Thursday, May 27, 2010

Number Four is Here!

And while I am tempted to call her "pooper" for her blog name, I will wait until she gives me a better idea of her personality because that name wouldn't be fitting least I hope not.

I'll give you our birth story, though there isn't much of one to tell. I have to say, God was at work for me in this one, just like I knew He would be.

A little less than a month from her due date, I started to feel very apprehensive about her arrival. I was not into it. Didn't want to do it. I was aware that this was a matter of the heart that I needed to go to the Lord about, and so I did. He began working in my heart and things began to change in my thoughts. At first it became just a little less apprehension and nerves, then it faded more and more. The first thing He did was to bring my mind to the words of a verse I knew I had read before in Psalms. Over and over the verse popped in my head, it was God telling me I didn't need to fear. I was SO feeling the possibility of pain meds at that point and was not at all thinking that I would worry about going natural again. God started to change my heart on that front as well. I stumbled across a few doula and midwife blogs and that sure did help in a lot of ways.

Slowly things changed in my heart and mind as I spent my daily time with the Lord. It became something that wasn't a big deal...I was just going to have a baby and it didn't need to be a huge thing. I didn't need to dread it. I looked for my verse in Psalms, knowing it was highlighted, but couldn't find it. I ran across a verse that sounded quite similar and thought that I must have remembered it incorrectly and wasn't all that worried about it.

Many of you don't know my birth history...I'll fill you in a tiny bit. I don't feel contractions much. Curly- well, I didn't feel them and thought it was just time to go to the hospital. Started to feel a bit of discomfort on the way and when we got there my last contraction in the hall on the way to the room was enough to make me stop walking, but it wasn't all that terrible.  They checked me pretty quickly, and there we were- complete.  I was already at 10 cm...with my first baby...and they wanted me to get ready to push.  UH, WHAT?!?  I had been prepared to feel some good pain that would make me WANT to push that girl out.  So, I fought the push for awhile.  Two hours after we arrived, our little girl was here.  Yes.  I am a stubborn girl.  I've heard so many people say that you just CAN'T fight the urge to push when it's there...well, if you are me, and you REALLY don't want to push yet, let me tell you- it's possible.  The nurses and Handsome had to pry my legs open after her head was through so that I wouldn't crush her.  I know...sorry for sharing all that there.

Smiles was a bit different.  My water broke while I was getting ready to go into the mall.  Shortly after our arrival at the hospital I was feeling the pain.  In my first hour after arrival I reached a 7.  He got stuck there.  My biggest mistake was allowing myself to lay on that darn bed, but I didn't know any better, so I laid on the bed unable to move.  After two hours or so of this laying through quick coming contractions, I wanted some drugs.  The nurse kept trying to get me to roll to one side and I was NOT going to be moving.  After she shot me a quick dose of something in my IV it took the edge off enough to roll over (and that's all).  A contraction or so later we were pushing and he was out.  I can't remember for sure if he was three hours or closer to four, but it was a short process either way.

Now to Miss 4.  I had been watching my pressure with her because I have to be more aware of that than most.  Not feeling labor is nothing to complain about, but I tell you what- there are down sides.  I'll take them any day, but I am aware that a baby birthed away from a hospital is a possibility.  Sunday night I was having some decent feeling pressure, just where things felt like they were tightening up.  It sort of felt like if I chose to tighten my stomach muscles, that's it.  I thought to myself that it seemed kind of close though, and so I had better time a few.  Umm...they were two minutes apart.  That was for about fifteen minutes.  They like you to have an hour of record when you call our hospital, but I supposed this might be different.  I was talking to Handsome who had just got in bed.  He wasn't very sympathetic and said something like "Are you sure?" and then "Are you kidding me?" in an I'm tired tone.  And don't get too mad at him because we'd been doing the false labor thing for awhile and I had thought we would have a baby already a couple times.

I didn't want to call the neighbor and friend to come over and be with the kids for false labor and my husband's lack of concern was enough to make me question myself even more.  I got in the shower to see if it would slow things down.  It did.  They went to four minutes and three minutes apart.  So, I sat for a few minutes and started reading my Bible.  They kept coming, but when I fell upon one of the Psalms of the day I was determined to finish it.  It was the one with the words that had been coming into my head at the start of the month!  "There they were, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to dread." (Psalm 53)

At that point, I was pretty confident that we were going to have a baby soon because that's just the way God works.  He saves something special like that for just when you need it...and it was like a little way of telling me that I wasn't out of my mind.  I think somewhere right around there I told Handsome that we either needed to leave for the hospital or we were going to have a baby at home.  He unexcitedly got himself out of bed while I called the hospital, telling them that I was debating on going in or not.  (I knew that I was going to go in, but these ladies have been known to be better if THEY make the decision, so I placed that ball in their court first.)  "Given your history, I would rather you come in and we send you home in an hour."  Okay, off we were.

Neighbor of wonderfulness that came into our lives last summer headed straight over while Vicky trucked across town to stay with the kids.  This was our night plan so that we wouldn't have to move kids or wait for Vicky to get there.  We knew the possibility of emergency, so we were prepared.  On the way to the hospital I was feeling some stronger pressure, but still no pain.  My verse running through my head because of the way hospitals make me feel the instant I walk through the doors.  That had been also addressed in prayer during the week.

We got to the construction zone of a hospital (for real) and had to walk down a LONG walkway to the birth center.  Handsome was behind me getting things out of the car and I was fearful of a baby arriving during this walk because she was so LOW and I was feeling pressure in areas that didn't mix well with walking.  Got in and said- I need to SIT NOW or this baby is going to come out too soon.  Got checked, was at 4cm (very quickly after arrival).  Started checking in and sat on the bed through contractions and monitoring, refusing to lay down because I KNEW that if I laid down things could get pain might want to arrive.  They were nice about it and so was I.  I was apparently in a pretty goofy mood the whole time if you ask Handsome.  Excepting the few minutes which brought on the oxygen mask...then I perked right up =).

Checked shortly after starting monitors, 7cm.  Okay, I guess we aren't going home.  Nurse said, "No.  You are not going home.  Pretty sure you are staying here." with a smile.  Called a couple people, but not many just to say we were staying and having baby.  Things progressed quickly and within an hour of getting there I was "complete".  Time to push.  OKAY, here we go!  No pain , or what I would call pain anyway, during contractions at all.  Pushing...well, I have to tell you that even us blessed girls feel pain when pushing a head through such a place as that.  Not my favorite part of the process to say the least.  Anyway, two "pushes" (meaning their version of pushing where they tell you PUSH, PUSH, PUSH forever and a day and then let you breathe for two seconds...then comes the second push...yeah...that kind of pushing) and little Miss 4 was out.  Unfortunately, being the little pooper that she is, she had let some go in her bag of waters and they had to work on getting all the gunk out for quite some time before I could hold her.  This made the lovely process of getting put back together a little less comfortable for me because there was no sweet smelling babe in my arms to distract me, but what's to be done =)?  There wasn't much putting back together to be done anyway.

There was some Motrin involved in my recovery, but nothing more than that.  Awesome!  I don't like to take medication at all, so I wasn't too upset with something that you can get over the counter.  (Apparently with birth #3 things "shrink" back up more quickly, which results in more afterbirth pain.  But, because she was a smooth delivery, I didn't have much other pain to recover it was all good.)

And- that my friends is the birth story of Miss 4.  So far, she is easy going as pie and is adored by all of her siblings.  Smiles has a new favorite phrase.  "Hodit!"  Which means, hold it.  Yes, it is quite funny that he calls his little sister an "it", but I assure you, he is very aware of her personhood.  Curly won't stop following me around like a shadow, constantly asking if she can hold her.  Gumby is interested as well, but surprisingly less than the other two.  She is content to have viewing when she is invited to and doesn't pester Mommy much more than that.  From my baby doll obsessed girl, I have to say that's a little different than my expectation.  BUT, since Gumby's ability to be gentle is far less advanced than the other two (yes, Smiles is EXTREMELY gentle with the baby), it will be okay that she is the least interested.

Hopefully I will find time to take some more pictures to share with you soon.  For now, I am going to go and feed my little pooper.  (Who, if you wanted to know, did poop while on my lap during part of the writing of this post.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Look Who's Here!

Born 5/24 at 1:54AM; 7lbs 2oz.  Birth story to come.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

No News...Actually Lots of News

There is a lot going on around our house even though I haven't posted often.  It's partly because I don't have a lot of time (not because I'm not home, but because when my kids don't need me I am usually sleeping or want to be), and partly because I turn into a hermit at the end of pregnancy.  It's the territory when you are an introvert.  While I am a social person, the time by myself is what gives me energy.  I never defined my self as an introvert until my good friend informed me that it's not exactly about how social you are, but where you get your energy.  Introverts gain energy from being alone, extroverts gain energy from being in groups and around other people.  Once I heard that, I knew for certain that I was, in fact, and introvert...even if I don't get awkward around groups of new people and all that jazz I thought belonged to the introvert.

Anyway, end of pregnancy = less energy.  Especially when I have three little ones that don't understand if Mom is tired.  They get the closest thing to the normal Mom as they can, and then it's done.  At the end of the day, I'm ready to have time by myself and relax...if that were possible.  So, it's not that I'm antisocial, it's just that my kids are the ones that are going to get my energy.  I figure that everyone else can be understanding about that.

That all said for you, I'll share some of what's new.

I missed telling you about Gumby's birthday!  Her birthday is 6 days after Curly's, and after their joint party I lost a lot of motivation, along with getting pretty tired.  So...they had a joint party that was a dress up theme.  They both wore princess dresses and Gumby had a wonderful time (as did Curly).  She didn't know what all this party stuff was about, but she very much enjoyed all the people that came around, and all the extra food!  That girl is an eater for sure.  She followed people around and got tons of love out of them, especially the men-folk (they are her favorite).  She was quick to learn the art of gift unwrapping and loved being the center of attention...even if shared with her sister.

A few days later, she did have some emotional stuff going on and her OT thinks that it was related to the party...that it took that long for her to really register her overload.  I think that she was right after this week.  Why?

THIS WEEK...Gumby started school.  We've been going through the process of getting her IEP (individual education plan) and all the wonderful stuff with the school started so that she could start preschool.  In the fall she will start Kindergarten, as for right now, she is going to developmental preschool.  She LOVES school.  She really does.  She has asked me multiple times if she could go when it isn't time to go, the first time being a shoe grab followed by the sign and word "help" and then the sign and word "school".  BUT.  But she is also having a LOT of emotional signs that tell me it really is a big adjustment for her as well.  It has messed with her routine and that is somewhat difficult for her...even if it's something she really enjoys.

Instead of the wonderful initiating she was doing, asking me for a drink if she needed one, or telling me she needs help- currently she will just whine or cry at me.  I know it's temporary, but it's still frustrating because it WAS something that I put a lot of effort and time into working on with her.  It's also frustrating because nobody enjoys a whiny kid.  I've been attempting to direct her in using her words/signs instead of crying, and I've been a lot more flexible with her than I was before she started school.  It's been a bit hard for her.

The school transition, as well as the huge leaps that Gumby has been making, have also been hard on Curly.  She is a little jealous of sister's school going, and is (I think) a bit concerned about Gumby "catching up" to her.  She has a need to feel confident about her role as first-born and Gumby is closer to challenging that than Smiles ever could be.  It seems that is a bit threatening to her.  It's nothing we can't work through, but she's definitely shown signs of some emotional adjustment as well.

School has come also with some...interesting behavior changes.  It gives her a confidence in herself and makes her feel like a big girl.  With that has come a lot of attitude a bossy talk, including some toward Mom and Dad.  This is of course- not okay, and it has to be parented.  The hard part is doing that, while still being sensitive to the emotional side of things and being understanding about how huge this really is for Gumby to take in all at once.  I'd say it's a very narrow line I feel like I am walking there.  I also feel like I teeter over each side all the time right now.  It's the first week.  It will get better.

School itself, it's good.  I like the teacher.  I like the para (who has a twenty something son with DS and was SO excited to have Ana join their class).  The bus driver is...very nice.  No further comments about that.  The para wanted to try potty time with her and I said that was just fine and dandy with me!  If they want to start the frame work of potty training at school, I am NOT going to stop them.  I just don't have the energy or time to put into that currently.  Apparently she did go potty on Thursday and she loves sitting on the toilet.  (I knew that she enjoyed it, since we have let her do that at home.  She laughs and laughs the whole time she is sitting there.  It's the funniest thing!)

Baby #4 is getting ready to make her appearance as well.  This is going to be a large adjustment for the whole family of course, and I do wonder how Gumby and Smiles are going to do with this change.  Both for different reasons.  The process of things working toward her arrival is going, per my doctor's observation, and she will be here any time in the next three weeks (or so).  I think we are pretty ready, at least, as ready as one can be.

Smiles is officially a full time boy of the cloth (cloth diapered child).  He loves his cloth diapers and hopefully his baby sister will get along with cloth well too.  I'm sure they will both do just fine.  Handsome is pretty well on his way to figuring them out (with a backwards one here and there, but who can blame a guy when they put the tags on the OUTside).  I am proud of him and so blessed to have a husband that hasn't complained at all about this switch.

Curly is so stinking smart.  Okay.  I am her mother and of course I would think that.  I just love how she thinks and the amount that she retains.  She is writing pretty well now (not spelling, just writing...I have to tell her the letters), and she is learning to read.  We have been doing her school work in the mornings when Gumby is at school and I think we might start some Kindergarten work for her in the fall too.  We plan on homeschooling her, so while I don't think it's great for kids to start Kindergarten early through the school system because there is much more than academics going on (like social development...which grows a lot in a year with kids), I think that when it's at home there aren't the same issues.  We'll see how it goes.  And yes, someday we would like to homeschool Gumby as well, but for the time being I don't feel like I am able to catch her up to her full potential for quite a few reasons.  One big on being the baby that will be here soon.

There are some other changes possibly in the works for this here little family, but for now this is all that is going on.  I hope that I can get you some photos soon and that it will be sooner rather than later when I update you again or share a post.  If not, don't be too surprised on that.

...I'll also have to share the fruits of the lovely Mother's Day gift I got with all of you.  It can produce something fun for you as well ;-).