Luke’s Birth

It has been one of the most tumultuous few days of my life.  So before getting into Luke’s fall and time in the NICU I want to try and record the happy story of his birth before it gets too far from my mind. It really was I think my ideal experience and I’m really thankful for it, despite all the craziness that would follow.
   We decided to induce on the 18th. My blood pressure was consistently high and I was feeling horrible and pretty stressed. I really think Luke would have come naturally right around then anyway. This allowed the luxury of avoiding a surprise middle of the night race to the hospital (had one of those the week before anyway) and I got to peacefully leave Leia with my Mom.
   We got there 8 pm, checked in to the lovely birthing suite ( Southview is a great facility, it’s small you pretty much park right by the door, no garage or anything, none of the big urban feel of the hospital Leia was born in-tho they had an excellent staff there as well!), and waited.
They started with a foley bulb. This is a more natural drug free induction method than the gels. I say this to score points with the imaginary crowd of judging natural childbirth advocates in my head. When they asked me if I wanted this over the gels,  I figured I could at least do one thing naturally right? I mean in every other way natural was pretty much the last thing I wanted. I was nervous about somehow missing my chance at an epi, or like last time getting one (which I got way way too late I see that now!) Only to have it run out and fail me at the worst time (see Leia’s birth story if you want to know my attempt at “natural” traumatized me).
Anyway, the foley bulb is a plastic balloon type thing that is meant to mimic babies head pushing the cervix open. It did its job, though for me I would still need hours of pitocin to get going.
Pitocin, the drug that nearly killed me last time. Pitocin was the end of natural for me. This time I wanted to be prepared.  Thanks to Dan the anesthesiologist I totally was!! I love labor and delivery nurses, they always seem so dedicated to me. I’ve only had good experiences with them and I always feel bad,  you just never see them again after all they do for you,  but Dan the anesthesiologist really really has my admiration.  Last time I guess I got a walking epidural, never again. Dan gave me the real deal. Hours and hours of contractions and I didn’t feel them!!! All that torment last time, the three hours of pushing,  the back labor, the puking, the walking, why what was it for? Sorry, I know some people love natural birth and even claim it doesn’t have to hurt, but I felt like I heard a lot more about that than what a good epidural is like, maybe because natural childbirth is the fashion now and there is a quiet judgment those of us that don’t succeed at having one feel? So this for me is what worked, and led me to have a much more meaningful birth experience,  why be ashamed?
Anyway, anesthesiologist Dan, you’re the man.
What I really appreciated this time was when Luke was actually born I was present.  Last time I was barely alive when Leia came. This time, while I felt some pain in the end, I had a sense of what I was doing. I felt the reward of the hard work of pushing.  Plus, unlike last time, the hard work actually worked! In about ten minutes of pushing and a roughly 24 hour labor alltogether, Luke was born!
David was sitting beside me encouraging me (sitting because we warned the staff he proved to be a fainter last time) the senior Dr that came in at the last minute (as doctors do, kind of makes you wonder why they get the big bucks?) was so funny. He was an older african american gentleman and he was like dancing during the pushing david said, saying things like “come on” and “amen”. It was joyful and great.

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Where I’m at

Feel like I’ve been in a fog lately. This weekend I’ve just felt so tired, but no amount of napping and nothing I eat or drink seems to help. On friday the doctor said they wanted to see me again in 4 days due to high blood pressure continuing, and made it sound inducing would be the safest bet at that point. I actually checked it while at kroger yesterday,  felt really old using the blood pressure machine at the pharmacy, but it was still elevated.
I’m totally OK with inducing at this point. Very tired of feeling this way and wondering if all my discomforts could be scary preeclampsia setting in. Wondering when to call the dr etc.
This all really came out of left field, proving you just really never know with pregnancy and babies and making me really thankful I live in the age of modern medicine. I know lately the fashion is to be wary of all things medical, but 100 years ago childbirth was the most dangerous thing you could do as a woman. I for one am glad I’m being monitored, even if it is no fun, and glad we know what things like preeclampsia are and watch out for them. When you are fine in your pregnancy you may feel put out by all the precautions and constant peeing in cups, but I’d rather deal with this than not be there for my kids!
Another thing I’m grateful for, my husband. He’s really taken on a lot these past few days. Putting his business on hold, giving me all the rest he can. This stuff is stressful for him too, but he’s been a champ.
I’m also thankful for the schoolroom of life to teach me more about God’s sovereignty.  It’s so easy in our world to feel we are in control and become practical atheists,  though I’m so glad for the aid of modern medicine, this makes me hyper aware of who is really in control and who I trust no matter what.
Not to be too dramatic of course, in a week or two this will all probably be over and part of Lukes story and life will be consumed by newborn (and Leia) care.

38 weeks, the worst week…

The last mile is the hardest, that is certainly true with this pregnancy anyway!
Everything has been going normally, as with Leia’s pregnancy, but at my last appointment my blood pressure had skyrocketed. This meant I got to sit at Labor and delivery for several hours. They took blood and monitored my heartrate, which stayed elevated.  Then for extra fun, I had to collect a 24 hour urine sample. How crazy did I feel collecting my own urine and then driving it around in my car? I am so thankful I don’t work outside the home right now, because I couldn’t imagine having to do that at work! I kid you not the huge plastic jug they gave me was bright orange (why?) And on top of that it had to be kept cool. Would you put that in the shared breakroom fridge with people’s lunches?!
Anyway, it was very frustrating spending all that time in the maternity ward, not knowing what was going on, and then not walking out without a baby. I thought that would be it for a while. …
Then the next evening I started feeling horrible, with many of the symptoms they kept asking me if I had when trying to find out if I had preeclampsia.   When I started getting these horrible chills and shaking uncontrollably we went to the hospital.
Long story short we were there from like 11 pm to 4 AM to discover I have a stomach virus. I don’t remember the last time I had a virus like this, why now!!!!!?????
The one upside, I got a pair of scrubs. This happened because I got sick all over myself, but I have always envied medical professionals their scrubs,  I mean they wear pajamas to work? Why don’t we all?
Now I feel better, but still awful.  At least I feel well enough to not take phenegren, the anti nausea med that really really knocks you out! If i didn’t have Leia though I would love to slip into a phenegren  coma for a day or two honestly. My husband just came down with the bug, and I’m praying so hard Leia doesn’t, and I’m now nervous about going into labor post stomach bug with a sick family. I’m nervous about my next appointment,  I can’t handle anymore time in the hospital without a baby coming out! Definitely melting down here a bit. Hoping to feel normal tomorrow.  Hoping for an easy labor in return for all this drama now.

Waiting….

Week 36, almost to 37. Now it’s moving into the waiting and wondering phase. I’m sooo jealous of ladies who have those scheduled C-sections! At my most recent appointment they thought he might be breach,  and I thought for a second “oh maybe they’ll have to do a c-section, and a guilt free one at that!” Nope, he is head down and engaged, just perhaps a taller baby or in a weird position.
Am I nervous? Well my first labor was basically the most painful, difficult thing ever to happen to me. I went in positive and just came out surviving it (the story is in the archives, but it was 30 some hours, including 3 just for pushing yay). So in many ways I’m more nervous than I was the first time, but God has designed pregnancy so that you get so uncomfortable near the end you really just want to get on with it no matter what!!!! 
My daughter was a week early, and with the way things are feeling I’ll be really surprised if Luke is late at all. Bags are packed, car seats in car etc etc, he can vacate the premises!
I hope it isn’t so fast that it’s scary. Again for me a car or home birth are the stuff of nightmares for me. However, I really would prefer something under 30 hours this time too.
I’m also feeling impatient about just getting to meet my son and touch him. He’s so close, but still so far!

31 weeks, hangin in there!

31 weeks and sooo tired. I exercise, try to get the catnaps in, but afternoon comes and usually any plans I have just sit on the couch with me , and by plans I mean things like getting clothes out of the dryer. So I try to make the mornings count for me and for Leia.
Speaking of exercise it’s really hard to lap swim with heartburn. 
Something else that’s bugging me, pregnant fro’.
This pregnancy my hair has just become a thick dry mess bleck. I don’t even enjoy brushing it it doesn’t look any better after I do.
But aside from the whole pregnant thing I’m getting excited to meet Luke. Am I ready for two kids, who knows, but I’m ready to hold my son! I am nervous of course about the total game changer he could be. Overall Leia was a pretty “easy” baby, Luke may be more needy?
I’m telling you now Luke you will like riding in the Beco carrier, and if you don’t you will learn to, because I can’t envision a world in which I care for you and your sister and don’t wear you much of the time that first year. No rush on the walking either kid 😉

I should be a pro at this now right?

Ok so It was only a couple years ago that I was pregnant with Leia, and while I definitely remember the nausea and how long that lasted, the rest kind of seems like a blur.  Last night the old Braxton Hicks contractions really ramped up I kept trying to remember how they felt last time, but my brain was coming up empty. By the way, what is with braxton hicks, baby’s movements and your bladder all working together at night to keep you from sleeping (oh and the heartburn and leg cramps those are apparently on a clock too, it starts with me closing my eyes)?
And forget about babies first year. I mean every week its so different. I remember how cute my daughter was, but the feeding and nap schedules month by month and everything else,  I definitely have to reread some baby books….
I definitely have NOT forgotten the pain of labor. I don’t have some quaint amnesia people joke about that women get to trick them into doing this more than once. “Oh when you hold that baby you forget all the pain” um no I’m more of a craggy war veteran who is shell shocked. I remember a few weeks after the birth i was watching Lost and there was a scene with someone on an operating table looking up at that bright hospital lamp, for a moment I swear I had a flashback. There were times during the three hours of pushing I really wondered would I go out like Padme or some character on Little House?
Which really makes me wish I could remember how normal braxton hicks contractions feel because people love to say how if your first baby took 40 hours to come out your second will rip through you in about 5 minutes. I have a daughter to get secured this time and a birth in my house or car is personally the last thing I want, my first birth made me love doctors and nurses actually (also I do not want to clean that up). Plus, while it wasn’t enough last time, I want a drug dealer available to offer what they can (sorry I know I cloth diaper but…). You know I think David has some leftover pain meds from dental surgery maybe I should carry those in my car just in case…
But I do seem really cool at the obgyn. I never have questions or complaints really. 

I’m not the right mom for potty training

Ok so I’ve figured out my least favorite thing about potty training.  Its not the accidents. It’s the being tied to the house for several days! I figured out early on as a mom I am not a homebody.  Im not a lets stay home and churn butter and redecorate and sew and garden all day alone mom. (Ok maybe no one is a churning butter mom?) Leia isn’t a stay home kid either from very early on I noticed fussiness diminished when we got out of the house on a regular basis. 
Don’t get me wrong I still see the home as my sphere and its not that I dont do any projects. I love to bake for example. I just need time out of the house to be productive in it.  What works for me is a morning cleaning schedule where I get the bulk of the cleaning done in the morning focusing on different rooms etc each day of the week. Then exercise and fun outing or errands then if energy is left over I can do a project at home. With pregnancy there is usually not much left in the afternoon but oh well its just a season!
The potty training is driving me nuts because we have to really stay home for at least three days.  At least that is the method I’m using now. Every twenty minutes or so she goes to sit on the potty. Now I’m ecstatic so far no accidents and she has peed twice on potty. This is light years from a few weeks ago when I tried!!!!! Still this makes me so dead by the end of the day I don’t even know why but being chained to potty and house is so mind numbing to me.  I really hope this takes or I may go nuts three days feels like an eternity!!!!
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P-D Glasses

I hate 3 D glasses. I feel so dumb wearing them at theatres and I feel it really adds nothing to movies except a heftier ticket price.Recently I feel I’m always wearing new glasses wjen watching movies or observing the world in general – parent dimensional glasses if you will.
I have watched a lot of movies in my life but suddenly I’m twenty times more sensitive to violence or cruelty.  My husband and I tried to watch Scream recently, a movie we watched loads of times in our youth. Now neither one of us could get past 15 minutes and quickly had to turn on some star trek to cleanse our minds! Something has shifted the young stars were no longer peers but visions of what our daughter will be. I’m no longer Drew Barrymore home alone with jiffy pop I’m her mom who comes back to find her daughter gone.
Even worse we watched Hotel Rwanda a movie we had both seen before as well but though always hard to watch now ten times more disturbing.  This is the world in which my children live and how could people kill little children like mine? What if I had to protect my little ones in such a time?
Parental awareness is a bit of a drag!  The world is no longer just about me finding what I want out of it but its a place I’m preparing my kids for, I know I have to release them out into it. 
I love seeing the world fresh through Leia’s eyes everyday it’s such a joy, but I also see the darker aspects of the world afresh as her protector.  I can’t help but wonder now what it is for God to see his world as he sends his children out into it. He knows far better than me how far it has fallen and the danger that is lurking for his sons and daughters. It’s so comforting to know as parenthood bewilders me that he is my father,  being a parent gives that concept even more meaning. He cares for me a million times more than I can care for Leia and yet there is a similarity there in our loves that gives me peace. God’s a parent too he is just, you know, a perfect one 🙂
One other weird thing shows that should totally annoy me don’t. If I feel a kids show is wholesome and earnestly trying to entertain my kid suddenly I have patience for the really catchy tunes that get stuck in your head, the repition and the overacting.  Well most of the time anyway.

So you’re having a boy…

“Well this one’s definitely a boy” I hear the ultrasound tech say as I lay there with that wand thing on my belly. Then sure enough I see the confirmation without her pointing it out. Visual confirmation much easier this time around. Wow a boy. I mean I knew there was a good chance at least fifty percent but for some reason this announcement needs time to sink in. I don’t know why, I think I just kind of expected same thing as last time. Maybe my brain just had trouble because as cool as it is, it feels like a totally new job in some ways, and one for which I’m somehow less qualified for because I’m not a dude myself. For instance that crazy voice change thing where they sound weird for a while and then like overnight you hear them on the phone and you think it’s their dad, that will happen to this little person one day. It all seems so mysterious! And then someday he has to go to a different bathroom than leia and I when does that have to start?  And hey using the potty its different for him altogether so many differences!
Did I mention how much I love finding out the gender!!!!? I must say I feel so much more connected to the pregnancy now and knowing it is a he and not an it is so different. I can let all this sink in and I can get excited about having a little man around the house. Plus I can get boy clothes and really cool I don’t have to paint his room its already a boy color! The theme is outer space, think retro rocket ships and stars.
Never been more thankful for my husband maybe! I didn’t really have both a mom and dad a lot of my childhood and I just see how important it is for both of my kids, but yeah especially with a son on the way. Mom can support but there will be so much only dad can understand and vice versa with Leia.
One other note now that people know we are having a boy I often feel this subtle “oh so you can be done” vibe. Like we just needed a matching set of children?  I feel it subtly in my mind as well, I mean I make it no secret I don’t love pregnancy and labor. It’s a privilege to partner with God in creating life yes, but I admit I  just get through this process the best I can. I’ve read the books and I know what riki lake thinks and think its cool how excited so many of my friends get about all that stuff but at the end of the day it’s just not my thing. I can’t get that into it. I would love to not do it all again but I’m not assuming I’m off the hook because I’m having a boy. These are human beings not accessories 😉 So don’t be surprised if another little Scoggins comes into the world someday but man if it’s another boy I have no idea what we will name it because naming this one boy is proving really hard. …