Thursday, June 23, 2011

Today's Shopping Adventures

Oh goodness.

I was going to go coupon shopping yesterday, but Richard ended up taking my car because he hadn't had time yet to empty the firewood out of the truck. It was okay though, we went to the park instead :D But today was to be the make up day for missing yesterday. I even made a big deal about Richard getting the wood out so I could go shopping today because if I didn't go today it wasn't going to happen.

I forced myself out of bed at a somewhat decent our so we could get going before 10. As Murphy would have it, Reuben woke up right after I got out of the shower and right before Rachel was done with breakfast, so I wasn't able to run around and make preparations like I was going to. Instead he had breakfast right then. And directly afterwards it was time to go, so I'd have enough time to shop before he got hungry again. The bad news here is that I'm not really the most level-headed under pressure like that, and I had a lot of things that I could possibly forget to grab on my way out the door. At least Rachel was dressed and had shoes on :D I even brushed her teeth.

In a last ditch effort to zoom out the door, I put Reuben in his carseat so I could go do my hair and get Rachel's shoes on. Then I grabbed my diaper bag and the dutch oven I was planning to take back to Walmart and ran outside to start the car (so the A/C would cool it down before the babies went in). Unfortunately Rachel has not yet gotten used to this process and she thought I was leaving her, so she started screaming. I ran back down and assured her all was well, then grabbed my coupon binder and Reuben and led Rachel outside. I usually let her walk up the stairs while I put Reuben in the car, so by the time I'm done she's made it to the top. I counted on her being slow today, because I had to run in and get my shoes. So after I put Reuben in I ran around to a different door where my shoes were and put them on. This was when I realized I didn't have the receipt for the dutch oven, so I zoomed downstairs to grab it and came out the door where Rachel was. She had made it to the top of the stairs by then and was crying again because she couldn't find me. I'm such a mean mom :(

So I got Rachel into the car and set my binder on top so I could put on my moby wrap in preparation for the shopping trip. I'm sure I looked goofy to the neighbors, standing there with my car running wrapping this huge green turban around myself, but oh well. I got it on and got in and off we went.

We made it to Smith's in record time, and I thought it would be smart to look at my list so I could navigate the store as efficiently as possible. I turned to grab my list, and lo and behold it was not there. My binder was not on the front seat like I thought it was. I looked in the backseat, under the dutch oven, under my diaper bag, everywhere, and then realized I had left it on top of the car when I was putting on my wrap!! Oh well, I guess we're not going to Smith's today. I figured it probably just fell off in the driveway, and made a new plan for the day.

Since I was already in Provo we went to IFA to get the replacement dutch oven. This was to be a quick in-and-out trip, which is never going to be quick with two babies. I think we were there for half an hour. But I got the dutch oven! Then it was off to Walmart. That trip was fairly uneventful. I returned the dutch oven, bought inner tubes for my stroller, and then spent the remainder of the trip buying bear food. I got to the checkout and realized all I was buying was nuts and berries. Whatever, my breakfast beats your breakfast any day :D

On the way home from Walmart I was scanning the road looking for my binder the whole way. I didn't think it would be hard to spot, as it is bright orange, but I didn't see it anywhere. Then I thought it would be a good idea to go home a different way than the way I left town. This might sound weird, but I always come home a different way than I leave home. I just shouldn't have today since I was looking for something that fell off my car. But I never claimed to be a genius. When I pulled into the driveway expecting to see it on the ground, possibly slightly flattened by my running it over, and DIDN'T, I started getting scared. I figured if I lost my coupon binder I'd just give up couponing because of how many coupons were in there. I pulled back out of the driveway and drove back toward the highway the way I had gone the first time, scouring ditches and sidewalks the whole way thinking maybe someone had pulled it out of the road or something.

I got all the way to the highway before getting REALLY nervous. I had turned about 6 times by now, and figured the turning would have knocked it off the car, but I guess not. Right after turning onto the highway, though, I saw it. It was leaning up against a pole. This was fortuitous either because it had magically landed that way, making it easy for me to find, or because someone had found it, pulled it out of the road, and set it up that way so it would be easy for me to find. Either way, I'm very grateful :D

I got it home and looked through it to see what kind of damage had been done. It doesn't look like anyone ran it over, but it does look like someone must have gone through it, at least to figure out what it was. My shopping list had moved, and my envelope of today's coupons was tucked away in a pocket which I KNOW I didn't have time to do before I left. Also several of the pages had come off the three rings, which I assume happened as it flew through the air and landed on the highway. I am very grateful to whoever found it and left it for me to find :D I'm sure they looked inside and said "Oh man, someone is having a bad day" and did their best to fix it. So thanks, whoever you are :D Now I can go coupon shopping tomorrow :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rachel's Recent Cuteness

It's been so long since I've written anything, let alone about how cute my daughter is, that I felt it was time for a post.

On Sunday we went to a different ward to attend a homecoming of a friend. Directly after Sacrament meeting Rachel started going "Ushrey?" She sure knows the drill. We told her she could go to nursery after we went for a drive. I'm sort of supposed to be a nursery leader, so I decided to stay in with her this day to get to know the drill. Apparently all I had to do was ask my child. Turns out they did things a little out of order this week. Usually they do snacks then puzzles then toys then lesson etc etc, but today they did toys then snacks then lesson etc. Rachel sat down and ate her snack like a good girl, but once she was done she walked over to the teacher and asked for a puzzle. Nonstop. For 5 minutes. hehehe :D She sure knows her routines and likes to stick to them.

The other day Rachel was tooting rather loudly. Richard said "Rachel, can you say 'excuse me'?" and she just stared at him. Then I asked "Rachel, can you say 'Entschuldigung'?" and she said in this cute high pitched voice "No!"

Rachel is also learning a lot lately. I think she's nailed down what a green crayon looks like, and yesterday she learned what a brown one looks like. I have a set of flash cards with letters, animals, and words on them and I've been trying to teach her the animals. We went through about 10 of them a week ago and she could kind of say all the names of the animals. I pulled them out yesterday and she still remembered them! My smart girl :D

Ok I think that's all I've got for now, but I'll try to do better about posting more often. Cuz I love my kids :D

Friday, June 10, 2011

Baby Reuben

I hope I wrote Rachel's birth story somewhere. I'll have to look for it and write a new one if I can't find it. Anyway here is Reuben's :D

When I was pregnant with Rachel I had no idea what to expect as far as going into labor. So I didn't expect anything. I anticipated that she would be at least a week late, but she ended up coming almost a week early. The experience gave me some inconvenient expectations for Reuben's birth.

I started having contractions on Friday the 13th of May, which was almost 2 weeks before his due date. Rachel was born about 30 hours after I first started feeling these contractions, so I immediately made preparations for my baby to come much sooner than expected. I took work off for the entire next week and began nesting like crazy. Not to mention I downloaded a contraction counter app for my iPod and started counting. I couldn't sleep that night not because the contractions hurt, but because I was very excited.

So then nothing happened. I kept having contractions and didn't know what to expect the next day, so I kept my work schedule open just in case. I get penalized if I don't make it to work or if I don't cancel my shifts 24 hours in advance, so that was a major concern for me. I was sick in December and ended up getting 9 penalties, then 8 more in January due to power outages and more sickness, and it put me way down in the queue for calls. The last thing I wanted to do was get a penalty now after 3 months of good work and slowly climbing back up the queue, so I just didn't work. It was probably better for me, because I got a lot more sleep and better sleep than I had been getting my whole pregnancy.

There I was, a week later and a week closer to the due date. I kept telling myself he'd be late, but the whole time I was expecting him to be early. I did all the nesting I possibly could, which was mostly sorting a TON of clothes given to me by friends. On Saturday, the 21st, I gave up. I was then planning to have a baby on Wednesday. I told everyone I was going into labor that night at 6 because that would be most convenient for me. 6 came and went and no labor. Still contractions, but not any worse than they had been for the past week. We attended a birthday party for a friend, and anticipated going to a second one the next day up in Salt Lake. This could be terribly inconvenient, because I was delivering in Payson. So if I went into labor in Salt Lake it would be almost an hour and a half just to get to the hospital. Luckily that didn't happen.

I of course had contractions throughout the evening, but nothing bothersome. Towards the end of the night as we were leaving they actually starting being more regular, about 20 minutes apart. I didn't mean to, but I timed them all the way home and they stayed consistently 20 minutes apart. We got home really late, so I figured I could fall asleep between contractions and get some good rest before whatever tomorrow would bring. This was Sunday the 22nd, btw. So we got into bed and Richard was out immediately. My first two contractions in bed were 20 mins apart. The next one came after 15 minutes. The next after 10. The next after 5. They were then consistently 3 minutes apart, and starting to be uncomfortable. So...maybe he would be early after all :D

Clearly I wasn't going to be able to sleep, but I tried. I was really tired. But then they really started getting painful and I felt like I'd need to distract myself. I decided to take a shower, and that was probably the best choice I've ever made. As I was getting undressed the pain intensified, but the pounding of the water on my lower back along with the heat seemed to help a lot. Well, at least for a while. I was probably in there a good 20-30 minutes before it stopped working and they started hurting more.

I tried to distract myself by getting back to sorting clothes. I had left a huge pile on the couch and figured if I would be having a baby soon it needed to be gone. I put on a movie and started sorting, but every time I had a contraction I had to stand up through it or it killed. By now it was 3 am and Richard had woken up, wondering where I was. I had told him before we went to bed that they were getting more regular, so he was kind of expecting this. I told him I wanted to go to the hospital, but with it being 20 mins from home I really didn't want to go too soon and risk getting sent home, so I was trying to wait as long as I could.

We slowly made preparations to go, with me pausing every 3 minutes to walk around in a circle breathing really slowly. Luckily my mom was still awake so we could try to figure something out for Rachel. The plan was that my mom would watch her whenever the time came, but if it came on a Sunday or Monday we'd be in a bind because she had to work those days. Well, it was Monday by now. We planned to call the house early in the morning and get one of the kids to stay home from school for a day.

We finally got into the car about 3:30 and arrived at the hospital at 4. I actually fell asleep between contractions in the car, which was lovely. And Richard drove pretty slowly and carefully so as to avoid any uncomfortable bumps, which I really appreciated. I have such a good husband, and one of my most favoritest things about him is how well he drives.

After being checked in they started getting me set up in a room. I was so nervous that I wouldn't be progressing. I told the nurse that when she checked me the correct answer would be "5" and that I would then be needing an epidural. She said "Well let's check and make sure it's not too late ;)" then she assured me it probably wouldn't be too late. She checked, and I was at a 6!! Wahoo!! This thrilled me for two reasons. 1) I didn't have to go home! and 2) I felt like a real wuss with Rachel. The contractions were so painful, but I really had no tools for dealing with them so they were a lot worse than they should have been. I am very impressed by women who give birth without an epidural, but I am not one of them. Maybe someday I will be, and I want to try to get as close to that point as timing and life permit. So with this pregnancy I got just a few tools for dealing with the pain, and what I learned and practiced actually helped. I had a goal to make it farther with Reuben without an epidural than I did with Rachel (even though it was much cheaper this time), and that I did :D I got Rachel's when I was just past a 4, and I didn't get Reuben's until I was closer to a 7. I had Rachel's for 5 hours, and Reuben's only for 3. So I was pleased with my accomplishment :D Also I felt like I handled the contractions better overall. I was pretty much screaming with Rachel, but I just breathed through each one calmly with Reuben.

Ok enough of my triumphant pain story. So the nurse admitted me and they called the anesthesiologist. He didn't show up for what seemed like forever but was probably only 20 minutes or so. He gave me the epidural along with another drug whose name I can never remember. It's the same stuff they gave Richard when he got his appendix out, and it makes you feel like you're floating. I didn't like it. Yes, I was tired and wanted to sleep, but with the birth progressing as it was I kind of wanted to be aware of everything and be able to communicate with people better than I was able to.

Ok so then my doctor showed up. He checked the monitor and charts and whatnot and told me he'd be back later. He had another patient delivering in Provo at the same time and she was winning, so he went out there to catch her baby. Funny, because the exact same thing happened with Rachel, but backwards. I was in Provo and he was delivering a girl in Payson at the same time. He actually barely made it in time to catch Rachel. I had already started pushing. But I was only at a 7 and not really progressing very quickly this time, so he took off.

The nurse came in an hour later and I hadn't progressed much. My doctor is an amazing scheduler and somehow makes it to all his births without missing an appointment, and he had a plan today. He called and told them he was on his way back and to give me pitocin (sp?) to have me ready by the time he arrived, at which point he would break my water and I'd have a baby. That's exactly how they worded it. Anyway I really didn't want the pitocin. Everything I've heard and read has steered me away from it. The birth is better the more natural it is, pitocin make harder contractions but not necessarily more effective contractions, etc etc. Anyway I was already almost at a 9 and had an epidural, so I figured why not.

They gave me the pitocin and I didn't feel a change in the contractions. Oh by the way, my epidural mostly went down my right leg and it turned out I could still feel part of my left side. This was super cool because I could still feel the contractions, although they weren't painful, I felt it when my water broke, and I could feel to push the baby out. I wasn't able to feel any of that (except the water part, because that happened before) with Rachel, and it made me feel that I really might be able to do this without drugs someday.

So yeah, my water broke before the doctor got back. It was cool, we heard the pop on the monitor :D So here came the doctor and my new nurse, and I started pushing. You can guess what happened next. When they weighed him and told me how big he was, I was shocked. I really didn't think he was THAT big :D I know 8 pounds isn't that big for a baby, it's quite average really, but remember that Rachel was only 6 1/2. That's a big difference. He was born right before 8 am, and my doctor was able to get to his office for his first appointment of the day. Crazy guy.

Oh how I loved my sweet new baby. They did his tests and he passed them all, so I was able to hold him right away, and he was able to latch on and nurse for almost an hour. It was marvelous :D He did spend a lot of time in the nursery while we were in the hospital with all the tests they had to do, but for the most part we got to have our little guy in our room and everything was great. He had pretty high bilirubin levels, so we had to bring him back to get checked twice and he's still a little yellow, but no lights and he's eating really well.

On Monday Reuben will be 3 weeks old. He sleeps 5-7 hours at night and is awake for 1-2 hours during the day. He has beautiful blue eyes and the sweetest face, and he holds his head up very well. He is now nursing very well without the help of that stupid shield my defective body has to use at first. It took me 2 months to get Rachel off of that thing, so this is a big deal :D Best of all, my son loves to snuggle with me and gets grumpy if other people hold him. The best part of being a mom is seeing your kids show you that they love you. My little guy loves to be held against my chest and loves to be swaddled and rocked.

So that's the story of Reuben's birth. The pregnancy was slightly more difficult than Rachel's, the birth was much easier, and I love having them both in my life each day. Being a mom is the best thing I've ever done, hands down :D