Friday, March 31, 2006

Crazy...

...how time flies. I had such a busy week, it's all a blurr. On Wednesday, I went to the dentist yet again, hopefully for the last time until it's time for a cleaning again. Got a crown put in. I have to say it is very nice to be able to eat again without having to worry about my teeth falling apart. :p Thursday I watched my friend's kids almost all day. Now I know what it would be like to have two sets of twins and a little toddler. :o) They were really good, though, so it wasn't hard at all. In fact, having 5 kids at home was almost easier than having 3. Haha. Anyway, my friend had to take her daughter down to the Children's Hospital to get an MRI done. They wanted to take a look at the fistula in her brain, and actually decided to do surgery next Wednesday. Wow, that's coming up so fast. The surgery should take 3-4 hours, and they think they'll be able to remove the entire fistula. Then they wouldn't have to worry about Belen having another brain bleed. Yay! Once she gets home, they can keep working on decannulation. If all goes well, she may get her trach out by the end of the spring. That would be absolutely wonderful! :o) As of tonight, though, little Belen seems to be having some problems again. Her heart is racing, which can be a sign that she's fighting an infection. Dave is over there right now, and they may take Belen in to the ER. I hope it turns out to be nothing. Stupid trach makes her so susceptible to infections. :o( I really hope she can get rid of it soon, she's made such wonderful progress over the past couple of months...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

What a day!

Well, we certainly had a busy day today. Took Bryan and Kaylee for some shopping, then made Bryan's cake in the afternoon. My second adventure in cake decorating (Kaylee's was the first last week). It was quite the challenge, since he wanted a Thomas the Tank Engine cake. But I did it. :o) We also enjoyed some nice Spring weather today, and Bryan managed to fall into a mud puddle. His whole left side was covered in mud. Yay for washers is all I will say to that... :p Then Dave wanted to take Tyler and Kaylee to the toystore to pick out some presents for Bryan. Bryan wanted to come along, of course. They still had the gifts wrapped at the store, so he could have some presents to open after we had the cake. Silly boy. While Dave and the kids were at the store, I decorated the cake. It was an adventure for sure. I'm just glad we don't have any more birthdays for the next three months. :o) When everyone got back from the store, we went to "Make-up Donalds", per Bryan's (and Tyler's) wishes. On the way there, Bryan fell asleep in the car, and spent the first half hour at McD's taking a nap. We were eventually able to wake him up, and he ate some dinner and played in the little playland they have. After we got back home, we had the cake and Bryan got to open his presents (surprise surprise, haha). Now the boys are in bed, fast asleep, while Kaylee just got back up for some more milk (she's on my lap nursing). What a fun and busy day! :o) Here are a couple of pictures of the cakes I made for Kaylee's and Bryan's birthday.



Bryan is 3!

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Bryan was born on a beautiful, warm Spring day. It was Sunday morning, 6 o'clock, when I got up and knew it would be Bryan's birthday. I took a shower, we all ate some breakfast, and at 7:30 a.m. we dropped off Tyler at our friends' house. Then we went to the hospital. I was only 2cm dilated when we got there, so we decided to go walking for a while. I think we walked around outside for almost 2 hours. The sun was out, and it was so nice and warm, and quiet (which is quite unusual for Boston...). By the time we got back to the hospital, I was 3-4cm, and they admitted me. Our nurse, Robin, was wonderful. We got settled in, and soon the dr came in to see me. Unfortunately, she was the one who I had liked least (there were 5 OB's sharing an office). She proceeded to tell me she needed to break my water, which I resisted (since I had had such a bad experience with Tyler). She insisted, and that's when I decided I REALLY didn't like her... Fortunately, my body didn't go into quite the shock that it had gone into when I had my water broken with Tyler. I labored for another hour or so, then started getting uncomfortable and asked for the epidural. After that was put in, we had a scary moment. My blood pressure plummeted, and I was about to pass out. They called the anesthesiologist back into my room, but by the time he got there, I had stabilized (thanks to having my bed lowered so my head was lower than my feet...). After a while, Bryan's heartrate started showing decels, so I had to roll onto my side. That helped, and while the decels were still there, they weren't as scary. Lying on my side made the epidural numb me unevenly, so one leg was numb and tingly while I had full feeling in the other leg. Very strange sensation. A few more hours passed, and I started to feel lots of pressure. I was at full dilation, and started to push. Since the epidural was such a low dose, I could actually feel the urge to push, which was nice. After only a few pushes, Bryan was born, and life was good. Robin was wonderful, and took lots of pictures for us. I escaped with just a couple of minor tears, which was nice. Made recovery much easier than the episiotomy I had had with Tyler. Bryan was born with a nuchal cord, which explains the decels he had. He looked a bit blue, but soon perked up, and started nursing like a champ. Overall, a very easy birth, and a good exprience (except for a couple of tense/scary moments). Bryan joined our family at 5:20 p.m., on March 23rd, 2003.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Ice skating!

So I took Tyler on a "date" today. He's been dying to go ice skating ever since we watched the Olympics figure skating. I finally got around to taking him today, and it was tons of fun. There weren't too many people, so we didn't have to be too careful about bumping into someone (or getting bumped...). They also had these little walkers that he could just hold on to, which was really nice. It was hilarious to watch him! He kept trying to just walk on the ice, which doesn't work too well. Towards the end he finally kind of figured out how to slide, though when he tried to let go of the walker he went all over the place. He definitely isn't a "natural", but he had fun. And that's the important part. :o) He wants to go again so badly, so we may have to look into getting some kind of pass. It's not exactly cheap to go. But they're open year-round, so with a pass we could really get our money's worth. We'll have to see.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's Kaylee's first birthday!

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I can't believe a whole year has gone by already. Where has my little baby gone? She's grown up so much. It's amazing. Here's her birth story.

On Tuesday, March 15th, I started feeling regular contractions in the afternoon. They were pretty far apart, and not painful or anything. After just about 2 weeks of prodromal labor, I thought I was just having another episode of "false labor". But somehow things felt different. The contractions continued, and started getting closer. They were also beginning to feel just a little uncomfortable. So in the evening, I started thinking that maybe I was in "real" labor this time. By 10 p.m., contractions were 4-6 minutes apart, and feeling really crampy. Since I was positive for Group B Strep, I knew I would need antibiotics during labor, so I decided to call my midwife to see what she wanted me to do. She pretty much said I didn't sound like I was in active labor yet, but it was up to me to go to the hospital and get checked. I wanted to know where I was at, so we decided to head to the hospital around 10:30 p.m. I got hooked up to the monitor, and sure enough I had a regular contraction pattern. But I was only a little over 2cm dilated, so the nurse sent us walking for an hour. When we got back, she checked me again, and I was a little over 3cm dilated. Since I didn't want to get an epidural, my midwife suggested that we should just go home and get some rest. So by 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, we were back home and headed to bed. I managed to get about an hour of sleep. Then it just got too uncomfortable to lie in bed. I got out my birthing ball and sat on it, leaning on my bed for comfort. I also decided to listen to some of my hypnosis scripts to help me relax. Sitting that way, I got another hour and a half of semi-sleep. Around 3:30 a.m., I started feeling really restless. It now felt good to get up and walk around. The contractions were still 4-6 minutes apart, but were definitely getting more intense. I had to actively start relaxing and breathing through them. Leaning on the kitchen counter and swaying my hips felt really good. I finally decided to wake up Dave, and told him I thought it was time to head back to the hospital. So we had some breakfast, called our neighbor to come over to stay with the boys, and went back to Labor&Delivery. We got there around 4:30 a.m., and when the nurse checked me, I was just over 5cm dilated. We were there to stay. I was sitting on the bed and hooked up to the monitor for about half an hour, and the nurse put my IV in to start the antibiotics. Around 5 a.m., I was able to get out of bed. The nurse suggested we walk around for a while, but I requested a birthing ball instead. I spent the next two hours sitting on that birthing ball, with only the occasional bathroom break. During contractions, Dave put a hot bean bag on my lower back, which helped me relax immensly. I seriously felt like I could just sit there like that forever, I felt so comfortable. At 7 a.m., we got a new nurse, who we happened to know from Church. So we chatted with her for a while. During that time, my other midwife, Celeste, also came up to see how we were doing. She decided to check me, and I was now at 7cm. I couldn't believe I had gotten to 7cm and was still feeling so comfortable. I spent another hour and a half on the birthing ball, and Dave, Celeste and I had a good time talking and getting to know each other better. Contractions were getting a little more intense, but I was able to easily breathe and relax through them. At 8:45 a.m., Celeste decided to check me again, and I was still at 7cm. So off we went walking. We walked around for about 20 minutes, and I started to feel more pressure during contractions. I would lean on Dave and just tell myself to relax, while Celeste put counter pressure on my lower back. During our walk, we saw one of the OBs Celeste works with, and when she told him I was at 7cm and just going for a walk to help things move along, he looked at me and said I looked way too happy to be at 7cm. I was suprised myself at how good I was feeling. We got back to the room a little after 9 a.m., and I had progressed to 8cm. I sat on the bed until about 9:30 a.m., at which point I was still at 8cm and ready to get things over with. So Celeste suggested to break my water. I had wanted to hold off on that for as long as possible, due to a previous bad experience with having my water broken. But since I was at 8cm, and I trusted Celeste's opinion, I decided to let her go ahead and break my water. With the next contraction, I felt a lot more pressure. I had braced myself for feeling intense pain, but I never did. Just a lot of pressure. I had a couple more contractions, and I could really feel the baby moving down. Celeste told me to just follow my body's lead, and start pushing whenever I felt like it. At around 9:45 a.m., I felt a really intense contraction coming on, and had an overwhelming urge to push. Since I had had epidurals with my previous births, I was not at all prepared for just how intense this urge would be. I started pushing like a mad woman, and told Kaylee to come out already. I felt her head with my hand as she was crowning, then her shoulders came out, and I took her under her arms and pulled her out and put her on my tummy all by myself. Kaylee was born at 9:49 a.m., after what seemed like one giant long pushing contraction. It was an incredible, absolutely amazing experience. She just lay on my tummy for a minute, and she was really blue and wouldn't start breathing. So Celeste decided to cut the umbilical cord and hand Kaylee to the nurse so she could get some oxygen. That helped her perk right up, and she went ahead and peed and pooped right there in her little bassinett. I delivered the placenta just a few minutes after the birth, and also came to find out that I wouldn't need any stitches. Despite Kaylee's fast descent through the birth canal, I got away with no rips or tears. I soon got to hold Kaylee and start nursing her, and we were just absolutely in awe at how wonderfully the labor and birth had gone. It was everything I had imagined it to be, and even better. Kaylee weighed 7lbs. 15oz., and was 20 inches long, born on March 16, 2005 at 9:49 a.m.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Fun fun!

Went out with some girlfriends for lunch today. Olive Garden, yum. I had seafood alfredo, and they have a new melted cheese dip that was delicious. But then it would be, seeing as it was melted cheese and all. :p Afterwards I had the pleasure of going to the dentist (again...), to get a really old filling taken out. It's being replaced with a crown, so for now I have a lovely temporary crown on my tooth. Yay, I get to be really careful about what I eat for the next two weeks (lest it falls out...). Then I went shopping and got some awesome deals. Smith's is having a huge sale for buying canned goods by the case. Can't beat $0.29 for a can of green beans. I love shopping like that, I spent $66 and the receipt said I saved $79. Yay! Now all I have to do is put Kaylee in bed, do the dishes, and then I can hopefully sit back and relax for a while until Dave gets back from playing b-ball. :o)

ETA: So I have to write some more about the shopping fun today. After I got home from lunch and then the dentist, Kaylee was ready for her mommy and some milk. Dave had to go run an errand anyway, so I told him to just stop by the store and pick up stuff so I could nurse Kaylee and maybe get her to nap. I made him a list of all the things he should get, and specifically told him to get everything by the case, as that was the only way you would get them so cheap. Two hours later he returns, with a few grocery bags with random things in them. He told me he couldn't find any cases of anything at the store, and he even walked up and down the aisles forever. So I asked him why he even bought stuff at all, since we didn't really NEED the food right today, but were rather buying it for storage. He thought I would be mad if he didn't get anything. @@ Yeah, I was made because he bought random stuff NOT on sale... So then I had to just leave the house for a little bit, and decided to go back to the store. I walk in the front entrance, and sure enough, there CASES and CASES of food RIGHT THERE!!! I literally walked in the store, filled up my shopping cart, paid, and went back home. All was said and done in less than half an hour. I even checked the aisles, and there were boxes stocked up in almost every aisle with big old orange tags all over them. How did he not see them??? MEN....

Monday, March 13, 2006

Exciting news!

My friend took her daughter down to the Children's Hospital today, for her routine check-up, and it looks as though the little girl may be decannulated by the end of the summer (meaning have her trach tube removed)! This is wonderful news! It's the trach that makes her medically fragile right now, and makes her very prone to respiratory infections (which can be quite severe). So getting rid of it would be a major step for her. She's such a sweet little girl, I love going over and playing with her. She's just recently started laughing (out loud with her speaking valve on), and it's so fun to watch her and listen to her. I can't stop smiling. :o)

UPDATE: My friend took the baby to the ENT today (Wednesday), and it looks as though the trach may actually come out by the end of Spring! Woohoo!!!!!

Awwww, the love!

Kaylee's been showering everyone with love lately. The open-mouthed slobbery kisses are especially fun. ;o) Here she is loving Tyler.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

What a fun day!

Gosh, I never have time to blog anymore... Anyway, today was a good day. I went to get my hair cut this morning, and the girl actually did a really good job. I don't usually like my hair when I first have it cut, and always have to adjust it when I get home. But today it turned out really nice. Yay! Then I went to Kohl's and found a cute skirt and shirt for Sunday. It seems like I've been wearing the same outfits to church on Sundays for years, so I figured it was time for something new. I usually have a hard time finding something, but today I got lucky. The skirt is even reversible, so it's two skirts in one. :o) Then we went for dinner at Dave's friend's house. The family is from Argentina, so it was really interesting to try and communicate. Dave's Spanish was a bit rusty, and their English wasn't the greatest, and, well, I don't know any Spanish, really... So yeah, it was interesting. But we had lots of fun nonetheless, and I've decided to look into a way I can learn Spanish. I've always wanted to, and I guess now I have a really good excuse. :o)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Birth is amazing!

My friend's baby came at 2:31 this morning! It was the first birth I witnessed as a "bystander", and it was absolutely beautiful. I got the call just after 1 a.m., and we got to the hospital just before 1:30. My friend was nearing transition, and was doing wonderfully. It was amazing to watch her focus on her breathing, and working with her body during contractions. She was so calm and peaceful. Once we got a room, she changed into the infamous hospital gown, and we were left alone for almost half an hour. Then the nurse came in to get the monitors hooked up, and my poor friend had to get on the bed. I've decided beds should be outlawed for laboring women. :p She looked so uncomfortable, and had to work much harder to stay relaxed during her surges. And the nurse even had the nerve to ask if she could insert the IV during a contraction, so my friend "wouldn't feel it". I politely asked her to wait until the contraction was over... After a few minutes, we got my friend back out of bed, and just put the bed up high so she could stand and lean on it. That worked much better for her, and she soon got back into the rhythm of birth. Then she started groaning, and I thought "here comes the baby". Sure enough, a few seconds later she announced that the baby was coming. The nurse was just standing there, not even really paying attention, when my friend's water broke. That sent her running for the dr (haha). The doctor soon came in, and we managed to get my friend on the bed so she wouldn't birth the baby on the floor. :p The nurse, of course, proclaimed that we needed to get her on her back. Fortunately, the doctor said hands and knees was just fine, and she could birth in whatever position she wanted. The baby soon started crowning (amazing to watch!), and all I had to do to help was tell my friend to relax her jaw, open her throat, and use a low pitched voice (all to help relax her bottom). She did great, and it was so cool to watch the baby emerging, and my friend just going along with what her body was doing, all instinctively. The little boy started crying before his whole body was even out, and looked wonderful. He's a champion nurser, too, and doing really well. I got home around 4:15 a.m. and went back to bed, but didn't really get any more sleep. I was too excited. :o)

I think witnessing this birth has really strengthened my belief that natural birth can very well be calm and peaceful. It's powerful and intense, but it doesn't have to be the excruciating pain and out-of-control screaming that we so often hear about, and see on TV etc. I believe that if a woman is well prepared for a natural birth, knows different relaxation techniques she can use to help her cope, works with her body instead of fighting it, moves around during labor, and has a great support team, she can really have a calm and peaceful - empowering - experience. Yes, there may still be pain, but not to the point where it's unbearable. I think the excruciating pain comes from being frightened. Women going in and planning on getting an epidural, and not having time to get one. Women being confined to bed. Women having unecessary interventions. Women being stuck on their back to birth. That's what makes birth excruciatingly painful. Women get scared, the fear makes them tense, and the tension hightens the sensation of pain (fear-tension-pain cycle). When women work with their bodies and follow their instincts, natural childbirth is simply beautiful and amazing.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Anyone else feel like...

...all you ever do is clean? Change diapers? Feed babies? Try to get babies to sleep? Tell kids to stop fighting? Someone please tell me I'm not the only one! :o This is for all my blog-lurkers. Come out and post a comment, I need some support. Having one of "those" days. :p

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

It's another tooth!

That's right. A little more than 3 months ago Kaylee got her first (bottom) two teeth. Now the third (first top) tooth has finally made its appearance. She sure took a long break...