Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An absolutely perfect day

The story of Corryn's birth:

I slept really restlessly friday night and was woken up 3 times by contractions that hurt enough to get my attention, but weren't bad. I got up about 6:00 and noticed I was having a little bit of normal bleeding. Dave was already up, so I went to chat with him to let him know what was going on. I told him I had a feeling it would either be today or tomorrow (saturday or sunday). I was still having an occasional mild contraction, but certainly nothing to get excited about by any means. Dillon was still asleep, so Dave & I sat and had a cup of coffee and chatted. We talked about logistics for the labor and birth- who needed to be called first and so on, then moved on to birth plan sort of stuff. We even got to talk a little about hopes and fears and how excited we were about this baby.

Dillon woke up about 9am and we decided to go for a late breakfast out. We got dressed and went to eat. I really had not had any more contractions for about 2 hours at this point. We enjoyed our breakfast, ran an errand, then decided to walk around the mall for a little while. While we were walking, I'd have an occasional contraction that would require my attention, but still nothing regular.

By now it was about 12:45. We were going to stop one more place before going home, but I decided I wanted to go home and rest a little before the birthday party I was supposed to take Dillon to from 3-5. I figured since it was now working on 1:00 and I still wasn't having regular contractions that there was a good chance it wasn't happening that day. So, we went on home, I layed on the couch and rested and Dillon played with a new toy horse she had gotten while we were at the mall. Still having only occasional contractions, but they did seem to be getting stronger.

A little before 2:00, I sat up to get the present wrapped and ready for the party and had a contraction. "Hmm, that kind of hurt!" It passed, I got up and got the present ready. 10 minutes after the previous one, another came. "Hmm, that kind of hurt, too and it was kind of close to the last one." More moving around, more contractions at 10 minutes apart. I'm having some serious doubts about being able to go to this party, but at the same time, feeling really bad for Dillon who was so excited about going. About 2:40, I called my friend, the one who's daughter was having the party to tell her about the contractions and that I didn't think we'd make it. She offered to have us drop Dillon off and she'd watch her. I also called another friend I knew was available to take care of Dillon after the party. Contractions are now closer to 7 minutes apart and definitely requiring me to breathe through them. I told Dillon I wouldn't be able to take her to the party and as expected, she was upset. I also told her the option of going without me. To my utter surprise, she consented to having Dave drop her off and not stay with her. So, right at about 3:00, he took her. By the time he came back between 10-15 minutes later, contractions were 5 minutes apart and breathing through them wasn't really doing it for me.

Dave took care of calling my mom, then the midwife, who hearing me in the background told us to come on in. In the 20 minutes it took to get everything together and get to the hospital (1/2 mile away) contractions progressed to being 1 1/2 to 2 minutes apart. On the way there, I was shaking, even though I wasn't cold. I remembered doing that when I was about 7 cm dilated when in labor with Dillon, but couldn't wrap my brain around the fact I could possibly be that far along. Interestingly, though I was also having the thought that I hoped the midwife would make it in time. It was 4:05 pm when we arrived at the hospital. Laurie, the midwife checked me, and sure enough, I was 7 cm.

I sat on the birthing ball for a few contractions and Laurie offered the Jacuzzi tub, which I would've had to more or less climb out of to push or the shower. I chose the shower. Contractions were still at about 1 1/2- 2 minutes apart when I got in. I could hold the shower sprayer and point it at myself, initially, then quickly lost that ability as the contractions were just on top of each other. "I can't do this!!!!" Laurie, Dave and Annette, my nurse all kept encouraging me, reassuring me I could do and that the end was near. I started feeling like pushing, so we moved me out of the shower to the birthing stool thing.

Laurie checked me again - "You're complete- push as you feel the urge." I pushed about 5 minutes and Laurie saud she thought my water would probably break with the next push. Sure enough- pop!- my water finally broke. 5 minutes later, she was born. "Reach down and catch your baby!" I'm afraid I'll drop her!" I said. Laurie assured me she wouldn't let me and then there she was in my arms. It was 5:13 pm, just over 3 hours since regular contractions started.

Dave had Dillon's care all worked out with my friends. She arrived at the hospital just a matter of minutes after Corryn was born. Dave went out to ask her if she wanted to meet her baby sister while Laurie and Annette helped me move to the bed. She stayed for a while, then opted to go to her friend's house for a little while then come back to the hospital later. That gave us a chance to start falling in love with this new little life, marvel at how fast everything happened and to make some phone calls to let everyone know.

I simply could not have asked for not only a more perfect birth- 3 hours, 10 minutes of pushing, dim lights, no needles- but also a more perfect day. We had some wonderful couple time in the morning, some wonderful family time once Dillon woke up and a wonderful new addition to our family at the end of the day. Dillon had a great time at the party and I was able to labor the way I needed to without worrying about scaring her. Dave was incredibly supportive and was such an immense help in getting through the contractions. Laurie and Annette were exactly what I needed to get me through such a fast and intense experience.

Just an absolutely perfect day.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sunday, January 21, 2007

She's here!

Corryn Alexandra was born yesterday- her due date- at 5:13 pm after just over 3 hours of labor. She weighed 7 lbs and is 19 1/2 inches long- and is just beautiful! We're just getting home from the hospital. I'll post pictures and more about our perfect day when we are a little more settled.

Friday, January 19, 2007

40 weeks

Returned a little while ago from the visit to the midwife. All is fine. Went ahead and made a 41 week appointment, but she says she doesn't think I'll make it that long, just based on our conversation today. No real contraction, just the Braxton Hicks ones, though some of those get pretty uncomfortable. Some mild cramping, some pressure, the baby seems to have dropped a bit more. I declined an exam to check dilation- just didn't see a reason to do it. If I'm not dilated at all, I'll be disappointed, if I am, then I felt like it would just make me feel like it's more imminent than it may actually be. She was fine with that.

Snowing a little here today, though not as cold as the last few days. It's no fun being outside because of our steep yard and the ice that's on top of the snow. Poor Dillon fell on her rear end 3 steps out of the garage this morning. So, we're hanging out inside- just made some chocolate no-bake cookies. Dillon told me she'd play me some music so I could rest for a little while this afternoon. I'm about to take her up on that offer.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

That homeschooling "S" word

When you mention that you're planning to homeschool, often, the first response you get is "But what about socialization?" That's an interesting response to me for many reasons. Why isn't it the actual educational experience that's first and foremost in someone's mind? Is socialization that much more important that what is learned? Or would it just be more rude to essentially be asking someone if they were smart enough to homeschool rather than social enough?

Some homeschoolers get pretty offended by this question. I tend to think of it as more a knee-jerk, don't-know-what-else-to-say kind of a response. Asking questions back is one of the best ways I've found to deal with it. What about socialization? "Umm, well, you know, being around other kids their own age..." is a common response.

If I look at our circle of friends, I find something completely different than what I learned in school. We have friends of all ages- some much older than us, some much younger, some roughly the same age. For many of them, I don't know their actual age because it just doesn't matter. We enjoy their company and derive something from the relationship. It has nothing to do with age. I think about how boring life would be if we had only friends that were at the same stage of life as we are and how much of the wisdom of those older than us we would've lost.

So what brings all this up? On Tuesdays, M (don't want to post real name since she isn't my child!) comes over to take care of Dillon while I work at home. Her younger brother and sister come in with her at least while she's being dropped off. Sometimes her sister who is a year older than Dillon stays, sometimes not. Her brother T loves to come in and build forts for Dillon out of the couch cushions simply because Dillon thinks it's the coolest thing in the world. Yesterday morning, their mom called with a request from T to stay the whole time M was here. He had some fort ideas he wanted to show Dillon. Fine by me. When we got off the phone, I told Dillon. Her reponse was "I will probably play with him the MOST!!!" She was so excited that he was staying.

So, what's so cool about this? T is almost 7. It didn't occur to him as anything other than perfectly acceptable to play with a little girl 3 years younger than him. They have shared interests- trains, dragons, forts, so why not? I heard tons of laughing while they were here and by Dillon's account, she had a ball. Her only complaint was that he ate all the strawberries that she'd had to talk me into buying the day before.

Recently, we were with some other friends and I heard Dillon and another little girl D laughing. D' mom commented that D really liked Dillon. Really, how could you not? :) But, Dillon's always been really good with kids younger than her and they do tend to just love her.

I want for Dillon and baby sister Jab to know how to make friends of all ages. I think it's wonderful. There's so much to be gained from not limiting yourself to one age group. I see it all the time.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A watched pot...

That's what I feel like right now. Dillon and Peaches are both sticking so close to me that I trip over one or the other of them several times a day. I'm sure they sense something changing. I wish they'd sense the need for them to not be under my feet. At least I've had 3 whole grocery trips now without a single "You look like you're about the bust!" comment from total strangers. All I can think is "Sounds like you already did, my tactless friend- your brain is clearly gone."

Recently a friend asked if I was still glad we got Peaches. Absolutely. She tries my patience at times, but she herself has the patience of a saint. Dillon gives her not a moments peace much of the time, yet Peaches puts up with a lot from her. We've had to remove collars, harnesses and leashes because Dillon spent so much of the time pulling Peaches around- not always gently. More than once I walked up to find Peaches almost bug-eyed while Dillon was again testing the new-found skill of tying something. As testament to Peaches undying tolerance, this is what I walked up to find her calmly lying on the floor wearing the other night:

It was great comic relief to an otherwise stressful, trying day. Gotta love that dog.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

39 weeks

Here's a picture of Dillon & I from yesterday. It's the best of the 100 or so it takes to get a non-blurry picture of a little bouncy ball. Notice I have my arm around her to stop the perpetual motion! :)

Went to the midwife yesterday and all is well. Lost half a pound, but did the same thing with Dillon at the end, so no worries about that. Baby's heartbeat is fine. There's a snowstorm predicted for Sunday and Monday, so we did talk about the fact that we need to give the midwife enough notice to get to the hospital. All 3 of them live a half hour or more away, so even though we could make the half mile to the hospital with no problem, it would be a little tougher for them. They've been doing this for years, so I'm not worried about it.

I'm working at the hospital today and would like to get this last shift in. Anytime after that would be fine, little one.

Monday, January 08, 2007

"I'm afraid you won't love me anymore"

This is what Dillon told me yesterday regarding the baby coming. It explains a lot of behavior lately.

We've been doing lots of extra "I love you's" and cuddling. It seems to be helping today- it's been a smoother day that we've had recently.

One of the midwives pointed out that sometimes it's the fear of the unknown that's worse than the actual event. Certainly that's been true for Dillon in the past. As much as we've tried to prepare her, we don't know what it'll be like for us to have a baby in the house, so there's an element of the unknown for all of us. Hopefully things will smooth out for her when the baby actually gets here.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Midwife appointment today

There's nothing terribly exciting to report. I gained a pound since last week (putting me at now 21 , I think), which is good since that's been an issue. Baby is measuring where she should be, particularly given that her head is soooooooo low. Heartbeat sounded nice and strong. All the usual stuff- talked about when to call, what to expect, things like that. Dillon helped measure and listen to the heartbeat as always and was thrilled that they had lollipops. They had them for a while, then ran out, much to her disappointment. Someone brought them in especially for her today since they knew we were coming. One of the many reasons I'm glad I chose this place for my prenatal care- they remember little details like that. I'll see them next week unless she decides to make an appearance before then.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Since I didn't manage to get a Christmas post in, I thought I'd just combine it with New Year's. Here we are Christmas evening after having dinner with some friends. Dillon wanted both of us to hold her, which obviously doesn't work so well with a 12 in height difference between us.

Christmas was wonderful- we spent the day all together playing with Dillon, watching one of her new movies- Cars, which is really cute, by the way and just enjoying our time together. Some friends invited us over for Christmas dinner. They only requested that we bring desert, so it was nice for us to not have to cook much. Dillon has been enjoying her new toys a great deal and is asking about next Christmas already!

As for New Years- it was much like any other day around here except that Dave was home- and not feeling well. The weather was horrible- just above freezing and raining most of the day. Rain on top of snow just does not equal a pretty picture.

Of course, I'm nesting like crazy trying to get everything ready for the baby to come. Most all of the important stuff is done with just a few loose ends to tie up. I want the Christmas tree taken down, but Dillon's having a little trouble with that idea, so we're having to hold off a bit. But, the bag for the hospital is packed, the baby clothes are in the closet, mostly on hangers (Dave got me some more today since I had run out), there are several meals in the freezer with 2 more in the fridge ready to go into the freezer, and on and on. The house looks like a small child lives here and it was recently Christmas, but so be it. I doubt the baby will mind much.