"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Friday, March 30, 2012

1 week

i enjoyed doing my weekly pregnancy update so well that i decided to make one up for the weekly progress (hopefully with weekly photo updates) of my sweet buttercup. 
this week i copied and pasted a developmental checklist that i'll yea or nay to.  i'll try and think of some good updates, but please feel free to leave some ideas in the comments for me to add to next week's questionaire!

you can't really tell by this pic, but he's really REALLY happy and proud!  --just not very photogenic.

he had hold tight of everything precious to him... his baby sister, and his car!
how old?  1 week
  • Lifts head for short periods of time - yes
  • Moves head from side to side - yes
  • Prefers the human face to other shapes - no
  • Makes jerky, arm movements - yes
  • Brings hands to face - yes
  • Has strong reflex movements - no
  • Can focus on items 8 to 12 inches away - no
  • May turn towards familiar sounds or voices - sometimes
  • Responds to loud sounds - no
  • Blinks at bright lights - yes
  • Smiles - yes
  • Tracks objects with his eyes - no
  • Makes noises other than crying - no
  • May repeat vowel noises, such as "ah" or "ooh" - no
  • Raises head and chest when put on tummy - no
  • Lifts head up 45 degrees - no
  • Kicks and straightens legs when on back - no
  • Open and shuts hands - no
  • Pushes down with legs when placed on a hard surface - sometimes
  • Reaches for dangling objects - no
  • Grasps and shakes hand toys - no
  • Tracks moving objects - no
  • Begins to imitate sounds - no
  • Recognizes familiar objects and people, even at a distance - no
  • Begins to develop a social smile - yes
  • Begins to develop hand-eye coordination - no
  • Brings both hands together - no
  • Interested in circular and spiral patterns - no
  • Sleep about six hours at night before waking (total sleep typically 14 to 17 hours) - 5-1/2, but not six
  • Rolls over (usually stomach to back is first) - no
  • Sits with support - no
  • Lifts head up 90 degrees - no
  • Can follow a moving object for a 180-degree arc - no
  • Babbles and amuses self with new noises - no
  • Responds to all colors and shades - no
  • Explores objects with his mouth - no
  • Recognizes a bottle or breast - no
  • Communicates pain, fear, loneliness and discomfort through crying - just pain and hunger
  • Responds to a rattle or bell - no
that was kinda lame, so why don't you help me figure out a better questionaire form!?  please???  what kinds of questions do YOU have about our sweet buttercup???
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."


Saturday, March 24, 2012

41 week 1 day ... buttercup is here!

whether stripping my membranes did it or not, no one will ever know, but buttercup has arrived.  let me tell you about my part in bringing her into this world:
after my dr's appointment on thursday i was having contractions and cramps on and off, but really painful.  i went to bed that night hoping to simmer them down.  it didn't work.  i woke up at 12:26 with horrible cramping (i say cramping because that's the feeling.  what i was experiencing was contractions.  they were faithfully waving every 3 minutes.)  i jolted awake because beyond the pain, i was wet.  it felt like the pillow i stuck between my legs was soaked.  i jerked out of bed like i hadn't been able to do in approximately 4 months.  i put my hand down to feel the bed and sure enough it was soaked too.  i hobbled quickly to the bathroom.  i peed and peed and peed, but it all felt like pee, so i waited for my pee to stop to see if i'd keep leaking out...  i finally stopped peeing, and nothing else was dripping out. 
hmmm... i hollered to wake my hubby a bit so he could tell me if the bed was really wet or not.  --i've "soaked" the bed in sweat before, where it feels soaking wet to me, but then when i go to lay back down, everything was bone dry.  anyway, he roused enough to answer my question that the bed wasn't wet at all.  so, maybe i was wrong.  praise God.  i was really ticked at the dr. for stripping my membranes at this point!!!  but, good.  maybe my water didn't break.  phew. 
now, stop here if you don't want TMI.  skip to the end.
so, i wiped... and came out with a TON of cervical fluid.  i'm talking my "mucus plug" or my "bloody show".  it was disgusting... that is what had soaked my panties and apparently was running down my legs on the way to the potty.  gross.  but as soon as i started cleaning it up, i remember it happening when i was in the hospital trying to naturally labor with starboy.  so what did this mean?  it meant that those cramps i was having were indeed dilating my cervix and now it was dilated enough that my mucus plug had unplugged. 
it also told me that i was experiencing stage one labor. 
i knew this because my birth coach, otter pop, and i have been reading and studying dr. bradley's book "the husband-coached childbirth" (or something like that).  what i should do, to be as natural as possible during stage one, is pretty much fake-sleep.  fake-sleep is my vocab for 6 steps in the bradley method, but it pretty much completely describes what it entails.  (lay down on the side as one would naturally in the deepest most relaxing part of sleep -also called the running position-.  mouth breathing through the abdomen.  eyes closed.  and 2 more i can't think of.)  anyway, this fake-sleep should help to relax my body so that the contractions can do what they're supposed to do. 
so, i cleaned myself up and then went back to bed.  or i tried.  i was too excited though.  i couldn't sleep at all, and after an hour and a half decided that maybe i was in the put-put stage of phase one.  so, i put-putted around... got on facebook, and posted my status, " today MIGHT be the day... we're still waiting to see. but i have been awake (and WIDE AWAKE) for the past hour and a half... and i don't feel "normal" anymore! --although i still could say i do feel "fine" this minute."  i dinked off for another thirty minutes and then went back to bed.  i fell asleep at about 2:30 or 40.  kinda.
i kept contracting fairly regularly -although not every 3 minutes anymore- all morning long.  as the kids got up around 6:30, they had spread out to every 10 minutes.  my husband told the kids to pretend like everything was normal, but to go on throughout the morning without me because i was in labor.  binkins came back to me and said, "i hope your day gets better mommy and that you stop hurting so bad.  daddy said you were in labor."  i asked her if she knew what labor meant.  she looked at me, kinda puzzled and replied, "yeah.  it means you're working really hard!"  :)  (of course she knew what labor meant!!!)  i love her.  i love my kids.  i love my husband. 
we called otter's mom early so that she wouldn't even have to go into work, she could just come right over.  but she couldn't.  but she was still over before the big kids left for school... so that worked out.  she even brought doughnuts, which totally helped the kids get their chores done lightning fast! 
otter pop drove them all (sophie included) to school to help explain the picking up of jones (that'd have to be done at noon) at the same time.  i had written down the instructions... but hands-on learning is always more helpful. 
before they left he drew me a bath, so i soaked while they were gone and when they returned, sophie just took the littles to her house so that i could labor in peace.  we stuck in a movie, or turned on the tv... i'm not sure which because it really was just a background distraction...  i fake-slept while the contractions got harder and more painful by the minute.  around 11 they were painful enough that i really really had to concentrate on relaxing through them and by about 11:30 or 45 even through the relaxation they were bringing me to tears. 
at 12:15 otter pop had a dental appointment to take measurements and pick up his new partial.  it was supposed to only take about 10 minutes -at most- so he rushed off (at 12:14).  at about 12:30 a wonderful God-sent neighbor-friend dropped in on me.  i had had 3 contractions between 12:14, when pops left, and 12:30, when she arrived.  she asked how they were progressing and i told her they were only every 10 minutes, but were really picking up intensity.  she asked how long they were lasting and i told her i wasn't paying attention to that as much as i was just trying to get through them, so she said she'd start keeping track.  well, all of a sudden they started rushing in.  12:36, 12:38, 12:41, 12:44...  they were very intense!  my friend was rather concerned as she was watching me die right before her eyes.  it was about 12:45 when otter pop arrived back home and said friend and i told him that we'd better head to the hospital. 
he packed the car and i called the birth photographer.  i was really scared because what i had realized in the past about 3 hours, that when i got up (like, to go to the bathroom), or even just sit upright, the contractions would not only intensify by 100%, but also would speed up by 100%.  in between the 11-12 o'clock hour, the speed -when i was sitting up- was pretty much piggy-backed to where it was just one contraction on top the other on top the other... 
i sat up to get ready to get out to the car, and told otter pop that i'd better go potty first.  i hobbled to the pot and tried to relax myself when i felt the urge to push...  i got really scared and told otter that we needed to go, NOW.  of course he was waiting on me... so i wiped and got up (with my hubby's help) and went another few steps before i decided i should stop at the other bathroom and empty myself again before the car ride.  did i mention that i was scared?  because i wasn't.  i was petrified! 
we made it out to the car, back up, and drove about 50 ft. before i reminded him that i'd need my purse.  so we backed up, got the purse, and then sped off to the hospital. 
my wonderful loving husband pushed on his hazard lights and sped all the way to the hospital, passing [at least] 2 cops, and running only one red light.  we arrived and got rushed up and admitted to labor & delivery at 1:36.  at that time i was dilated to a 7.  i informed me that my birth plan was just a joke and that if they really wanted to save my life, they'd have to give me an epidural as quick as possible.  well, someone must've been listening because by some miracle the anesthesisist (sp?) was in my room waiting for the nurses to put in hep-lock iv.  then, the other miracle, was that he was able to administer the epidural while i was in the laying position!  (the miracle in that act is that if he couldn't have done that, i'm sure that i would be paralyzed or dead from trying to get it inserted while sitting up with those contractions piggy-backing with the highest intensity possible!)  anyway, the epidural was administered by 2pm and by 2:12 i felt tremendous relief.  sigh.  i COULD do this!  i didn't have to die. 
my water broke during a check of my cervix and a light green color was detected.  :(  this meant that i might not be able to hold my sweet blessing right away.  however, my husband was catching... so i wasn't devastated...  :)
at about 3:45 we got notice that my dr was on her way over.  at 3:52 my dr checked me and confirmed that i was complete (at 10 cm dilated and 100% effaced and at station 0) and ready to start pushing.  as they tore down the bed, i started to feel the urges.  i had 3-4 contractions, pushed 3 times each contraction, and had my sweet buttercup on my tummy at 4:08pm. 
am i disappointed that i chose to not have this baby naturally?  absolutely not.  i didn't choose meds... i chose life!
buttercup was born, friday, march 23, 2012 at 4:08pm, weighed in at a mere 9 pounds and 5.2 ounces.  her head circumference was 14 inches.  she looks balder than a q-ball... but she has a thick head of short, fine, blond hair.  her nose is great big, smashed all fat, and long.  she has fingers and toes of a 2-year-old, but placed on newborn hands and feet.  they're not at all fat... but they're SURE long!  when she was born, her little cheeks were so chunky and pinch-able... but 24 hours later, she's all unswollen and back down to normal.  no fat rolls on her arms or legs anymore.  :(   she's a beautiful little gal!  i'm completely blessed to introduce you to her:

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

41 weeks

How far along? 41 Weeks

Total weight gain: i lost 2 pounds from last week.  bringing me up to approximately 21-31 lbs gained (since the beginning of this pregnancy) and up to about 51-56lbs over what i should be as a normal healthy 30-y-o woman (that isn't pregnant). 
Maternity clothes:  these questions are silly!  so, i'll tell you what i've decided to wear today:  my olive green maternity shirt with some denim capri's.  slip on shoes. 
Stretch marks:  i believe they're coming in.  it's hard for me to tell you for sure that they're "new" stretch marks, but again this week my belly was all itchy, so i think i gained some new ones above my belly button around the front of my abdomen.  
Sleep:  i had a great night of sleep last night!  so i'd have to say, again, just fine.  i sleep.  i love our new down comforter.  it's perfect hot/cold-wise.    
Best moment this week:  i loved being able to watch my big miss perform in her drama production last saturday... 2 days after my due date.  God is good!!!!!
Miss anything:  yes, yes i miss some things.
Movement:  she had a huge moving party yesterday after quiet time.  it created QUITE uncomfortableness to me.  as in, i was groaning and moaning in pain.  i hope she didn't flip up-side-down, but it felt like she did... about 3 times, as well as 2 sets of 10 jumping jacks and 2 sets of 5 push-ups!
Food craving:  nope.  nothing.  not much of an appetite either.  but don't worry, i'm still eating.
Anything making you queasy or sick:  notta.
Gender: girl 

Labor Signs:  lots of contractions each day, but still sporadic and completely irregular.    
Symptoms:  no more heartburn, contractions every day, a large and heavy pregnant belly, sore back from the large and heavy belly, cervix pain with the contractions if i'm up on my feet, energy loss, butt-hook, shortness of breath, and complete lack of motivation almost all of the time, swollen ankles and feet some days... but nothin' worth complaining about.
Belly Button in or out?  i don't know.  i can't see it.
Wedding rings on or off? on. 

Happy or Moody most of the time:  happy, but with twinges of unexpected and unpredictable grumps throughout each day.   
Looking forward to:  meeting my little sweet growing buttercup!!!!
and here are the dr's stats:
i'm dilated to about 4cm, still 75% effaced and soft/ready.  the little one is stationed at a -2.  her heart rate was ranging from 120-150 today as they monitered me for about 10 minutes.  she guessed i'll naturally go into labor within the next couple days and as she was walking out the door informed me that she stripped my membranes.  i'm trying not to be irate, and just trust in God that He made my body well enought that even when people jerk around with me (stripping my membranes and whatnot), He'll keep preparing my body to deliver her naturally in His time and in her due time.  we'll just wait and see.   
i got to see a little sneak peek of her chubby little cheeks today.  i'll tell you what, she's no 7 pounder!  but, i'll keep whispering that she is, in my ear, to raise my confidence level in myself.  i can do it.  i CAN do it.  i CAN DO IT!!!!!!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

how are you feeling?

lots of women complain about this question throughout their pregnancy.  up until now though, i've found an answer that truthfully tells, without letting out TMI...  because they don't really want to know too much.  the answer is "fine".  i know, i know... it's a totally obscure answer.  but it works.
lately though, it seems that people want to know more.  more than fine.  so, my recent honest answer has been "normal".  because for whatever reason, everyone thinks i should be completely miserable.  i'm not.  i feel "fine"... or, "normal".
this afternoon i've been having some hurts and pains.  maybe some contractions here and there, but mostly buttercup is shifting and moving around for some reason and she's making me uncomfortable.  we'll see if this amounts to anything or if it's just another part of my pregnancy.

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

gratituesday : contractions

in case you didn't know, "A uterine contraction is a muscle contraction of the uterine smooth muscle."  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uterine_contraction).

during the woman's menstrual cycle, "The uterus frequently contracts throughout the entire menstrual cycle, and these contractions have been termed endometrial waves or contractile waves.[1] These appear to involve only the sub-endometrial layer of the myometrium.[1] In the early follicular phase, these contractions occur once or twice per minute and last 10–15 seconds with a low amplitude of usually 30 mmHg.[1] The frequency increases to 3–4 per minute towards ovulation. During the luteal phase, the frequency and amplitude decrease, possibly to facilitate any implantation.
If implantation does not occur, the frequency remains low, but the amplitude increases dramatically to between 50 and 200 mmHg producing labor-like contractions at the time of menstruation.[1] These contractions are sometimes termed menstrual cramps,[2] although that term is often used for menstrual pain in general. These contractions may be uncomfortable or even painful, but they are generally significantly less painful than contractions during labour. A hot water bottle or exercising has been found to help.
A shift in the myosin expression of the uterine smooth muscle has been hypothesized to avail for changes in the directions of uterine contractions that are seen during the menstrual cycle.
during pregnancy and "In obstetrics, a contraction may refer specifically to the motion of the uterus[3] as part of the process of childbirth. Contractions, and labour in general, is one condition that releases the hormone oxytocin into the body. Contractions become longer as labour intensifies.
Prior to actual labour, women may experience Braxton Hicks contractions, sometimes known as "false labour."
and lastly, in intercourse, "The uterus and vagina contract during female orgasm to encourage male semen to reach the fallopian tubes. These contractions may not be noticed by all women; pregnant women are more likely to notice these contractions by late 2nd and 3rd trimesters."

being female, i'm thankful for all three different types of contractions women experience.  lately though, i'm thankful for the second type listed most of all.  my uterus is doing what God designed it to do during this stage of my pregnancy.  they may hurt, but i know they're for the good.  i'm so glad my body is following His order...

(all information in quotes comes from the wikipedia site, sited at the top of this page)
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

magical land of oz

sooooo... i haven't spoken about this much, because i didn't want to.  i didn't even know if i'd able to attend.  the girls tried out for the school play again this year.  poor binkins didn't make it (although she darn well should have!), but wolfie did.  and she performed on saturday evening.  and it was magical...
the magical land of oz. 
she played a guardian of oz, with her best friend from school.  very fun.  and i attended. 
here's some photos:

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

boys night out... girls evening in...

well, the fun date night on thursday, only lead to more desire for monster truck action.  last year, otter pop took jones, with some friends, to the monster truck races and they had an unbelievably great time!  pops said that he really would like to do it every year. 
so... a year passed...
this year i talked him into taking starboy too.  because starboy LOVES automobiles!!!!!!  i mean, it is his whole heart's desire.  he is passionate about things with wheels... that go vroomseriously
anyway, i didn't really have to talk him into it.  boys love boys night out.  :)  so, here's some pix recaps:

and then us girls... we stayed home.  and played games, and watched a movie.  no pictures taken.  :)

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

date night. "the last one in a long time" (supposably)

on thursday evening, my sweetheart took me out for dinner... he said that it might be the last one in a long time (it being my due date and all.  he thinks i may pop anytime now!)  i never turn down a date ---from him, at least.  so we went to TGIFridays.  and i ate too much.  like a whole meal too much. 
anyway, on the way to the restaurant we saw a great big monster truck being displayed.  afterwards we were going to go grocery shopping together, since i hadn't done it yet for the week, but since i was so uncomfortably full, i gladly agreed to go home and get the boys so that they could come see the cool monster truck. 
so we did.

 these are the boys when they found out what the "surprise" was.  :)

the tires were HUGE!!!!! 

it took both men using all their might to roll these huge tires up on on the truck...
this is the truck with the big tires off, and the loading tires on (so it will fit in the great big semi truck!)

the boys getting ready to hear it in motion.

(the truck in motion)

definitely a different "last date night in a long time" than i was expecting... we didn't end up going grocery shopping because after we were done watching them take the truck apart and load it up, i was SO TIRED!  so we just stopped and bought some dog food and went home. 
it was cool though.  the boys went to bed with monster trucks in their heads.  and both of them couldn't stop exclaiming how "AWESOME" it was!!!!!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."