Journal Entry: March 23, 2009 I don't even know what day it is

I had to check the date as I sat to type tonight. All of my days have seemingly run together, or should I say seemlessly run together. All I know is that I had one heck of a week starting last Sunday, which hasn't left me with much expendable energy, but a very full heart.

As I mentioned on my last post, the boys got sick and subsequently pulled a number that required a trip to the ER. After that, I thought all I had to do is prepare for Tuesday's doctor's appointment and relax as much as possible. I double checked my bag and started a load of laundry.

Tuesday morning rolled around and after I took the boys to school, I came come to take a shower and get ready for my appt. As I pulled into my driveway, I noticed that my neighbor was outside leaving for work himself. This is the same neighbor that I saw at the doctor's office when I was pregnant with Charlotte the day she died. I looked over my shoulder and walked as fast as I could into the house. I didn't want to linger or make conversation, we were too close to bringing home baby to mentally *go there*. But I did notice.

I ended up being late to my pre-op appointment, so the NST nurse called me in the back to get that started insted. I was hooked up for about 20-25 minutes and things were great. Baby's heart rate fluctuated but was at a normal pace. I was daydreaming about labor and delivery, just waiting for the doctor to come in and say that I could go into the hospital when ever I was ready and that they would start the induction when I arrived. The nurse Sandy and I chatted about the contractions I was having and how it was strange that I could barely feel some of them. But they were becoming regular at about 3 minutes apart. It was getting exciting. Maybe I wouldn't even need pitocin? I was going on my own. Then, literally all of the sudden, Baby's heart rate plummeted. I had been trying not to look at the monitors because of the uneasy feeling it gives me (I get to stressed with every variation, so I just don't look). But Sandy was looking. Then I was looking.

Sandy was really quick to get me to shift to my side. But the monitor kept sliding. It went from the 160's to around 112 then 98 then... bleep. Nothing. I shifted again. Still nothing. She left to get the doctor. Ok, now I'm nervous. More shifting, more silence. Three minutes of total silence to be exact. Looking back, I had no idea it was that long. A moment later he came back. His heart rate steadily climbed back up to the 120's, then the 150's then he was cruising at 163 for a while. Dr. T came back in and said that there wasn't anyway that we were gonna mess around, she was going to order an ambulance and I could call *B* and tell him to meet us at the hospital.

Oh my gosh, not again!

When I called *B* his buddies from work were whoopin' and hollerin' in the background thinking that wah hoo... I'm having a baby! But nope. I was making a call to tell him that the baby crashed and he needed to come home. again. I'm going to the hospital to have a an ambulance..again.

I think it was at this point that I began to pray. I asked the Lord to give me peace, the kind that surpasses all understanding and to hold this baby in the palm of his hand. That you Lord, are the One whom I trust, and I am not going to even entertain the thoughts that something bad will happen. Nope. You have this undercontrol and I trust in You.

The ambulance arrived and off we went. I didn't get the full monte of the sirens 'n stuff, but that was ok. We didn't really need 'em. I just knew we were going to be ok.

I was admitted, *B* arrived and I was started on pitocin. By this time I had texted a few friends asking for prayer and got settled into my bed. Lori texted me to say she was at the hospital and waiting in the lobby. She came in and sat with us for a while, it was nice to have a friend there. She was so helpful. By this time it was about 2 o'clock, the boys were being picked up by my sister and *A* was on her way home from school. Lori ended up driving to the house to let *A* in and on her way back, she picked up a pizza for *B*. Meanwhile, I realized that it was kind of uncomfortable kind of reclining in that position, so I decided to stand. I felt so much better! I stayed that way for a few hours. I would sway or arch my back for relief, but then back to standing. Becky and Kim also arrived which made the time pass much quicker. I thought I was making progress being dialated at 1-2 when I arrived to maybe a 2-3 by 6pm. But then a new doctor came on shift and said that I was really only at a 2 and not effaced very much.

At about 7pm, I got another text. It was from *A*. I was torn about not being able to go to the soccer game she was playing in but I ended up not really having a choice. But the game had started at 6:30, so why was I getting a message from her at 7pm??

In her text, she said that she was on her way to the hospital because she thought she broke her knuckle. ugh. Apparently, she slipped on the field and another player stepped on her hand with her cleat. A school administrator was heading to the ER with her. I had to speak with him and ask him to take her to my sister's house instead, as I was in labor at the hospital out of town. He agreed and *A* went to Jenni's house. When they arrived at the hospital, *B* met *A* in the ER and waited with her there. We were directly 3 floors apart. Them in ER and me in L&D. Man! This baby's born into one whirlwind of a family!

Becky and Kim were still there, now so was my sister. It was pretty cool. But I got so discouraged. I thought for sure they were going to come in and tell me that the stress of laboring that long wasn't good for the baby and I would require a C section anyway. We were pushing 10 hours already and I was only at 2cm?? Ok, I suppose I'll take my epidural now. I felt so weak. Might as well. I mean, in case I would have a cesarean I would have to get one anyway, what's the point of waiting? Everyone left the room. *A* and my sister decided to get a soda. When they returned, Jenni said she was gonna leave (afterall, it was surely going to be a long night, it was already about 11:30 or so) but I told her to let the nurse know that my water had just broke. Well then things got fun! Finally.. something was happening!

When the nurse came in to check me I was at a 4 and 80%. Yay! Progress.

So Jenni took *A* to Del Taco. In the meantime, I had two more gushes and 2 more checks. As they walked back into the room with food in tow, the nurse said I was at an 8 and only a lip of cervix was left. She rolled me onto that side and called the doctor. By this point, I was in a LOT of pain. I had a pump for the epidural, but a lot of good that did. I could feel everything in my body EXCEPT the cramping in my belly. All other lower parts were fair game. The nurse Susan kept telling me to wait to push until the doctor arrived, but I didn't think I could. Finally, he showed up but was a little lax in getting over to me. At one point a nurse said "Doctor, you're about to miss your delivery..." then I knew it was close. My time was at hand. He stood in front of me and I was begging Brian to pray. I remember at one point yelling at him to pray and he said he was. But I wanted him to be praying out loud. I looked back at the doctor and said "he's coming... it's so hot.. oh my gosh, I need to push.. this s#*t hurts!" "So push" the doctor said pretty casually.

And push I did.

One big grunt and I heard the nurse say.. "well, there's your son". Apparently *L*'s head just popped right out. There was no one, two, two three... two steps forward, one step back stuff. Right after she said that the doctor said "Stop pushing! The cord is around his neck." (twice, actually). I looked over at my sister, her eyes were bulging as she was holding her breath, tears were streaming down her face. I could feel everyone's tension. I know that it probably wasn't the best idea, and I should have listened to the doctor, but I wasn't about to have another baby die inside of me. I gave it one more big push and he was out. All in all, it totaled just two pushes but it seemed like a long time before everyone was able to take a deep breath of relief. But *L* was screaming, which was music to my ears. They laid him on me and I couldn't believe it. He is here. Alive. Screaming. Looking at me.

He is beautiful. He was so pink and chubby. He has a head full of dark wavy hair.

As the doctor was checking me out and stitching me up, I looked at *A*. It was so sad and so beautiful all at the same time. She was sitting in the chair near my head with her face in her hands, bawling. Inconsolable. She would only acknowledge me by shaking her head "no" when I asked her to come over to me. I repeatedly asked her and every time she said no. I wanted her by my side. But she wouldn't come. I know it was just too much. The memory of her sister, the stress of the delivery, the fear of what was happening to me (because I was in so much pain), the joy of meeting her bother. It all came to a head. She had no other outlet than her tears.

They weighed him and took his apgar scores which were 8 and 9. He was so chunky. He weighed in at 8 pounds and 9 ounces and is 21 1/4 inches long. The longest of any of 'em. Second in weight. He has a head full of beautiful dark hair and a deep dimple in his cheek.

Right away I noticed how much he resembled *A* when she was born. There is such a sweetness about him. I'm in love.

Journal Entry: March 16th, 2009 It feels like Christmas Eve

I remember Christmas Eve at our house as a child. Well, technically, we never held the celebration at our house, we always went to our great grandparent's house where the whole family would gather. Aunts, uncles, cousins. It was usually the only time of the year that we saw some of our distant family, but it never felt like that long had passed since we last saw each other. How funny it is to me now though, there was one cousin in particular that was there every year, that I never knew was a cousin. As a child, he was always "just there" to me. I thought he was a family friend. haha.

But no matter how long we would stay at gramma's house, or how much good food there was or whatever gifts we recieved from our family that night, my sister and I always looked forward to going home. It was when we got home late that night that our parents would let us pick out *just one* present from under the tree to open before we went to bed.

Now, my mom told me, just this last Christmas, that she always orchestrated the gift to be the pajamas we were to wear that night. But I don't remember it that way at all. I don't remember WHAT we got, I just remember the anticipation and excitement of getting to open a gift of our choosing, with the promise of more to come in the morning. I do remember being disappointed a time or two in not getting whatever it was I thought I deserved or wanted as a gift...but obviously it didn't matter what the gift turned out to be... as now I can't even remember what they were. It was always special to pick out that one gift.

My sister and I would have this *deal* every year. We would sleep together in the same bedroom and made a pact that whoever woke up first in the morning had to wake up the other one right away. We couldn't go out and get a jump start on opening presents. We had to wait for each other. The irony in this NOW, as adult women, we seenm to be doing that with our lives still. But now it's with our children. We each have 3 living children right now. Two girls that are 4 months apart and stairstepped cousins. I've got the boys, she's got the girls. Between us we have two 15 yr olds, a 7, 6, 5 and 4 yr old. Then of course, there was Charlotte, and my sis got pregnant and lost a baby right after her. Now I am about to pop and she found out she is alomost 7 weeks pregnant.

We never have planned it that way, it just happens. It is pretty cool though. I'm sure she would agree, this does feel ike Christmas Eve all over again, just like when we were kids. She's going to be in the room to meet little man with me and I know she's excited. It's like peeking into the package a little early for her too.

But this afternoon wasn't so much fun.

My plan was to take it easy, finish up the laundry, relax and wait for nightfall. But somewhere along the lines, plans changed. *M* got sick at church on Sunday (threw up in Sunday school class) and was pretty lethargic all day Monday. *Z* was also not feeling good so I kept 'em both home with me. I had woken up at about 3am with some pretty heavy contractions, thinking that maybe this was it. After a while, I got out of bed, figuring that if they were the real deal then they would intensify and I'd know sooner rather than later. Well, after doing the dishes, cleaning up the kitchen and folding laundry, the contractions slowed down. By 5 o'clock, both boys woke up and wanted cuddle time. I snuggled 'em and got their breakfast together (well, not *M's* he was still not feeling well) and finished up my chores. By this time it was almost 8am. I was beginning to feel exhausted. I called my mom and asked her if she could either come over and sit with the boys or run to the store for me. We needed more 7Up and crackers. She said she would but it woun't be for a while. >>yawn<<. ok.

Then both boys said they were sleepy and wanted to lay back down. Cool. So they had their blankies and cartoons on low.. the living room was dark and I headed off to my room. An hour or so later, my mom calls back to tell me she's on her way over with the stuff. I sit up and notice my bedroom door is closed. humpf. Just then, both guys came n my room, climbed into my bed and told me that they ate all of the "yummy cherry medicine". I had no idea what they were talking about. I knew we were out of the chewable children's acetominiophen, that's what grandma was also buying... so I assumed they meant they ate some cough drops.

Well, we keep the medicine in the kitchen really high up in a tin box. So this means that they were climbing. And scavenging. Arrgggg...

When I made my way into the kitchen to survey the damage, I noticed they somehow found a box of Childrens Triaminic Soft Chews for runny nose and cough. I didn't even know they were in there! Well apparently, big brother thought these would be good for them and doled them out to his little brother and himself. The problem? I don't know how many were in the box to begin with. It said 18, but there was clearly less than that. When I asked them (meaning interrogated them) as to how many they ate, the older said he had 4 and younger ate 5. Well, I could only find 3 wrappers. So when I asked a second time.. he said he had 2 and brother had 2. Still isn't adding up.

So I kept my eye on them both, figuring they would get sleepy for sure. And like clockwork, they settled down. But while little one was sleeping, he sat upright and spit! I told him to not spit on mommy's couch and he just looked at me funny. Shortly after that he started babbling and not making any sense. He stared off into space. It was creepy. But I honestly couldn't tell if he was still asleep or if he was doped up. So I read the box and see that a regular dose is 2 tablets. But still. I don't know for sure how many he ate.

I couldn't find the number for poision control, and I already have the doctors number memorized, so I just called the advice nurse. I was so irritated by this point because you have to go thru a series of automated responses and verifications before you can actually SPEAK to a nurse. Arrggg... again.

When I finally got a live one, she went thru another series of questions that were prompted by the computer. You can just tell. Well, I was getting really annoyed when she finally told me to hold on. This whole process was taking like 20 minutes. She spoke to a doctor and got back on the phone and told me he said to take both boys into the ER. That's when I lost it and started crying. How the heck was I supposed to carry them into the ER? I'm huge! I called *B* and he said he couldn't get here in time. I had to go by myself. It would take him at least 2 hours to get here. More tears... of frustration mostly, but a little bit of fear mixed in too.

So we made it to the ER. Nurse come out for triage and another takes the box I brought and calls Poision Control. Comes back and says that it would take 10x the amount of medication to have any toxic levels in the boy's blood. They would be fine. Whew! But still, go in the back to see the Doc.

He comes in, does a once over on each of the boys and goes to call Poision Control at the nurse's station. Meanwhile *B* shows up. Doc comes back in and says they will be fine. Discharges us. A receptionist comes in and asks for payment. $100. Just for two freaking phone calls to poision control??? I coulda/shoulda done that myself and saved a penny.. or a thousand!!! I was not a happy mommy today. So much for getting things done.

I capped the night off by heading to Bass Pro Shops to walk around. I'm wanting to encourage this guy to stay head down until tomorrow. But even that has come wth a price. I bought fudge for me and *A* , had a bag of coated pecans, stopped at AM/PM for crunchy ice and Cheetos and grabbed an apple juice too. What a pig. lol.

But tonight I'm feeling that rush of excitment and anticipation all over again as it is the eve of a birthday for my child. I hope that at tomorrow's Dr appt I will find that he is still head down and ready to be induced. And although I am not looking forward to an induction, I am even less happy about the possibility of having a c-section. My life is too chaotic to have to stop and slow down after surgery. Not to mention I'm scared of getting cut open. But there is so much I am responsible for in the day to day running of our household that I think it would make things so much harder on me to have *extra* healing to do. There have been many offers of support and help, but I feel funny having people do SO much for us. Pride? maybe.

So here I sit.. waiting.. just like I used to do for Santa to come. But this time the jolly little man will be much smaller. ::wink:wink::

Journal Entry: March 5th, 2009 A Date with Destiny...

More appointments. Blah blah blah. We've hit the ground running with the non-stress tests (NSTs). They strap me up to a monitor to check heart rate and activity levels. And every other appointment we get an ultrasound to check fluid levels. hummm.... not so much "fun" but reassurance is seldom met with excitement. Usually it's met with fear and/or trepidation. It's kinda like a pass or fail test. Today's visit was no exception. BUT... when the reassurance of a beating heart was heard and seen, smiles ensued. I can't believe I'm still getting worried about this.

I was much more at ease in walking into that room today because I had just come out of my regualr appt with Dr. "T". I really appreciate how she seems to be prepared when she speaks with me. She had already talked with the Perinatologist about a plan of action so I was able to get some questions answered. The last being "NO" to the question if I wanted to have my tubes tied, should I have a C section. Let "B" go in and get snippity snipped. I ain't doing it.

She told me that they've agreed to not allow me to go past 39 weeks. And that if Little Man is still breech that we'll do a C section. A giant wall calendar was hanging directly across from the exam table I was sitting on and it practically glowed for me. Holy Smokes! That's 13 days from now!! Wah-hoo!!

She offered me the option of trying a version before then, where the docs manually try to move the baby to a head down position. Uh, no thanks. I've looked into that on my own and... Too risky, too painful.

So she then said we'll proceed with a planned cesarean but if when we get there we find (via ultrasound) that he is infact head down.. then I'll be given pitocin to induce labor so he won't have a chance to flop again. Sounds good to me.

But if I go into labor on my own.. that's ok too. I'd rather have that happen. Pitocin is like snake venom. Evil stuff. So the plan now is to sit and wait and know there is an end in sight . It's exciting to KNOW I have an eviction date set. I'm still leery about a c-section, but I'll get over it, I'm sure. If not, I'll ask for a sedative. lol.

Last week was the first NST. It came on the heels of the 37 week mark. Ugh. I was called into the same room where Charlotte had died. Strapped onto the same bed. Staring at the same monitor.

I was fine... until the nurse turned on the machine. whomp, whomp, whomp...::sigh:: there he is. Ok. then the tears came rolling. I picked up the lower half of my XXXXXXXL shirt and covered my face. The poor attending nurse had no idea what was going on. I didn't go into hysterics or anything.. but it was hard. Really hard. She asked if I was ok, I didn't want to be overly dramatic, yet I didn't want to be so passe that it may make her think it wasn't important to me. So I just said I was ok, I was emotional because my daughter was stillborn and that testing just brings up memories for me. I dried my face and held my breath until the last hanging tear fell.

On with it.

He had a good/strong rhythm and was moving around a ton. whew. 25 more minutes of it and I could leave.

Now every third day I have to go back.

So anyways, today I had noticed that *L* is more quiet than usual. Even this morning, he didn't greet me with his big rolls, turns and jabs... insted, he'd twitch and bump. But at least there was something. I kept wondering if I was being spoken to. Was the Lord gonna tell me again that my child was going home that day? Or would He not allow me to find that out until I was already strapped in? I went about my day, trying not to pay too much attention to him, trying not to jinx myself. Then a cramp came and stayed for a long while. It wouldn't release, but when it finally did, I took notice of his activity again. Still, little movements, bubbles. Not much else can describe it. But I'll take it.

My appt was late this afternoon.
Note to self: I weigh more at the end of the day. lol.

My fluid also fluctuated by one point or whatever they use to measure it. Good. The whole appointment was just so much more than I wanted to deal with today. I wanted to take a nap.
There was such a mix of emotions. There was excitement. Relief. A little anxiety. Smiles.

So now we have a date with destiny. Can't wait to meet you Little One. I love you more than you know.