Saturday, August 30, 2014

Special Delivery

I delivered a BABY this week!

Aaaaaand... Let's back up.

When I was pregnant with our first, Patrick, Joe and I took a birthing class together. It was very inspirational about managing pain and going naturally so I wrote up a perfect little birth plan which absolutely DID NOT work out. Labor lasted forever and ever, which gave me plenty of time to get pretty upset with my husband, who was pretty upset that I was being nasty to him (who's in the wrong here? Obviously Joe! You can't take a laboring woman personally), and by the end of a 32-hour labor we were both exhausted. Emotionally exhausted, yes, but I was also physically exhausted, had a c-section, and now a newborn on my hands. Contrary to all our great plans, it was not a great experience!

When Kari got pregnant with their first I informed her that she needed someone besides her loving husband there to be a labor support, and I pretty much told her I would be there whether she liked it or not. I would save their marriage from labor insults and frustrating lack of support! She chose to get an epidural and labored in peace, though, so I was only mildly helpful in cheering her on when it came time to push. She pretty much didn't need me there at all! BUT, it was such a cool experience for ME, I loved being there for a delivery where I wasn't the one on the table, I asked her on each subsequent delivery if I could be there. She said yes, and I ended up being much more helpful during those when epidurals were delayed, or not given at all thanks to disbelieving nurses. Each experience was AWESOME! Maybe not for her, but I really loved being a support and rubbing her back and encouraging her during contractions, and then seeing the delivery always just boggled my mind.

A friend here in Pueblo was due with their third baby and she came to me for some labor advice - her second delivery was a c-section and Pueblo can be a tricky place to have a VBAC, so what doctor did I recommend? Would I recommend a doula? A midwife? How were my own VBAC experiences? I filled her in, recommended getting a doula (we had one when I delivered Eli, she was fantastic), and in the absence of a female family member or a doula I offered myself as a labor coach. To my surprise, she accepted! So we met a few times to discuss her labor plan, talk about her previous deliveries, talk about my previous experiences, and get ready for the big day.

Enter the Big Day.

She texted me around 8 a.m. to say she'd been contracting all night and today was the day! I had just set the kids down for breakfast so I told her I'd finish feeding them and be right over. I got to her house around 8:45; her husband informed me she was upstairs and pretty ticked at him so he was handing off the pregnant lady. She was in her room, timing contractions with an app on her phone, so when one started I hopped right in and massaged her back. When the contraction was over she said she needed to use the bathroom, so I waited in the room and she went across the hall. I could hear her struggle so I called to her to see if she wanted me to start timing a contraction, but instead she called "Kirsta, can you come in here?" Sure! Rub her back through a contraction or something. Instead, sitting on the lavatory, she looked at me with concern and said, unbelievingly, "Am I going to have this baby at home?" Ummmm... no, I don't think so..... I figured she was in transition, where you get all shaky and lightheaded and labor gets crazy, so I told her to husband to get a towel we could sling between her legs to get her to the car, and I would take her pants off to do the slinging, but then looking where that towel would go I immediately changed my story - she was crowning! "Yes, we ARE going to have a baby at home! We need to get you onto the floor here..." At this point her husband asked what he needed to do so I sent him for some towels for the delivery and some pillows to help her be comfortable. He came back quickly, we got her fixed up, and in only another minute she was pushing some more. I was kneeling down on the floor, front and center doing all those things I've witnessed at those 4 deliveries (plus my own 3 VBACS), and within 2 pushes there was a head, a huge gush of fluid, and I delivered the baby!

I mean, SHE delivered the baby, seriously - it would have come whether or not I was in the room. I remember being pretty frustrated at more than a few deliveries that the doctor comes in as you're ready to push, they catch the baby and call it good! Anyone can catch a baby, it's laboring that's tough! But being able to be there, to be the one to catch the baby, was one of the absolute most amazing experiences of my life.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ethan, aaaalmost 2

Ethan is potty training and is very pleased with the amount of applause he gets every time he uses the potty, so he's keeping it up really well. It's been 3 weeks with only a few minor pee accidents. #2 is a different story, he prefers to use his diaper, if he's wearing one for naps or bed, or a "discreet" location like the bottom of the staircase on the carpet... but it'll come with time.

He expands his vocabulary every day and is a total parrot for repeating, but his favorite things, in no particular order, are Mama (he looooves me), Dada (a celebrity on his motorcycle), Bobba Dan (Bob the builder), Diggy Dump (any kind of construction machine), and Pakeet (Patrick). His overwhelming love for Patrick reminds me of when he was a newborn - he would turn his head to listen to the voices of mom, dad, and Patrick, who had talked to my tummy a lot. It always made Eli so frustrated because he wanted the baby to look at HIM! Now Ethan's closing in on 2 years old will repeat everyone's names (including his cousins) but doesn't care about the actual person unless you ask him about Patrick - then he runs across the house yelling "Pakeet! Pakeet!" It's my best diversionary tactic at the moment! Luckily, Patrick loves Ethan and is very good about letting him hang out and play or will read a book to him while I'm busy.

Speaking of books, he is my 2nd best book reader, following closely behind Pakeet. He has to snuggle in super-close to my side, his hands in his lap, my arm around his back to hold the book; THEN we can read. And boy, do we read! I have a milk crate full of board books, plus a few larger books of his on the shelf, and I would be shocked if we read less then 20 books together a day. Maybe not 20 DIFFERENT books, like he'll want "Old Hat, New Hat" and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" at least 3 times in a row each time. It becomes tricky when Patrick wants to keep reading Harry Potter (we're on book 4... again) and Ethan wakes up early from his nap... I can't distract him by telling him to get Pakeet, because Pakeet also wants him distracted! So Bobba Dan fills in for a few minutes... never long, because Ethan's favorite thing besides Pakeet is reading books, so he'll snuggle in and plop his board book on top of Harry and we just have to be done until bedtime.

We're looking forward to him turning 2! This is the first time I've had a 23-month-old and not had another baby. It's a different experience - mostly different that I can still call him my baby guy! Everyone else looked like a giant once the newborn came and they were de-throned as the baby. So although I know he's giant, talking and potty training, he's still my baby.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Silly saying

I still haven't written up our long vacation in July, and here the end of August is upon us... but still, it's not gonna happen here! Another night, perhaps, complete with pictures...

Tonight is saved for funny things I heard from my kids lately.

As I do laundry I leave the boys' clean items on top of their dresser, then on Saturday they need to get them all put away. Sometimes things stick together and they accidentally get Caroline's sock, or a dish towel, and this week they got a pair of my underwear... like, cutesy underwear. Eli said, "Oh, no mom - an accident. We got Caroline's underwear." I looked and smiled, "No, those are mine. You can put them in my room." Eli's eyes went wide as he held them up and laughed, "They're teeeeeny!" I had to laugh, too - I'm pretty sure I could wear Eli's underwear. It's always a shocking moment when you realize you're the same size as your mother.

Patrick came across Joe's old iPod, which he had used at the gym that morning, and handed it to me wondering what it was a remote to (his earbuds weren't attached, it does look a remote for apple t.v.). I said, "It's not a remote, it's dad's iPod." Patrick prepared himself to be disappointing, stating, "but dad hasn't downloaded any games on it, has he?" I chuckled and said, "No, iPods ONLY play music, you can't play games on them." Eli happened to be playing with a red dollar store calculator at that moment (one of their all-time favorite dollar store purchases), and declared, "This is my iPod. It only plays numbers."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Baby bird

 While trimming out some dead wood from out neighbor's bush I accidentally disturbed a bird's nest. Two eggs fell on the ground, so I picked ten up, put them back in the nest, and hoped for the best. Sure enough, the mother bird came back and took care of her eggs, and sure enough, one of those eggs hatched. I felt terrible that both didn't make it, but saying "my bad!" didn't seem to change anything, so I just felt happy that at least one survived. Every day the kids would go out and check on it's growth (it was in a bush, not a tree), and before we knew it the little thing was getting ready to fly! We came home from church to find it perched on our porch swing; we sloooowly crept up so we wouldn't frighten it.... then we sloooowly got closer and it still didn't budge.... so we got closer and took a picture....

...after a few minutes we realized that bird wasn't moving an inch! No sneaking necessary. The kids enjoyed watched it, they brought it a bowl of water and some bread crumbs, they eventually got bored and found other things to do, and THREE HOURS LATER THE BIRD STILL HADN'T LEFT!

.... and I realized it had positioned itself in front of the cracked-open window, which was blowing cold air.

Pretty smart baby bird.

Monday, August 11, 2014

This summer has been one for the books in terms of construction action around the neighborhood! Two houses laid sod, one of those houses had a skid steer and ditch-witch to dig a sprinkler system in,  and our next-door neighbor had a new sewer clean out installed in her front yard. Her project included the work of a backhoe loader. It was parked outside her house for a few days, then worked for one full day, and Ethan LOVED going to check it out. Every time he woke up, morning or naps, he would point to the window and say "diggy-dump!" because he wanted to go see the digger-dumper. It was really sad when the work was all done, for days afterwards he asked to see the diggy-dump.  While it lasted, though, it was great - the boys got their dump truck and loader toys from the dan box and vrvoomed them around the driveway for a while while they watched. The operator couldn't help but notice his fan club, so he dug a nice pile of dirt and dumped it in our driveway just for them! They were over the moon, they played with that pile of dirt FOR HOURS.  Sometimes I really love having my kids at home just to see this stuff - it's the mundane things that are really awesome. The moths, the sewer lines, the baby birds (just wait for that post...)  It's so fun to watch them, watching the world.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Journals: the beginning of your friendly neighborhood bonfire

 I've been busy... doing everything but blogging, it seems! Blogging got left in the dust largely due to the fact that a number of my other activities (ok, manias) involve preserving memories. I feel like a bit of an idiot spending THAT MANY hours in preserving the memory of my hum-drum life. We tell Patrick stories of AMAZING people (I had a long discussion about Marie Curie and radium just yesterday) and then I turn around and I'm like "yeah, but I microwaved cheesy roll-ups for lunch AND painted all the girls toenails! Better go preserve THAT memory in at least three formats!"  It's just silly.

One of my manias is to edit and condense my journals. All theeeeeese beasts:
33, if I counted correctly. They're mostly not worth reading, but I simply love the journals themselves so I'm unwilling to throw away the covers. I'm also unwilling to rip out the innards and have a bonfire. A happy medium seemed to be to read through and type out what was interesting or memorable or funny (often intentionally so), THEN rip out the innards and have a bonfire. I'm only through 1-1/2 journals so far, and it's come to less than 2 typewritten pages - and I was being generous with what I included.  In the end I should have a nice small notebook of my thoughts, and a nice heap of journal covers with zero humiliating and incriminating  tidbits.

I'll save those for my blog :)