Saturday, May 31, 2008

Beanie


Beanie, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

Thank-you for the cute little hat, Auntie Dor! I tried to get a cute picture of him in it, but he foiled me, so you get this one wherein he looks like a girl. haha

P.S. Right after I took this shot he peed on his blankie, Tam. It is officially initiated.

5 days new


5 days new, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

It was not a good day for photos. Dark, rainy, muggy. I wanted so badly to get some curled up shots of him before his legs have to be casted on Monday. I had a plan! I had a vision! Mr. Man had other ideas though and refused to sleep for more than 5 minutes. I broke down in tears of frustration several times. I can photograph other people's babies, why can't I photograph mine?!

I was done. Through. Throwing in the towel. But...I had the basket all ready and waiting so I put in a last ditch effort. Again - a wall. My 50mm is just too short for this itty bitty space. I pulled out my trusted old point and shoot.

At last.

This.

It wasn't such a bad day after all. :)

My boys


My boys, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

Friday, May 30, 2008

My VBAC - warning - extremely long post ahead

I had been having bouts of regular contractions for two or three weeks. They weren't like the braxton hicks I had with my other children, they were crampy and too uncomfortable to sleep through. They would begin suddenly, maintain at 6-7 minutes apart for 4 or 5 hours, and then peter out. I wasn't sure if I was experiencing the same thing again this last Lord's Day, until they began to get closer together throughout the afternoon. By 3:30PM they were 5 minutes apart and starting to lengthen in time, so I asked Josh to take me to the hospital. Normally, I would have waited to be absolutely positive it was the real thing, but we're living a good 45 minutes from the nearest hospital that will allow a VBAC and I have a history of rapid labor. I didn't want to chance having him in our van.
It was a beautiful day out. Sunny, warm, and summer-like. I munched on an apple as Josh, Ann (my lovely s-i-l), and I enjoyed a pleasant drive up to Cooperstown. I wanted Ann to come so she could see what a semi-normal birth looks like, rather than the typical hospital routine. The contractions got to about 3 minutes part in the van. I was thinking it wouldn't be long at all once we reached the birthing center.

I was wrong.

There's something about a full moon that brings on labor and we arrived to a packed house. They put me in an observation room while they tried to locate my missing chart. I was glad to see a familiar midwife. She was the kind woman who fit us in that day we were so late because we drove over an hour past our exit.
By about 5PM, they'd located the chart and checked my cervix. About 4 cm. I was informed that because I was a VBAC, I'd be hooked up to the monitors continuously and I wasn't to eat or drink anything except for clear liquids in case I had a uterine rupture and had to be rushed to the OR for an emergency c-section. Oiy. I was starving. Aside from the apple, I hadn't eaten anything since lunch.
Talk about frustrating. I understand the reasoning and I know they're just doing their job, but it seems to me that they are setting women who want a VBAC up for failure. The continuous monitoring restricts you from all but a couple of positions; to your bed for the most part, and how is a woman to keep up her strength without nourishment? Especially with a long labor.
All of this combined with not having a quiet room to settle into and the sting of the catheter being inserted into my hand for the administration of antibiotics as well as to have a line in place in case of the dreaded c-section, was enough to all but halt my contractions.
At around 6pm, they moved me to the larger observation room. There were still no labor/delivery/recovery rooms available so this was to be it. I voiced my complaints to the midwife and asked if I could sign a waiver so I could at least walk around freely to get my labor to progress. She was really very nice about it, but made it clear that I didn't want to go there unless I wanted trouble with the pediatricians, the OB's, and ultimately Child Protective Services. BUT, she said they had a new portable monitor that they could hook up so I could roam about the maternity ward. They put the monitor on, gave me the first dose of antibiotics (for GBS - I was positive this time), and out Josh, the pole, and I went a-walking.
My contractions were all over the place for the next 3 or 4 hours. I wasn't really watching the clock too closely so I can't remember exact times. It was so weird not to have a fast labor. And so boring. I felt sorry for Ann and Josh having to be there with me. I think around 10 I laid down for a bit. I was very hungry and since the contractions weren't getting any closer together, I thought it might be good to take a breather from the walking and squatting stuff. The nurse turned the lights off so I could sleep if I wanted to. A new midwife that I'd never met before came on shift around then and checked to see if I was any more dialated. I was still 4-5cm so she tried to "stir things up" which was quite painful. I wanted to kick her in the head. ASK FIRST, people! Eeps. That didn't do much, so she offered to break my water since the baby's head was very low. She thought it would kick things into high gear. Being hungry and tired with a long night looming before me, I decided to let her do it even though I knew I'd then be on the 18 hour clock for infection.
I had my second dose of antibiotics and another hour passed. I was discouraged so I laid down again and listened to the 16 year old girl down the hall scream her lungs out, poor thing. I heard later that she had her baby and they were all ok. Ann had fallen asleep in the chair so Josh and I chatted quietly. He was of the opinion that if I didn't get back to trying to get the baby to come down, I would be in for it seeing that I wasn't going to get any stronger as the hours went by. It was enough of a pep talk to get me up and going again.
I asked the nurse (who was a dairy farmer, Mom) if she could get me a birthing stool since it seemed like every time I sat on the toilet, the contractions would get closer together. Her shift ended at 11. My contractions were about 4 minutes apart by that point. The new nurse came in, introduced herself, and brought me some ice to munch on. Thankfully, she didn't turn the lights back on. I told her I'd let her know when I needed her and she left me to labor in peace.
I alternated standing up and doing hip swirls, side squats, and pelvic tilts until a contraction would begin, and then I'd sit down on the birthing stool, rock back and forth, and do low hums through them to help me stay relaxed. Eventually, I asked Josh, who was hovering around feeling quite helpless I'm sure, to use his thumbs and fists in my back and hips for counter pressure since the contractions were getting more intense. The time went by very quickly and pretty soon I could feel that familiar burning in my nethers. I was also chilly and shaky so I figured I was in transition. I had Josh get the midwife so she could check me. I climbed up onto the bed for that, and thankfully, she didn't make me stay on my back for more than a few seconds because it was excruciating. I could feel that the baby was crowning so I begged to get off my back and the midwife was totally cool with that. Josh helped me up to my knees and continued to squeeze my hips with his fists as hard as he could. I could feel his arms shaking. He was sore the next day from it. I had a hard time staying on top of the pain at that point. I had to remind myself out loud to hum again and not think too much about the burning. I wish the midwife had applied warm compresses to help with that, but in all fairness, it was happening so fast, I don't think she would have had time to get them. Suddenly, I was in that wonderful place. The place where your body just takes over and pushes involuntarily. Two for his head. I could then feel his shoulders rotating for the first part of the next contraction so I reached down to catch him. Another little push and he slid into my hands. Relief!
The midwife and nurse worked by the light of one lamp to help me unwrap the cord from his torso, clean the goop off of his face, and stimulate him to cry. As I had requested, they didn't take him from me, they didn't cut the cord until it had finished pulsing, they let the placenta come out on it's own (hooray for less bleeding and a MUCH faster recovery), and they delayed his vit k shot and eyedrops, which are mandatory in NY, until he was an hour old and already nursing. They were also very gentle with the uterine massage which was a pleasant change from what I've come to expect. If you haven't had an epidural, having your uterus punched down like a lump of stiff dough is every bit as painful as the worst of contractions. They just let me love my baby. I appreciated that so much since all of the others were whisked away for one reason or another.
After he'd nursed well, the nurse gave him a bath, weighed, measured, and tagged him, and then escorted us to a recovery room with two beds. They also let Josh wheel a recliner in for Ann to sleep on. We got to bed around 3:30am, but it wasn't long until little Walt was awake and looking for Momma. He slept 6 hours the next night though, blessed sweetheart. It was the most continuous sleep I'd had for 6 weeks. I didn't have to pee! haha
The after pains were worse than with Joshy and Emmy, but there's just no comparison between this time and after my c-section. I can't believe women choose to have them over natural birth.
Homecoming was good. We got the kids some gifts and had a little birthday celebration for the baby. I always get emotional when I first see my kids again after being away from them. Addie is a giant as I expected she would be. The kids are all in love with their little brother and want to hold him and love on him all the time. I was worried that Addie would be jealous, so we prepared her ahead of time by making her sit with Josh more instead of me when I was big and pregnant. She isn't a bit jealous, though she cries when I can't pick her up. She absolutely adores him. She tenderly strokes his hair and coos at him whenever she can gain proximity. I have to watch her like a hawk though since she would love to pick him up (most likely by one leg :P ) and pack him all over the house like she does her babies.
As for me, I'm tired from nursing around the clock and I've had a headache today, but otherwise I'm doing well. I have such an incredible family. My m-i-l and sisters-i-l have taken all responsibility off of my shoulders. They cook! They clean! They change diapers! They wipe tears! They are such a blessing. And my husband, my dear husband, has been such a servant. It would be hard not to have a quick recovery under these conditions. :D Now to get rid of this ponch. I gained 45lbs this pregnancy. I'm not sure how much of that is left, but it ern't pretty.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

He looks like Addie in this one

3 days

, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

He looks like a little Indian baby.


, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

He's very dark and ruddy. I might have lightened this too much

10 of clubs


10 of clubs, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

My boy was born with bilateral clubfeet. Poor little guy had blisters on his ankle bones from rubbing up against my ribs. :(
We'll be taking him to a doctor in Syracuse on Monday for his first set of casts using the Ponseti method. If you know anybody with a child afflicted with clubfeet, tell them about Dr. Ponseti's work. It could make all the difference.

Look what Tam made for him!

My sister (one of the girls behind www.scarletstitch.com ) knitted this delicious blanket for my little guy. It was her first big knitting project and she did such a great job. It's sooo soft! I love it. Thanks, Tam! I took a few more of him wrapped up in it. I'll have to post them later though. It's time to eat.

Mom, I just read your last comment and it's agreed, he does look like Uncle Dave. It's the nose I think. At first we thought it was a smooshed up Price nose, but it's reshaped itself since coming home.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day One




Day One, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

I'd like you to meet our little son. He was born at 12:42am on Monday, weighing in at 7lbs 5 oz (my biggest), and measuring 20 inches long.
As my sister announced, we named him Walter Levi. When we first found out he was a boy, we were going to call him Caleb, but talking late one night, we decided to honour both of our Grandpas instead. Mine has gone to be with the Lord already so he won't get to enjoy the sentiment. I didn't want that to be the case with Josh's as well.
Levi is a name I've always loved. It means 'unity' which is something I so long for within the body of Christ.
I'll try to post more snaps and his birth story tomorrow.

Home again, home again, jiggity jog

Thanks for all of your prayers and well wishes. We are home and catching up on some much needed rest. Photos soon!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

It may be wishful thinking...

but I'm a-thinkin' this is it. We're going to head to hospital early to be on the safe side since the contractions are about 5-7 minutes apart. I don't want to give birth in the van, thank you very much. :D

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Due

According to the midwives here, today was the due date (my CNM in Troy thought the 26th). It's come. It's gone. I thought something was happening this morning, but there was no progression again. It's a good thing though because I was exhausted. Tuesday would be good. My favourite midwife is on that day. She's an older lady with a quiet, sweet personality. I don't know what it is about her, but she puts me at ease and I think it's important to be as relaxed as possible when you're in labour.

As with all things, God's timing is perfect. The baby will come at his appointed time.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Giddyup Horsey


Giddyup Horsey, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

Our day is never complete without horsey rides. Ann actually composed a song about it for Addie. She's an addict. If Ann is at the piano or keyboard and Addie spots her, she makes a beeline, shouting out her request all the way.

39 weeks


39 weeks, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

Quite cliche. Getting tired of this little window yet? Ugh.

Because she has foxtails glued to her noggin. :)


39 weeks, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

My boys


My boys, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

This one is special. I have so few of Joshy and I together. He's a bit like me and would rather be behind the camera than in front of it.

39 weeks


39 weeks, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

Well sorta. I forgot to relax the abs.

I finally got a chance to drag out the tripod today. These will probably be the last ones for this pregnancy. I hope.

Nooooooooooooo!

I'm up early. I had a bad dream. I feel the need for a fuzzy blanket and some hot chocolate. With marshmallows please.

I was driving somewhere with Kathy in her old Toyota with the crazy seatbelts. You know, the kind with the shoulder straps that fly out of nowhere and capture you when the car is started. We came to a huge, arching bridge and were started up one side of it. Watching the road ahead, I looked in horror as the pavement disappeared and there were only metal supports to drive on. We were going too fast to stop and there was a long line of cars on our tail so Kathy kept driving until, moments later, the car went off the side. The car spiraled, flipped over, and at last hit the water below. Kathy morphed into a different lady. A lady who told me not to worry because she was the gold medalist for the Canadian diving team at the 1988 Olympics (did they even have a 1988 summer Olympics?). She pulled me out of the car and we swam to the shore none the worse for our ordeal.

Then it hit me. Like a punch in the stomach.

My cameras! They were both...gasp...in...can't breath....the......car. Nooooooo!

Remind me never again to go to bed bewailing the fact that I have no new-newborn photos of either Emmy or Addie. It's hazardous to subconscious perspective.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Batter Up!


Batter Up!, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

The boys were out practicing in the rain this afternoon. She loves to watch them (and get in the way) but I didn't want to get wet so we made a compromise and stayed on the front porch. It was so cute to watch her mimic them.

Random things

Tam, here's a bad snapshot from tonight just in case I don't get a chance to get out the tripod and take better ones:

I have a new admiration for all of the women who can take mirror shots. I couldn't even get it straight!

Flowers from my husband:

These were for Mother's Day, but he often brings me flowers for no reason. When we first got married I told him I didn't care if he ever did the frivolous romantic stuff. "Flowers, jewelry, promises you don't intend to keep." ;) I see the value of it now though. It's not the flowers (or the sour patch!), it's the kindness behind them; him wanting to add a bit a brightness and colour to my world. He is really a sweet guy. I should talk about him more often on here.

"Whatchu lookin' at foo?!"

I've been too lazy to put pigtails in her hair every morning but something simply must be done to keep her hair out of her eyes.

Monday, May 19, 2008

While I'm blogging...

Edited to add this photo of Em with her watch and the new dress. The pink plaid one was a bit too small so I was going to exchange it for the next size up. On the off chance that she'd changed her mind, I asked her if she'd prefer the other one she'd tried on and of course, she did.


I have to write this down so I don't forget it.

Emmy has been struggling to keep her undies dry for over a year now. She rarely wets her pants, it's usually just a few drops, but all of the underwear changes every day were driving me batty. At first I think it was a clue for her to get going, and then I think it got to a point where she just wanted to change from her kitty ones to her "wadybug" ones, and then...I don't know. Habit maybe? Josh came up with the idea to get her a watch with an alarm on it which he set to go off every hour as a reminder to head for the bathroom. For every day she stayed dry, we gave her a dollar. I had been planning to take her on a special shopping spree anyway, so this worked well to everyone's satisfaction.

On with the story.

After she'd stayed dry for 6 days, we went to WalMart to see what we could see. Emmy chose a sweet little pink and green plaid dress and we were headed to buy it when the trusty watch alarm went off.

Now there's something you should know about Emmy. Elderly people melt when they see her. Everywhere we go it's the same and the bathroom is no exception. As we entered, an old woman was shuffling out of one of the stalls, leaning heavily on her cane. Her face lit up when she saw Emmy and she ambled over to have a chat.

Lady: "Oooh, aren't you a pretty little girl! I would guess that you're about three years old."

Emmy: "Yes, I am and my mom says I can wipe mysewf!"

Me: (dies a little bit)

Lady: "Oh, that's wonderful, Sweetheart!"

Me: "Come along, Em. You need to get on the potty now."

Emmy: "It wuv nice to mee-chu!"

She then takes one step away from the lady and loudly asks:

"Momma? Was that a MAN?"

Me: (dies a little more) "Oh. No. (insert high-pitched nervous laugh here) Only ladies in here, sweetie. This is the ladies' room."

I need some of these


I need some of these, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).



Is it just me or do your kids get louder when you hit the 38 week mark?

Smooshy Face


Smooshy Face, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

One of her cousins left their ear protection muffs within her reach. :)

Not much to report

I'll be 39 weeks tomorrow so the baby could come any time now. The nightly contractions have been wearing me out to the point that I don't feel very social. A secluded cave sounds really good. A cave full of Brach's caramels like we used to get when we were kids. Licorice. Caramel and coconut. The white minty ones. Mmm.

They don't have them down here. It's a sad country.

I'll let you know if anything happens. I've been reading a fair bit about circumcision since we know we're having a boy. We didn't have an ultrasound with Joshy and I confess, the subject didn't really cross my mind until we were asked at the hospital what we wanted to do. I could hear him screaming from my room. I don't ever want to put my baby through something like that again unless it's medically necessary. I won't be loading this post down with links, but I encourage you to do your homework if you are (or could be) expecting a little boy.

The kids are waking up. Ta ta.

P.S. Kathryn, thanks for the starfall link. My kids absolutely love it so I only let them "play" it as a treat. I'm crafty like that. ;)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Intense


Intense, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

I can't decide whether I like this or not. It's got a creepy vibe that isn't my thing at all, and yet...I keep going back to look at it again.

Tell me all about it, baby


, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

Can you believe how much she's grown?

I was going through some of my archived stuff from last summer. I'm glad I saved so many of the ones I didn't like on the day I shot them. They get more special with time.

Friday, May 09, 2008

A, B, I c u


A, B, I c u, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

I'm always behind! I just found out today that www.scarletstitch.com has been having their Spring sale this week. It ends tomorrow. Sorry for the late notice!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

No baby yet

Just contractions. They're still pretty regular (6 minutes apart), but they aren't getting any worse so I'm gonna sit tight at home. He could come any time now since he's 37 weeks and considered full term. I don't mind if he stays put for a few more weeks though. It would give me a chance to get a few more meals in the freezer.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

So far, so good

We had the echo done this afternoon. The baby has a tiny hole in the wall between his left and right ventrical, but the Dr. said it was very minor and would likely cause no trouble. We are praising God!

I started having contractions when I was in the cardiologist's office and they continued to be pretty steady on the way home so I *might* be in early labour. I'll try to pop in and let you know if we have to make a dash to the birth center.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My three


My three, originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

I wanted to do a big birthday post with actual snapshots and everything, but I'm too tired to resize them all tonight. I miss picasa and hello.
The party was simple. The cake was a hit (though my inner Martha Stewart was cringing at the sight of it), and my son is now armed with loads of fun activity coupons, moolah, and a mother's next to worst nightmare: a Leatherman. I fully anticipate bloodshed in the near future.

We may...


We may..., originally uploaded by iamaprice(Amanda).

reconsider our plan to let her hold the new baby when he comes. ;)
*No geraniums were harmed during the making of this photograph.*

Addie is cutting eyeteeth and is consequently not sleeping well so rather than frustrating myself trying in vain to sleep, here I sit.

Last week was one of those forever kind of weeks. The kind that feel more like a month. I had an ultrasound on Thursday to check out a few concerns that the ultrasound tech raised during my 28 week US. It was confirmed that the baby is indeed a boy, my amniotic fluid levels are fine, his head is fine, and he does have bilateral clubfeet (that means in both feet). Shortly after I laid down on the table and we got underway, the tech got really quiet and we could tell that something about the baby's heart was troubling her. She couldn't see enough of the area surrounding his heart to be able to tell whether or not there is truly a defect, so on Wednesday, we're going to travel to see a Dr. that specializes in congenital heart defects so he can perform an echo (ECG).

Naturally, after all of this I had a few days of looking around at the mounting waves; fear choking me with every rising "What-if?", but I am at peace now. The Lord is my strength. He is my son's strength too. He will heal him if that is what is best, and if not, He will guide us through this. I believe He already is in regards to the clubfeet.

As some of you know, I was born with a clubfoot, my right one. It's at least a full size smaller than the other one, has a malformed heel, and a 7 or 8 inch scar along the inside of the heel and up my ankle from the surgery I had when I was six months old. It has caused me pain throughout my life if I over-used it, but for the most part it's been fine and I'm thankful for the sacrifices my parents made to have it corrected.
Now to how the Lord is working. Since Thursday I've spent every moment I could spare to read about clubfoot and different corrections for it. I stumbled upon the website of a mom of three boys who all had clubfeet and poured over her information and links. Apparently, there's a method that is 95% + successful at correcting feet non-surgically and a doctor who's experienced in the protocol, called 'The Ponseti Method', practices three hours from here! I emailed him this evening to see if he would be willing to take us on and he replied promptly that it would be no problem and to call him on his cell if we have any questions. Is God not kind?

In light of all of these things, Josh and I have decided to celebrate Joshy's birthday early this year. It's not for another month but life is going to get crazy and we don't want Joshy to feel the rub. It won't be a big to-do (it never is), but we'll try to make it special anyway.

Addie has settled now so it's off to bed for me. If you think of us, please uphold us in prayer.

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