settling in, I'd like some warmer options. Of course nursing has its own limited wardrobe, but cotton and stretchy is what I like best anyway so I don't mind.

If I don't go into labor in the next few hours we are planning on attending a retirement party for a friend downtown. I will change my stretchy pants and shirt for something more appropriate and festive.( Ok, my one dress)  And I will take the carseat and diaper bag, just in case Malachi  tries to beat the shortest labor record. But nothing seems ominous or looming and I fully expect we'll make it back home for a midnight snack and bedtime. I do think consciously that each meal could be my last and try to eat accordingly.

Ok. I wrote up to this point pre-baby, planning on finishing it the next morning. But the next morning felt ominous to me and I forgot about it.

We did, in fact, make it to the party. It was fun to get out for a bit and everything went well. Except the part where I directed Shane to the bathroom, only to have him come quickly back out when he realized it was for the opposite sex. He asked why the big "W" had not clued me in. Honestly, I forgot the name of the hotel  (Hotel 1000) and thought it was the The  W. So I hadn't thought twice about the large letter emblazoned on the door. Or once, apparently.

But after that it was smooth sailing and, as I thought, we came home,  and had some more snacks, because you never know, and went to bed.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Getting There

I was planning on sitting down with my second breve latte of the day- this one being decaf-and writing up a post. Which of course meant it was time for Malachi to wake from his nap and keep me company. So we will see how this goes. I decided to switch to decaf coffee after my morning regular breve. I am finding lattes are still my preferred method of conveyance for keeping with my daily half and half quota. I figured Malachi would be dependent on it, given how much I drank throughout his gestational period. And we are having perfect weather for coffee, so I don't mind. I was already practiced in making them one-handed. Typing one-handed, not so much.

I had considered making a regular coffee as I was feeling rather sleepy. But I've been having trouble sleeping at night and am trying to break the cycle of insomnia so decided to stick to the light stuff after the morning. I asked the midwife about it and she said it is adrenaline still keeping me going. A runner's high that lasts almost 2 weeks? Seems a bit extreme to me. And very frustrating when I can't sleep but the baby is.

She also recommended I get at least one solid 4 hour chunk of sleep in a 24 hr period. Sounds dreamy to me but baby has not gotten the memo yet. So far his sleeping pattern seems to be no real sleep until after 1am, only light naps before that. Then there is lots of eating and pooping and grunting as he prepares for really deep sleep starting around 4am. That lasts anywhere from 3-4 hrs or when mom wants to take a shower. Whichever comes first. Then if  Kateri is up I have her come lie down next to him to act as a decoy while I sneak in a quick  personal hygiene routine. The past two nights he slept well, after 4am, and I was able to get some real sleep. I celebrated by adding a hair wash to the morning routine and staying in until the hot water ran out. Which, given that the Shane and the older kids had just had showers prior, was not as long, or as hot, as I'd have preferred. But at least it happened.

I find that even if I wake up feeling rested, it only lasts until 1pm or so and then I feel exhausted the rest of the day. Until I try to go to bed. But I know things will eventually get on a more normal schedule. It just might be a couple years so I need to be patient.

Our daily schedules are cobbled together as best we can. Grandma takes the kids to music and writing and Latin lessons so we are getting some school work done. Today, Shane was able to work from home. Then when Cyril was having trouble focusing on his Latin, he decided to take him and their laptops to Starbuck's to work. Cyprian has been exploring new technologies by making lots of movies on his new Surface. Kateri has been researching historical forms of entertainment by watching old Tom and Jerry cartoons. And Audrey has actually been doing her algebra, while simultaneously listening for and soothing the baby as he naps on the couch. So we'll get there someday.

Just so you know, it has taken me over an hour to finish this. It was punctuated by lots of baby needs, getting distracted by baby's warm fuzzy-coma-inducing body, and finally by a dirty diaper. Which Audrey is not so keen on abandoning her math for. Duty calls.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

He's Here

Malachi Arcadius
He is currently 10 days old, 2 oz past his birth weight, and so far a very chill baby. I lost a bit of blood and was on bed rest for awhile. Shane went back to work this week. We are getting a little schooling done, enough laundry, and not too many tears to go with it all. I finally sat down and looked through the birth pictures today, wanting to get some energy back before re-living the event. It was ok. The picture viewing. Eventually I'll get to telling his story in full. And a host of other things I have not gotten to yet. But first we are going to take some snuggle time. And change  a diaper.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

And Now We are Up To Date

Kateri was one of the easiest babies. She was always happy. So content that when Shane suggested we fly across country with her to go the Treasures of Byzantium exhibit as the Metropolitan Museum of Art when she was 10 mos old, I could  honestly say, "That sounds like fun!" And it was. Cyril had gone from happy baby, to trying to compete for most mischievous toddler. Which, unfortunately, he was very successful at. No cup of coffee was safe if you put it down. Distraction and subterfuge came naturally and I would have pulled out all my hair, but the post partum shedding was doing that for me. He was at least cheerful as he went about his antics, but still exhausting, and thankfully, Kateri didn't seem to want to join in the  competition, so we managed  to get through our days.

And then came the news of a new arrival in the fall. Though feeling a little overwhelmed, I was excited to call up the midwives. I'd missed the visits and was excited to see who was teamed up together and have them meet the kids. Kateri loved going to 'Allie's house' as she called the Birth Center and accompanied me to most of the appointments.

Cyprian's due date was Oct 1st. We planned another home birth, but this time I wanted an ultrasound to check out the placenta placement and anything else it could tell us. Unfortunately, cord length was not something they could discern on the ultrasound, but they could see it was all functioning properly, the placenta was in a good location. Also clearly visible was the indisputable fact he was a boy. I figured after three surprises it would be nice to know which set of baby clothes to wash. And if I needed to spend time figuring out a middle name for a girl or not. We had already settled on Adele for the first, after Shane's great aunt. So instead we sorted out Cyprian's middle name there in the ultrasound room and after washing the boy clothes we had nothing left to do, but keep Cyril from setting the house on fire while we waited.

Shane asked me last night which of the births did I think was the best. Well, all of them were mostly straightforward with no real complications or sad endings so I feel like I could say all of them. I don't think of the hospital birth as bad. Not the birth part anyway, but that has nothing to do with the hospital. Somehow Cyprian's birth seems very memorable, but maybe because it was the most recent. recent being 7 yrs ago. Or maybe because I got to experience something new this time.

Like Audrey's, labor started around 3:00 am  with my water breaking. Then it went on more like Cyril's and  Pippn arrived weighing 7lbs 12 oz, 4:43am. See why I am hoping for an afternoon baby? I am sure everyone who will attend and come see Malachi would appreciate it too. But at least not getting a full night's sleep was offset by the not too long labor. I hope I am not mistaken in expecting  this one to mostly follow suit. Funny that both boy's labors were 2hrs or less. Maybe Malachi can be the record breaker?

The brevity, coupled with the intensity, was a little tiring and I felt rather spent afterwards. As did Shane who had been helping alleviate the lower back pain by massaging it for the better part of  an hour, getting a short break when the midwife took a turn. Still I got up to clean off. Shane helped me into the tub and as I sat there I started to feel worse and worse. Where was my post-delivery high? I felt like I was still in transition, when you feel that if you tore off all your skin and jumped out the 2nd story window, you'd actually feel better than you do right now. I told Shane I didn't feel well and maybe I wanted to get out, I wasn't sure. And  then, I passed out.

Shane said it was the most bizarre thing so see my body go absolutely limp. He quickly bent down and scooped me up, out of the tub and put me on the bed. He said the feeling of carrying such dead weight was eerie. Shortly after, the midwife cracked an ammonia capsule under my nose and I came to.

But I had not idea where I was or what was or had happened. I screamed. I saw the midwives and wondered who these strange ladies were and what they had done/were doing to me. I thought I was in some medical experiment and had no clue how I had gotten there. I heard one midwife say

"Quick, give her the baby!"

But still nothing registered. I felt cold all over and my teeth were chattering, despite the pile of blankets and the warm room. Finally, I looked up and saw Shane's face leaning over me. All at once, though still having no idea as to what was going on, I felt safe and that no matter what was/had happened everything was going to be ok. Shane was there. We lay there, the three of us, huddled on the bed as I slowly took in what was really going on, felt my body temp returning to normal, and realized the little baby on my chest was our new son.

And then I probably asked for and was given food.

So given the varied experiences, I am very curious to see how this next one goes. Will it follow suit with the boys' deliveries being fast and furious? I am hoping for not too much back labor this time, though I've heard the water can help with that so maybe Shane can keep some reserves and give me a back rub later, See why I wanted to wait until Shane was feeling better and all recovered? Knowing he is there to make me  feel safe and grounded is so comforting and I couldn't imagine going through it without him.

I was a little mean last week, when he was out for dinner and guy time with his brother-in-law. I specifically made sure he turned his phone on before they left. So when I texted him to bring some milk on his way home and did not hear from him I got a little annoyed. 30 min later I called and got no answer.  So I left a little message with the baby's weight etc and said I'd send a picture soon.

A little later  he called and said he saw that I had called, but he'd left his phone in the truck, and what was up? I started to tell him what the message said. He was silent.

"Are you serious?"

"No, but I could have been. And you wouldn't have known because you didn't take your phone."

He told me I had him for a second. Which I was glad of. Maybe it was mean, but I wanted to make sure he'd be available when it is real. Whenever that may be.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Enter Kateri, Stage Left

At the time of this writing, Friday morning, it is officially my due date. No signs yet. I made it to my 40 week appointment, and made an appointment for next week, just in case. I then decided to stop by Costco for some non-refrigerated essentials, then back home to have dinner and watch the VP debate. It feels strange, thinking back to the beginning, when it felt like the nausea would never end and I would be confined to my sick bed for the rest of my life, to be in a place where I feel ready and labor is a real possibility at any time. I'm starting to feel content with a late arrival. Especially since Shane, who was still not feeling well after our colds and actually made a dr apt for himself, is taking a short round of antibiotics for suspected ear infection and needs a little recovery time before being my labor support. Though tonight would be nice as we'd have the week-end to sort things out. But I would not mind waiting and getting another night's sleep for both of us. Going into labor in the morning would be a new experience. So far all of our have been night babies. Which brings me to Kateri.

Again, there were no warning signs with Kateri. She was due Aug 2nd.  A week before, we were hauling buckets of water to irrigate some newly planted trees on our property, about an hour and a half from home. Then we went to a big horse show a few days before her due date in the same location. The thought  of her coming early and birthing in the forest with no running water never seemed a concern. I was so used to going over my due date.

So it was a little of a surprise when I found myself  calling the midwives at 11:00pm on the 30th of July. My water had broken and was coming out in gushes with each contraction. Unfortunately, so was a bit of blood. It was hard to tell how concentrated it was, but I knew it was not normal. After the phone assessment, the midwife told us to go to the hospital. She would phone ahead to arrange for an ultrasound and meet us there.  My in-laws came to stay with the big  kids, who were probably not asleep yet , and Shane and I headed to the hospital.

It felt like a long drive, though it was only 10 min or so, but when you think there is something wrong with your baby time creeps by. Just the year before I had known two mother's who lost their infants at birth. So the thought and the experience were not foreign.

It felt like it took forever to check in and  they did not feel the same panicked urgency Shane and I were feeling, which made it even more frustrating. Finally we were admitted to a room and met by the midwife, my mom, and a super nice nurse. They started monitoring the blood/fluid loss and eventually the ultrasound technician came in to see what she could.

Nothing looked out of the ordinary or worrisome. She asked if we knew the sex of the baby. We didn't. She asked if we'd like to know and we figured we'd find out in a few hours anyway so why not. But Kateri was too scrunched and we couldn't tell. After all the tests and investigating turned up nothing we felt  free to go or stay as we wanted. The nurse tried  to convince us to stay, offering a labor tub and other niceties. I asked if I could deliver in the tub and she said no. So not seeing they had much to offer, remembering Audrey's birth, and knowing I was  5 cm dilated and would not be wanting to be moving very soon, we quickly packed up and moved the party back home.

The rest of labor went as usual. I liked the birthing stool again, and holding Shane around the neck for support. Finally, at 3:26, weighing in at 6lbs 10oz, Kateri arrived. She was so small, especially after Cyril, but checked out completely healthy. Upon closer inspection the placenta showed evidence of an old clot and a  partial abruption. Her cord was the shortest the midwife had ever seen- about 6-8 inches. To this day Shane still calls Kateri our 'miracle baby'. Which isn't exclusively   accurate, because every baby is a miracle.

As are heir birth stories. Which will bring me to Cyprian's birth next, hopefully followed in a bit by Malachi's.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Take Two

Fast forward 18 months. Audrey was a wonderfully content baby, and aside from the usual 'I'm not tired' routines and getting into lots of mischief, we were not feeling overwhelmed when we found that number two was on the way. Our main concern was where he/she was going to be born. I am so glad my research found the Birth Center, as it has been our go-to for all our maternity and labor support needs. The first visit was so different from the OB visits. They acknowledged Shane's presence in the room, treated him like an adult, answered questions and made us feel very at home. Not to mention the birth center felt like a nice home. In the end we signed up and decided on going for a home birth. I was familiar with them as many of my siblings were born at home, and Shane seeing how nicely things just go on their own said yes, we were both looking forward to a non-stressful home delivery. Complete with all the snacks I'd get ready, our own cozy bed, no beeping monitors, and no drive home afterwards.

Just like Audrey, Cyril's due date came and went. At first we thought maybe he'd be early and we'd have a Christmas baby. Then we thought New Year's Eve? A nice tax deduction for the year. 2000 looks cool on a birth certificate. But that passed. As did New Year's Day. And a few more. Spicy food, bumpy roads etc. Nothing could dislodge him. Finally the 6th of January came. Theophany, or Epiphany in the west, seemed like a fine day. But nothing seemed to be happening. We went shopping at Costco. Had lunch at Maya's, our favorite Mexican restaurant, went to visit at my parent's house. I was feeling some back discomfort so my mom  gave me a hot water bottle, which I took home. We contemplated going to evening liturgy, but decided on getting home instead.

We got home around 8, unloaded the groceries, and I started in on some dinners to freeze for the future. I was making a large batch of chicken cacciatore, standing at the stove stirring the tomato sauce when the familiar sensation of feeling like my body was in a vise grip started. There was no gentle ramping up, just a constant barrage of 'let's get down to business' contractions. I told Shane to call the  answering service and have  the midwives paged.

30 minutes and some intense feelings later, we got a call from the midwife who was not on call. And was not currently even in Washington state. She was at a wedding across the country and had just popped into her hotel room to grab something when she saw her pager blinking. The paging service had paged the wrong midwife. So Shane tried again and this time we got a call back right away. The midwife was on her way, as was Cyril. Shane told her I wanted to push, she said go ahead. She arrived about 9:55 with the assistant and a birthing stool. My water had still not broken so she went ahead and broke them at 10:25.

It helped, and at 10:44 Cyril arrived weighing 8 lbs 4oz, Superman style with his arm and fist leading the way. The midwife said had it not been for the arm, he probably would have arrived before she did. Which would have been fine with me. Shane  did the catching and the midwife just watched and stepped in to assess the baby and then do all post birth duties. I showered, got dressed, and back in bed with some snacks. Grandma and Grandpa had come to see the baby and get the laundry washed and I am sure some other things I was not aware of because I didn't leave the bedroom. But once everyone had left, a little after midnight, we all four got in bed and went to sleep.

The next morning Shane went and got bagels and cream cheese and all kinds of fruit and tasty things and sparkling wine and we had a breakfast party to welcome Cyril, who had been very intent, and successful,  on arriving on the 6th.

I was going to include pictures, but as I am having trouble locating them have decided to wait. And then maybe we can do a fun matching game instead.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Reminiscing, or why we had the rest at home

As I prepare for a new arrival, it is fun to talk to the kids about their own birth stories and reminisce a bit. And wonder which, if any, will the new one be similar to. Each time I approach it looking for ways to make it better, add new things to my 'just had a baby' list etc., and realize there will be some surprises completely out of my control. Not just like broken appliances. Things have naturally progressed in a helpful way. Audrey's birth was not complicated, but definitely had room for improvement.

She was born the middle of October. We didn't know she was a she. Shane and I had discussed our options, but it being our first we both felt more comfortable planning for a hospital birth. I went to a regular OB at the nearby hospital and got a run-of-the-mill rather impersonal treatment plan. She weighed me, poked me, told me not to eat too much of the summer fruit, scoffed when I told her I did not want her birth control. I just smiled and ate all the peaches I wanted. But it does not matter who you see for you maternity care, you get whomever is on call when the baby finally arrives.

I had no prior signs it was going to be that night. At least not that day. She was born on a Sunday and for the two previous Sundays I as having contractions and feeling like this is it. So my mom came and stayed the night with us each time. At least we got to  have coffee in the mornings each time.

Finally the third Sunday, I awoke at 3:30 to the feeling of having wet the bed. I reached over to Shane to wake him up.

"Sweetie, my water just broke".  He was up in an instant. The contractions started right away and I knew this was not another test run. We grabbed the diaper bag and ran out into the very fall night, cold, dark, and misty I encouraged Shane to run the red lights and not to worry about the speed limit. But neither of those could lessen the intensity of what my body was doing on its own. We got checked in, I got dressed in the lovely gown they offered and hooked up to every monitor they had.

The nurses were all  very nice and I wish we could have just kept the staff to them. The OB on call was Dr. LePonto. Or something like that. I just remember when I heard her name the refrain from Chesterton's poem came into my head "Don Juan of Austria is riding to the war." Followed quickly by the thought that this lady didn't like babies, women, or birth. A thought that was confirmed over and over as the time wore on.

My mom showed up shortly after we arrived and I was so thankful to have her calm, supportive, experienced, presence. The Dr looked over my chart and saw I didn't want an epidural, and would rather  tear a little than have an episiotomy, and would like to have Shane participate. And she pretty much took a stand contrary to all that. I don't think she liked fathers either.

 I don't recall the following hours being too traumatic. The beeping machine was annoying. And poor Shane thought it would be helpful to let me know what he was seeing on the monitor, "Ok, here comes another contractions".  If it weren't for that monitor I don't know how I would have known. Did David Banner have to be told he was turning into The Hulk? Shortly, I let him know, in some not uncertain terms, that he didn't need to keep me apprised of the situation, I could pretty much tell.

At some point the "Dr" came in to check progress. She recommended an episiotomy. I said no.

"It is going to take another hour if we don't and your going to tear anyway".

My mom stepped in,

"She is doing just fine. Tears heal better than slices. Leave her alone."

The Dr left, but unfortunately came back for the delivery.

I could not see, but Shane reported that she all 10 fingers between Audrey's head and me. I have never heard of that technique, unless it is to cause more discomfort and increase the chances of tearing if things are going smoothly. Despite her best efforts, things went smoothly and at 9:04. weighing 7lbs 7oz, Audrey made her entrance. 

She did 'allow' Shane to cut the cord. Then asked in a very condescending voice as she readied the sewing kit,

"Do you want me to numb you or would you like to feel the needle?"

"Actually, I'd prefer to stab the needle in your stupid face, if you don't mind" I felt like saying. But I refrained and just said,

"Oh, you can numb me first. That would be fine."

She finished and left and we got on to enjoying Audrey as grandparents and aunts and uncles showed up with flowers, coffee, and scones. Which we really appreciated. In the entire hospital stay we were not given anything to eat or drink. Maybe they were trying to get rid of us, not that I needed encouragement, but looking back I do think it odd that in our 12 hr stay not one bit of nourishment was offered. We were packed up and ready to go as soon as we could. But the hospital wanted us to stay until Audrey peed. Her pediatrician had already come by and checked her out and given the all clear so we felt fine leaving. Then they threatened to call CPS if we insisted  on our departure plan. Apparently they were not finished starving us yet.

Shane ran out to get some lunch for us. By the time we finished Audrey had obliged us with a wet diaper, and Shane and I were committed to never darken the doors of the maternity ward. Which led to the search for and discovery of the amazing Puget Sound Midwives and Birth Center. Which is full of lovely women who respect women, the birth process, babies, and don't treat father's like guilty criminals.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I was planning on using up the last of the nesting energies over the weekend  to get the kitchen, pantry, and fridge organized. To go shopping for some tasty quick snacks, maybe do some freezer cooking, and make plans for what the kids are going to need to do on their own when I am AWOL with a fussy or tired baby. Or so tired I cannot even make a cup of coffee. Fortunately, they can all make coffee, and at least feed themselves so we are not totally unprepared. I was however unprepared on Friday when I opened the freezer to find everything melted and dripping and the fridge full of almost room temperature food. (It was not due to a lack of cleaning, FYI). The repair guy came out the next day and diagnosed an issue with the communication between the mother board and the compressor. He rush ordered a part, which would arrive today, and said it could be repaired tomorrow. ('Could' being the operative word here.)

Well the part came a day early, so I called to see if they wanted to come out a day early to fix it as well. We do have a couple ice chests we keep filled so we can at least keep the milk and eggs cold. But I am getting tired of going out in the mornings to get milk for breakfast and having to refill the ice blocks, and it is starting to get cold out now and I have not gotten slippers yet so the whole thing is just kind of a nuisance. And of coursed that meant the big shopping stocking-up-trip was going to have to wait. Instead I thoroughly scrubbed out both the fridge and freezer and will now have to load up on some basic essentials that did not survive as well. So I was eager to get things settled and back to normal.

Side note: Pippin just came in and started reading over my shoulder. He read out loud "tasty quick snacks!' We are going to get some?"  He asked, his eyes wide with excitement.
 When I informed him that had been the plan, but now the fridge not working it would have to wait. He was very bummed. Then he asked if I'd ever been AWOL. He could not think of a time. Now he is stuck on going to get tasty quick snacks.

I however am stuck on the fact I called to let them know the part was here and was informed the repair was scheduled for the 18th!!! I informed the lady the repair man had told me tomorrow and my fridge was broken and I am expecting any day and cannot live out of an ice chest for another 8 days.

She said she'd let them know the part arrived. And I was scheduled for the 18th. So now I am wondering how difficult it is to replace a mother board. Any tips?

I did use the time to get the kids' beds ready for fall. Monday was beautiful and warm. Yesterday was cold and I turned the heat on. I figured it would be good to get it done now, so we washed all the bedding, got out flannel sheets and down blankets and I am making plans to go and get everyone slippers. Which do not require refrigeration so should be fine.

I will also be able to make my 40week midwife appt tomorrow, since the fridge guy isn't coming.  No signs of much activity there, but with things as they are I suppose it is OK. Colds are cleared up now. But I do hope the baby and the fridge do not have to wait until the 18th. I am ready to stop running into things with my belly and eating Tums like the most important  food group. And strangely enough I am looking forward to a new labor experience. Not that it is all new, but trying a water birth, if it feels good to me, and having it just be Shane and I for most of it. The midwife said she wants to observe me and the baby every 30 min or so, but will leave us alone for the rest. If that is what I want. It sounds cozy to me right now.

So now we are just waiting.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Familiar Territory

And not in a good familiar. The colds have been getting a bit more intense. The kids seem to be weathering it pretty well, and other than being a little whiny and needing extra sleep and then getting whinier when they don't get needed extra sleep, they are doing ok. Shane actually worked from home one day, which is unusual for him, but this morning he said he might be starting to feel better. I guess I got the end of the train cold and feel like I am trying to play catch up to everyone else. I think last night was the worst so far. I am sure the sleeping arrangements didn't help.

We had settled down into our respective sleeping places. Kateri's sleeping place being our bedroom floor. For some reason she just 'felt like she needed to sleep with someone'.
Shane had taken a thera-flu and was quickly off to dream land. I remembered I could take Benadryl and had taken one, but was not feeling any extra sleepiness  because of it. Unfortunately, when he has a stuffy nose Shane tends to snore. And as I was still awake it was keeping me from getting to sleep. So I got up and found Kateri coming back from blowing her nose. I suggested she come sleep with me in her bed. We grabbed out blankets and pillows and settled in. A few minutes later I heard a knocking on the bedroom door. I looked out and saw Pippin waiting to get entrance to our bedroom door. I had to call out loudly for him to hear me over the fan that I was in Kateri's room.

He came in and said he wanted someone to sleep with. I reminded him Cyril was in the  top bunk. He said that was not close enough. I told him the little bed was too full, but he could sleep on the floor. Or if he didn't mind snoring he could sleep in my bed. He went into my room and came out a minute later saying there was no snoring then went back in. I cozied in again looking forward to sleep, eventually.  Less than a minute later he pops out again and says 'it sounds scary in there.'

So I tell him to go sleep with Audrey,  hoping she is already asleep and won't be disturbed by it. he ends up getting in his own bed instead and I am thinking it is all done. Then I get the feeling of someone standing in the doorway. I roll over and see Audrey's silhouette there. I ask her what's up, and of course she can't hear over the fan so we volley back and forth with "What?" "I said what it is up?" "Huh?"

Finally she comes close enough to hear and I explain any noise she heard was Pippin going back and forth. She says she had something to tell me. I ask what. She says she can't remember now. So we say our good nights and I roll over to find a comfortable position, of which there are getting fewer and fewer. And then one of the boys gets up to go pee, banging the toilet seat hard on the way up and down. I am thinking we will practice 'how to go pee at night and not wake up the entire house' today.

As I finally got comfortable flashbacks of these days came into my head. Horrible, nasty days. But they made me appreciate so much where I/we are  now. Plus my father-in-law pointed out a new, to us, show 'Foyle's War' which has helped pass some time when the evenings start to get congested and unpleasant. And being a British production, goes very well with tea.

I think the kids are waking up now. I am glad they have all been able to sleep in  at least. At my midwife apt yesterday I was lamenting the timing of the cold- being due in one week. She said sometimes the body just waits until things are right to go into labor. Then she went on to say the cold (which is popping up all over)is not too bad, just really, really, long.  So maybe we'll have a Thanksgiving baby? I am glad Malachi is tucked away safe in all this. I did go get diapers yesterday and washed the last of his new outfits. I think today I will get the bed set up and clean the bathtub and shower.

And the fridge. Which I was planning on cleaning, and now that it seems to be broken and everything in it is warm and melted, will not wait until the weekend, as I had planned. I will be calling the repair guy at 10:00, when they open, though I am sure they probably can't come until next week so I had better get more ice for the cooler too. Good times. Glad I had not stocked up on lots of snacks to get spoiled yet.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

No baby yet

Which is not surprising. None of mine were early, and half were almost a week late. Plus some of us have  colds, so I am hoping we can get over them quickly and then move on to baby. My cold just started last night, at precisely 5am, so another week, which would put me at my due date, could be very useful. But so far it  all is quiet on the western front and I am enjoying slowly, and thoughtfully, preparing. I am so excited to get all my cozy stretchy pants washed and ready and my non-maternity stretchy shirts. And get the fridge cleaned out and stocked with good, quick snacks. Actually, I am not excited to clean the fridge at all. But it needs it and I know I won't want to later. And there is not room for tasty snacks in it as is, so maybe this week-end. If the baby came next Friday, that would be great. Then I'd have Shane for the week-end, and I could watch the vice-presidential debate without the newborn haze, which I am expecting to be very entertaining. The debate. Not the newborn haze. Oh, and I need new socks and  slippers. And speaking of clothes I was laughing at the lovely undergarment sent in my birth kit. Large netted, what look like boxer briefs. And they only come in two  sizes. Large and Extra Large. My midwife calls them the Victoria's Secret Special. Then she told me to forget them and just get some depends for the first few days. Hadn't thought of that before but I'd like to limit laundry/sheet washing, so I picked some up. I didn't tell Shane. But they are pink, or maybe peach, and don't look too industrial. And  hopefully they will be useful. I'll let you know.

My sister and mother-in-law both offered to throw me a shower. I have not had one since Audrey and had given away all my little  baby things. Plus I like cake, Kateri loves a party, so they planned one. It was lovely, the weather was wonderful and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. There are pictures, but I have not downloaded them and I only took two, so I will have to steal some from other people.

This week I went and picked out a car seat, finally, and now I think we are totally ready. Well maybe some more diapers. I debated on doing cloth again or not.  I do like the softness of cotton and there are so many new options out there. We had just used the Baby diaper service, which was great, but when my hands started having problems fastening the pins I switched. Now they have  diaper covers that don't require pins. But in the end, convenience won and I decided to just start with disposable and see where we go from there. Actually, I had bought Kateri a pack of newborn diapers for her baby doll a while back.  I just scrounged up some of those for now, I think just a handful, so I do need to get more.