Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Joel's birth story (or what I remember anyway)

A picture of us during labor.
Warning the next 3 pictures are a little gross, but show the knots in Joel's cord...
Knot pic #1

Knot pic #2

Knot pic #3

Joel in all his glory.

Me and the wonderful labor & delivery nurse who spent the entire day with me.

Joel and Dr. Steinke ...he has delivered all 5 of my children

Me, Joel, and Josh the first time I'm holding him.

My mom, I couldn't have done labor without her. She was amazing, helpful, calm, and reassuring ( or those of you who don't know my mom is a labor & delivery nurse in southern CA)

My mother-in-law adoring her first grandson. I couldn't have done labor without her either, she even gave me a foot massage that day.

I wanted to write the details of my labor and delivery, I intended to write this post soon after he was born but time flies, and here I am 7 weeks later finally sitting down to do this. I write this mostly so I will remember the details, they quickly fade and I will forget...I want to remember. I was a scheduled induction, my dr told me to be at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. so we could get things rolling. The time line went something like this, this is what Josh kept track for me...

6:20 a.m. Arrived at St. Agnes
7:49 a.m. Dr. Steinke broke my water
8:21 a.m. Started the pitocin
8:30 a.m. Having some contractions, but they are irregular
10:33 a.m. Contractions getting stronger and more regular
10:40 a.m. I received my epidural
2:16 p.m. Dr. Steinke checks me, I'm 2-3
2:54 p.m. I'm 3-4, 70% effaced
3:03 p.m. I'm a good 4, internal monitor is placed so they keep a better eye on the baby.
3:30 p.m. Pitocin is shut off because baby is showing some signs of stress.
4:30 p.m. I'm still 4, 80% effaced, -1 station
4:53 p.m. Dr. Steinke checks me again, I'm 5-6 and 90% effaced, -1 station

The notes that Josh kept stop there, Joel wasn't born until 7:40 p.m. I really believed this labor would go much faster than it did, I mean Joel is my 5th baby and all (I thought when you have this many babies they just fall out), but stopping the pitocin really slowed everything down, but necessary because his heart rate was dropping. Eventually they started the pitocin again and Joel seemed to tolerate it. Before they checked me the last time I got sick to my stomach and threw up a few times. Once I threw up, I felt pressure (Not really any pain because the epidural I got was crazy strong). As I got closer to complete, Joel's heart rate started to show he was in distress , so when I started to push there was a few scary moments. My doctor seemed worried about what was happening which scared me (nad I could hear the internal monitor beeping and as I pushed the beeps got much slower) and my mom and mother-in-law were asked to stand outside. I looked and Josh and he remained calm and my rock, I wanted to cry and freak out, I thought maybe the baby was dying, but I knew if I cried I wouldn't be able to push, so I put my all in 3 good pushes and out came Joel. Once he was delivered we discovered he had an amazingly long umbilical cord (my dr guessed it was about 5 feet long, he says average cords are 2-3 feet long), it was wrapped around his neck and had 2 true knots in it. My doctor told me Joel was very lucky to be alive, he thinks if I had waited for my due date Joel would have wrapped that cord around himself and been stillbron. Dr. Steinke told us Joel's name should be lucky. I'm so grateful things turned out well. I was hesitant to write this, maybe a little afraid to say how lucky we were, but I do believe God works and does miracles, and this is one! I went to see my doctor this week and he reminded me of how "lucky" we are, he said he has thought about Joel several times since delivering him. He said he thinks I had about 3 days and Joel would've been stillborn. I'm not going to be reluctant to share what God has done!

Friday, July 24, 2009

What's Going on Around Here

Grace swimming at Anjie's house on the 4th of July.

Celebrating Audrey's 8th b-day

She got a laptop for her birthday, she was thrilled!

All the sisters on Ad's b-day

Josh and "Joel Bear" (that's what we like to call him) taking in an Angels game on t.v.

Olivia sacked out on the couch one afternoon.

Ellie playing with flubber.

The living room after a fun fort building game.

Audrey and Joel

Can't believe July is almost over. We've been keeping busy around here...Audrey, Ellie, and Olivia went to VBS last week so that gave us something to do and they enjoyed it...I can't get those songs out of my head.
This week, no big happenings, just trying to stay cool in this Fresno heat. Joel is growing and it's most noticeable in his cheeks, they are getting chubby. He has started to smile but really makes you work for those smiles, and we haven't been able to capture it on camera, maybe soon. He's sleeping well, the other night I got 6 hours of sleep in a row! I think it's been months since I have gotten that much sleep!
Part of me is excited to see school start (August 17th) and get back into a routine, but I have been enjoying the down time....I have spent a lot of time with the kids and I think it's been good for me and them. I'm learning to practice patience and a little more about what makes each one of them tick.
Audrey loves being home this summer, she can be a bit of a homebody. She would hold Joel non-stop if I let her. She loves to boss her sisters around and this drives them crazy and causes quite a few fights. In spite of that, I'm not sure what I would do without her, she is always ready to help.
Ellie has matured so much this last year. She is so sweet and loves Goose (Grace) and Joel so much, she is so tender and loving with them. She is learning how to be a little less emotional about everything. She is a thinker and loves to ask questions. She loves to do her own hair, and she does a good job.
Olivia is a free spirit. She isn't a very good listener (we're working on this), but she is so loving. She has a way of saying the funniest things and making everybody feel special. She is very good at expressing her feelings. She is right smack in the middle, and I can't think of a kid with a better personality to make it thru as a middle child.
Grace is the baby girl, and still seems so much like a baby to me, until I put Joel next to her, then she looks like a monster. She speaks her own little language, but "mine" and "no" are her fav clear words, She says no to everything even if she means yes. She loves Joel and will touch him and say "baby" but she's pretty oblivious that he's here. She's too busy pushing the baby stroller and making messes to notice her baby brother most of the time.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

An update

It's been a little while since my last post. Addie, Ellie, and Liv made it home from Oregon (Josh's parents survived even with Ellie and Nana getting the flu on the second day), Josh and I (and Joel) got away for a night while they were gone (some dear friends watched Grace for 2 nights), Audrey turned 8 on July 5th, and today Joel is one month old. Lots going mom was here for a week and went home yesterday so life is getting back to the new "normal". Joel is a good baby, and he sleeps great, usually waking only once or twice during the night and then going right back to sleep. He fusses in the evening and it takes a little while to get him settled for bedtime, but I don't think I can complain too much. He doesn't pee on everything like he did the first few weeks he was home. I feel like I'm getting adequate rest, I just need more patience with the older girls....I think they are bored already and looking forward to going back to school. It's difficult to keep them entertained and tend to a newborn, this is my biggest challenge. Here are a couple pics we took this week...