Monday, July 27, 2009

No More Bumps: The Birth of Matthew Aaron (Part Two)

Welcome Matthew Aaron!!

So Matthew was born at about 5:00 a.m. the morning of the 14th of June.

I quick sent Matt to call my parents (who at that time were actually at the airport and my mom was boarding the flight to come out). My Dad who was still seeing her off, luckily, told her through the metal detectors that she had a new grandson!

Ahhh the sweet relief of finally getting that baby out! We had chosen to delay the newborn procedures, the weighing, measuring etc for an hour just to enjoy the bonding with him. Unfortunately that didn't really work out too well, for me at least. Similarly to the last delivery I had A LOT of bleeding. Also in Matthew's swimming descent he shredded the bag of waters. With all the crazy kicking and rotating it was in pieces and they couldn't get it all out and I was bleeding and bleeding. Luckily for me I did not need a transfusion :-) but, I did need a D & C. They tried for a long time in the delivery room to get everything out, but after all that I had to go into surgery and be completely put under. (They worked for a long time without anesthesia and honestly I don't even remember the decision to do that, but I think they understood that I would rather not have an epidural and though I don't remember conversing about it in surgery, I didn't end up with an epidural...) Before we went to surgery I had to ask about the weight of the baby and length. They still hadn't done it and let us know that he was 9 lbs 1 oz and 21 inches. As Matt pointed out to me recently this was hours after his birth (and after 2 diapers!) so his initial weight was probably a bit higher, but we don't really know. We also never heard an apgar score. It was a little nuts!

Waking up was very strange since I didn't really remember a decision to be put under in the first place. It was hours later and I didn't know where I was (in the hospital) or even that they had to do a D & C (as there was a chance in surgery that they would be able to get out everything they needed without doing one), Matt appeared RIGHT as I was waking up which was a Godsend because everything after the delivery had been pretty discouraging and just finding out that I had to have a D & C and not having seen the baby for hours would have been difficult without him to talk me through it. He said he had to really pressure people to find out where I was and what had happened. Apparently when they took me to surgery they said I "would be out soon" and no one came to tell him when they decided to put me under OR when they decided to do the D & C. He was in the nursery with our (as yet unbraceleted child) watching him like a hawk. He told me later that he had to fend them off with their little bottles of formula because they were saying they didn't know where the baby's mom was and it had been too long since he had eaten. *grateful sigh* Thanks to my wonderful husband who flat out refused the formula and came and found me and then brought me my newborn so he could eat!

All in all, I'm glad the whole thing is over. The labor and delivery themselves were remarkably similar to Joey's and not too difficult, the recovery was a little bit tougher though and my heart goes out (for all reasons!) to all the women out there who have had a D & C. They are very painful. There is also a big difference between an 8 lb baby and an over 9 lb baby and I was shocked to find out that he was so big, especially since I had gained 15 lbs less this pregnancy.

Matthew ate and slept well for the rest of the stay in the hospital and we were so glad to leave the next day and come home! We were all pretty tired as it's so hard to sleep in the hospital with people coming in and out but grateful for the help and support.

I feel very blessed to have had the generous support of friends to watch our first little baby in the pinch of another fast birth, and the care of both of our families who have been visiting since Matthew's birth (I hope to post more about that later). I am especially grateful to my husband who has unwaveringly been a rock through the births of these 2 little boys. I literally could not do it without him by my side, through the whole thing. He is spectacular! And although there have been difficulties, I wouldn't trade either experience for anything. Birth is truly amazing and we continue to be thankful for the healthy births of 2 wonderful little boys!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

We Interrupt This Incredibly Long Birth Story....

To announce a very cool giveaway!! On Kimberly's website "Thirty-one Eighteen" you can find cute products for your baby, and for yourself (if you are a woman ;-)

Go check it out! This is a great way to not only support a small business, but ALSO a Stay-At-Home mom, and a sister in Christ!

You've still got 3 hours to comment and put up a link for another entry to win. Good luck and enjoy!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No More Bumps: The Birth of Matthew Aaron (Part One)

The best posts always take the longest! (at least I tell myself that and it makes me feel better ;-)

I really love reading the birth stories of all my friends and talking to them about their experiences! It's amazing how something that ends the same (new child is born) can go so differently for so many women. Even between Josiah and Matthew's births there were many differences, yet many things that were exactly the same. It's also curious to wonder whether the similarities are because they were both boys or for another reason.

So without further ado...

It all began on Saturday the 13th. Matt and I were both up late the night before doing some last minute preparations for my Mom's arrival on the afternoon of the 14th (4 days before the due date). I was finishing painting the molding in the boy's room and Matt was rehanging curtains in the recently painted guest room and doing some work in his studio. I think we made it to bed by like 2 a.m. We had decided that since mom was coming on Saturday and the baby would come after that and we would have family flowing in and out of the house for weeks, that as a celebration of our last day as a family of 3 we would do some special things. We were going to find a children's hair salon, take Joey for his first haircut, visit a beachfront park and fly kites and have dinner out. We actually made it through most of that, I am proud to say. Matt had a meeting or a photoshoot or something in the morning (6 weeks out I can't actually remember what it was now...) until about noon so our fun started after Joey's nap. Sometime around noon I started to feel uncomfortable and like I was having a few contractions but they weren't painful. I had a few Braxton Hicks (just for the last month) and they felt about the same. These went on for a few hours, continuing after Matt came home. I really didn't think too much about it.

Right before we went out they started to get really uncomfortable/borderline painful and I would need to stop what I was doing for a minute or so. I remember as we were leaving the house I forgot something and had to go back in to get it, and I told Matt that it might take a while because it was pretty uncomfortable walking around, and the more I moved the worse it got. Probably this was a really good sign that it was all starting (Oh and I FORGOT!! I was bleeding this whole time! just a little bit but enough to figure something was going to happen that day or in the next few....I just assumed the later). So we left and went to get Joey's haircut, which was great and I'm so glad we did it all together. During that time I didn't really notice any discomfort but the whole thing was very exciting, watching your baby transform into a little boy so I probably could have had a baby pop out there and not notice!

When we left we headed to the park where we were hoping to fly some kites. We drove around for a while trying to find a good spot and discovered a new (to us) park with nice dog walking areas right on the water! By the time we got there I did NOT feel like flying kites. Not. at. all. I felt like sitting down or laying down. I was irritable and frustrated but didn't really know why. Everytime I stood up or moved around I was having a contraction or at least a LOT of discomfort and I just wanted to go home, well....I just wanted to eat somewhere and then go home. We didn't really have dinner planned since we planned on having it out and I didn't want to go home to no food for Matt and Joey and have to make something. Matt graciously agreed to ditch our kite flying plans and we found a great Indian restaurant nearby and sat down to a nice dinner! While we waited for food I called our BACKUP-emergency-we-won't-actually-need-you-to-do-anything-but-just-in-case friends, and explained what was happening. I felt very much like it was all starting but slowly and we would certainly make it 24 hours (less really until my mom arrived). Shows how much I learned from Joey's birth. They live about 20 minutes away from our house (the same town where I was delivering) and we had envisioned dropping Joey off if we had the baby before Mom's arrival. Dinner was great and after that we headed home.

True denial I think started to set in for both of us. I had to stop on the way to the car with a contraction but onward we plowed assuring each other that it was probably false labor. uh huh. False labor that gets painful, closer together, makes you bleed and you can't move during it. *sigh* Once we got home we put Joey to bed and all I could think about were Cristen's words to me from my "Thoughts on Two". At that point I knew, as I was putting him to bed that it was the last night he'd be my only child.

Matt encouraged me to take a warm shower and lay down. He thought maybe if I laid down it would all go away. heh heh. We really really hadn't thought that the baby would come before family made it! So I showered and he put things in the car (just in case) and we each did a few more things around the house. Somewhere around 10:00 I called my friend Sarah again to let her know that we weren't coming out (to the hospital and their house) that night and I thought it would be the next day and thanks for being available! Thank Heavens. Then I got off the phone and called our BACKUP2-this-is-really-going-fast-and-we-can't-take-Joey-anywhere-because-we-have-to-haul-you-know-what-to-the-hospital-can-you-PLEASE-come-over-quick! Jamie and Lexie live in Oakland :-)

I told Lexie what was happening at this point. I called because I honestly thought we were ok enough to be able to wait at home until my mom was here, and if things suddenly went fast enough that we had to go to the hospital then we definitely would not be taking Josiah anywhere! I said again, with full faith that it was true, that we just wanted to let them know and we'd probably be fine until my mom's arrival in like 18 hours...famous last words.

These contractions went from seriously uncomfortable to can't move or talk painful in like 2 hours. It was so fast. We didn't time them or write them down. It was just a little while later that I yelled for Matt (in one of the brief moments in between contractions when I didn't need him) that we had to call Jamie and Lexie and we had to leave for the hospital AS SOON as they hit the house.

Matt called and honestly, they must have flown to our house. Lexie did I ever mention that??? You got there SO fast!! Thank you so much. We left right away, but not before Lexie said a very nice hello and I basically told her that I couldn't talk and she should go upstairs *sheepish look*. Well seriously, I did NOT want to freak the girl out and suddenly yell in pain! I think we made it out of the house without me scaring her too much....I hope (after I said to Matt that I didn't think I could move about 6 times, and he very firmly said, YES YOU CAN and you have to RIGHT NOW). For those of you who know Matt you should see him in a time of necessity. It's amazing! I wouldn't cross him!

So Joey is still safely asleep in bed, Jamie and Lexie are staying at our house, my mom is blissfully unaware of any of this and getting ready to wake up and head to the airport and Matt is speeding to the hospital (he assured me he didn't think he went over 100mph). I closed my eyes most of the trip and intermittently shouted at him not to hit ANY MORE BUMPS in the road. Those were terrible! You never will realize how awful your interstate is until you drive down it in labor! Matt was very sweet. At a really really stressful time where he's probably worried about delivering a baby in the car instead of hollering at me something true and obvious like: "I can't control these bumps!" or "I'm TRYING not to hit any bumps!!" everytime I said (yelled) NO MORE BUMPS he just said "Ok." in this very calm reassuring voice that ridiculously made me feel like he wouldn't hit any more bumps ever and he wasn't even upset at me for yelling! I assure you that this kind of patience is not found everywhere and I DO know how lucky I am!
Everytime I opened my eyes on that drive we were further along then I thought we'd be. By this time it was 2:30 or so in the morning. We got there and found our way butted past inprocessing (that's what happens if you say you're pushing!) and examined in triage in about 2 seconds.

Thus begin the similarities... 10 cm. again. Trust me, we don't try to do this. I would much rather go from 7 to 10 cm in the hospital and have some time to adjust to the fact that there will be a baby SOON. I would rather not be in that much pain in a car or wonder how close it really was to happening on the interstate. I have this (so far unfounded) fear of getting to the hospital and having someone tell me I am only 2 cm. Anyway, I was 10 cm again upon arrival. We were in a room within minutes with a bunch of nurses and Sonja the midwife who delivered Matthew.
At this point with Josiah (just arriving at the hospital and 10 cm. dilated) I was told it was time to push him out and had over 1 1/2 of hard pushing. I wasn't ready to push and didn't have the urge to push. After considering this for 21 months.... I decided that my suspicion was that Joey wasn't at a very low station, even though I was fully dilated. I never asked so I don't know. See ideally when you are at 10 cms. dilated you will be at a positive station, maybe even +3...making it easier for the baby to come out.

This time I had the experience to ask and found out that the baby was at 0 station. So I asked if I could just wait and labor a while without trying to push him out. They had a tub in the room and I got in and waited about an hour or longer, pushing with the contractions and hoping for progress. After what seemed like FOREVER the midwife examined me and said that I was at (drumroll please):

0 station.

So I asked if it's possible that this is just how it goes for me, and if it's just a question of me buckling down and deciding to push the baby out. The midwife said it was hard to say....that eventually the contractions might bring him down further, or that it could continue the way it was. So, that was pretty much all I needed to hear. I said it was time to get out (can't have baby in the tub) and push the baby out. About 30 minutes or so of pushing later, Matthew was born. It probably could have been less time, but as he was still at 0, and my water hadn't broken, and he turned a LOT when he was coming out (Matt said that he could see his head turning right while he was coming out) it took a little longer for a second baby.

Wow- that was SO LONG. If you are still reading you must really be a good friend! :-) Well that is not quite the end of the road for us, so stayed tuned for Part 2!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

Allow me to introduce you to my little friend.... the training collar. Muahahahahaha

Ok seriously, Matt told me about these collars months ago, before we even had Ziggy. A few weeks ago before we bought one, I finally understood why we needed it. We had just a regular...

dog collar. Easy opening, hassle-free dog collar. Then somewhere around 4 months or so, when he started getting bigger and more interested in, well, everything and everyone he started to pull and pull and PULL....until walking this (sometimes gentle) giant became akin to being pulled by a team of huskies. He sounded AWFUL too, like he was being strangled down the street. Enter the training collar. These lovely little prongs are flat on the end, not spiky. If he is walking normally (as he is being trained to do) next to you, then the prongs lay flat (for the most part) along his neck, they don't dig in or even bother him, but if he pulls, then they poke him in the neck. They aren't painful, just annoying and a reminder to him to walk next to the person walking him. If he won't move when we call him or is trying to pull off in the direction of a person he wants to visit with, usually a verbal reminder will get him moving now, or a quick pull. This type of training collar is supposed to be more humane, really, because it keeps them from (constantly) choking themselves!

Happy Walking!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Not Me Monday....

Visit Mckmama's blog to see the new look of Not Me Monday and read all about what her and other blog readers have not been doing this week!

I have not gotten repeatedly exasperated with our giant puppy in the last few weeks, especially after he chewed up Matty's coming-home-from-the-hospital hat and has decided that the bottom of the bassinet (where we keep the newborn clothes) is a great place to find nice things to chew on.

I definitely did not whine about him so much that I was worried our family all thought I didn't like him. I promise I love our puppy, he just makes me a little nuts! That's ok right?? We do have a new baby and a bumbling-ogre dog frolicking around the house.

I am not planning on leaving Joey in his p.j.s until naptime and (of course myself staying in mine too) and taking a GIANT NAP then! To get Joey to take said GIANT NAP so that I can take a GIANT NAP I am not trying to figure out how to wear him out without actually leaving the house, or really doing anything. (This may be tricky) I am also not secretly thrilled that he very interestedly watched 10 minutes of Dora the Explorer and let me type this, because he rarely is engaged enough to stop and watch anything!

Since Matt does so much work on our business and taking care of us in general, this morning I did not actually think in my head "Why do I have to get up to take care of both kids and he can sleep if we go to bed at the same time!!" It would be wrong of me to begrudge him a morning here and there...

And Lastly... This morning after the last of our family (Matt's mom) left for the airport, we (I) did not temporarily panic when the baby wouldn't settle between 6 and 7. I did not really really panic when Joey woke up during that time also (much earlier than he is ever up) thinking that now that it was just Matt and I, these kids were going to go crazy! (Goodbye mornings of sleeping until 8:30 *waving sadly*) and especially definitely did not panic since Matthew has literally slept like he has been in a coma since he was born and we certainly have NO complaining to do, so to worry over an hour of restlessness in 3 weeks for a second child would simply be silly. As a mom with a newborn and a 21 month old, it would be wrong to even mention a rough morning when you still got 8 hours of sleep.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I know my faithful readers meant to comment on how GREAT Joey's finished room looks (from the pictures in the last post), but you all must have forgotten! I'm sure it's just a casual slip-up, especially considering how I wrote about the "Great Wall Fiasco of 2009" so now you all have a second chance to tell us how FANTASTIC it looks! This was my first solo painting job, and Matt's first time putting up molding!

So here's a little progression for you:

This is a little snapshot of Joey's empty room before we bought the house.

This is the ceiling in the bedroom before it was spackled and painted. Most of the ceiling was cracked and chipped up like this. Between our guest room and the boy's room we used 3 1/2 large containers of spackle.

From all the spackling and sanding there was A LOT of dust!

This is a Before of the closet in the Boy's room. It took a surprisingly long time to cover the blue.

When I was finished with the ceiling it looked like a giant spider web.

In process...

The Great Wall Fiasco... I was nearly finished the evening this happened and ended up going to bed when it looked something like this.


Ta Dah!!!

Joey wants to show off his new walls with his new art!! (p.s. that's the same wall as above) Matt and I wanted to do something special for his room, so here they are....

If any of you out there are looking for some art for your children's room(s) we would love to recommend our talented artist! They are original, on canvas and we love them! Here are some close-ups.

The paintings look a little darker here then they actually are. I tried a few pictures with and without a flash to take care of the glare. So the first picture with the glare, gives you a better idea of the true color of the walls and painting, and the second picture gives you an idea of what the painting looks like, without a big old glare on it. The turtles are kind of Joey and Matty turtles...

So, here is your chance at redemption! :-) Feel free to let us know how awesome it looks! Sorry if this was a horribly shameful, begging blog. I have no shame, really.