Friday, May 30, 2008

Today was Elsa's 2 week checkup. The pediatrician thought that she was doing just stellar!

She weighed 8lbs, 2 oz (that's back to her birth weight plus 1 oz) and is 20 1/2 inches long (that's 1/2 inch over birth length).

That was pretty much it... Oh, despite my worries about someone giving me a hard time about delaying the PKU, no one has. The hospital was like, "Sign here, no problem" and we had the test done at her first pediatrician appointment. It was so calm and peaceful. She didn't even wake up, and she bled very very well, allowing them to get a great sample unlike with the previous two kids who wouldn't bleed and it ended up in screaming babies and bruised feet and having to come back for repeated tries :(

Today they asked if I wanted the second draw done and I declined and that was that. No fuss, no muss. I feel lucky to have this pediatrician. She's so low key and she appreciates that we do our research before making decisions.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Today was Ethan's last day of pre-school. Everyone met at a local park and brought food and let the kids play on the playground. Then the kids performed a small recital, which I videotaped but will have to edit before uploading. After that, the kids were each given a diploma and bag of goodies from their teachers. It was really cute and the kids played so hard.

I got only a few pictures...

Ethan and his "best" friend Ryan. Ethan's typical pouty face that he gives whenever we want him to smile!

Elsa snoozing peacefully, despite it being remarkably cold and windy.

Miss Paula blowing small bubbles for the littler kids. Just prior to this, Gwen was trampled by the pre-school kids who were chasing adult sized bubbles blown by Miss Abigail.

The "graduating" class, plus Miss Abigail

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Surprisingly, I'm just now starting to feel exhaustion. If my memory serves right, I recall being totally wiped the first week with previous babies, and then it slowly improving from there. This time I'm going a bit in reverse.

Due to some painful nursing issues, I'm not sleeping very well at night, though Elsa sure is. If I could bear to let her sleep, I suspect she'd go 5-6 hours at a stretch. Instead I have to coax her awake at 3-4 hour intervals (4 is really pushing it) because I MUST nurse her. Those who have breastfed know what I'm talking about. Because she doesn't want to wake up, she generally doesn't nurse well so I have to pump just a little afterwards. So the whole thing takes up bunches of time and often I'm so tired that I'll zonk out mid-diaper change or while nursing. I woke up this morning with a dirty diaper in my hand (wrapped up luckily). I'd been too tired to place it on my nightstand apparently. Hopefully, my body will adjust soon to what Elsa actually needs and not be gifting me with enough milk for 10 babies so that we can all sleep in peace.

Ethan and Gwen are really testing our limits. Jason and I need to be more on top of the ball about following through and discipline when they misbehave. Ethan particularly seems to be just bouncing off the walls. He can't stay still, is always making noise, being destructive or just ornery. Yesterday while I was upstairs getting dressed the kids opened the door to the garage, then got a stool and pushed the garage door opener and were wandering around the front yard. Hello? When did they start feeling comfortable doing this stuff? Today I was in the bathroom and when I came out they had pulled down my curtains by twisting themselves up in the drapes and bending the rod. I'm so sick of yelling and saying no and being angry with them!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

While I'm posting pictures, I thought I'd put up this one I took of Gwen on Saturday. She was dressed in her cowgirl clothes for Michelle's bridal shower (thanks Trina!) and struck a princess pose. How cute is she?

Here's the link to the first batch of Elsa pics. I'll post when I add more. For now there are about 60 up there I believe.

EDIT: I just uploaded more off my camera so if you already took a look, look again!
Quick update:

I'm working to upload all the pictures of Elsa into a Picasa album so ya'll can browse through them, and even order prints if you want. She did not get a hospital photo because their little photo system crashed so we'll likely be getting a professional one taken in the next week or so.

A REALLY big thing that has happened here in the last few days is that Ethan is now 100% diaper free! He said to us 5 nights ago... "Daddy says I don't have to wear a diaper at nighttime". Well I was like, "Ok, we can try, since I'm already up 5 times a night with the baby". Guess what? He's not had a single accident! The first three nights I woke him at about 1am for a potty trip, but he told me to stop doing that because he was too tired :) So I stopped and he's been dry every night. Wow. I didn't imagine it would be this easy. I'm enormously proud!

Elsa is trying to sleep 4-5 hours a stretch during the night. This is great. However, you know how I said I wasn't dealing with engorgement and all this? I lied! I am dealing and it hurts and sleeping long stretches doesn't help! So I have to force myself awake every 3 hours or so and force poor Elsa awake to nurse... otherwise its just too painful.

Today I took the kids to pre-school/gymnastics. First time out alone with 3 kids. It went surprisingly easy, although I had to stop twice to calm Elsa. She isn't too fond of her carseat.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I thought I'd try to write out how the birth of Elsa came about while I still remember it :)

Friday I started swelling but assumed it was due to the heat. Saturday, I felt moderately better, but also did quite a bit of work outside and the swelling was persistent. Sunday, we went out early to pick up a gift for Ethan's friend and run a few errands. I felt pretty icky and was swollen again. My blood pressures were coming back quite high at home but I wanted to try to get one on a different machine to make sure. We did that at a pharmacy and it was high, so I called the midwives, who told me that I needed to come in ASAP.

So Jason dropped me at the hospital and took off to entertain the kids and, presumably, pick me up in a little bit with nothing more than maybe orders to do some bed rest and drink more water or something. But he waited and waited and waited and didn't hear anything. I was in the triage area in the hospital and there was NO cell coverage and they didn't want me to move around, as even laying down my blood pressure was quite high. They drew blood and found a few signs that things were going downhill. Even after laying down for nearly 2 hours my blood pressures were still in the unsafe ranges.

My midwife showed up and started talking induction and I started crying. I really wasn't prepared for this to happen, and I didn't want to be induced! For the time, my midwife agreed to put me in a room for observation and that I'd need to stay overnight just to make sure I wouldn't get worse. So I got moved to a regular room and was finally able to contact Jason and let him know what was going on.

My Mom and Jen (my youngest sister) came and got the kids and Jas and Becki (another one of my sisters) showed up at the hospital. They both did a great job of really talking things through with the midwife and discussing various options. After lots of consideration and discussion, I agreed to have Cervadil placed to soften my cervix and see where I was the next morning. They put that in at 4:30pm and at 4:30am on Monday removed it.

I was checked at that point and found to be around 4cm and not really in labor. I asked to be taken off the monitors and given time to shower, eat, etc. While I was doing this, I started contracting more regularly, especially when walking around. The new on-call midwife (the male midwife, the one I really didn't want to deliver me. He turned out to be a real gem) came to talk options with me and since I was contracting more regularly, he agreed to just let me walk around for awhile and see if things would progress on their own as long as my blood pressures didn't go over the 140's/90's. He was great, and gave us hope that we'd be able to do this as naturally as possible.

After a few hours of endless laps with Becki and Jason, he checked me again and found me dilated to a 5. I still wasn't contracting when still, only when walking. We discussed breaking water vs. pitocin and, because my blood pressures were high, they did want to continue with the induction in some form and we agreed at this point because it was clear that even after long periods of rest that things skyrocketed very very quickly. We decided that breaking the water would be better than pitocin so we did that. We continued to walk and I again, while active I had very regular and strong contractions. After a few more hours, my midwife came back to check on me and found me still a 5. I was discouraged. She suggested nipple stimulation to jump start things and see where that put us. If that didn't work, they'd want to do at least a little bit of pitocin.

I had just started applying the warm washcloths for the stimulation and immediately the contractions got much stronger and for about 3 hours I was in hard labor. I contracted regularly, sometimes contractions right on top of each other, and they were progressively stronger and longer. We used a variety of positions for pain relief and it was really great to have Jason, my midwife, Becki, Mom and the nurse all in there encouraging me, wiping my face, working with me to get through each contraction.

At about the 3 hour mark the contractions were getting much more painful, closer together, and I was vocalizing more. My midwife told me that she believed I was either in transition or just coming out of it based on how I was acting. You cannot believe how much this cheered me. I thought, "Oh my gosh, I did it! I made it this far and I can make it through now. Transition is the hardest part!". I was really hurting at this point and each contraction was agony to get through, no matter what I was doing. My midwife suggested I get into the tub, but I really didn't want to. I don't like bathtubs. I regret that now, because I think perhaps it might have helped avoid what happened next, but c'est la vie.

My midwife wanted to check me to see if I was ready to push (I had twinges of pushiness) and she tried to check me while I was leaning on the bed. She checked, and I knew right away something wasn't quite right. She asked me to lay down so she could check me better because she wasn't able to get a good feel. So I laid down and she checked me again (triggering a most massively painful contraction too) and then she said, "Kristi, I'm really sorry to tell you this, but you're still a 5 and the baby is quite high".

Oh my Lord, I just lost it then. It was inconceivable that all these hours, all the position changes and pain and everything and I'd not progressed at all? The baby wasn't even close to coming out?

At this point I'd been awake since 4:30am, with a very sketchy night of sleep before that (and weeks of poor sleep before that!). I'd been stressed out, I'd walked miles around the hospital. Physically, I was weak, but up until that time my mental strength had been good. When I found out that I was still only halfway through the battle, my mental strength left me.

My midwife was concerned that I'd made no progress at all after all this time and the strength of the contractions. Before she even said anything I told her upfront, "If you want to give me pitocin, then you'll have to give me an epidural. I can't do this anymore". And it was true. If I'd been a 7 or something, I would have been able to retain that mental strength but I'd let myself think of how much farther I had to go instead of how far I'd come and now was just so tired, so overwhelmed that I couldn't pull it together any longer.

So they moved me to the bed, gave me the epidural and a very slow pitocin drip and I don't think it was even 2 minutes later that I was asleep. I remember hearing things, and still being able to feel the contractions through the epidural, but I mostly was dead asleep. I slept for about an hour, and when I woke up I was 10cm and ready to push.

Pushing was great. Honestly, it was the best part of the whole thing because it was a stark contrast to how it had been with the other two kids. I was able to feel things, I was in complete control of when I wanted to push and for how long and how hard. There was no counting, no yelling, no stress. It was just me doing what I wanted when I wanted. It didn't take many pushes and she was out and it was great!

After her delivery, they kept me on the pitocin as I was bleeding pretty heavily. I ended up on pitocin all night to help the uterus contract because the bleeding wasn't slowing down on its own. However, by the next morning I was feeling good and things were normal and we were able to go home as planned.

I've left out many details and such and this is still so long :) Even though things didn't go as planned, and maybe if I had done the bath I would have been able to relax and rest enough for the baby to come down on her own, I still feel a great peace over how it all went. For the first time, I feel like Jason and I were in charge. We didn't just follow directions, but were active in making those decisions and staying as true as possible to what we wanted. It was the most peaceful and satisfying birth "experience" I've had to date, even though it ended up being the most divergent from what I had planned, and I guess that is a bigger sign of success than anything else... well other than the baby sitting on my lap right now.

Elsa is also our first child who didn't have jaundice, who has been an active nurser from the first moment, who weighed the most at birth, who lost the least amount of weight after birth, and many other tiny firsts. I have to think that our preparation prenatally and also our decisions during the birth process helped her avoid the minor complications we had with the other kids.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I know many of you are wanting more pictures and details. We'll get there :) Frankly, neither J or I have been motivated to do much of anything other than just deal with things as they're coming up and keep a semblance of peace.

Elsa had her first pediatrician check yesterday and is doing very well. She lost about 8 oz from her birth weight, which the ped thought was quite good. Elsa checked out perfectly from head to toe, not a hint of jaundice or anything else concerning.

I *think* my milk has come in, though its hard to tell. Since I just stopped nursing Gwen in January I figured I might be able to avoid the engorgement phase and it appears I have! Other than a little soreness, I've had no pain and Ellie is nursing extremely well.

She is also sleeping pretty good during the night and seems to sleep the most deeply between 4-7am, giving us a good long stretch. Ethan and Gwen seem to be sleeping in a bit later too, which is working out well for all concerned.

Ethan and Gwen are a little... well, I guess thrown off. Ethan's been more belligerent and mouthy, Gwen more needy and emotional. They both really enjoy playing with the baby and taking care of her. Ethan thinks that I should have another baby and it should be a boy. I cannot even acknowledge such a statement at this time.

I'm working on putting together the story of the labor and delivery. I'm already forgetting much of it, and especially the time frames. Seriously, from the time I was admitted until we left, I'm not sure I had any good hold on what day or time it was.

All for now... we have some visitors coming by here any minute.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More pictures

More pics

The family, late last night.

You can see how blonde her hair is here

The face!

And we've decided her name will be Elsa Hazel Horn. She just doesn't look like a Scarlett to us.
No strength or time for details at present, but here's our new little girl. She is still nameless :) Born at 8:02pm, 8lbs, 1 oz (biggest baby of the 3) and 17 3/4 inches (shortest baby of the 3). Almost nothing went according to plan. It was kinda crazy. Kids met her at 10pm last night and after some inital apprehension are head over heels in love with her and didn't want to leave. More later.

Oh. SHE HAS BLONDE HAIR! Talk about a surprise.

She is a great nurser though.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sheesh its hot today.

We chose to do all sorts of jobs that had been pending for a long time. Not the best day to end up doing them, but what the heck. Jason made 3 screens, plus repaired our slider screen for the back door so at least Ethan and Gwen can have their windows open now and get some air and we can leave the back door open without buggies. Yay!

I installed Ethan's ceiling fan which is really too big for the room but I'm glad we got it that way because his room is by far the hottest in the house. I weed-whacked the front and back yards, weeded a bit in the front, picked up the back yard as best I could and did various other little things around the house.

It has been really hard for me to move around today because I'm VERY swollen. It started yesterday when we were at my friend Alyssa's house, playing in the sprinkler (I have pics, but my camera is in the car so I'll get them up later). It was warm and naturally, I swelled up a bit. We got home and I rested and felt better and then we headed to Jenni's band concert. Oh dear heavens. Jenni did a GREAT job. Her band songs were my favorites! However, the place apparently was not air conditioned and the moment I stepped in there I started swelling and swelling and swelling. We left after two hours, and the program only being half way over (what the heck is with that anyway?), because I did feel like I would pass out if I had to sit there for another couple hours. And the kids were super restless. Anyway, my swelling didn't go down after that and today because of the heat its even worse. I usually have shapely ankles through my pregnancies, but today I'm ankle-less. My ring won't come off. My hands and feet feel like they might burst! Yes, whine whine whine, but it is most uncomfortable.

So I'm going to go lay down on the couch now and rest some more and imagine myself in a snowstorm or some other cold place to make me feel less hot.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Today I had my 38 week appointment and all is well. I gained 4 lbs in one week though. That's the most I've gained between appointments... even when I was just going monthly! I saw a midwife that I hadn't met with before and I hope I don't have to see her again! She was trying to give me a reality check (I think?) about labor and delivery and instead she just irritated the heck out of me. Then she went into a whole, "Its so empowering" type thing which really really irritated me because, well, I don't know, it just did. If I wanted a full discourse on the subject I would have asked! She didn't offer me a cervical exam and I wasn't about to ask so my curiosity was not satisfied, although I know that progress is being made.

On Tuesday we went to the Kangaroo Farm in Arlington with Ethan's pre-school and had an interesting time. It would have been a downright fun time had it not poured the entire trip, which really made things hard and icky. Ethan got off to a bad start because he didn't win a little contest at the beginning to feed the lemurs (for the record, he didn't even participate, but whatever) and so he pouted and whined most of the way through the park.

Check out the lip! I was trying to be the "Oh, isn't my son just dah-ling when he's all pouty" instead of showing how I really felt which was pretty darn frustrated at him getting all moody after being there 10 minutes!

Gwen posing

One of the kangaroos, Jack. I believe he's their oldest kangaroo (around 7 years?) and still has about another foot to grow. That's a wallaby in the back, huddling under a heat lamp.

The owner (a very eccentric fellow) warming Jack up. We were the first people there and with the weather being chilly, the animals weren't too hip on being active.

A cavie (?)... they were really cute actually. The third largest rodents in the world.

There were a great many wallabies around... some behind fences, some not. This one was behind a fence because she has a joey. After some prompting, the little guy stuck his head out. So cute!

At the end of the tour, you can come into the cabin and hold a joey. Since they breed wallabies for pets at this farm, all the joeys are brought into the house at some point and tamed and such. They are soooo cute and soft!

Ethan was improving in mood at this point...

Gwen was declining...

This would be a cute pic, if Gwen didn't look so miserable!

We also saw a pair of emus, an ostrich, an alpaca and some llamas, turkeys, peacocks, and the typical farm animals as well.

All and all, this is a place I think I'll want to visit again, but only on a sunny warm day! I was really impressed by the care and love that the owners have for the animals and the tameness of the animals. You could walk up to any of them and they would eagerly and gently eat from your hand and were not afraid or beaten down looking, like many "petting zoo" animals seem to be.

On a totally unrelated note, does anyone know what is wrong with my sugar snap pea starts? The leaves have started to yellow and they are looking sickly! At first I thought it was that they were over-watered, as we've had a lot of rain since I put them in, but I moved the boxes a few days ago to a covered area and they haven't perked up in the slightest. I don't want to lose them!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wow, its been a long time since I blogged. We've been kinda busy, and I've not been feeling up to saying much.

I'm plodding along now... finishing the endurance race. Everything below the waist hurts. Every single stinking thing. It leaves me very unmotivated to do things, though I'm making an effort so that the house doesn't fall into major disarray.

I had a nice Mother's Day. The kids and J got me a planter of tulips and very sweet cards. They also got me doughnuts and coffee on Sunday morning. Yum! We went over to my Mom's and had a fun family get-together later in the day too.

Today Mom and Jenni are coming here at 8:30am to carpool with us to the Kangaroo Farm (technically called Outback Christmas Tree and Kangaroo Farm) up in Arlington. Ethan's pre-school has a field trip up there today. It should be fun and I just hope that the rain holds off. I'm taking lots of pictures too.

Last night, for the second night in a row, I did not sleep well. I've been having strange dreams about labor and while the dreams are not exactly positive, they are not negative either. They're full of imagery. Not really of me just pushing out a baby, but symbolic of that. Strange stuff. Then I wake up and I can't get to sleep and I toss and turn for hours. My body is definitely getting ready. The baby is moving much less as she runs out of room, and all the early signs of labor are there. If I can get to this weekend, it would be best for everyone... well, meaning Jas and my midwife, both of whom have major things going on this week.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Full-term today. YAY!

Had my 37 week appointment and got quite a mixed bag. Firstly I had another cervical exam (yes, I know its not necessary, but I'm so insanely curious about such things) and she said the inner part, near the baby, is still a stretchy 2 but the outer part, farthest from the baby, is a 3. That is progress, though I'm not sure what it all means exactly, if anything. She did say that I won't make it to my due date at the rate things are progressing. Which of course means she jinxed me and I'll go like 3 weeks late! Haha. Not funny.

I do have GBS (group b strep), which is not a huge deal, but kind of a pain. When I arrive at the hospital, I'll have to have an IV to get a dose of antibiotics. Then they'll take the IV out, which is good. I really don't want stuff taped to me and I don't want anyone hooking me up to fluids or what not.

My blood pressure was moderately high (130/80) compared to my previous readings, and because I've had a persistent and painful headache all day they wanted to draw blood just to make sure all was well. I fully expect it to be. I'm not in the slightest bit worried about the blood pressure stuff, especially from a single high reading.

Oh, I also did my first day of getting more than 4,000 steps on my pedometer. I'm feeling it, oh heavens am I feeling it, but I'm rather proud. I wasn't even trying! I'm only 600 steps away from 5,000 so I'll likely pass that milestone today too.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

We're in the clear. All healthy. Not even runny noses (that hasn't happened since last year sometime). Thanks the heavens, thanks the heavens.

Despite our improved health, I'm having a hard time catching up with things. I'm wearing out so quickly. I have a 1,001 things running around in my mind that need to be done and I get almost nothing accomplished every day. Frustrating. I need to hire an assistant. Someone who is willing to clean out my fridge, look for the pack 'n play parts, vacuum out my car. Someone who will, oh this would be nice, put away all the laundry! I'm a great washer and dryer... its the putting away part that gets me. I'm a bit anxious about going into labor and my house being embarrassingly cluttered.

The kids are highly impatient for the baby now. They ask me nearly every day if this is the day the baby will come out. I have an appointment tomorrow and they want to know if THAT is when the baby will come home, since I'm going to the hospital. I tell them that we'll have to wait and see, but oh man, how I wish the day would come. I'm ready to be able to roll over in bed without pain or big productions. I'm WAY ready for the heartburn to stop. Pregnancy has never agreed with me from an emotional or practical standpoint. In and of itself, I don't really get much from it. I feel way worse than I usually do and it seems like a very long endurance race. I envy women who enjoy every moment. That is just not me.

On a related note, did you know that cabbage is known to help with heartburn? The last two days have been excruciating for me. I happened to have some red cabbage in the crisper and googled it to make sure that it wouldn't make my heartburn worse. Imagine my surprise to read that it actually can help a great deal! I braised it with some cream and hit it with a splash (ONLY A SPLASH) of wine vinegar for lift at the end and it tasted great. Not only that, but after I nibbled on some raw cabbage while prepping, my heartburn went away and didn't return the entire night. For the first time in probably months I didn't have to take Tums or Maalox. Half the cabbage is left and I'm going to nibble on some every day.

Off to start my day. I have exceedingly simple goals. To make the house decent for Grammy tomorrow. Lets see if I can do it!

Monday, May 05, 2008

So I'm cautiously optimistic that we might be getting a bit healthier. Yesterday everyone was sluggish and out of it for most the day (we watched two movies which is something we never ever do). When the sun broke out in the afternoon, we forced ourselves outside to absorb some sun and that seemed to help.

I got my plants started (see previous post) and a wee bit of weeding done. I also put some chicken manure around my rosemary plants to give them a boost. Yes, chicken manure. I bought it at the whim when I was at the gardening place. It lends a rather... uh, unique odor to our yard. Not offensive, but not entirely wonderful. In any case, I've read its very good for plants and I'm trying to be a good plant Mommy.

Oh, and just an FYI, dogs like to eat chicken manure which is really irritating not to mention GROSS.

This morning the kids are definitely feeling better. For the first time in almost a week they are both running around, playing games, doing their make-believe stuff. Gwen got a cute swimsuit and hula skirt for her birthday and she's wearing it now and Ethan is naked (guess he likes skinny dipping) and they are playing "beach". I brought in our little plastic pool and they put blue blankets in it for water and are floating, lounging, fishing and just having a good time. I love that they have such an active imagination and its great that they are showing some energy and life! Poor Jason is still under the weather. You could tell he was extremely reluctant to go to work today, but we have little choice... we have to conserve days off for when the baby is born.

Today I'm going to catch up on laundry again, find a hospital bag and get the stuff that I can packed up and then put the list of the rest of the stuff on top of it. I'm also going to set up the pack 'n play in our bedroom with the bassinet attachment for the baby to sleep in (use will depend on how co-sleeping goes) and also get the basket I bought for the baby to use when she's downstairs set up too. I cobbled it together and it needs some finishing work. If I'm feeling particularly good, I'll go and re-arrange the seats in the car too.
Here's a picture of my square foot garden, modified to work with the only sunny place on my property! We have a very shady yard and the best place for sun is on the front porch. So I got two square foot boxes and that's where we'll grow our tomatoes and snap peas. I considered letting them vine up on the railing, but went with a trellis instead. We'll see how that works out. In that big blue pot, I have mint from last year. Shoot, that stuff is HARDY. It grew all winter with zero tending, and now that we've had flashes of sun and warmer temps (for those not in the Pacific Northwest, that means anything above 50 degrees), its been growing like crazy. I'll pick a handful one day and the next day you can't tell I picked any at all. Good thing its contained to a planter because I hear it can take over a garden in no time.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

This has seemed like the longest weekend.

Friday was a hard day. Both the kids were sluggish, as was I. I forced myself to get stuff done for Gwen's party, but felt sicker and sicker the whole day. Eventually it ended up with me laying on the couch around 5pm, having excruciating back and stomach pain and doing almost nothing the whole night. Except for when Gwen threw up again and I had to bathe her. Ugh. I actually thought I might be in early labor Friday night because of location and type of pain, but now I think I might of had a stomach bug and that, along with the back pain from all the work I did, triggered some strong Braxton-Hicks. The back pain lasted well into Saturday and even traveled down my leg, so I did something real bad to it on Friday!

Saturday we finished getting the house ready. No one was feeling great, but we weren't feeling sick. Gwen fell asleep on the couch at around 12 and we had to drag her up when people arrived at 1 for her party. She was out of it and didn't even speak or smile until a good hour after people showed up.

Opening gifts is hard for the non-birthday sibling. Despite Gwen's bland expression, she loved all her gifts!

Apparently she didn't like our singing!

She refused to blow out the candle, so eventually Ethan did it for her.

Later she perked up and was goofing around with Grandpa. This is the dress I made her!

We all hung out visiting for awhile and it was nice, though I wish I could have seen more of my family. There are so many obligations right now for so many though. It was extremely difficult to find even one weekend when a majority of people could make it to a party.

Jason unfortunately started feeling sicker and sicker and was totally down for the count by dinner time. The kids weren't doing so good either. We nibbled on popcorn and apples for dinner, then went to bed early. Jason was sick all night, but the kids did ok. Ethan woke me up at a 5am to throw up, but seems to be fine now.

Honestly, I'm really really tired of this stuff. I feel like there is so much to do and accomplish but we can't when no one is well. Either we're actively sick, or we're recovering or coming down. This morning I did kinda get up in a bad mood because of it. Its like how many loads of laundry do I have to do? How many bodily fluids do I have to wipe up? How many bowls to wash? I'm just so over it right now.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Earliest blog ever?

Gwen came into our room this morning around 3:45am whining incoherently about.... something. When she's whiny and tired you can't make heads or tails of what she's talking about. She got into bed with us, told me her nose was wiggly (that means runny) and that she was hungry. 30 minutes later she's still tossing and turning and then she starts coughing and my brain starts thinking... "Hmm, that cough, sounds familiar... what does it mean again? Um.... OH CRAP". I jerked myself up and asked her if she needed to throw up, but it was too late. She puked all over the bed and herself.

There was really nothing we could do but get up at 4:30. Jason took her into the shower with him and rinsed her off, I took off all the sheets and such. She's back asleep on the couch now (lucky girl).

This was a fluke. We had no vomit yesterday so we're done with that. This was a fluke, we're not going to spend all day today being sick. Nope, no, nu uh.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

So I just got back from my midwife appointment and am feeling pretty great about how it all went down.

My blood pressure was low, actually the lowest reading I've had all pregnancy. 112/70. It really surprised me as my home cuff has been returning higher numbers.

I had my GBS test done (i.e. a swab) and then asked if she could check my cervix. She did, and said I'm a stretchy 2, with a very soft cervix and the baby very deep in the pelvis. She commented that I must be having a lot of hip pain and I was like, "Heck yes woman!". I can see my Bradley coach wagging her finger and saying, "Don't let dilation numbers get your hopes up. They mean nothing". Well, very true indeed, but its good to know from a physical standpoint that all this pain I've been in is contributing to making my labor a speedy one. Woo!

The midwife I saw today, Rebecca, is the other midwife that I wanted to deliver our baby. They had put a note in my file and she was absolutely thrilled that I wanted her there and said she would have the hospital page her when I arrived. This made me feel great, because I wasn't too hip on having a stranger coming in to deliver with us. Having her there will put my mind at ease a bit.

Then I gave her the birth plan which I was hesitant to do. We are declining a lot of things (hospital PKU, eye goo, Hep. B, fetal monitoring, IV, etc). You're never sure about how all that will go. She nodded her head through the whole thing and said, "Good! Good for you. You've made some wonderful and informed decisions and presented them clearly. Excellent. This is what a birth plan should look like". I was so relieved! I must give thanks to my two online friends that I stole it from though. We basically lifted the entire thing, changed names and made minor tweaks.

Anyway, I left just feeling very good about the whole thing.

Oh, I did finish Gwen's new dress this morning and I think its possibly the cutest thing I've ever made. Its still not perfect, but its very close to perfect, and I took a lot of time with finishing seams, top stitching and all that. I'm going to hold off on a picture though until her party on Saturday. That will be her debut day ;)
Today is my Grandpa's 72nd birthday. He was so young. We sure miss him.

Yesterday was quite the day. The kids threw up all day long. They also sat on the couch all day long and did nothing but whine. Poor things. They would literally scream and beg me for water and food and I'd give in (how can a person say no to that?) and then they'd throw up. Rinse and repeat... all day!

I mostly tried to stay on top of the laundry and because I was tired and needed something positive to do, I started a new dress for Gwen. This one is SO cute! Except I got a little caught up in adding tiers and I realized at 9pm last night that the dress was long enough to cover her toes. Oops! Today I'll be ripping some seams and adjusting :) After this, there is no more tiny projects being snuck in or anything... the sewing stuff is being re-stashed and not taken out until after the baby arrives.

Today I have my 36 week appointment (all appointments weekly after this!) and Jason will be coming home early to watch the kids while I go. Afterwards I'll do some grocery shopping and start thinking about getting the house readied for Gwen's birthday party on Saturday. I had totally forgotten about it!

Ethan isn't going to school today because, according to him, "Its just too much for me today Mom". Both kids are doing better. Gwen hasn't thrown up since about 6:30 last night and Ethan since midnight (though he didn't really throw up anything, just dry heaved). Both look better, though still peaked and pale. They ate some oatmeal and toast for breakfast so we'll see how it stays down. Lord, I hope they're over this.