Monday, March 30, 2009

The first day

Tomorrow is the first day of my new life as sole day time provider to four. Up until now I have had scheduled help in some form or another. Usually the "form" has been Kevin or my mom.

But not tomorrow.

Tomorrow, Kevin goes back to work and mom is in Colorado with my sister.

I hope everyone survives.

Please warn me if you plan on visiting. I will have to rush around throwing stuff in closets so you can find the floor to walk on I'm sure.

Then again, maybe I'll be Super Mom and have all my laundry, dishes and dinner done as well as some new crafty thing I spontaneously decided to to with the kids included with photos documenting my crafty-multitasking-ness and my ability to do it all and with a smile.

Sheesh. I'm a bit snarky tonight aren't I.

I guess I've been reading too many "perfect life" blogs tonight.

On a less snarky note here are some photos from an impromptu photo shoot.
*note to self* photographing the two youngest ankle bitters results in AWESOME photos.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fitting in

As with most changes, especially life altering ones, we are still shuffling around trying to figure out how we all fit together now.

At three weeks old Sanders seems to be in full newborn swing complete with inability to sleep without being held and 24 hours of straight eating.

For the few moments during the day he is not eating and pleasant he is very endearing. I can't wait for the newborn-ness to wear off a bit so I can start to see more of his true personality that I get a few glimpses of now and then.

Good thing those newborns are pretty cute though.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Opening act

March 1, 2009. Less than 11 hours before Sanders was born, Beckham and I were sitting alone in Sacrament meeting. As it happens this was Fast and Testimony meeting.

If you have learned nothing else from reading my blog, you will have undoubtedly learned this, Beckham is NOT shy and ADORES the spotlight. Fast and Testimony meetings are akin to Christmas to that boy.

He quickly picked up on what day it was and asked me," Mom, is this the day anyone gets to go up and talk?"


"O.K. I'm going."

We have been counseled by the First Presidency that if young children cannot bear their testimonies on their own they should not do it during the meeting. So, I always stay seated on our bench and hold my breath as I watch my precocious 4 year old advance his way to an open mic and a captive audience.

At first he did really well. He sat still and waited his turn. He was third in line. Only occasionally did he loudly whisper to me, from the stand, and exuberantly gesture that it was his turn after, "Thiiiiiis lady".

Finally, it was his turn......

" I'd like to talk about Jesus. He is a really true man. He teaches about things you need to do. He can do the things He needs to do. He likes to teach people on Earth what they need to do.

I really like to play outside, but it's so cold! my new baby is going to be born March 9. He looks like my sister....."

At this point I realize he has now forgotten all about the Testimony part of the meeting and is settling in, quite nicely, to finish out the rest of the time with, Words of Wisdom by Beckham.

I start making my way up to the podium.

As I am trying to sprint up to the front while still allowing for the Spirit I hear whispers coming from the audience, "Uh oh!" "Snicker" "Giggle". They all know. This mom is on a mission.

Just before I get to Beckham he sees me. Turning to me and leaning into the mic as if to shield his mouth against any would be lip readers he spits, "AWWWWWW Mom!!!"

I whisper in his ear, "It's time to be done."

He retaliates by flapping his elbow like the wing of a bird trying to remove my mouth from such close proximity to his ear all the while loudly whispering, " Go away. I'm not done. Go away. I'm not done. I'm not done."

I'm losing the battle. As well as crying because I am laughing so hard, along with the rest of the congregation, and decide a change of tactic is needed. I tell him he can say one more thing and then he needs to BE done.

With the speed of a commercial voice over reading all the legalities of a too-good-to-be-true T.V. offer he blurts, " I wanted to name our baby Thomas, but my mom won't let me! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

At which point he turned around and stomped down to our bench with a smug little smile, a side glance at me, and his chin titled ever so slightly toward the ceiling that let me know that although I had slowed him down, he had still won.

6 going on 16

As Karaia was walking toward her bed to turn in for the night, Kevin turned off the light.

"Hey!" Karaia shouted.

"Sorry." Kevin chuckled.

"If I was you, I would let my child get IN bed before turning the light off."

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, the perfect parent in training. Thank goodness she's here to set us straight.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fresh air, near death, and new life

I did something today that I have not been able to do since Sunday night.

Breathe fresh air.

I was given the OK to experience such luxury just this afternoon. It really is the little things you long for most when they are unavailable.

To explain why this privilege was taken from me we will have to start at the beginning.

On Sunday night, March 1, around 7:45pm I bent over, as well as a 9 month pregnant lady can bend, to help Tennyson put on his shoes. I suddenly realized that I had either just lost complete control of my bladder or my water had broken.

I've never had my water break on it's own before. It's always had to be broken for me and then 10 minutes later I deliver. At this point I had not had any contractions yet, but we were nervous that when they started we wouldn't have much time before the baby came so we rushed home to pack.

We got to the Hospital 9:05 pm. I was still only 3 cm but they wouldn't let me leave because my water had broken. I still had not had any contractions. We decided we would "walk" the halls to see if it would do the trick.

By walk I mean Olympic speed walk.

I'm sure anyway who saw me was wondering what I was doing in labor and delivery if I could move that fast. We even timed how long it took us to make a loop and then tried to beat our personal best each time around. For the record 3 minutes 38 seconds is the time to beat.

After an hour of that I still had not had a contraction but I was dilated to 4cm. This was taking FOREVER.

We decided to try a warm compress on my chest and a soak in the jacuzzi tub. Two methods known to start contractions. I enjoyed the tub very much but it did nothing to move me closer to my end goal.

By 11pm I had had very few contractions. The ones I did have would last for about 3 intense minutes, but had little effect on my cervix. Plus we figured out he was head down but facing my hip instead of my back causing the contractions to be extra painful.

Now, lets examine my mental state at this point. In all my other pregnancies the longest I had ever been in the hospital before getting to hold my new little one was 3 hours. It was now over two hour and I was only at 6cm. The contractions were more painful than I had ever experienced and it was getting late. I had had enough. This was NOT how my labors were supposed to go and I was very emotional about it.

At 11:30pm I decided it was time for the pitocin and if we were going to use one drug we might as well use them all. I asked for an epidural before they started the pitocin. By the time they pumped me full of fluid enough to receive the epidural and then got around to getting the actual needle stuck into my spine it was 1 am. That's when they started the pit.

The epidural was FANTASTIC! I am now a new fan. They would tell me I was having a big contraction and I would reply,"Huh? I'm having a contraction?" My legs felt like big elephant pillows an overall very weird, but not unpleasant sensation.

After 1 1/2 hours I was still 6cm. So they upped the juice on the pit at 2:20am.

They told me they were going to put my legs in the stirrups for me. I was waiting for them to grab my legs when all of the sudden they were already up there. It surprised me so much all I could think to say was, "Hey! Those are mine!"

At 2:45am they told me to start pushing. I wasn't sure if I was doing it correctly because I couldn't feel. But they assured me I was because his head was already out. Sweet! I didn't even feel it.

At 2:46 am, March 2, one week early, and after only one minute of pushing, our beautiful baby boy entered the world.

Sanders James Daly

7 lbs 11 oz
21 inches

He is wonderful and the kids can't get enough of him

I was shaking for most of the day, but thought it was because of the epidural. But at 1:00pm my temp was 102.9. They thought it was because of too many blankets and the stress of labor. And the nurse told me to take a lap around the floor because that could help. (Secretly I think she had a bet on whether or not I could break the previously set record) They gave me meds for pain and the fever went down. But it kept coming back as well as the shaking.

My blood work from when I first came into Labor and Delivery came back and it revealed that my white blood count was already at 18 even before I had reached the hospital. By Tuesday morning it had reached 27. It was then that they knew something serious was going on and that I was very sick.

The good news is I never felt as sick as I was. I really look at that as a blessing.

They started me on IV antibiotics and ran some more tests.

The Strep A came back positive in my urine and my blood. Two very bad places for it to be positive. They think the strep is what caused my water to break.

I think they were scared there for awhile because it was only after I started to turn the corner they started telling me how good it was that they had caught it as early as they had and that I was extremely lucky.

It makes me want to cuddle all my kids forever. It could all end so fast.

By Wednesday my white blood count was down to 22 (normal is 4 - 10). So I was still very sick.

Thurs. count was down to 10, but I was still getting fevers at night. Plus they were confused as to why the infection wasn't totally gone by then. Step isn't like a staph. It doesn't resist antibiotics. It just dies. They were worried it was hiding somewhere else in my body and they didn't want to send me home to have it continue growing.

Part of the problem was the nursery would no longer let Sanders enter there. They were afraid he could pass whatever I was fighting on to the other babies. So even at the height of my battle for what I now understand to be my life, I had to care for a newborn all night. It was very challenging and I cried a lot the first night because I was not able to get to sleep until 6 am. just because of normal newborn stuff.

I kept thinking, how am I to get better if I can't sleep? It still doesn't make any sense to me, but at the time I could think of no alternative options than to continue caring for my son and doing my best to sleep after his needs were met.

Last night, my dear sister, who is also a nurse, offered to come spend the night with me and take care of Sanders. I can't express enough gratitude to her for listening to the Holy Ghost because just the night before, as I was again contemplating how I was to get better with no sleep and no help from the hospital, I found myself pleading with Heavenly Father to send me an angel. I was thinking literally, send an angel to rock Sanders to sleep, sooth his tears, and postpone his hunger. I didn't have to see them, but I knew Sanders would know they were there.

As always, the Lord always sends better than what you could even think to ask for. Meghan came and spent the night allowing me to take a sleeping pill. I slept from 11pm to 4am! Even through one of my IV treatments. She was definitely heaven sent. There is no question in my mind. I did not have any fevers! And my white blood count was still 10. So the high end of normal but it passes.

I'm still on meds and am closely watching my temp.

I am so grateful to be born in this time with this technology and medication. Otherwise, as fast as the infection spread.......I can't even think what would have happened.

Believe me, that first breath of fresh air was deep. But the hugs for my kids and my husband....

......was even deeper.