Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not today

Yesterday I was fast enough to get the is always a race in our household and John usually wins...I let him because he cries about it if I get it. He says it's his job. Anyways. came and I adore this magazine, have been reading it for years. I can sit down no matter what is going on and read it all from cover to cover and absorb everything in it.

BUT yesterday the cover brought tears to me eyes, not in a happy-can't-wait-to-read-it kinda way, but oh my, do I read it or throw it right into my recycling bin (which you should never throw away this mag, it is just too good). I even said to John that I should just throw it away right now before I am tempted to read it.

Instead, it sat on my kitchen counter for about an hour just staring at me, taunting me to read it. And I kid you not, every time I looked at it, I cried. It was just bad timing. And I did read it, through tears.

"Homebirth: Ways to make sure your stays at home"

Really, how much of a worse time could it have come. Yeah, I know, get over it already, the kid is 5 1/2 months old, he's healthy and he could give two shakes of a rat's ass where he was born. I swear, every time I come to the computer to write down his birth story and I start to prepare it in my head, it sends me into this dark place and honestly, I am just not comfortable being there. I don't like the feelings I get when I think about his birth. How do I work through these?!!

Thank God I am not having any more babies because this is just way too much baggage to sift through to come to terms with having a subsequent birth, a homebirth. Tried hypnotherapy after the traumatic hospital birth of my first child and that did work and led me to very positive, peaceful, natural births of my daughters. Maybe I need that again to just get over it. Does it really matter anymore? I don't have to conquer childbirth again so what does it matter.

It does matter. I am grieving. I lost the dream of my homebirth for my baby. That dream died and all the scenarios and ideals that I held in my head for so long about his birth are gone, never to be lived out. And that my friend, hurts. It hurts my heart. It hurts that I did do everything that this article says you should

1. Hire the right midwife....check
2.Hire a doula or support person (had John, the best support I would ever need)...check
3.Exorcise emotional ghost (did that, see above)...check
4.Create a supportive community...check
5. Prepare emotionally and physically...check
6.Create your birthing space...check
7.Optimally position the fetus....check (LIVED at my chiro's office)
8.Plan for the long haul...check (did 14, 7, and 16 hours of labor, was ready for the same)
9.Develop strategies for dealing with stress and pain...check
10.Surrender to birth...check (I not only surrendered, I welcomed and embraced and enjoyed it)

okay, see, I did it all....where's my money back guarantee? I followed the owner's manual for upkeep and preparedness but didn't get what I was promised.

I remember a few years back I was told by a fellow natural birther to want the baby, not the birth....don't have another baby just so you can have that long desired ideal perfect birth because you won't get it. No, I didn't get pregnant just so I could go for another birth, homebirth, but it was part of my excitement in weighing the pros and cons of another baby. I will admit, it did push me in that direction a little. I was excited to do it ALL again, pregnancy, birth, and baby. I wanted that power of a pregnant woman, that connection to the earth and God and miracles to happen to me one more time. I can't say that I walked away from it feeling powerful. I didn't do it and I am disappointed and sad.

The last paragraph of the articles states "The best is yet to come" Despite all the best intentions and preparations, some births include transfer to a hospital-for the sake of the life of the mother, the baby, or both. If this happens, it's important to not feel guilty, or that you've somehow failed. A lot of trauma can come from tranfer, try to find a way to make it okay"
when can I check this off my list too??

Friday, August 29, 2008

adding link

here is a collection of photos throughout Madeline's years....I forgot I had these.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

5 years old

I just want to apologize in advance for the horrible quality of the following pictures but I wanted them in anyways. My scanner will no cooperate with me today and back in the day when these were taken (okay, 5 years ago) we did not own a digital camera soooooooo I had to take a pictures of pictures. That equals blur and glare. But anyways.

Madeline was very bruised when she was born because she was pushed out so quickly. At that time I was so done with being in labor (read pain) and she was out in 2 pushes....a bit too fast for an almost 10 pound baby! Poor thing looked beat up for days. What did remain was a angel kiss that is in the middle of her forehead and you can still see it now especially when she coughs or cries.

She was always complimented on her beautiful skin color and perfectly blue from me, eyes from daddy.

She was always my girly girly too......LOVES dresses, bracelets, getting her hair done, and wearing nail polish and make-up. I argue with her now because she wants to wear my makeup all the time but gosh darn it it's too expensive and she's only 4 (now 5!)

This picture hangs on the wall over my desk and it just speaks volumes about Madeline. Such a free spirit, always dancing, hair flowing behind her, eyes sparkling. A lot of people call her a little hippie :) Yeah, that makes me proud ;P~

And here she is as an official 5 year old at recess at school (John and I took in cupcakes for the class) This age is pretty big too her, she thinks she can conquer the world now!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My first daughter

5 years ago right now I was laying in a hospital bed in with my first dose (of two) of cervidil sitting on my cervix...ripening an already 4 cm open cervix because my midwife threatened to drop me as a patient on my due date...I thought I was leaking fluid on my due date, the day that I happened to have a MW check. She couldn't tell so she sent me to the hospital to get a fluid level check. My very inexperienced sono tech discovered I had an 11 lb 8 oz baby and sent me straight back to the office....below I will insert Madeline's birth story as written right after she was born: (warning, it's pretty long)

The pregnancy
I truly had a wonderful pregnancy and felt that I enjoyed every minute of it. Of course I had all your basic complaints but they really seemed insignificant compared to the happiness I felt to be carrying around a new little baby.I was so happy every morning to wake up and be pregnant and also every night to feel those little pushes and nudges from this perfect creature.
My son was induced 9 days early by an OB because he was "too big". It was a horrible experience but I can say that it taught me a lot, especially that I was not going to go that route again. For this birth I choose a Midwife group, which unfortunately only did hospital births, I took and studied hypnobirthing classes, and hired that instructor as my doula. I read up on everything I could get my hands on about natural, drug free births. I asked a ton of questions (which I was always afraid to do with the OB) and wanted to make sure I was prepared for everything. I took my hypnobirthing practice very serious and taught myself how to use it.The pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I always had great blood pressure, all tests were normal, and I continued to feel great. The only problem I did have was a low lying placenta which did correct itself by 34 weeks but caused me to have extra sonograms to check it's progress.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, the midwives would comment about the size of the baby but it never seemed to be an issue. The baby always measured pretty big in the sonograms but we all knew how inaccurate they could be. My final sonogram a week before I was due showed the baby to weigh 9 lbs 2 oz which sounded nice and healthy to me and again, there was no concern by the midwives.At my last appointment I was checked and dilated to 2 cm, 50 % effaced, and the MW could feel the hair on the baby's head. She was pretty sure that I would go into labor on my own over the weekend. I walked all weekend long, had sex, ate some spicy foods, relaxed and slept a lot, set up an appointment with an acupuncturist for the day before my due date, did an enema, and just tried to prepare everything I could. The baby did not come!
My Due Date

I woke up on Wednesday feeling as normal as usual. I had zero contractions and no feelings whatsoever that today was "the" day. I went to the bathroom a few times that morning and seemed to feel wetter than usual.I called the midwife because I was worried about leaking too much and she wanted to check me. I went in at 11:30 and the strip test showed fluid leakage but the fern test did not.I did not pool when I coughed but there was excess fluid in there. I was also dilated to 3 cm and still 50 % effaced. I should have just left after that but she wanted to send me to the hospital for a sonogram to get an accurate fluid level since they didn't measure it the week before. So across the street I went to the hospital back to have yet another sonogram that I really didn't want. My fluid was just fine but the tech was floored when the output for weight was 11 lbs 8 oz. She faxed the results back to the midwife's office and I went back to the office. Everyone knew there was no way the baby was that big. It was too late in the pregnancy to get an accurate reading, it was a different tech that did it than the week before, and I really didn't look by measurements to be that big.
Here's where the problem lies. That weight was documented and written down and my midwife's office has to work under an OB. She told me that they were liable to deliver me with a baby that large. She said it was a legal issue because of the problems that could arise. What bothered me a lot was that I had only seen this particular MW a couple of times during my pregnancy so I felt I didn't really know her and she had no clue as to what I wanted out of my birth. She wanted to admit me that night to start pitocin. I said I was going to have no pitocin in my body. She then suggested we do cervidil and see if that would push me into labor. I did agree to do this but I was still devastated.
This was not the way it was supposed to happen. This was not the way I was suppose to go into labor. My vision had been shattered. I felt like at that moment I had lost control of my ideal birth and it was my fault for going in and having that damn sonogram. I should have refused but now I felt stuck. I could not stop crying in my car, I was extremely disappointed and terribly sad.
I called my doula, Dee to see what she suggested. She told me that I still had a choice. I didn't have to go into the hospital that night. She said I could switch midwives and she knew one that would take me that day and do a water birth at her birth center whenever I did go into labor. She told me to go home and hook myself up to a breast pump and get some contractions going. I didn't feel right about switching MW and I knew that the one that I loved, Carrie, would be at the hospital that night. Plus, I didn't know anything about if my insurance company would cover a birth center and having to switch everything stressed me out so I knew that was out.
I drove home and told my husband to get home so we could have sex. He was pretty happy about that! I got in my car and drove until I found a place to rent a Medela breastpump. I drove to the health store and she gave me black cohosh tea to drink and blue cohosh drops to put under my tongue every hour. I put myself in a nice hot bath and just relaxed and visualized. While I was in the tub, I drank my tea and put the drops under my tongue and just about threw up, they were so disgusting. My husband and I had sex and then I laid on my side and hooked myself up to the double pump and just relaxed. An hour later, I put more drops under my tongue and started to pack my bags and get everything in the car. So far I had no contractions. I went to the bathroom again and lo and behold, my plug fell out!! I was so excited to see that little form of progress. I again felt like I had my control back and I knew that this birth was going to be beautiful and I was going to make it what I wanted. I was going to finally meet my baby and that alone made me so happy that it covered all the heartache that I felt earlier! I was going to be holding and nursing my baby in just a few hours.
Madeline's Birth
I was supposed to be at the hospital at 7:30 but Johnny was being very needy and clingy like he knew what was going on. I didn't want to up and leave on him so it was a gradual process to get out the door. I was at the hospital at 8:00 pm and had to get checked and all that nonsense. The good news was that I was at 4 cm and having some small contractions I couldn't feel. I had to get hooked up to the monitor and have a hep lock put in. She inserted the cervidil at 9:15 and I was confined to the bed for 2 hours and had to keep it in for 4 hours.
Dee came by at 10:30 to see me but I felt I didn't need her just yet. I just wanted to get some sleep. She left me her Clary sage and told me to sniff it occasionally to get some good contractions. We discussed what route we would take if the gel didn't work, whether I would let them break my bag or let them slowly start pitocin. I think we both agreed that the bag of water would be the best route if it came down to it. I prayed all night long that that gel would work and I wouldn't have to make that decision.After 2 hours, I got up to pee and had a bowel movement when the strip fell out. The nurse had to put another one in and again I couldn't get up for 2 hours but that was fine because I wanted to sleep. By 2:00 am I was having some pretty strong contractions and had John put on my hypnobirthing tape so I could relax more.
A little bit later I started to moan through the contractions and had John call Dee to come out and she arrived at 7:30 am. The most comfortable place for me to be was on the toilet and then also in the bed. I tried the birth ball several times but just couldn't get comfortable enough.Dee had me smell cedar oil to help calm me down. I tried sitting in the rocking chair but that made me miserable. I was checked again at 8:00 and was 6 cm and she wanted to break my bag but it was hurting so bad I was screaming at her to get her hand out. Next, I started crying and saying that I wanted my mommy so John called her and she was there by 9:00 when I was 8 cm. The MW then broke my bag at about 9:15 am. Almost immediately I felt the increased pressure and was in so much pain and got nauseated when Dee had me sniff some peppermint oil. I just wanted the baby out and wanted someone else to do it for me! I asked everyone in the room to make the pain stop and someone else to finish this up. I was so done with the pain and wanted relief! If Dee had not have been there, I am pretty sure I wouldn't have made it. Between her and my midwife, they kept me focused.
I started to push a little while everything was being set up and within minutes the baby's head was out. One more push and I looked at John and he told me we had a little girl! I was so relieved that the pain was gone and so happy to have my little girl in my arms!I held her close as I delivered the placenta and it was huge! I started to nurse her and it was beautiful! She latched right on and had a strong suck almost instantly. When she was done, I handed her over and had to get stitched up. I pushed her out so fast and was on my side that Carrie couldn't really support me and ended up with a 3rd degree tear. I didn't want to feel anything they were doing down there so I asked for pain relief and just thought they would give me a shot but instead gave me Stadol. Whew, I hated that stuff!Madeline weighed in at 9 lbs 12 oz and was 21 inches long. Her apgars were 8 and 9 and she started to have a hard time maintaining her temperature but after being in the warmer for a few minutes and then swaddled in my arms, she was fine as was her blood sugar. I was moved into another room and everything went fine for our hospital stay. She continued to nurse just fine and we were released the next day. Now, at home, our family is doing wonderfully!
I can so remember this like it was yesterday. It was my first drug free birth and I knew then that I would never birth with drugs again. The feeling of euphoria and bliss and accomplishment like no other followed me for days, months, still. I had always said that I was afraid to have a daughter, scared of loving her different than my son, afraid of how hard she would be....I never knew I wanted a daughter so bad until I had Madeline. She is so intelligent beyond her years, always questioning, always so insightful, she feels so deeply and expresses herself the same. She is a lover, a fighter, a caretaker of all. She is so strong and so reluctant to accept help from others, always giving of herself, so selflessly. I am so proud to call her my own. I am so proud she is my daughter.

Oh, and she is talking in her class! More of that later.

Monday, August 18, 2008

School days are here again...for a day

We always take pictures in front of our house and also in front of our mailbox to show height....the ones by the mailbox are sideways and I don't feel like flipping them so you get these instead :P Both kids were super excited this morning and very cooperative to get ready. M was up at 5:30 gasp. I, was not. I didn't get up until 6:30 and M asked why they had to go to school in the middle of the night? Let's just say they were kinda use to sleeping in over summer and didn't exactly wake up with it still dark outside! And yes she had on makeup in this picture but be sure to know that is was wiped off by the time we walked into class.

I think J might have been more nervous today but he did a pretty good job of hiding it. He has a couple of friends and a ROOM packed FULL of kids so there was a lot to keep him busy. NOT happy about this level of overcrowding but they try to justify it but giving them 2 teachers instead of just one.

We took M to class first then took J and on our way out we stopped and peaked into her room. She was sitting on the floor with the class (up front too) and was raising her hand about something the teacher must have asked! I am so proud of her for that! That is pretty big for her!! She did tell me that she would shake her head to answer the teacher but did talk to other kids...I am a bit skeptical about this because she has said this before I think just to appease me (yeah, she's only 4) and never really talked to the kids. I am trying to be very positive without making an overly big deal out of it.

Needless to say the kids were very tired today but overall were still very excited about all the events. And I'm old now....I have a kid in first grade! When did that happen?? AND NO SCHOOL tomorrow already....tropical storm/hurricane is heading our way and they use the schools as shelters for evacuation. We did a bit of preparation today and I will say that you will never again find me inside a walmart the day before a hurricane. chaos. a million people. never again.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

End of summer

Madeline is starting a big school. I am so worried about her. For those who don't know, she doesn't speak to others, she went her whole year of preschool with no one, not even her teacher hearing her beautiful voice. I talked to her teacher the other night at open house and told her a little of what to expect and I am still waiting to hear back from the school psychologist (guess I need to call her again) She seems to be excited about going but she also hides a lot of her feelings and only shows them when they explode out of her after bubbling over (she is her mother's daughter). I am praying that she is okay. I will do everything I can to help her overcome this and help her to have a friend and help her to have a normal experience (wait....what is normal??)
Johnny on the other hand is excited but in true 6 year old fashion doesn't like school because they give him homework. Gasp, how could they?!! His best friend from last year will be in his class again so they are both thrilled (me,too....he is a good kid and J is still a bit shy about making new friends)
Ava wants to go to school so bad it hurts! When we would drop off M. last year at preschool A. would cry because she wanted to go this child mine? BUT she is home with me for one more year before she can start. She is already so bright now so she will be super smart when the time comes ;P
And Ian, ahhh, he is mine for awhile! I have started to look into taking classes again to get a nursing degree. I have my degree is business management already but who am I kidding, I'll never have a job in that field, it's not my passion or dream or desire. I started out in school going for nursing but then didn't have the drive back then as a 19 year old to do all the was required to get into nursing school. Now I know what I want and where I want to be in 10 years from now and can make that dream come true. I don't want to hop in just yet though....the other 3 kids had my devotion while they were little, I don't want to take that away from my little monkey either.
On a side note I found a place that will publish your blog in a book form!!! I knew it would be cool to do but didn't know someone was actually doing it for such a reasonable price
Make your own book with the question is when to publish? I was thinking maybe when Ian turned one and then start a new blog and then have this one as a memoir for the kids to keep.
So school starts in 2 days and ugh that means waking up at 6:30 again! I do not do mornings gracefully. But then we don't pick up the kids until 2:30 so it will be great for the 2 babies to get uninterrupted naps for a change! Pictures of their first day or school coming soon!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sunsets, smiles, and sand

Living on the west coast of Florida allows for some pretty awesome artwork. Of course being on the beach makes it all that more beautiful...and peaceful. We went down to this place that apparently is known for it's sunsets (great bar and singing too)....they even have their own web cam that you can watch the sunsets no matter where you are The Mucky Duck - A Neighborhood Tradition Since 1976 - Java Applet Viewer.....or watch a man in his speedo during the day ;)

It's so beautiful that the background looks fake! It was kinda overcast and rained on us off and on the whole weekend but it was still so incredibly peaceful. It was a great soul cleansing and brain freeing vacation! I could really just breathe a lot better afterwards....really cool, we even got to watch a wedding on the beach on always make me smile to see someone at the start of their new life together, smile for their innocence and for their hope in the future, smile at all that lies ahead for them, for all the happiness and all the turmoil that is written out, hopefully to make them stronger and better people in the end.

It seems like every picture I take of him lately he is drool soaked! Tooth #3 is already making it's way in and he is only 5 months tomorrow.

"Please don't forget to pack me also"

We went to the cutest restaurant Sunday morning for brunch and had to laugh at this on the wall :))

How could you not destress while sitting there looking at this view?!!

laughing at mommy

okay, so I hope there is more progress to this 1000 piece puzzle than this! We tried but it was really a brain frying exercising and it was straining me more than I wanted to be! J and V, I am waiting for that picture of completion ;)) You only have 4 more days to go!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Getting ready to go...again

No this isn't our RV but oh my word, do I wish it was!!!! Something new....the whole side of the RV flips down and creates a porch!! They had 2 and one had the kitchen leading out onto the "veranda"<<<>>> maybe someday...this one was only $780,000

We are leaving Friday again for vacation! Okay, okay, this will be our last vacation, at least for this summer! And it's only for Friday through Sunday.....John, Ian, and I are going to the beach with a couple of our friends who live down the street from us. From what I understand, it is a house on the beach which is beautiful so I am really looking forward to it! The 3 other whittles will be spending the weekend with the grandparents and we will meet up with them Sunday afternoon for a birthday party for our twin nephews. I promise, no more vacation for at least another couple of months :P~

Friday, August 1, 2008

At the beach

This is the view that I got to wake up to every morning. We had a great condo, right on the intercoastal waterway with an entrance directly out to the pool. All the bedrooms had water views. Ahhh, it was lovely :)

We spent most of our time back and forth between the beach and the pool. We headed over to watch the sunset and Madeline wanted to go again because she said it was so quiet and peaceful. She loved posing for the camera too.

My in laws' 7 grandkids....7 of them in 6 years and John only has one brother! There is Nicholas, Ava, Ian, Johnny, Lauren, Ryan (Nick's twin), and Madeline. Hard, hard, hard to get a picture like this!

They just look like trouble, don't they?!! They turn 2 next week and they are a major handful but so lovable and adorable. I always wanted to have twins!

Johnny trying to use his kickboard as a surfboard....too bad we're on the wrong coast for surfing!
One afternoon we drove about 10 minutes away to John's is shops and restaurants on a pass. A bit touristy but the kids look forward to it because they know they get ice cream whenever we go, a real luxury for them!

There was a brand new shop on the pass that had candy and ice cream...they still wanted ice cream but I had to get marshmellows dipped in chocolate on a stick, one of my favorite treats, yum.

Decisions, decisions

Man, how do I love that boy, a 4 month old who has stolen my heart

They all went night fishing out on the dock outside our condo...Madeline was the only one to catch anything! Sorry, my camera bites in the dark.