Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Well, I am back home from the hospital and thought I would start on my birth story. Madelaine Sydney Noel weighing 6 lbs 3 oz at birth was born on July 25th at 1:48pm. My labor started probably around 6pm in the evening of the 24th. I first felt that I might be going into labor when we were eating at the Golden Corral. I had cramping, a low back ache and braxton hicks contractions that were coming every 10 to 15 minutes apart consistently. We went home, played some cards, sent McKenna to bed and I kept track of my contractions up until bedtime (11pm), which were coming every 10 minutes apart consistently at that point. Once in bed, they went to 4 minutes apart and all of the sudden I felt a kind of 'thump' sensation by my cervix and then had leaking, and once I stood up a gush so my water had broken and I knew we'd have a baby that day. Since I couldn't sleep through the contractions, I went downstairs to get through the initial labor. I also wanted to labor at home as long as possible and let mom and Noel get some sleep. I figured I could hold out until 7am or so, but by 4:30am they were intense enough and coming about 3 minutes apart, so I went up and woke Noel. I got to say, "It's time to go to the hospital, honey!"

We woke mom up to let her know we were leaving and then headed to Mercy Hospital where we planned to have the baby. We got in and they strapped me up to the monitor and we could see the contractions. I also had to pee in a cup and they checked the fluid that was on my pad to make sure it was amniotic and it was. So they got us into one of the nice birthing rooms with a jacuzzi tub and an extra 'bed' for the dad for spending the night. Once I got settled in that room, one of the nurses came in after calling my doc and told us that we actually needed to go to St. Lukes Meridian hospital to have the baby if we wanted to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) since that is where my doc works on friday... or else, if we wanted to stay at Mercy we'd have to do a c-section. So, after Noel convinced me that I did indeed want to do a natural birth (during contractions I was saying I wanted a c-section LOL) we headed back to the car, me being in much more pain by this time. I was blowing and panting like a dog through those contractions with a fair bit of moaning going on as well. By the time we got to St. Lukes and got checked into triage I was begging for an epidural.

They say that because my water broke fully this time around, my contractions were more intense. I don't remember them being so intense with McKenna. They finally put me into a labor and delivery room and I asked how long for the epidural and they said half an hour. I watched that skewed clock on the wall like a hawk, calculating how many contractions I'd have to get through before the anesthesiologist arrived. I was 6 centimeters dilated by this time. When we left Mercy I was only 2 centimeters, so my progress was going fast. My visualizations of waves were not working at all. All I could do was grab Noel's hand and do a bit of yelling and deep breathing. So the anesthesiologist arrived and got me prepped and I had to say that getting the epidural was not that painful. It was harder holding still during the contractions, actually. Once it was in, I needed to lay on my side for awhile and was told it would take about 20 minutes to take effect. And once it did, it was heaven! No pain, just some pressure that was very doable!

So I was able to relax and enjoy the last part of my labor. I went to 7 and then 8 centimeters and then back to 7. I knew that getting the epidural had the possible chance of slowing down my labor, so they gave me some pitocin which I really wanted to avoid, but they gave me the lowest possible dose and it was enough to get me back to 8 and then 9 centimeters dilated. Then Dr. Kaiser showed up and examined me and said he was able to actually push the cervix and get me to 10... so they waited a bit more and he said he would do a quick surgery and to wait to push until he got back. The surgery took 45 minutes (it was a tubal ligation) and by the time he was back, the nurse could only get her finger in me up until the first knuckle before bumping into Madelaines head. I had to lay like that for about 10 minutes waiting for the doctor and then he was there and telling me to push. I pushed through two contractions and we were able to see the head crowning, then it would slip back. He had me push through one more contraction and said if I wasn't able to get her out he'd help with the vacuum, which is what ended up happening. He tried once and it slipped off, but with the next push, he got it seated properly, snipped me a little (episiotomy) and then helped pull her out as I pushed and out she came. I can only say it was an overwhelming feeling knowing that I went through labor the 'natural' way, despite all of the interventions I had. It was awesome when they put her up on my belly right away. It's what I wanted with McKenna and couldn't have due to the c-section. After we looked at each other for awhile they took her and did their stuff minus the eye drops, which I wanted to delay so that we could see each other, and then I nursed her successfully right away. I hardly had to do anything at all, she just latched right on. Unlike McKenna, whom needed a great deal of assistance. After that, not much to say except our nurses were great, and we were able to leave after 48 hours. We would've been able to leave earlier except that I had a slight fever, so she did too, and they kept her to make sure she was okay. The last couple nights have been tough, but she's been staying awake better during the day so I can only expect that she'll sleep better during the day now. I'll post more later!

Friday, July 25, 2008

So I'm writing this now before my contractions get any closer and I can't write at all! I believe we're having a baby today. It's 12:50am in the morning and my water broke at midnight. Felt like this weird 'thump' inside me, kind of like something all of the sudden fitting where it's supposed to be. Thought it was the babies head engaging for a minute. But then I felt the water trickle out and when I stood, there was more. Put a pad on and laid back down and more gushed out. Used the litmus (ph) paper the doc gave me and the yellow paper turned purpley-blue. Definitely amniotic! Earlier today (yesterday, I guess) I had also tested in the morning and then the afternoon and had gotten faint positives on the paper, so I might have had a little leak, but this was a definite.

I first started wondering if I was going into labor at The Golden Corral for dinner because I had a low back ache, cramping, plus braxton hicks contractions seemed to be getting closer... like 10 minutes apart. In fact, they continued that way up until my water broke, getting as close as 4 minutes apart for about 45 minutes or so. After my water broke, they went to 10 minutes and now an hour later they are about 6 minutes apart. I hope I can let mom and Noel sleep for a few hours before waking them up. In fact, if my contractions start getting REALLY close and it's still early in the morning, I'll probably just go in with Noel and have mom come in later in the morning with McKenna. I'll have to let Patty know what's going on, because she may end up watching McKenna while mom and Noel support me. So, I'll labor down here in the living room for awhile and see how things go. The contractions are stronger than my braxton hicks were, but manageable. Don't know when I'll post next, but probably after the baby is born!

Madelaine Grace Noel (pretty sure about the middle name, but not 100%)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Well, mom has been here since the 15th and we've been making cloth diapers. We had several prefolds, a couple fitted ones, and a couple of covers by now. Noel got lots of baby clothes and accessories down from the attic, including the baby swing and bath tub. He was up there getting boxes because he was leaving for Lewiston, Idaho...

Dad was in an accident with the RV up in that city and evidently he hit a nail, had a blow-out, and the RV popped off the truck and slammed into a bank alongside the road. He was banged up, but is basically okay and the dog was fine as well. Noel took a U-Haul up to help dad go through the RV and get everything they can out of it. Evidently it's not so banged up they can't get in but they'll probably have to force the doors. Dad told mom that it will be totaled. She's against another trailer, but would consider a motorhome. She and dad haven't discussed anything yet. Dad and Noel will be coming back on Tuesday and dad will be staying with us until after the baby is born. They'll probably head back to AZ earlier than they anticipated, unless they get another RV, I suppose.

Nothing else much going on. Stabbing pain around my bellybutton today, but I think it's my abdominal muscles separating a little. I'm going to start doing some exercises... I have a bit of a diastasis there. That's it for now!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Noel brought home a long folding table yesterday and it's now in the living room. I set up my sewing machine and managed to make a pre-fold diaper out of some t-shirts. Nothing fancy or even good, really. Just practice, although it will make a servicable diaper. What I really need is some good soft absorbent material that's not as bulky as cotton. Some of the new bamboo fabrics out there seem like they'd be a good deal. Anyway, I've got a pattern for an all-in-one diaper on the way and some fleece from a nice online dealer to make into some diaper covers. This is the diaper the pattern will make - scroll to the bottom to see the finished product:


She also makes fleece covers, which I want to do also... those are at this link - scroll down as before:


Anyway, if I get good at making them, who know? Maybe I'll make and sell some as extra income - they are incredibly expensive just to buy outright!

Don't know if I mentioned that I took McKenna to the local rec center pool and she had a great time swimming. We mostly hung out in the kiddy pool, but she keeps talking about the blue water slide that was in the larger kids pool. It wasn't open while we were there, so I'll be taking her back sometime after 4pm for her to try using it. Somehow I see her getting halfway up the ladder and balking, or getting to the top and changing her mind! It's a pretty good-sized slide, but looks fun. We'll give it another try. For now, we're getting in fairly cheaply as I still have medical passes from my hip/back problem I had while pregnant with McKenna. So I'm only paying $2. and that's just for her. It might be worth it to get a pass in later years after the baby gets older. I'll have to remember too, that they have bleachers there so that parents can sit and watch and not necessarily get wet! :)

Well, enough for now... we're having a chicken/barbeque pizza for dinner tonight that needs to be assembled.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

So, I cleaned all three bathrooms today and nearly killed myself. My back is really complaining, so enough is enough! I'll stick to flylady's routine, at least when it comes to the bathrooms, and just do bits and pieces instead of wholes from now on! But we did get the litterboxes moved back downstairs, at least the ones in the upstairs tub. So we have 3 downstairs instead of 2 up and 2 down.

Afterwards, when I was laying on the couch, McKenna joined me and we watched the baby move inside of me. You should have seen the peaks and valleys! McKenna had her hand on my tummy a lot and kept saying 'move, baby!' It was pretty cool to see how 'wowed' she was by the whole thing. I'm pretty sure she'll be a really good big sister.

Other than that, not much going on. I'm big and slow and feel like a whale, but in another 3 weeks or so I should have a new baby to hold! :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Well, our stray is headed home. While Noel was getting him vaccinated, they used the wand on him and came up with a microchip #. His name is Charlie Tuna and he lives at the far south end of Nampa. He traveled quite a ways to get to us. Anyway, Noel is taking him back to his home to be turned over to the roommate. The owner is backpacking in the Sawtooth mountains right now. I think Noel is pretty bummed. I have to admit he would have been a nice cat to have around, but sounds like he was an indoor cat and might not have adjusted well to winters outside, even with shelter. Ah well, maybe another one will come along! Should have taken his picture...
Well, we seem to have adopted another cat. This one will never be inside our house, however. 2 cats inside and the poop they produce is quite enough, thank you! He (or she) showed up about 3 nights ago and you could tell he was starving. Ribs protruding, hip bones prominent, etc... I gave him a little wet cat food, but not too much. I didn't want to give him more problems. He gobbled it down pretty quickly. Came back two nights later and we fed him again. He showed up this morning finally in the daytime and is quite the lover. He won't jump up on your lap, but he'll rub against you and lay under your feet if you're sitting down. Noel and I discussed the fact that if we're feeding him, we'd better be responsible and get him shots and neutered and all that jazz. So Noel just now found a low cost shot clinic at the local pet store and just took him there. We'll check into the local animal shelter as I think they do low cost or free spays/neuters for stray and feral cats. I was thinking of names and I like the name "Moscow" but I think I'll let Noel name him. He's the one really enamored of our new visitor and McKenna seems to really like him too. He let her pick him up and carry him around, so we know he's pretty cool with kids.
He's a gray and white striped short-hair cat. Very nice.

In other news, we had our refresher birthing class, which turns out was not the refresher class but one of the all day ones... the woman who gave me the info on the phone evidently needed 'a talking to' according to the class instructor. So we missed an hour and a half in the beginning, which covered breathing, and we had to miss the last hour and a half which covered pushing because we only had babysitter coverage up until 1:30... and both of those issues were ones that I wanted to review. I didn't feel I needed more info on comfort measures, medications and breast-feeding, which I feel well-versed in already. Anyway! It was discouraging, but I guess we'll manage! ;)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Happy Anniversary to us! Our 8th year married. I got Noel an ice vest to wear in the car since he has no AC and he got me a digital picture frame so that I can get all of those pics off of our computer and onto the pic frame! So today we hit the doc's office and he checked me out, did a Strep B test and we discussed labor and delivery. He wants to induce me only two days after my due date! That sounds a little quick. He said there's no reason to let me go longer (no benefit to the baby) and that if I want to attempt a VBAC we'll need to do it before the 14th because he goes on vacation and if I go into labor after that, the other doc won't allow me a trial of labor because he doesn't 'know' me. So I would automatically have to have a C-Section. Dr. Kaiser said he'll try stripping my membranes first, which isn't the same as breaking the bag of waters... and see if that gets me going. Personally, I'm going to try every known at-home method I can to get myself going into labor naturally. Sex is #1 on the list since it seems to be most effective.

Today was also just an emotional day for me. Last month hormones raging and this stupid Micron change of health plan and all that entails is just making me stressed more than I should be. Noel and I got home and I took a nap, then because I had absolutely no energy to think about making dinner he took me out to Outback Steakhouse (hey it IS our anniversary!) and we ate the cheapest meal ever there. A burger for Noel and a pasta dish for me. He really wanted to go there because he was craving their blue cheese dressing. LOL

So we got home and worked in the garden... which was relaxing. I showed Noel the squash bugs that I've been finding on the squash plants and we got two that were mating. I also showed him the eggs that they lay on the underside of the leaves, so he went through and looked for eggs and scraped them off. We didn't find anymore bugs. McKenna and I had found 3 the day before, so maybe we got a head start on them. I did some weeding and also tied up my tomato plants again. They're growing really fast and every 10 inches of growth I tie at the top of my florida weave system. Most are setting fruit and I have one ready to pick tomorrow that I'll let McKenna pick. The brandywine plants, however, aren't setting fruit. Maybe too much nitrogen in their little patch? If it was temps, I would think the other plants would be having the same problems. Hmmm... My beans are all flowering, so soon I should have beans, and I've already picked a couple of zucchini... I'll have to let some of them get bigger so that I can save seeds.

So, I was definitely feeling more relaxed after working in the garden. Took a shower and sat in front of the swamp cooler that Noel put in a couple days ago. It's coming in through a window, so it's a temporary set-up... ideally it will set on the south side and vent into the air ducts. But I kind of like it the way we have it. You can really feel the breeze of it in the stairwell as we have windows open up there to pull the cool upstairs. The trick is finding that perfect amount to have them open so that you're not allowing warm air to come back into the house. Okay, enough for now. Almost bedtime!

Friday, July 04, 2008

New pic of my garden is up! I'm also adding some photos of McKenna with her Grandma and Grandpa Hynick on my webshots page. The link to that is:


Hopefully the pics will load for me this time! Yesterday we delivered milk and our backyard neighbor saw us loading the SUV to get ready to go and she invited McKenna and I over to play with her grandkids on Tuesdays, which is really cool. She watches an infant, a 2-year-old girl, and an 8 and 11 year-old. I also met Melissa's friend Shalimar and she has a 2 year old boy and I think her oldest is 4. Melissa has a little boy who's just a few months younger than McKenna. They played on the trampoline together in her backyard for awhile before I went home and put my milk away. McKenna had a blast although she scratched the littlest boy when they were tussling over a ball. She got a time out and behaved after that. Maybe I need to inspect nails, too, before we go to peoples houses. Jeepers!

Baby is doing fine. Noel likes the name "Evolet" from that movie "10,000 B.C." I'm not too sure about it. I still like Madelaine, personally. Today Noel's trying to install our swamp cooler into our living room window as a temporary measure until he can bust into the side of our house later on. I hope it won't be too cold or wet and ruin our furniture. We will probably have to move the one couch.

Tonight we plan to go to Caldwell for the fireworks show. I haven't seen a big production in awhile. We're going prepared with foam ear plugs and also ear protectors that you wear on shooting ranges for McKenna. I hope she'll accept them and relax enough to watch the show. It's only a buck a piece, so if we have to leave it's no biggie. We can always watch from outside of the stadium too, I suppose.

Had a couple weird dreams last night. A guy was trying to shoot me and I made him shoot into my knee so he wouldn't hit my belly. Another was me and my neighbor Carolyn being all chummy and the best of friends even though we hardly see each other anymore. At least the truly wacked dreams have gone away!

Well, enough for now I suppose. At some point I need to get this house in order and back on a routine so I'm not completely overwhelmed when our next daughter comes.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

So we've been having problems with McKenna pushing and hitting. Went to the doctor today and he asked us a bunch of questions off a form and we only had to answer negatively to one question and that was about her hearing, which I also had a question about. She seems extra concerned about 'loud' noises, even when they are not very loud. We're going to set up a hearing screen for her and then if he thinks it's necessary he'll have us go to Parkview Developmental School for some speech therapy. I'm hoping it's just a delay in communication that is causing her frustration and that that is maybe why she's doing all of this pushing/biting/hitting (other kids, not adults). Anyway, I'll keep you posted on everything.

I'll have to get a pic up of my garden. It's gotten quite bushy lately.