Wednesday, September 21, 2005

OK Dar, you asked for it...

Dar Kaso from 2Peas wanted to hear labor stories, and I've got a doozie!

I woke up the morning of Feb. 2 having strong contractions every 15 minutes or so. Today's the day!, thought I, and called my wonderful friend Jana who would be babysitting to warn her. Contractions never got very close together, 8 minutes at the most, but they were good and strong. Dan came home at 3 to get us ready, but we kept putting off going to the hospital. Things just weren't picking up. What should I do? I knew they were labor contractions, we lived half an hour from the hospital, and I was at 4 cm. at my last appt. We went in after dinner. We were there for about 3 hours, and they sent me home!! I wasn't progressing quickly enough, apparently.

Here's where it starts to get weird though (well, besides the fact that they wouldn't induce or break my water and I was a week overdue): they prescribed a sleeping pill. They even offered morphine! Apparently when you're having false labor a good night's sleep will make it stop. However, since I wasn't having false labor, I woke up every 15 min. with a minute-long contraction, all night long.

More of the same when the morning started (I can't say "when I woke up" because I hadn't been asleep for more than 20 min. all night). Dan stayed home from work to take care of us. By 3pm I was desperate. I called my dr's office and told them I couldn't keep going like this. They prescribed more Ambien. Keep in mind that I'm a week overdue at this point. I had my weekly check-up the next morning, though, so I figured at that point I'd stage a sit-in in the examining room until they were willing to admit me.

I didn't have to wait that long.

That night, in my Ambien-induced fog, I still was waking up having contractions every 15 min. Then I decided around midnight I wanted a bath. Got in the tub, things started to speed up some. Dan and I still can't figure out who decided we needed to go to the hospital, but by the time I was out of the bath and dressed, Dan had called Jana, gotten the kids in the car and had all our stuff ready to go. Remember we live half an hour from the hospital where I'm supposed to deliver....

Contractions are definitely coming faster. We get to the highway, and my water breaks. I start feeling the urge to push. I'm doing everything to keep from pushing, but at this point I can't stop myself. The Ambien-induced fog is nowhere to be found now. Just before the turn-off to go to Tacoma, I tell Dan we're not going to make it to Tacoma, we'll need to go to the closer hospital in Puyallup (pronounced "pyoo-al-up", for you non-Washingtonians). He was already pretty freaked out, and now is even more so, yet somehow every bit of energy is going to getting us to the hospital as quickly as possible. I'm giving him directions. Very much feeling her head coming down. As we pull into the circle drive I can feel her crowning (remember them talking about the "ring of fire" in childbirth class?). I tell Dan she's coming out, he reaches over and can feel her head through my stretch pants.

He jumps out of the car, runs to the ER and tells the staff, "My wife's having a baby."
They reply, "Ok, just take her up to L & D."
"No," he says, "I mean the head is coming out now!"

15 doctors and nurses run to our van and deliver her the rest of the way (by the time they got there, her head was out.) They delivered her the rest of the way, cut the cord, held her up so I could see her, and then whisked her off to L & D, while they got me cleaned up and put back together. The kids saw pretty much the whole thing from the back of the van and then came in to the hospital and got taken care of by the ER nurses until Dan could get Jana' s phone # from me.

So all's well that ends well. We were somewhat of a legend at the hospital. I thank God that the uterine rupture they're so freaky about with VBAC patients didn't happen in the car, that Esther didn't have low blood sugar when she was born from my gestational diabetes, that we did make it to the hospital, that everything else that could've gone wrong didn't, that we're not having more kids, and that (thanks to Dan's prodding) we called our insurance and got it covered as an emergency delivery, even though we'd delivered outside of their network. And that I had a beautiful, healthy baby girl who brings me joy every day!

Oh, and Summer, I hope you're having an easier time of it than I did!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Imposing structure

Wow. I haven't updated in a while. I think I've had enough going on mentally and emotionally that I didn't quite have a handle on that I wasn't ready to reflect. I was still stewing, I guess.

So here's something meaningful. I spent the weekend with some old roommates. One has 5 kids, all 5 and under. 2 are foster, and they are in the process of adopting. She runs a tight ship! They eat at the same time every day, and get plugged into different activities as soon as they're done eating. They don't get to just run around and cause trouble. They're happy and well-adjusted and love their parents and each other. I've always been kind of in the middle when it comes to structure, I think. We're on a very flexible schedule. I like it that way. But lately the kids are crazy. Elijah knows when I'm not giving him my full attention, and takes advantage of those times. Anyway, talking to my friend made me think that I need to be more proactive about keeping them out of trouble. Paying closer attention, making sure they're doing something productive and not just causing trouble. Having a set time each day where they're playing alone.

We made a list of all of Shiloh's responsibilities and turned it into a star chart. The goal is that she'll be able to do everything on the list without being told. Getting dressed, brushing her hair, making her bed, putting her breakfast dishes away, picking up her room, stuff like that. She loves it.

Speaking of structure, I don't get everything done I need to do in the morning unless I get a good night's sleep, which means going to bed at a decent time. So, of to bed I go....

Friday, September 09, 2005

Random thoughts about the first week of school

  1. We finished our first week, and I think we've accomplished a lot. Homeschooling will be a lot of work, but I know it's what God wants for us, so I'm positive He will bless our efforts. There's more to teaching than I initially realized, and I say this as a former preschool teacher and as one who has done a ton of reading on education. I'm positive we'll do our share of stumbling our way through it, but isn't that how life goes?
  2. We went to a park day with our homeschool fellowship today. My friend Becky did a great job of putting it together and planning a fun activity for the kids. They built boats out of milk jugs--the younger kids made them from single serving pop bottles, and the older kids took about 30-40 milk jugs, duct taped them together and made a 4' x 6' raft. A couple of the kids even rode it! I'm hosting the park day in March, and will definitely have to do some thinking to figure out a fun project--kites, maybe?
  3. We had a Mariah scare. Our 2-year-old is quiet and loves to wander, not a good combination. I had realized that I hadn't seen her for a while and went to look for her when one of the girls informed me that Elijah had gone out on the dock. So we had to call him back in, and by the time he came back I was convinced that Mariah was not nearby. I let the moms know and we all looked for her, even some of the older kids helped. She was in the bathroom. I am so glad the Lord has our days numbered. Even knowing that it is still terrifying to lose your child, even for 2 minutes.
  4. I'm not going to be able to get much done during school time. Last year we worked out of a workbook a couple days a week, and I could sweep the floor, get the mail, pay bills, etc. With our curriculum I'm much more needed. At least for now.
  5. Dan's birthday party is tomorrow. There's still a lot to do to get ready. If the weather holds out, we're having a Star Wars party, with costumes, and watching the original Star Wars movie on the side of our house! Should be fun.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

First day of school

I get it now. How homeschooling is going to be. There are times with Shiloh when I'm explaining something to her or trying to do something with her and it's just not clicking. Like learning to ride a bike for her. I'd explain what she needed to do, I knew she understood my words but for some reason it just wasn't connecting. It's like when you keep clicking on a program you want to start on the computer and it won't open. On the other hand, there are times when it connects and there's this sense that a whole new world has been opened to her. We had both of those today, and I think we probably always will.

We talked a bit about fathers today, how God is our Father and He made the world for us, and things about Shiloh's daddy. She made him a card of all the things she loves about him that is priceless.

I love you Daddy because...
  • I sit on the couch with you, on your lap.
  • he will never, ever go in jail.
  • he's handsome, and because he has gel.
  • he does art.
  • he's careful with matches.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Doing nothing

Dan and I watched Hotel Rwanda last night. I don't really know what to say about it except that it was so disturbing to see how so many people knew what was happening and did nothing. How I did nothing. How I live most of my life unaware of the horrible realities the rest of the world lives with every day. Very few people live as comfortably as I do, and I'm not rich by American standards. And it's not even about money, not entirely anyway. It's about paying attention, and refusing to tolerate the kind of human rights abuses that happened in the Sudan 10 years ago, or our fellow Americans literally dying in the streets because of someone's poor planning. And most important, it's about sharing the love of Christ, giving hope to those who have none and the opportunity to spend eternity in a place without the suffering that is inevitable in this world.

Gospel for Asia is one group that is doing something. Their Bridge of Hope program sponsors children who are victims of India's caste system and pays for their education and a meal a day, and in some cases buys them out of slavery (for $14!). These kids learn that they aren't "untouchable", that they're made in the image of God and beloved by Him. Dan and I have come to the conclusion that this is worth far more than $30/mo. could buy our family, and our kids get to grow up praying for a child (and a native missionary) they don't know in another part of the world, knowing that not everyone lives like we do and that we can do something to help.

Another thing, maybe even more important, that I can do is live a life of gratitude. Giving is important, but so is acting in a way that shows that I am grateful for God's blessing in my life. His salvation most of all, His gift of my family, and yes, his provision of material comfort.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I'm having a hard time getting anything done today.

The more I hear about the situation in New Orleans, the harder it is to do anything. I've been sitting in front of the computer (no TV), waiting for better news. It's scary and sad to think about the chaos, the suffering, the loss of life. The only comfort for me is that after great loss there is great openness to the gospel, and many opportunities to do good. I don't know what else to say so I think I'll leave it at that.