Wednesday, September 30, 2009

note to self

Preach the gospel always. And when necessary use words.
~ Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


yup. nothing. I'm adjusting to being a mommy to three, and while it's going well, I just don't have much to say. So, some recent quotes:

After accidently calling the non-emergency police number, Lauren said, "I don't want them to throw me in the dungeon!" (btw - being thrown in the dungeon is not a threat we use - no idea where that came from!)

After sneezing a few times last night, Lauren announced that she had the "bless-you's."

And here's Aubrey's gem of the day, "Samantha said Russell likes me because I'm cute and I wear glasses. I know I'm cute, but I HATE my glasses!"

So that's all. Hopefully I'll feel like I have more to 'talk' about soon. :-)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sasha's Story

WARNING: long, DETAILED (pregnancy and) BIRTH STORY BELOW. I tried to keep the gross details to a minimum, but was unable to keep the word count to a minimum. ;-) Don't feel like you need to read the whole thing - I wrote all this detail for my sake. Condensed version: I had a baby girl, born at home - woo hoo!

Just over a year ago I knew that Andy and I were done having kids. I had a dream that someone congratulated me on trying for a 3rd and I laughed at them. And I laughed when I woke up. But just a few months later, in the fall of 2008, in the middle of the night, I suddenly decided that we might possibly regret not having more kids, but we would never regret having more. Make sense? May be kind of weird logic, but honestly, that's what it came down to. Andy did not need any convincing. I think he'd been waiting for awhile for me to realize that we weren't done. So we began trying to get pregnant. By Christmas I was pregnant.

My first trimester was horrible. I was sick all the time. ALL the time. Medication helped for about a week, then it stopped helping and just left me with awful side effects. Completely wore me out. Once the sickness passed, I was still so physically drained that I didn't recover much throughout the pregnancy. Well, no, I think I recovered okay just in time to move to Texas during a record-breaking heatwave, which then zapped my energy even more. (Summer 2009 was the #2 hottest summer on record here.)

I knew immediately that I wanted a homebirth. After some e-mail correspondence (we were still in Wisconsin into my 6th month of pregnancy), we interviewed one midwife in person, and thought she was just perfect.

The rest of my pregnancy went along just fine. My back hurt so bad I couldn't sleep in our bed, so I would sleep with Aubrey one night, Lauren the next, for most of my pregnancy. The long, hot days of the summer meant that the girls and I spent lots of time homebound, really not going outside at all from 11am-6pm.

Since Aubrey was born on her Godmother, Shana's birthday, and Lauren was born on Grandma Marg's birthday, we had high expectations for this little one. Lucky for her, August is littered with birthdays of loved-ones. Her chances were pretty good.

August 22nd, 2009. We got up and out relatively early, because we wanted to go to Sam's Club and Target before it got too late in the day. At Sam's (our first stop) I was feeling fine, moving slowly, of course, and being teased by Andy at how slow I was moving. Then at Target we found some good deals (it was tax-free school supply shopping weekend, we had to buy some school clothes). By about 11 we were seated at Olive Garden for lunch, where I noticed that my braxton-hicks contractions were a bit different, but still braxton-hicks.

Before we ordered I got a phone call - my friend Linda from Wisconsin - I knew that birth was close at this point, since Linda had called, but I kept that knowledge to myself. Contractions throughout lunch, but still too mild and too far apart to even mention to Andy.

Came home, still the same, nothing exciting. Then, some bloody show. At 2 I e-mailed Lisa (midwife) to let her know that things were happening. At 6:30 I called her, because the contractions were then much closer together. There was no real pattern, and the contractions weren't long enough. Contractions need to be at least a minute long to be productive. So we just kept doing what we're doing, with plans to check in with Lisa in about an hour, unless things changed. I made sure to keep snacking, because I needed to keep my energy up. And, since the contractions weren't productive at this point, I was not calling (or letting Andy call!) our parents, friends, etc.

No significant change, so after Lisa confered with her mentor, Melanie, I was prescribed a beer and a bath, to relax my uterus. If it's real labor, things will pick up. If it's pre-labor, I'd most likely get a break from the contractions (which still had not been painful, but had become very uncomfortable). Well, the contractions continued through the bath, and when I got out I timed them for about 30 minutes before calling Lisa to tell her this was really it, come on over. Once the midwife was headed over, I told Andy he could call people, post on facebook, whatever.

I spent some time reading to the girls on my bed, but I needed to stop reading throughout every contraction - they were getting tough at this point, and Aubrey became very emotional due to my behavior. We got them situated in the living room with a movie, and called Kim to come over and be here if the girls needed comfort/help/a glass of water.

Before Kim got here, both girls had fallen asleep. But we asked her to stay, anyway, just in case.

My contractions got to where I would just double over in pain. I would lean on the bed and Andy would rub my lower back through each contraction. His hands saved me, by the way. I don't know how I would've gotten through without his touch.

About 11:10, the midwives (Lisa as primary, her mentor Melanie as back-up) still weren't here and I had the urge to push. I crawled onto our bed, right next to our birth kit, and *push* my water breaks. I never thought to pull anything out of our birth kit - it's for the midwives and I didn't want to mis-use something - yes, I am crazy. I tossed my cell phone and home phone to Kim - telling her to find Lisa's number on the cell and call from the house.

Kim found the number, Andy talked to Lisa. They were 13 miles away. Ha. Well, maybe I can hold off on delivering the baby for about 15 minutes. Maybe. Oh, but when I check myself, I can feel her head. Nevermind, probably won't be waiting. I don't tell Andy, though, and keep working through the contractions, almost trying to NOT push (which, by the way, is impossible - if you are ever told by a nurse/doctor/midwife to NOT push when you have the urge, tell them to go F* themselves). Then Andy says, "Her head's right there!" I say, "I know." and whoosh, she kinda flies out. 11:22pm. (I think my body was kind of holding her in until Andy knew she wasn't going to wait - for just a bit more mental preparation.) She screams immediately, and keeps screaming for awhile.

I wasn't comfortable delivering the placenta without Lisa there, so baby and I stayed attached, with her wrapped and laying on my chest. Andy brought a sleeping Aubrey in (Aubrey wanted to help catch the baby - she came too fast, though) and plopped her on the bed. Aubrey s l o w l y woke to the sound of baby screaming. Andy and Aubrey decided on her name - Sasha Lorraine - since I was still all wishy-washy (Sasha was one of our top choices, I just couldn't make up my mind). Then, about 25 minutes after Sasha's arrival, Lisa and Melanie arrived.

Deliver placenta, weigh and measure baby (6 pounds, 19.25 inches), foot prints, get fed a snack, the mess on the bed got all cleaned up (we were prepared in that regard - clean sheets on the bottom, shower curtain next, leak-proof mattress pad, then, finally, old sheets we don't care about - so once it's all said and done, take off the old sheets, pad, shower curtain and I can crawl right into bed). Had I thought a bit, we could've used the chucks pads in the birth kit to labor on and our bed would not have gotten quite so messy. I still feel silly for that.

We did not wake up Lauren (because then she would've been awake for HOURS and still up with the sun), so when she got up with the sun, before anyone else, she came in, and I said "Your baby sister is here." "She's here? She came out?" And she continued to coo over the little baby feet and hands and tiny ears. "And can she pick her nose with her fingers like I pick my nose with my fingers?"

Oh, and Sasha was born on Andy's dad's birthday.