Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ellie's Birth Story

I was trying to come up with a way to describe Miss Ellie's birth...I suppose one could say Kate's was a marathon, Gabby and Nate's were sprints, but Ellie's was an obstacle course.

I woke up at about 12:20 thinking maybe my water had broken.  I went to the bathroom to confirm it--thankful not to have caused a soaking bed.  I brushed my teeth and grabbed a hair tie before waking Justin.  I quickly dressed and woke the children.  Generally it takes quite a lot to wake Gabby, but I just went in and called them twice.  The kids put on their sandals and we made our way to the van, picking up the computer and Justin's insulin on the way.

Once we got on our way I called the doula (we hired a local doul to watch the children at the hospital until my parents could drive in from out of town to get them), the midwives' call service, and my parents so everyone would know what was going on.  We had some drizzle on the way in, but clear roads.  We got the very best parking spot in the garage--maybe 5 spots in from the entrance (which is directly across from the ER.  We passed through the security point and waited awhile for a nurse to come and get us.

The doula kept the kids talking and distracted.  I was so glad we found her, so we could focus on baby.  They started calling Gabby, Gate.  So the kids were Kate, Gate, Nate, and the baby was Late.

Thankfully labor was moving quite a bit slower than our last two babies.  We spent about a half hour in triage while we got a quick assessment to show I really was in labor and got my IV port placed, which took several tries and hurt quite a bit the entire time it was in and for a couple of days after.  Then we moved to labor and delivery.  At some point my parents arrived and took the three big kids home to sleep in their beds for what was left of the night.

In the mean time we were seeing heart rate decels for the baby on the monitor during the intermittent monitoring, so I had to be on the monitor continuously.  Unfortunately after two hours my feet were getting tired, but every time I tried to sit the monitor would loose her.  We couldn't find a happy medium where I could stand during contractions and sit between.  Before long though the decels were lasting longer and the midwife went to consult with a doctor.

To improve the baby's heart rate I was ordered to bed on my side, with an oxygen mask, IV fluids, and an amniotic lavage.  It was miserably painful to labor that way, and I was scared for her.  Perhaps thankfully, I don't have full memory of this time.  I remember crying in fear for her and not being able to see what was going on because of my position (all the monitors and nurses were behind me) and hearing very little because of the oxygen.  I also remember telling them I didn't like lying in the stupid bed.  And if you happened to be down the hall--sorry I know I was loud.

Finally it was time to push.  Again, everything was hazy because I couldn't hear or see (I was flat on my back--I evidently asked for that, but can't remember that either).  At the end though I clearly heard, "Call the docs!" and Justin being told to pull the emergency cord.  Almost immediately thereafter the little gal was on my stomach, but I was so confused--I didn't know if something was wrong with her or with me.  I asked what was wrong and was told that everything was fine.  Evidently her shoulder was caught, but I was able to push her out before the emergency team arrived to help.

It was definitely the hardest delivery for me.  I am so thankful that she was born safely despite all the difficulties.  The hospital pediatrician checked her shoulders closely and they are fine.  We were able to do a discharge the next day and rest at home in my own bed, which is so nice after two nights of very little sleep.

She is beautiful and lovely.  She's been sleeping well at night between feedings.  Her brother and sisters adore her.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Funnies: Nate on the Baby

Before the arival of baby girl we told the littles her name.  Nate took a little teaching to learn it.

Me: Hey Nate, what's the baby's name?

N: Goliath!

Me: Okay, that's what we call her now, but what will we call her?

N: I dunno.

Me: Her name is Elliana.

N: I want to call her Nate!  [pause]  No, that's a boy name.  We'll call her Goliath.

*     *      *     *     *

Me: What do you think about the baby?

N: She's a lump in there!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Welcome Baby

Welcome Elliana Noelle
Born September 25th
7 lbs. 13 oz.
19 3/4"



Happy Birthday to my oldest.  She is growing up so quickly.  Sometimes it seems like just yesterday, but then again it is hard to remember life before this gal joined our family.  She is full of enthusiasm and ideas.

We love you Katie Girl.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Still Here!

I had a nonstress test yesterday.  The baby looks good, so we will keep waiting for her awhile longer.  I've never been quite this pregnant before, but I am thankful that I feel quite well.

I haven't gotten a picture this week, but here is 40 weeks:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Funny

Justin and Gabby were discussing the likely colors of dinosaurs.  He told her that they were likely brown and green, but we weren't sure.  Maybe even yellow.

She answered, "Not a working liver!"

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Board Books

I love books.  When I was a child I loved Scholastic book orders, book fairs, book stores, and the library.  When I got to college, I got the opportunity to study children's literature there too.  I don't have nearly as much time to devote to reading (for myself) as I once did, but now I get to share great books with the littles (and not so littles--as Kate will be eight (!) in a week).  We've read some great classics in the past couple of years, but now we get to pull out some of those fun board books again.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Guess How Much I Love You is a sweet little book in which the parent always loves the child more.  It is the first book I remember Justin reading to the kids--

he also read Kate a lot of chemistry journal articles as a baby, but this is a little sweeter.  He'd lay on his back next to her in the floor and hold the book above them to read it.

Horns to Toes and in Between is a fun book.  It teaches body parts, I suppose, but it is so funny that you wouldn't know it.  And, unless your a monster, I guess most of us don't really have the tails that are described in the book either.  The children love that there are instructions to tickle them in the book.  Sandra Boynton is a favorite author here.

Moo, Baa, La La La! is another Boynton book.  It is full of animal sounds and more silliness.

Prayer for a Child is my absolute favorite.  I believe that it was in the church nursery when I was little because it seemed vaguely familiar to me when I read it when I was in college, as part of one of those literature classes.  It is simple and sweet and has the most darling illustrations.  We read it to

Kate every night for about a year.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In the Waiting

I know a lot of women get really upset that they continue their pregnancies past their due dates.  I have to say, I'm not phased, of course I've done it with the three before!  I have my moments when I'm ready to be finished, but for the most part I am just thankful.  I'm thankful that baby is healthy and so am I.  I am grateful that my discomforts are very minor.  I am choosing to be glad of each night of (relatively) unbroken sleep I'm getting and every day we're getting in of school before we have another little person who needs my attention.  I'm looking forward to meeting our little gal face to face, but until she's ready to show herself, I'll try to be thankful for these last few hours and days.

Monday, September 16, 2013

For the Oldest and the Youngest

From earlier in the month:

Kate: Did you know it was Old People's Day?

Me: You mean Respect for the Aged Day? (I had noticed the holiday on my calendar, but had not noticed the date..)

Kate: Yeah, so PawPaw went to the grocery and saved 10%.

Me: Oh, that's Senior Citizen's day at the store.

Kate: No.  They called it Old People's Day.

Okay then...Happy Respect for the Aged Day!  And Happy Due Date baby!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Funnies

Gabby: Kate wants to eat snails at her wedding.  I want McDonald's.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Helpers

Shortly after Gabby was born I started having trouble with sciatica.  It was debilitating for quite awhile.  Eventually, I was able to get past the pain.  I've had a few issues with it since then, but they have been minor.  This past week I over did--I did my typical Friday vacuuming and bathroom cleaning, and then I scrubbed and waxed the wood floors on Saturday.  By Sunday, I was having trouble getting into and out of chairs and even walking.

I was afraid that I was in for a long painful end of this pregnancy, not to mention trying to figure out how to get through labor when you can't sit, stand, or walk comfortably even without contractions.  I had noticed that the pain was much worse when I bent or twisted, so Monday as I went about my day, when I came to anything that required bending I asked the munchkins to help.  They handed me the plates from the dish washer, put the dry laundry into a basket for me, picked up the items from the lowest shelves at the store, and helped haul the groceries up the stairs into the house.

I adore babies and can't wait to hold a little bitty in my arms again, but I am thankful for my big helpers too.  The help they gave let my body heal and now I feel much better.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

State of the School

While some places started school last week, we are 65 days in.  The year has been chugging along.  We're approaching the halfway point in our history book and 40% in our science and writing courses. Both girls are in the second semester books for their math classes.  We tend to stay a bit ahead in those because the first books are a little shy of the 180 days in our year and they often did an extra page here and there in the beginning because the lessons were short and the girls were excited.  Kate's spelling is perpetual in Spelling Power until she finishes the book (probably around middle school).  She's a third of the way through her vocabulary an half way through her grammar.  Gabby's reading has improved a great deal this year too.  We're enjoying hearing her read aloud to us, herself, and Nate.

We are just about where I was hoping to be.  I'm trying to be realistic about our days once the little one arrives.  I figure that we may need slightly less structure for a bit and spend more time reading in the living room, which will be a nice change of pace after we take off the rest of September (after the birth day) and at least the entire month of October from regular schooling.

I also thought I would mention Kate's cursive handwriting, since we've struggled with it, and I mentioned that even Handwriting Without Tears produced tears.  She is liking the book now and is more confident in her abilities.  It was definitely a change for the better for her.  It is much simpler that any cursive I learned (I learned three different styles because I was in teacher education in college), but the author pointed out that if the student learns the basic structure the loops can be added easily later.  Currently her cursive is more legible than her print.  Hopefully that will continue and she can make the switch so her writing is easier to read.

The timer has become my friend lately.  As Kate is getting increasingly older, I want her to work independently on practice tasks in a timely manner, even when I leave the room.  I found that she works much more efficiently if she knows that she will be leaving a subject and moving on if I do that.  The consequence was always the same, that she didn't get as much free time at the end of the day, but I think that she makes the choice more consciously this way.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Funny

Nate (after we had breakfast for dinner): Do we have dessert?

Me: No, but you had jam on you toast.  Isn't that like dessert?

Nate: No.  It is not.