Monday, August 31, 2009

Josiah's Birth Story, Pt. 2

Like I was saying...

The anesthesia went fantastically well. I had one of those super time-to-push contractions while getting the spinal block. Talk about needing to have self control. You move while there's a needle in your spine and you may never walk again, but you hunch over while being perfectly still during one of those sort of contractions. It took a sec for the block to kick in, but once it did I felt no more contractions.

The doctor comes in. His behavior is exactly what you'd expect for 1:30 am. In fact, he was telling so many jokes that I had to ask if he was the doctor. He laughed and said, "Nah, I'm the janitor!" Guess dumb questions deserve dumb answers. We talked for a second before he started to work, but I asked one favor of him. "This is my third malpresentation. Something is going on. Please see if you can tell me why my kids keep having bad presentations." He said he would do what he could. And the jokes kept coming for a while, until...

The doctor went behind "the veil of the temple" as I jokingly call it. I'm referring to the curtain that goes up during surgery so that Jeremy and I can't see what's going on. I called it that when I had John because you know what's going on back there, part of you really wants to see what's going on back there, and the rest of you knows that if you happen to peek behind the veil it will not be good. I started to smell that familiar, nasty, burning flesh, laser scalpel smell. Gross, I know. It doesn't usually take too long from the time that they make the incision till when I hear baby crying. It just makes everything better, ya' know? Music to my ears! The seconds ticked. The tensions and chatter in the room picked up and sounded more frantic. I don't remember if I said it to Jeremy or if I was talking to myself, but I said, "He should be crying by now. Why don't I hear him? What's wrong? It shouldn't be taking this long."

A nurse runs out of the room. The mood in the room is still very frantic. I say frantic, but definitely not chaotic. Everyone was very collected. The nurse comes back with forceps. Forceps...for a c-section. Time ticked on. It seemed like forever. Still no crying.

Now, those contractions that I had right before surgery...those transition labor contractions. They hurt. I mean they really hurt. But compared to the pain while they were trying to get Josiah out, they were child's play. My whole body was literally moving on the operating table as they struggled to get Josiah out. My chest felt like it was on fire. I'm not really going to go into details, because I'd rather just forget about that part, but I would have gladly taken an hour of even stronger labor contractions than I was already having than to go through that again.

Finally, they had him out and Jeremy could see several nurses working on him. Still no crying. Finally, a very weak, barely audible cry. More like a squeaky moan or something. Then another little cry. Certainly not a strong, loud cry. I can't tell you the relief. My chest was still on fire, but it was just all better once I heard him cry. I've had 4 sections and none of them, even ones accompanied by a room full of interns, took this long. My surgery lasted over an hour and a half...not counting the anesthesia kicking in time. My spinal block had started to wear off even before they had me sewn up. Not to where I was in pain, but I had tingling back in my toes.

After all was said and done the doctor comes back out from "the veil of the temple." He explained that the baby's head, which is rather large, got stuck. The very difficult presentation (like I mentioned transverse footling breech) made it even harder to get him out. They were able to get out his feet, belly and arms, but the head just wasn't coming. That's when the nurse ran out for the forceps. His umbilical cord was pinched as he was stuck also. He also explained that usually when baby is delivered once they dry him off and give him a good rubbing they take their first breath. Josiah was completely unresponsive after they did that. They had to use a bag valve mask to get him to take his first breath, then they got the weak cry. They rubbed him hard again. Then they administered a bit of oxygen and got the little cry. What a scare! They also mentioned that he had gulped down a large amount of amniotic fluid, which has made lots of pretty nasty spit-ups for several days, but is pretty much cleared up now.

Oh, those other bit of news from the doctor. I asked about all my breeches. The doctor agreed with me, saying, "One breech happens. Two breeches? Well, you're just really unlucky. Three breeches? Yes, something is causing your babies to not turn head down." Turns out that at the bottom of your spine is a bone called the sacrum. He said that I have a prominent sacrum. He said that he doubted I would be able to deliver a 4 pound baby, much less an 8 lb, 10 oz baby.

Honestly, you have no idea what a relief to know this was. I never ever ever wanted to have a c-section. I always longed to have a totally unmedicated home birth. When we were sort of pushed into having a c-section with John, I always wondered if we had made the right choice. I also would second guess this conclusion was made from an ultrasound. I think a lot of times women are told they have pelvis problems or back problems or whatever problems, when in fact a technician is just misreading an ultrasound or a doctor is being overly cautious. But the doctor is literally looking at my backbone from the inside. Not too much room for error there, I believe.

I just can't tell you the satisfaction I had from getting to actually say that I got to labor. It was such a very long time answer to prayer. The Lord was so wonderful to me that night. I remember sitting up watching the sun rise at dawn that morning, listening to my baby's sleepy deep breathing and Jeremy's light sleeping noises thinking about how the Lord didn't have to tell me why I'd had 3 breeches. He didn't have to tell me why I couldn't have things my way. He was just gracious enough to let me know not to worry about. That all things are for His purpose...even when it's not what we want. Even when it's difficult to face. Even when it makes no sense. Even when you ask for a good thing and you don't get that good thing the way you expect. He gently reminded me in a very real way that no matter what His grace is sufficient. It's never been okay with me to have c-sections. I've always felt like I didn't have children, that the doctors had them for me. I'm just thankful now that I have children instead of complaining about how they got here.

That my birth story...hope you enjoyed!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Josiah's birth story, pt 1

This may take several days to work up, but if I don't just start I may not get it done! So here goes...

I have had 3 c-sections. As far as I had discussed with my doctor, Josiah was planned on being section #4. We had pleaded with God to let me be able to have him on my own. We had peace with this: if I went into labor before the surgery was scheduled I would refuse the surgery and attempt a VBA3C. If I didn't, then we'd go with the section as scheduled. I really had complete confidence in the condition of my womb and honestly didn't think I would have a uterine rupture. I had done my homework extensively, memorized statistics from a variety of sources, and felt prepared for whatever was in store for us.

I typically have a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions. I've been having them from about 7 months. A week before Josiah was born I noticed that the contractions were not just the "tighten and release" sort any more. They had a sting of pain in them. They were never more frequent, never regular. They just hurt worse. Some days I was frustrated with it, thinking "Get it over with already!" Other days I felt more like, "It'll happen if it's meant to happen." I think every time I had a contraction I asked the Lord, "If I can safely have this baby, please let me labor and have him on my own."

Jeremy had a fever all week this particular week too, which made it especially hard. I knew he needed special attention, or at the least didn't feel well enough to help with the children. Sunday (the 23rd, and my due date) he didn't go to church all day, still running fever. I went to church with the children like any normal day. I was still having the contractions like I had been having the whole week before. Yes, they had a sting of pain in them, but I'm honestly not one to sit and give into pain unless I just can't go anymore. I tend to feel better if I just keep working through whatever I'm going through.

Another man in our church taught the youth Sunday school class in Jeremy's stead. I had a contraction hit me during Sunday school (about 10:30 that morning, I guess) and I guess I showed it on my face because he stopped in mid-sentence and said, "You gonna have that baby?!" I was sort of startled and told him I was okay. He looked suspicious, but kept on preaching. I had another contraction during Sunday school, but tried much harder to hide it this time.

The day wore on. I never really timed contractions at this point because they didn't seem to be any different than the ones that I've already had. While the kids were napping (say by 3 pm?) I had several contractions. They did seem to be stronger, but still not more frequent and not at all regular. The children and I went back to church, but I told Jeremy that there was a slight possibility we could be going to the hospital soon. I asked him to sit by the phone just in case.

A few people at church commented that I didn't seem like I felt well. I told them that it wasn't going to be long until we had this baby. I still didn't think I was in labor, but I thought I would go into labor in the next 2 or 3 days for sure (if I wasn't having surgery). By the time it was preaching-time (8pm-ish), I really thought the contractions were just different: stronger, more painful, but still not the childbirth pain people describe. More...I dunno...pointed? I started timing them. They were coming every 10 minutes like clock work. I was pretty excited, but didn't want to get to excited. I thought that if I just laid down the contractions would stop.

The plan for that night was for me to go by Burger King to fulfill a burger craving I had before I had to fast for my surgery the next day. I got out, the kids got out and stood on the sidewalk as I asked them. Another contraction...the first one that I had to breathe through. It was about 9 pm by this time. The pain was certainly still managable though, but it was to where I couldn't fully function through the contractions. I told the kids that Daddy would have to come back for a hamburger because Mommy needed to go lay down. No disappointment out of the children, but concern. Are you okay Mommy? Is Josiah coming? It really was sweet, but I couldn't think about it then.

When I got home I explained to Jeremy and told him that if I'm not in labor, I did need to be checked at least. I called his mom and asked if she could stay the night with the kids. I told her not to rush, not to panic, but to come. Jeremy went and got the kids and us dinner.

This is the more comical part: the kids ate as Jeremy and I were tying up loose ends before we went to the hospital. By this time the contractions are between 7-10 minutes apart. The hospital is an hour and 15 minute drive. I ate about half my dinner (later I found out what a mistake that would be). I'm still very much in control of my contractions, very level-headed and cool, but I'm thinking "we need to get going!" Jeremy's on the couch with his feet propped up, chatting with his mom. He's in his pajamas, casually eating a fry or two at the time. His bag isn't packed (he doesn't like me to do it) and seems completely oblivious to the contractions I'm having. I get a chuckle out of it everytime I think of it! I finally told him, sort of snappy since I'd just had yet another contraction, "If you don't get moving I'm gonna get your mom to drive me to town and you'll miss it all!

The drive to town seemed to take forever and ever. In the car the contractions had started coming on every 2-3 minutes. We called our pastor, who wanted to know. I told him I wasn't sure if they were going to admit me. I was still in denial about being in labor. I seriously expected them to send me home. We pulled in at the hospital, I got out of the car and tried to walk to the emergency room entrance. Another contraction. I couldn't walk them off any more. I couldn't talk through them any more. Just relax and breathe and it will go.... I was relieved that nearly no one was in there. They got me in a wheel chair, for which I was relieved. It would have taken me forever to walk to labor and delievery!

The nurse said she was going to checkme. I told her, laughing, "You're probably going to send me right back home. She didn't really get in much of a hurry. I was jovial, as I usually am. When the contractions would hit I'd just "blow them away" and I was okay. When she was ready to check me, her eyes widened. "I can't believe're at 9cm and your water is bulging!" They knew I was planning having a c-section...but here is our answer to prayer! So we asked, "yes, she's had 3 sections, but she wants to labor. Is the doctor okay with that?" Not that we were really worried about what he wanted, but hey, common courtesy and manners, right? They got the doctor on the phone and he simply said, "If she wants to labor, let her go for it!"

There is only 1 midwife in the city. No one is in the country were I live, of course. When I talked to the midwife, she couldn't take me, but she suggested that I see the doctor that was on call that night. Apparently, he is a very pro-VBAC and anti-unnecessarean. Another answer to prayer. I was so excited. I'm going to get to have this baby? I just couldn't believe it. They asked me if I wanted an epidural. My answer was NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Spinal anesthesia is evil to me. We just don't get along. They asked me if I wanted Demerol. I was so excited I couldn't even think. I asked Jeremy, "Do I want Demerol?" He said, "I don't think you really need it, honey. It's not going to help when it comes time to push and right now you're fine." We skipped the Demerol.

The nursing staff frantically was getting ready for a birth. They were trying to assess my Bishop's score. Originally the nurse had said I was a zero station, but then said it wasn't right. They got another nurse's opinion. They couldn't feel his head...or bottom...or anything. They brought in an ultrasound machine (yes, I'm still having contractions every 2 minutes). Bad news: another malpresentation...and my third breech. His presentation was sort of a combination of footling breech and transverse. You can't turn baby while in labor. Honestly though, I was not at all disappointed. I was so proud that the Lord had allowed me to be in labor. I have a birth story that's not "I just laid there and the doctors did it."

Moving along... they prepped me for surgery. The didn't check me for dilation anymore, but as I was walking to the OR, I know FOR SURE that I hit the transition labor (time to push) stage. The contractions didn't stop; no break in between. I never really had the urge to push though, I guess because the baby's head wasn't down. Before I was moved to the OR, I had a long talk with the anesthesiologist about my past very bad experience with spinal anesthesia...and my anxiety with it. The spinal block went GREAT!! Another answer to prayer. The Lord was so gracious.

There is so much more to this long tale. Maybe I'm making up for not having much a birth story for the other 3. hahaha We'll make it a two-parter.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And Baby Makes Six

Just was going to post that Mr. Josiah was born Monday morning at 1:47am. I am using my Mr. Wonderful's laptop and the hospital's wi-fi. Anyway, once I get home will do the best I can do get a complete post, but here are a few details for now.

I mentioned (I think) that I've been having some pretty strong Braxton-Hicks contractions all week and some other tell-tale signs of labor, especially later in the week. So when had them all day Sunday, it was normal by me. By Sunday night's church service they were coming on regularly...about 8-10 minutes apart. (Trying to pay attention to preaching and timing contractions isn't easy). Well, we went to the hospital that night about 10:30 or 11. When they checked me, I was dilated to 9 cm and my water was bulging. With that, I'm going stop my story and leave everyone hanging there. muahaha!!

Here is a teaser picture of little man about 12 hours old.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Teaching Tip

My six year old, John, is a good student, could be a bit more motivated but we'll work on that, and reads fairly well. But he has a whole lot of trouble with finding rhyming words. If I ask him what rhymes with "go," it seems to completely blow his mind. Any experience out there that can help me get this into his brain?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook - August 19, 2009

FOR TODAY - August 19, 2009

Outside my window...
thunderstorms are approaching. I hear thunder rumbling in the distance. Just another hot, humid, Gulf Coast day!

I am thinking...
of things I can do to make my house more of a home. I have a lot of ideas, but none that I really want to implement before Josiah comes.

I am thankful for...
the health I've had especially during the past nine months. I'm also thankful for the kindness of the Lord for giving it to me.

From the learning rooms...
My goal is to get in 2 more lessons before the baby's arrival. That will give us 5 weeks of school that we've completed.

From the kitchen...
Hopefully the people from The Home Depot will be bringing our new dishwasher today. The other one broke over 2 months ago. We couldn't ever get Maytag to do anything at all about it, which broke after just 6 weeks of using it. I don't have any hot water in the kitchen right now, so the things coming from the kitchen are simple.

I am wearing...
a purple short-sleeved shirt, denim jumper and flip-flops.

I am creating...
I made a pink dress after the purple one I posted about. Although I've sort of caught the sewing bug again, I've made myself put away the sewing machine for now to try to make myself use my energy on things more needful.

I am going...
to church tonight. No plans for the rest of the week.

I am reading...
my precious Bible. The Proverbs and Psalms. I read Ephesians this morning and will move on to Philippians tomorrow. Other than that, sadly, still nothing.

I am hoping (praying)...
for a speedy and safe delivery of our new little one and a quick and healthy recovery.

I am hearing...
rumbles of thunder drawing nearer. The children are playing sweetly and quietly.

Around the house...
I've been trying to keep the housework caught up. It looks nice in the house other than a few stray toys. The children also got out all the throws and made a fort out of them which have not been gotten up yet.

One of my favorite things...
my high calling as a wife and keeper at home.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
continuing to keep the housework, especially the laundry, caught up. I may also write out next month's lessons plan. I don't want that to get behind; it's so much work if it does!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Handsome fellow. Notice the cracker crumbs on his shirt!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Due in 8 days

I haven't been making frequent posts as I have just not been in the mood to blog. I also don't want to complain, because I have no legitimate reason to complain (as if there is ever a legitimate reason to complain). I am 8 days from my due date. I was truly ready about 4 weeks ago, if you get my meaning. I'll leave it at that so that I don't sound like I'm complaining. I know that a few months from now I won't even remember my impatience with the baby getting here, but for now the days creep by.

I suppose that we have everything ready for Josiah's arrival. It seemed like there was so much to do when John was born and it seems like I haven't done anything. Maybe as you have more children you just realize that all that "stuff" just isn't really necessary? I have my homemade Moby Wrap ready, the crib, the bassinet, some clothes, diapers, modesty cape for nursing...and I guess that's all I need.

I'm going to try to work in 2 or 3 more days of school too. My patience for school is worn. We've gotten in over a month's worth of lessons this summer. We should be able to afford a nice break! John was stuggling a bit at his speed drills in arithmetic, but I think he's got it down now. Ethan's curriculum is turtling along as he remembers everything he's reviewed with perfect clarity. He is very bright, but if he doesn't catch on the first or second time, he gets very frustrated. Learning to write in cursive is going to be a challenge for him. If it's too much, there's no reason why we can't learn it next year.

On a more comical note:
You never know what Lydia is going to say next. John is pretty terrified of thunderstorms. We're constantly telling him that Jesus is going to take care of him and quoting various Scriptures to him regarding fear. Well, Lydia has picked up on it. Though I don't think she's actually scared of thunderstorms (which are a part of daily life on the Gulf Coast), she likes to do what John does. She'll tell him, pretending to be scared, "Jesus keep us safe, John. I 'cared (scared), but Jesus is with you." One day we ended up having a pretty close lightning strike. She ran over to me with panic in her wide eyes and screams "MOMMA!! I NEED JESUS!!!"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Prayer Request and Court Case

I wanted to ask everyone to pray for my high school principal, Frank Lay. Also, please pray for the school's athletic director, Robert Freeman. These men are going to be tried before a court on September 17th. Since they are possibly facing even jail time for their "crime", the charges you would think maybe would involve something immoral with a minor or something similar.

These men are charged with praying at school.

According to the court order, spurned on by none other than the ACLU, the staff at Pace High School are even prohibited from taking “a posture or manner that is likely to be perceived as an endorsement of prayer, e.g. bowing their heads, kneeling or folding their hands”.

edited to add: this includes even an individual teacher praying and blessing his food before he eats, even if he is silently praying in solitude. Just to bow your head is prohibited.

After the court order was issued, Mr. Lay asked Mr. Freeman to pray over the banquet that was held in celebration of the school's new field house.

You can read more about the case at or at this website set up to follow the events.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just a Random Thought

I mentioned our revival meeting. Well, the meetings are finished and it was very lovely. But I have to admit...

after 6 days of eating "quick and easy," the hamburger steak and mashed potatoes we had for dinner tonight really hit the spot.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Short Picture Post

Finally got the camera out...

And made Lydia the dress with pockets she wanted. I really love this pattern for play clothes. It's very very simple. You could easily sew it, start to finish, in under an hour. The back has one button with an elastic loop. I have to add that she picked out the fabric. She loves "blowers."

I was also able to make her a pair of bloomers to match. It was tiny bit harder for me, as I am not accustom to sewing things with inseams!

Then, naturally we have to take pictures of everyone. :-) Ethan has really done a lot of maturing in how he talks, acts and just how he looks.

Here's John putting the wraps on his morning chores. Both boys have done a lot of growing here lately.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Here is celebrating 9 years with my Mr. Wonderful.

Wouldn't it be nice to celebrate with a hospital stay, complete with labor and a new baby??

Love you Sweetheart