Tuesday, May 31, 2011

'Til My Sides Hurt: Amelia Edition

I asked Amelia to bring my nursing cover to me. She looked at Jackson and said, "He not cying, Mom. He good gurl!"


While playing with her toy phone she passionately told me, "Hazo never ever my phone!"


After yelling at Hazel for bossing her around, Amelia starting singing, "I not da boss of me!"


While cleaning up the toys, Amelia ran into the kitchen with a wash cloth on her head chanting, "I 'lil pincess! I 'lil pincess!"


Amelia: "Maga say, 'sthoot!'"

Me: "Maga said shoot?"

A: "Yup. Dat dander!"

M: "That's danger?"

A: "Yup. He say dat gin I gonna fight Maga."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sweet Words: A Gentle Rebuke

My! The emotions are flying around the Crooked Castle these days! Between the Drama Club members and their postpartum momma we've gone through LOTS of tissue around here. We should by stock in tissue at the rate we use it.

Drama Club member since October 2007

Drama Club member since January 2009

Though we now have an equal number of boys and girls in our house, somehow the boys still seem out numbered.

You have my permission to feel sorry for them.

I've been at a loss knowing how to deal with the Drama Club. My recent spike in hormones isn't helping either!

From morning until night (and sometimes through the night) I find myself raising my voice (code: yelling!) at them out of frustration and irritation. I have moments of sanity and clearness of mind. Then suddenly I have no patience for their tears and lack of response to my requests and corrections.

Example? The other night Amelia came into the kitchen fussing while I was making dinner and Hot Hubby was busy. I knew she was getting hungry but the water works, though not unusual, were unnecessary. I thought. After I told her many times to go back and watch her movie I heard her say something about getting a tissue "out."

Thinking she was asking for a tissue I checked her nose to see if it was running. Seeing nothing that required more valuable tissue to be wasted, I told her she was fine and to please just go back to watching the movie!

Then she pointed to her nose and said, "Get tisoo out, Mom!" She had a small wad of tissue crammed up her nose (Thank you, Papa!). Then, when I tried to get it out of her nose, she freaked out and cried more! I was relieved when Hot Hubby took over. He dealt with the tissue AND the tears and earned some bonus points from Mommy.

So, the next day, after we had a few more emotional moments, I was dealing with guilt from my response and finally I remembered That I could/should apologize for yelling at them. Why do I always forget to apologize to my kids?!

I told Amelia I was sorry for yelling at her and asked her to forgive me. She said no, but I have a feeling she might not know what forgiveness means, being two years old and all. We hugged and kissed anyways. Then I apologized to Hazel, who does understand, and she forgave me and hugged and kissed on me.

As we were sitting there holding each other, Amelia walked passed with yet another wad of tissue hanging out of her nose! My first response was to yell at her to "GET THAT TISSUE OUT OF YOUR NOSE!"

After a few seconds Hazel turned to me and gently said, "Mom, remember when you said sorry for yelling at me?"

Ugh...heart dropping to my stomach...

"Yes, I do."

"Why did you yell at Millie? You should tell her you're sorry."

And she was right. And I did.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pretty Much A Miracle

Well, I did it. Finally.

I actually managed to keep a New Year's resolution.

It is the only one I made this year. (click on the link to read my weight loss strategy)

The resolution: Lose 20 pounds by the end of May.

Well. Here we are at the end of May and not only did I meet that goal...I surpassed it!

As of my three week postpartum appointment (Tuesday) I am down 25 pounds! Yay!

Now to get some new clothes...

When I got into the box that was supposed to hold my pre-baby clothes I found...I had thrown most of my pre-baby clothes away! And forgot about it! My wardrobe currently consists of long sleeve shirts and sweaters, a few dresses, a few pair of pants, and many, MANY light gray shirts of various sleeve lengths. And all of the light gray shirts have a VERY low v-neckline.

What is with me and light gray v-necks?!?

A shopping I must go!

I would love to love shopping, but I don't. I'm not very good at shopping for myself. And I don't shop much, which I think is part of the problem. I realized that I "season shop."

When we enter a new season I find that I am needing a few (or in this case many things) and do one shopping trip where I basically buy the same few things in multiple colors. Reading these posts has made me #1: aware of my drab wardrobe & #2: want to be a better shopper.

I did make a quick trip to my mom's new resale shop and got a few cute things. Now I just need to figure out how I can manage four kids while clothes shopping! That ought to be fun...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sweet Words

I realize that I usually post the funny things my kids say, but they say some really sweet things too and I want to share them with you all.

As the kids were getting to know Jackson after we got home from the hospital Abiah said to me, "Mom, I hope Jackson wants to obey Jesus...I've been praying that he will."

I teared up and was so caught of guard that I didn't know what to say. What a sweet boy with such a tender heart!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

'Til My Sides Hurt: A New Song, A Warning and An Observation

Hazel made up a song this weekend that: 1. made me realize we need discuss her theology and 2. made me laugh hysterically. The lyrics:

"I am the mother of God... and she doesn't mind..."

(Sung to the tune of Psalty's song God is so Good)

Then she changed the words in a Barney song. Not really on purpose. She just doesn't know the right words. I like her version better.

"This one is a circle 'cause it has three sides... But it is still round..."


Hazel was playing with a puzzle and when Amelia tried to join her Hazel said, "Amelia! Don't play with my puzzle! Don't be foolish!"


A few days after we'd been home from the hospital with Jackson, Abiah casually mentioned to me, "Mom, Jackson's privacies are the same as mine...except smaller!"

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Story of We: Part 7 or Jackson's Birth Story

In Part 6 of "The Story of We" I just found out that I was expecting. And I was elated! Still am. We'll, not pregnant, but elated.

Confused yet?

Me too!

It's taken me a while to figure out how I want to relate Jackson's birth story but I think if I break it down into sections we'll be good.

Just a little FYI: This post is bound to be a little lengthy and also contains some "details" that might make men and women with an aversion to birth stories squeamish. Just sayin'.

The Decision
To induce or not induce...that was the question. Though the idea had been tossed around when Jackson was head-down at 38 weeks I had decided to wait and "let things happen on their own."

But then 41 weeks got closer and closer and knowing that Amelia was 9lbs 7oz with a 14 in head at 41 weeks and 3 days I was sure I couldn't do that again. But all I had heard about induction seemed scary and unknown. I "knew" what it was like to go into labor naturally. This, not so much.

I sent my sister, Summer, a text one day asking, "Is the pitocin THAT bad?"

She called me laughing. Which is rare (the calling part, not the laughing) since we both are NOT phone people. We likey text! And we both homeschool...'nough said. She said I reminded her of an addict looking for a fix.

Truly, I felt like one. When you've tried every at-home remedy you can find (Minus Castor oil. I forgot about that one.) and your body is in so much pain and the toilet is the only "comfortable" place to sit it's time to "GET THIS BABY OUT!"

I was desperate.

So desperate that I took all of our bags to my appointment the day before I was officially 41 weeks and begged them to keep me. They couldn't, but they did let me make an appointment to be induced the next morning (Tuesday, May 3rd) at 7:30. It's funny to me that I could be disappointed and relieved all at the same time.

Being Induced

After Summer assured me that the pitocin wasn't horrible and I had a long talk with the midwife about how I wanted the induction to go, we made a date and kept it. Well I did.

The Birthing Center called me Tuesday morning saying they had a surge of activity and needed me to wait to come in until 11. Though I was once again disappointed I was able to take that time to calm my nerves and Hot Hubby and I got to have breakfast with my parents.

We arrived at the hospital around 11 and by noon I was hooked up to the pitocin. The plan was to be on pitocin to start contractions so that Jackson would move down more. At that point they could break my water without the risk of a prolapsed cord and they would ease me off of the pitocin allowing my body to take over. Which is what happened.

The contractions weren't horrible. Though everything seemed to move along normally I was confused by my seemingly sporadic contractions. It felt like they weren't consistent enough to be progressing much. But I was wrong.

I don't know the time line of events since I was distracted by labor pains. I seem to remember that they broke my water around 3-ish. Then around 5:30-ish my contractions started getting stronger and more intense. I thought they seemed a little "back labor-ish" but wasn't quite sure.

Around 6-6:30-ish I told my mom that I just needed to sit on the toilet because that was the only thing that sounded comfortable. Up to this point I had tried standing, sitting on the bed, birthing ball and toilet and anything else that seemed like it may help.

This time when I got on the toilet it felt like I was getting close to pushing. The feeling wasn't super strong so I hesitated to say anything, thinking that I was just going to find out that I wasn't as far along as I felt and I would be disappointed.

When I finally did say something to my mom, the midwife was called into the room and I got back onto the bed. When she checked me she said I was only a 6 and not completely effaced. Like I figured I was disappointed. I was also confused because I still felt like my body was telling me something else. Since the back labor was getting more intense I didn't know how I would hold out through the pain. At this point I figured that Jackson's head was turned sideways. I was right. Thus the back labor.

The midwife had me get up on the bed and lean against the back of it so as to help Jackson move down more and in hopes that gravity would help me dilate. At this point the pain was more intense than I remember with either of the girls. I moved around and tried to "help" my body in any way that I could think of that was also bearable. Finally I told the midwife that I needed to sit because the pressure was to intense and I felt I needed something to push against.

She checked me at this point and said I was now an 8 but was less effaced then she had originally thought. The problem for me was that my body was starting to push on its own.

I don't know if you've ever experienced these kind of contractions but they are intense. I had them with Hazel but not so much with Amelia. Basically my body was physically contracting so strong that I was pushing without even meaning to. I call them "involuntary pushing contractions" but I don't know what they are really called.

I have a love/hate relationship with them. Love: because it means I'm getting closer to the end and because they are so helpful. Hate: because both times I've had them I've been told not to push because my cervix wasn't fully dilated. And when your body is pushing and you are being told NOT to push it's easy to feel like you're doing something wrong.

The midwife wanted me to use a bar that they put on the end of the bed to help Jackson's head turn and help me finish dilating. I kept saying, "But I can't!" Which, in labor speak, was supposed to mean, "I am about to have this baby and there is NO time for that!" But since I wasn't able to communicate through the pain (and I was still doubting my progress for fear of disappointment) I consented to trying the bar. At this point though, I was feeling more pressure in my rump and started to feel "the ring of fire" burning.

The bar didn't make it into the room.

The midwife turned back from asking a nurse to get the bar to find Jackson starting to crown. As I held myself up off the bed through the "involuntary pushing contractions" to try to lessen the pressure and "not push" like I was told, Jackson's 14&1/2 inch head came out followed quickly by the rest of his 20 & 3/4 inch, 9lb 6.6 oz wiggly body. He was born at 7:39 pm.

So much for a smaller baby. Compared to Amelia he was half an ounce smaller and his head was 1/2 an inch bigger!

Nathan helped deliver him and quickly handed his slimy, squirmy body to me.

First Impressions

When I first saw Jackson his body was a purple/blue color, he had a head full of dark hair and his lips were swollen making him look very African. My first thought: How did that get in there!

Which is funny because a few months ago when I asked Hazel who she thought Jackson would look like her answer was, "Ummmm...AFRICA!"

This picture doesn't do justice to the color he was at the time but you can see how swollen his lips are.

The swelling in his lips went down right away and his coloring, though very red-ish, is very much like his dad's. Meaning Hot Hubby. My husband. Just to be clear!

The other thing I noticed right away was a tooth! He was crying instantly and as Nathan handed Jackson to me I could see a tooth just under the surface of his lower gum.

The tooth!

Post Delivery

Usually after a baby is delivered the mommy's pain lessens right away. This didn't happen when Jackson was born. My pain gradually got worse and worse. Even though the midwife told me I didn't need stitches it didn't feel that way to me. In fact I kept jokingly asking if maybe there was another baby in there because I was having all the "feelings" I had before I delivered Jackson: intense pressure, ring-of-fire burning & contractions.

After about an hour (ish) I told the nurse that I thought I was bleeding too much. When she checked me she and the midwife found that my uterus had stopped contracting and had filled up with LOTS of blood and blood clots.

The next half hour or so was intense and painful. After giving me a shot to curb the pain and using a catheter to drain my bladder, the midwife had to "knead" my tummy to get my uterus to drain and contract down to the size it should have been. I was put on super high levels of pitocin and given more pain killers. When the process was over they measured that I had lost 1&1/2 pounds of blood.

Though there are many details I can't remember or have a hard time putting into words the main thing about this part of Jackson's birth is this: he is here and I am fine. I didn't require surgery or a transfusion. I was put on two weeks of "doing nothing" rest. Not quite bed rest but I basically have just sat and held Jackson the whole time. Which I really wanted to be able to do for at least one week anyways.

Hot Hubby has had the last two weeks off and has this week off also which has been perfect. He has, once again, been my Knight and has taken care of everything! Jackson and I slept in every morning while Hot Hubby got up at the crack of dawn with the girls and Abiah, made breakfast for us all and got the day started with the kids. I have a few words to say on this subject but will save it for another post. Point is this: Hot Hubby is amazing! And HOT!

Jackson Post Delivery

Jackson's bilirubin count was high and we had to stay an extra night so he could stay under the blue lights. He handled the whole thing much better than I thought. Though at first I was upset that we had to stay longer I took the opportunity to take a few extra naps and take few baths in the jetted tub. Good call, if I do say so myself!

First pair of "shades".

Baby tanning bed!

The Party

Right before Jackson was born someone from my room heard one of the nurses comment that we had, "men, women and children in there!" And we did! It was great!

Hot Hubby and my Mom

Nathan was the only man in the room during the actual delivery but my dad was in the room when we first got there and then after the delivery he and my FIL came in to meet their new grandson.

My Dad, Mom and MIL

FIL, Hot Hubby and Jackson

During the labor and delivery we had 12 people in the room. NOT counting the nurses! This was the first of my kids' deliveries that my mom and sisters (3) and Hot Hubby's mom and sisters (2) were all able to be at.

Rachel, Nicole (SIL) and my MIL

RoxAnne and Hannah

We were also joined by my niece Naomi, my Aunt RoxAnne and cousins, Rachel and Hannah. My friend Erika made it at the last minute also. If the room was bigger I would have had more ladies join us.

I don't have pictures of everyone on my camera, but they were there. I promise. Also, because of the hemorrhaging drama not everyone got to hold him that night and we didn't get pictures of all who did.

Something about a tree falling and no one hearing it comes to mind here...

The Coping Mechanism

Since worship music helps me relax and focus in any situation, I created a list for my ipod of about 50 songs that I really like. I purposely chose songs that are calm with lyrics that are focused on the goodness of God and who He is. I don't mind listening to instrumental music occasionally, but most of the time I prefer songs I can sing to.

I also purchased a 3x5 card book and wrote out scriptures that speak of the Lord's strength and goodness, a few snippets from a devotional and a list of people to pray for. This idea came from a birth story I read here. The people I purposed to pray for are those whose situations in life are harder and last longer than childbirth. Some have chronic illnesses. Some don't have answers to their pain. Some want children and haven't been able to have them. Some have sick babies. Some have recently lost loved ones. I LOVED this idea when I read about it and it really did help me through my delivery.

Aside from the last hour and a half (or so) when the pain was the worst, these things really did help to keep me focused. In fact, the times when I was using these the most were some of the sweetest times of the delivery for me.

Other sweet times for me:

Nathan being my constant support and our Court Jester
The comradeship of the women in the room
My niece want to be involved and finding things to do like giving me sips of water
Laughing with the nurses and midwife
The surprise of a friend
Remembering loved ones who I wish could have been there
Hearing the click-clicking of the keyboard and looking over to see my sister posed, waiting to update my friends on Facebook.

There are many more I can't think of now. Overall Jackson's delivery was an amazing, joy filled time.

We are enjoying the sweet little bundle that he is and looking forward to knowing him better.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Boy Howdy

We just wanted to pop on here and say a quick

All goes well here at the Crooked Castle. We are recovering well and will be posting a few updates soon. Stay tuned!