Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Edmund Paul Rodgers (part 1)

He's here!  Edmund Paul made his early appearance on Thursday, February 16, at 11:17pm.  He arrived in fine form: 7lbs, 8oz, 20.25", and possessing a moderate amount of darkish hair and a distinctly Rodgerian nose (which we all suspected).

Now you all know I'm not one to go into big gory details of labor and delivery and all that, but I thought I would give the low-down on a few issues of interest, mostly because I really like going back in the blog and reading about the first few weeks of Harriet's life.  And since I seriously could not remember the words to All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name earlier today, I think I need to write things down before I go completely senile.

When I blogged on Wednesday night, I could not have told you that a mere twenty-four hours later we would be oogling over the latest addition to our family.  The next morning, I felt some back cramps that were identical to the "contractions" I experienced with Harriet - but not wanting to get excited over something that really wouldn't amount to anything, we continued on with our day.  This included making breakfast and lunch, teaching music lessons to the siblings, and fetching and installing our new washer and dryer.  By the middle of the afternoon, the length and intensity of the back cramps became longer and stronger and I thought that I would offer them a bit of my attention.  Harriet went to spend the evening with Aunt Clara, Uncle Dum, and Baby Mima, Steve started the dishes about six times, and I put the last few items in the bags.  And then we sat around nervously for a while.  I kept praying that this would actually be the real deal.

By 7pm, things were still happening and we were going a tad stir crazy.  Plus, in my excitement I had neglected to eat anything of any nutritious value except for puppy chow all day long, so we decided to grab something to eat.  I reached the Chinese Food Stage* while eating our Runza meal, and before an hour had passed, I was pretty sure that I had passed up the 27 Dresses Stage**.  We left Grammy to finish watching Selling LA, and ran home to grab the hospital bags and give me time to shave my legs.  (Because we all know that vanity reigns in moments such as these.)  Even though the contractions were close together and fairly painful, they weren't overwhelming in the least.  Part of me felt guilty for going to the hospital: what if it wasn't soon enough?  Would they just send me home?

After getting settled in and checked out, the nurse said, "You aren't going home until you are taking this baby with you!"  She called the doctor, I got an epidural, and an hour and a half later Edmund Paul entered the world.

In retrospect, this was such a crazy easy labor and delivery.  The total amount of time was 14 hours and the total amount of Time in Absolute Misery was about 10 minutes before the epidural kicked in.  And we were only at the hospital for an hour and a half before he was born.  It was perfect!  After everything was said and done, I thought, "This was so easy!  We should have lots of kids because it just works so well!"  (That was while I was still on the adrenaline rush, I'm sure, but it was a good feeling while it lasted.)  At one point we were wondering if I would have time to get the epidural, and I psyched myself out to endure the pain.  To my surprise, I discovered that even though it was horrible and I would never ever choose to go without pain meds, I could do it.  This was due not only to an altered mental state (a kind of knuckle-down attitude) but also thanks to Steve's helpful coaching.  I was so glad he remembered some of the techniques because the nurses were absolutely no help at all when it came to pain management tips.  During one particularly bad moment, he said, "Well, your hair looks really good...."  And I laughed and was momentarily distracted.

I was so glad that we had a positive experience in labor and delivery with Harriet because I have to say that the overall tone of the staff was very different this time around.  One nurse second guessed everything she did.  Saying things like, "Is this right?" and "I'm not sure I'm doing this correctly," about simple things like hooking up an IV does not exactly inspire confidence.  While the other nurse was more confident, she would totally space off things.  I didn't bring my birth plan because I didn't have to debate anything last time.  But this time we had to push to get him back into the room so I could nurse him before his wakeful period was over, I had to deny vaccinations for myself, and be adamant about asking for details of medications before they were plopped nonchalantly in my mouth.  I felt like we had to be more alert and defensive, which was definitely a different experience.  I'm going to bring a birth plan next time, and just be more prepared to stand up for what we want.  Thankfully, even though we had 22 (count 'em!) different medical personnel come into our room over the 36 hours we were there (I totally stopped keeping track of names), nobody said a word about our rooming in, or the fact that E was sleeping with me each night.  I was so so so happy to finally come home on Saturday morning.

The sleeping baby awaketh...I'm going to devote a post to Edmund himself, and then a post to how Harriet is handling the whole thing, so stay tuned!

See more pictures at Clara's blog!

* Referencing my personal labor signs: Steve and I were eating really bad Chinese food when I reached the toe-curling stage of pain with Harriet.  I can't eat that Chinese food now without feeling pukey...I don't think I'll be turned off of Runza so easily, unfortunately.

** Clara and Levi invited us over to watch 27 Dresses when I was in labor with Harriet...but I didn't tell them that it was getting to be super-duper painful, so they couldn't figure out why I was crabby/stomping rudely out of the house.  Thankfully, Grammy wasn't offended that we left her and HGTV to their own devices.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No Baby Yet Ramblings

I really should be doing the dishes or something, but I'm not.  I realized that I haven't checked in here for a little while, along with the fact that I haven't don't anything personally creative in a while.  And there are ten minutes to go before the hubby gets off of work.  Time for some ramblings!

Baby E is still sitting tight...unless you count the ridiculous amount of movement between 8-11pm each night.  I was having more excitement last week with contractions than I am this week.  I'm pretty much convinced that he realizes how cold it is out here and how Very Busy his older sister is and that he has decided that staying warm and sleepy is the best idea.  I don't really blame him.  So often I would rather stay warm and sleepy in my bed instead of facing cold Real Life and having H rub the skin off of my body in the process.  But I do want to see the little squirt at some point, and I'm getting really tired of not being comfortable while sleeping.  I would also like to be able to bend again, do Jazzercise like somebody younger than 80 years old, and wear skinny clothes.

(I would like all of the outfits from the new Boden catalog.  Please and thank you very much.)

When we were down to the last week before Harriet's Safe and Happy Outcoming, Steve and I had played Phase 10 more times that you could count, exhausted my patience level with Civilization II, and were generally pretty awful cranky pants.  Also, I think we went bowling.  What are we doing this week?

  • Homework.  I'm chugging along as quickly as I can through my schoolwork and I'm currently two weeks ahead on my assignments.  I desperately want to stay ahead of the game.
  • Sickness.  Some mysterious food-related illness confiscated my body (and Harriet's body) yesterday and left us rather wasted.  Being sick is awful but being sick while pregnant is particularly bad.  I wanted to crawl out of my skin or die or something.  I also kept having melodramatic thoughts like, "What if I go into labor, but I'm too exhausted to do it, and they have to do a c-section...and then I'll be EVEN MORE MISERABLE!"  Happily, none of my predictions came true.  I'm feeling much better today, so long as I don't eat very much at once.
  • Car.  Steve and I were Big Grown Up Adults this morning and got our car switched from an Illinois title to a Nebraska title, re-registered, and put the new plates on the very vehicle itself.  Seriously, people, this is big for us procrastinators.  Now we can't blame our erratic (ha!) driving behaviors on "being from Illinois."
  • Sewing.  I hemmed two pairs of jeans and patched two pairs of jeans in about 2 hours this afternoon. Oh yeah.
  • Co-Sleeper.  We got the co-sleeper assembled and affixed yesterday afternoon and it looks splendid.  Harriet loves it because she can climb up onto the bed and then into the co-sleeper without assistance.  She piles pillows and stuffed animals into the co-sleeper, and then snuggles down and reads her books.  It's so adorable.  Poor Baby Edmund.  I think that H can sleep in the co-sleeper and E can sleep with me.  
  • Valentine's Day.  We actually celebrated on Saturday night, which was positively providential since I felt so totally disgusting yesterday.  We wandered about a mall, took Harriet to a toy store and delighted in the plethora of Melissa and Doug toys on display, ate at the new Panera, and bought each other very silly presents at Wally World.  You see, Steve and I have a complex about buying gifts for each other: we feel this tremendous pressure to get the most perfect present possible for each occasion which results in Steve not getting me anything and me stressing out.  I set the rules for Valentine's Day...we each had $5-$10 to spend and we had to get something really stupid.  I got Steve some Star Wars PJs, and he got me some silly movies.  It was a fun and giggly time.
And the hubby is home.  Hello, Steve.  Hello, more Braxton Hicks.

Good night, blog.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Enjoying the Present

"The humans live in time, but our Enemy destines them to eternity.  He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself and to that point of time which they call the Present.  For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.  Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them.  He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present - either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure." - The Screwtape Letters

"Maybe it’s about this: God uses the day to seize usGod carpe diems.
God seizes the days: God seizes time and uses it as an instrument to transform. God seizes every moment to sculpt souls and shape lives and transform ashes into glory. What if isn’t so much about seizing kairos moments and surviving chronos moments — but seeing all as Christ-filled moments? That God seizes the moment to make me more like Christ and what if I seized more of the moments, because there is something of my Savior in them?" - A Holy Experience (read the rest of the post here)

Necessary reminders to be present in the Present as I face the paradox of desperately wanting the next few weeks to fly by so we can finally see Baby E...and desperately wanting to find the hidden pause button that will make dear Harriet stop Growing Up so quickly.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Summer pregnancy versus winter pregnancy

At MOPS a few weeks ago there was a rather lively discussion about which is best: a summer pregnancy or a winter pregnancy.  Having experienced both, I have to say that I like being pregnant in the winter better overall for the following reasons:
  • I am not cold.  I hate being cold and having 35 pounds of extra matter keeps the blood flowing.  Also taking so much extra effort to move around.  Steve always comments on my freezing cold feet when he gets in bed, but that hasn't been the case since being pregnant.
  • I am not hot.  Usually I like being warmish, but being pregnant in the summertime stinks.  It's so sticky and nasty.
  • Cardigans are super flattering.  Thanks to Kylie's collection of maternity clothes, I have been enjoying an ample supply of sweaters and cardigans and I just love how they minimize the shelf-like bump that is protruding from my abdomen.
  • I can wear jeans.  Maybe super-skinny pregnant people can enjoy wearing shorts, but I prefer to cover up as much of my preggo body as possible.  Flared or even skinny jeans with boots are so slimming.
  • I have more energy.  This is directly related to being neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Exercising is easier.  Again, it's really nice to not die of heat stroke every time I go on a walk.  Plus I don't feel bad about never ever wanting to wear a maternity swimming suit.
  • I can look forward to having an older baby in the summer when we have more opportunities for Outside Activities.
  • Baby E and I can share winter birthdays.  Oh yeah.
  • Little winter baby suits are so stinking adorable and my poor child will not be obligated to show off his skinny legs.
Of course, while being pregnant in the winter does have it's definite perks, I think that having a baby in the winter will be challenging.  The main issue will be the necessity of remaining in hibernation until the weather warms up.  I loved being able to take Harriet outside in the stroller - in fact, it was a total sanity saver and waistline trimmer.  I'm fairly certain that I will be deterred from taking E anywhere when it's cold.  Also, there are just more germs and bugs floating around in the winter. Just another reason for a winter baby to stay in hibernation.  

The moral of the story is that a lot of people are going to have to come keep me company or take Harriet away before I lose my mind to cabin fever.`