Sunday, February 28, 2010

Welcome Home, Olive... Believe it or not, this is your life!

Last night was a rough one. Olive started refluxing pretty badly. She also had gas which hurt her little tummy. The combo meant that neither of us slept more than 3 hours the whole night. Not good, especially since I only slept 2 hours Thursday night. I am having the same problem that I had with Ivey... I am producing way more milk that Olive needs. I'm only nursing her off of one side per feeding, but even on that one side, I have way more than she could ever eat. This means that when she nurses, she isn't getting past the low-cal thin fore-milk and getting to the thick heavy hind-milk that she needs. Same problem, different baby. What can I say, I can make some milk.

These fore-milk only feedings leave her tummy all frothy and acidic. I can't pump to get to the hind-milk, because that would only tell my body to keep making way more milk than I need. So, like with Ivey, we have to ride it out until my body gets the clue that it doesn't need to make enough milk for the entire mother/baby unit. Until then, we are using gas drops and I'm propping the end of her bed up to try to help her get through.

Jeff stayed with the kids last night and today, while Mom spent the night with Olive and me at the hospital. Jeff wasn't feeling too well last night. I figured he was just exhausted from Thursday night's baby birthing adventure. Not the case. This morning, he developed a fever. By the time they discharged me, he was feeling really crummy. He got to experience something that most men do not... being sick as a dog and having to take care of kids anyway. Moms everywhere know this part of the job well, and it stinks.

As Mom drove Olive and me home, Jeff called to tell me that Addison had clogged up the upstairs toilet. Then, with poo-water to the brim of the toilet, proceeded to flush again, which caused the poop-water-waterfall to spill out all over the floor, seeping through the cracks and dripping through the tin ceiling tiles of the downstairs foyer. Oh, and Jeff's fever was now up to 101. He said that he was able to steer clear of the boys, but Ivey was all over him and had been since last night. Great.

I wanted to quarentine Jeff to the boys' room, but he is in the living room instead. I am not going anywhere near him... and I hope to be able to keep the kids away. I seriously cannot get sick. The kids cannot get sick. Olive CANNOT get sick. Not cool. Mom helped me disinfect surfaces and cover the house in Lysol spray. What perfect timing.

Now, Jeff is no help. Mom was going to be here the first part of the week with the six of us. Jeff and Mom together could take care of the kids and help me out until I heal. Now, instead of having him to help, he's a pile of scary germs. Ivey was very happy to see me and spent the first hour sitting in my lap while she watched a movie. I asked if Olive could watch the movie with us and by not screaming, she agreed that it was a great idea. She didn't want me to leave her side, and I don't blame her in the least. It's been one heck of a month.

Ivey's reaction to Olive's homecoming was better than I could have imagined. I sat on the bed, holding Olive, while Ivey examined her little ears and nose and hands. She reached out and stroked Olive's hair. She was extremely gentle and very sweet. Then, she reached behind her and grabbed her favorite blanket, Ladybug Blanket. She took her prized possession and gently piled it on top of her new baby sister. When it would fall off, she would gently place it back on top. I am so proud of my big girl and her very big heart. When Ivey came home from the hospital, and was lying in a bed in the same very room, Asa ran and found his "yellow blanket" and placed it on top of his new sister. There's a lot of love in our big, big family!

Mom took the kids out to eat in order to get them out of the house. With Jeff out of commission and me needing to feed Olive, a car to unpack, a kitchen counter full of dishes and four hungry kids, it was a little out of control. Mom took Asa, Addison and Ivey out for dinner while I retreated to my bedroom, to sob for a while over how unpleasant it was to have a sick husband and a house that was covered with an invisible layer of dried poo water. While I was hiding in my room feeding Olive, I overheard talk in the next room. My van wouldn't start. It turns out, the battery was completely shot. Good grief. Surely, things will calm down to a more normal level of insane. I am trying very hard not to panic about getting sick.

Jeff took the battery to Auto Zone and Olive and I stayed home alone. When Mom came home with the kids, I had all four of them on my bed for the first time. Wow. That's a lot of kids. Ivey was in a wild mood, so it was a bit nerve wracking to keep her from clobbering Olive, or from flying off the bed onto her noggin. She was sweet to her sister, but she was just in one of those crazy moods. Mom took Olive from me and the strangest thing happened. We had expected Ivey to be jealous of Olive when I held her. Well, we never expected Ivey to get upset when someone took Olive FROM me! Ivey pitched a fit when Mom took her baby sister away, and continued to do so until she was returned to her mommy's arms. As soon as mom gave her back to me, Ivey was content. She didn't want anyone taking our baby away!

Asa and Addison took turns holding their new bundle. They are both in awe over her, and over the sheer fact that this baby was inside of me a few days ago and now is outside. They have good reason to be amazed. It is completely miraculous. Each and every one of them are completely miraculous. Now, to keep all of these miraculous little beings slathered in Purell and away from their daddy!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Olive's Story

At 3:00am, the nurses started me on a low dose of Pitocin to get my contractions going. We had the choice of just breaking my water, but that seemed a little fast and furious to me so I opted to get things going with Pitocin first. I figured we could break my water if it didn't break on its own, or if things wouldn't get going by the afternoon, we could break it then. Honestly, I was hoping that we wouldn't have to for a long time, since the cushiony water was helping the contractions to be very manageable.

From 3am until 7am, they kept increasing my dosage of Pitocin. My contractions were pretty consistently 2 minutes apart, but after a while they would space out and the Pitocin would be increased. The strength of the contractions increased as well, but they were very tolerable. At 7am I was still 7cm. I walked the halls, and my contractions got pretty strong. Throughout the morning, my pitocin was increased by small amounts until I was at 18ml/hr.

The question as to why I was able to walk around at 7cm dilated (I carried my bags into L&D this morning, and no doubt could have gone on my merry way instead of going to the hospital right then) were answered by my cervix. Usually, the cervix moves from a posterior position to an anterior position as it thins and opens. Mine did not. It stayed posterior all the way up to 7cm. Olive's head was anterior, pushing down on the part of the uterus in front of the cervix. As I contracted, Olive's head didn't push down on the cervix. If it had, I would have dilated quickly and went into active labor. Instead, I continued this slow progression, with a baby held in by a small area of tissue. We knew that as soon as that cervix moved to an anterior position, the game would be on.

The nurse was in the room with me through some contractions, and kept reporting back to the midwife that they were still tolerable. Obviously, I wasn't getting close yet. However, she came back into the room, talked to me through one contraction and then when the next one came it was completely different. It instantly went from manageable to intolerable... I was in transition for sure.

Thankfully, Toni (my midwife) felt that there was no reason to check me. She and her student midwife sat in the room with me and the two helped me through each contraction. Julie (the midwife in training), pushed on my low back during each contraction, which did an amazing job of taking the edge off during the first 20 minutes or so of transition. The intensity increased, and I moved from sitting on the birthing ball (where Julie was pushing on my back) to the bed. I meant to turn around backwards and hang over the back of the bed, but I only made it to a sitting position. I was having all of the typical transition reactions. The pain was so bad, I kept saying that I couldn't do it... and I was feeling very panicky. I second guessed my decision to avoid the epidural... I was in so much pain I was sure I wouldn't be able to do it. It's funny, I know all of these things mean that everything is progressing... I know all of my reactions were completely typical and I know that transition is the shortest stage of labor... but when you are in it, you cannot see past the fact that the pain is more than you can bear.

After about 45 minutes of transition, I started feeling the urge to push. Julie checked me and I was 9.5cm. I could push whenever I felt ready. Over the next couple contractions, the urge became strong. At noon, I started out pushing on my side. As Olive moved, she hit my sciatic nerve, which I have problems with anyways. The pain was so excruciating that instead of resting in between pushes, I was crying out about my legs, hips and low back. The back pain was so much worse than the contractions and pushing that it felt as if the "rest" was the pushing itself. After a while on my side, I moved to my back. I could feel her moving down... but she was still on my nerve the entire time. I was one of those women that you can hear screaming down the halls. It was the most intense things I have ever gone through in my life.

After pushing for an hour and thirteen minutes (and busting about a billion capillaries in my face in the process), she was ready to be born, still safe and secure inside her sac of fluid. Once her head was being delivered, Toni popped the sac. Actually, there was no "popping" the sac. Instead, it took two different tries with different instruments. They said it was tougher than a ziploc bag! The sac was broken a minute or less before her full birth. It felt like she came out as the water did. I think the fact that she was able to go through childbirth in her amniotic sac, called "baby in caul", is awesome. Most cultures celebrate babies born this was and revere them as special, destined for greatness, and good luck. Olive is what they call a "caulbearer". It occurs in less than 1 in 1000 births.

Olive was lifted up and started crying a loud, healthy cry. They put her squirmy wet little body immediately onto my chest, where she stayed for the next few minutes. I was not rushed and was able to talk to her and calm her cries, umbilical cord still attached. As rough as it was and as immensely painful as it was, I am very thankful for such a natural experience. Would I do it again? Probably not! But, I am thankful and proud that I did. The nurses cleaned Olive a bit in the room and weighed her at 6lbs 7oz. As they took her from me, she let out a loud cry. I told Toni that she was cursing that amnio and its results! She was definitely no preemie!

After I was all stitched up (I tore a little bit, but not too badly. I will not go into the stitching, but the fact that I had no epidural meant that this was much more of a big deal than I imagined. I had teeth marks in my arms for over 24 hours after having this done, from where I bit myself to get through the pain.), Olive came back to me and nursed. I didn't expect anything, but she knew what to do. Much to my surprise, Olive did not have to wait any time at all for my milk to come in. Because I just weaned Ivey four months prior, I was already primed and ready to go. Olive needs to thank her sister for being able to have as much as she wanted right from the start!

Asa, Addison and Ivey came to meet their new sister a few hours later. The boys were amazed, Asa was particularly enamored, and Ivey was fascinated over the tiny creature. Asa held her for a while and Ivey touched her very gently with a big smile on her face. Of course, after a few minutes Ivey decided hiding in the closet and playing peek-a-boo behind the curtain was much more fun!

Due to my great milk supply (thanks again, Ivey!), Olive has been able to nurse very well from the start. She is able to fill up her tummy to the point that she can sleep contently. Last night, our first night together, I had to actually wake her up after 4 hours and then after 5 hours. I enjoyed the unexpected sleep! I am not expecting that to be the norm, but I will take it when I can get it. I love the fact that Olive nurses well and has a great alert-eat-sleep-repeat pattern.

Olive looks like Addison did when he was a baby. They both have Jeff's mouth and a very round head, and the same nose. The resemblance is so strong, that everyone has been talking about it a lot. We didn't realize until today how this is bothering Asa. He seemed down in the dumps since last night. Jeff went home and picked up Asa and Addison to take them to a movie and was able to get to the bottom of his glum mood. I think with a little TLC and a whole lot of Asa, Olive, mommy time together, he will feel a lot better. When they came to visit me today, Asa couldn't keep his hands off of her sleeping little body. He lifted up her hands and moved her hat to stroke her hair... he is such a sweetie when it comes to itty bitty babies. Addison isn't as interested in the tiny babies, but shines with older babies. Ivey will need Mr. Addison's unwavering affection, and Olive will need her big brother Asa's protective and nurturing nature.

Today, I rest with my new bundle. Tomorrow, we go home. I'd better rest up all I can. Tomorrow, I get a glimpse into my new life as a mommy of four!

Olive Amelia

Olive Amelia was born on February 26 at 1:13pm
6lbs 7oz and 19 inches long

She is perfectly healthy and looks very much like Addison! So far, she is eating extremely well and sleeping like a log. I'll write the details of yesterday's adventure when I get rested up!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Aaaaaand Action!

Okay, so my threats of holding off going to the hospital until we could see hair color was a bit exaggerated. As it turns out, I had another night of crampy contractions... the exact same feeling that I had Monday night... and all the other nights that led to dilation. Now that I knew I was 6cm, the thought of getting up in the morning at 7+ cm just sounded too scary... so in I went.

We were here at the hospital at 2:30 this morning. Sure enough, I was 7cm. As it turns out, my cervix is still very posterior, which is not typical. Usually, it starts out back there, but then moves forward. Well, Olive's big ol' head is pushing down in front of the cervix, not really on it, making things... weird.

Needless to say, I can't go home, but fortunately it was decided that I cannot continue on like this. I am now sitting here in the bed listening to the windshield-wiper-sound of Olive's heartbeat, with an IV of pitocin... Jeff is sleeping on the couch/bed. I am contracting every 2 minutes now, but since my water is still in tact, they are currently very tolerable. They look big on the screen, but my amniotic shock absorber is working quite well. I am under no delusion that this will continue to be the case. Soon, I know things will be quite different.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Frustrated Beyond Belief.

I am at home. The last 48 hours have been ridiculous and frustrating. It seems I am trapped in a situation that is abnormal, and with a medical community trapped by legal restrictions and fear from malpractice lawsuits.

Even though I was 6cm dilated, I had not had any contractions all night. Hence, I could not be considered in "active labor", so they could not help me progress. After much stress, I decided to agree to the amnio that they wanted to do. The amnio would tell them if Olive's lungs were mature enough to induce me. Anything over a 55 means the lungs are ready. Anything under 40 means they are immature. 40-54 is a "grey area". I told them that is exactly where I would fall, and I did. It came back 51. I laid there and let them stick a needle through my abdomen and into my uterus and suck up my baby's amniotic fluid for them to tell me it wasn't quite the number they needed to do anything to help me.

I am frustrated, Jeff is frustrated, the nurses and midwives and doctors are frustrated. Their hands are tied even though they want to help... and yet, I left the hospital yesterday at 6cm dilated. I made it very clear that they would not be checking my cervix before I left, that I would not be coming in if I'm just having contractions, and that I am not going to the doctor's office this week, or even early next week, because there is no point and because any of those things would just give them a reason to stick me in the hospital without being able to help me... again. I am not going back in until either a) my water breaks or b) I am in so much pain that I cannot stand it and Jeff has to carry me to the car. The fear of delivering a baby in the car or in my bed has been replaced with the fear of being trapped in a hospital where no one will help me. I would be better off with Jeff, some towels, a couple pieces of dental floss and a nasal aspirator.

Oh, and they said they cannot break my water or help me along, unless I am in "active labor", unless I am 39 weeks or further. If they have to see cervical changes while I am in the hospital, then they will probably be out of luck. If I go in next week and let them check me (which I won't), and I'm 7cm... and they freak out and send me to the hospital, then I would have to sit there until either they saw me further dilate or they give up and just send me back home after another couple days of crappy food and nurses waking me up to take my blood pressure all night long. No, until Olive's head is coming out of my body, I'm staying right where I am.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Square Peg,

Yet again, I find myself a square peg in a whole doctor's office full of round holes.

After my night of contractions, I arranged for someone to watch the kiddos while I drove to the doctor's office. I waddled all the way across the parking lot, looking a lot like Yosemite Sam. The midwife checked me and, lo and behold, I was a whopping 6cm dilated. Who in the heck drives to the doctor (via Chick-Fil-A), limps it from the car to the door on their own at a 6? No one. Absolutely no one. But me.

If it were next week, or even Saturday, they would simply break my water and we'd be in business. But, because I'm 36 weeks 3 days, it's more complicated. The doctor called a maternal fetal specialist to see what they thought about breaking my water. They said they wouldn't without me being in active labor. So, I was sent to the hospital to hope for active labor.

And, here I sit. I have walked the halls, climbed 3 flights of stairs, did some squats... I'm not quite sure how I can NOT be in active labor. As of this moment, I am having contractions. They may be able to break my water if I show some cervical change. I am so frustrated. I understand where the hospital is coming from... but my situation is completely crappy! They said if labor can't start on its own, then they said they want to do an amnio in the morning to check and see if her lungs are mature before breaking my water. I don't want an amnio. I don't want to stay here. I want to either un-dilate and go HOME or dilate and have my baby girl!

So, I guess I need to get up and go walk the halls once more...

Up All Night

It's 3am and I haven't slept a wink because I am contracting up a storm. My feet started swelling a couple days ago... to the point that I no longer can see ankle bones. The feet pain made it hard to sleep, so I was already awake when the contractions began at about midnight. At first, they were about 5 minutes apart and now they are 3 minutes apart. They may be bad enough that I cannot sleep through them, but not exactly bad enough to rush to the hospital about. I called the midwife and we figured that if I could talk through them maybe I should just keep trying to get some rest and come into the office in the morning. Of course, if I feel like I need to go in, I can. I don't want to call for backup with the kids and make the trek to Athens for nothing... so I am up, getting something to eat, and then I'll see if I can't get a little bit of sleep. It's not like I'll be able to catch up tomorrow...

Friday, February 19, 2010

I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies!

The night before last, I was up all night with contractions that were 5-7 minutes apart. I went in to the doctor's office and I was 4-5cm dilated. Because I was only 35 weeks 5 days, they can't help things along... so I am stuck in limbo. I went home, off of bedrest, to see if things would happen on their own. That was yesterday. I thought last night would be just as active as the previous one, but it wasn't. I was able to sleep all night, which was nice. But, you can only hang out at 4-5cm for so long. Things are bound to happen soon.

Today, I took the kids to the grocery store, went up and down our stairs, and basically spent the day doing whatever I wanted to do. Today is also the first day in a long time that no one has been here with us. It feels weird, but good in a way. Ivey seems to be enjoying having her mommy back (albeit a mommy with a very large cumbersome belly that gets in the way of her snuggles!)

It is a bit unnerving that this labor will probably be a very quick one. Jeff is 30-40 minutes away from me and the hospital is another 25 minutes. I'm guessing that I won't have time for him to come home and pick me up... that I will need to get someone to take me and he can just meet me there. But, you never know. With Ivey, my water broke before I was in active labor, so I had plenty of time. Of course, I was only 2cm dilated at that point!

My bags are packed and in the car, the carseat is strapped in, and the kids are excited!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I have been home for a few days now, and it feels great. Valentine's Day was especially nice. Mom picked up my presents for the kids and Jeff and I had a nice dinner. It feels so good to be home! At first, Ivey acted all miffed at me... and acted aloof like a cat when you've been out of town. In about an hour, she climbed in my lap on the couch, looked at me right in the face, and gave me a big smooch on the lips. I think I'm forgiven.

The boys were a little upset that I came home without Olive being "on the outside". Asa said he was going to miss me when I had to go back to the hospital.. I assured them that the next trip wouldn't be a long one, that they would get to stay at home this time, that they could come and visit us, and that we would have a new cute little baby sister! They were very pleased to hear it.

I'll be on bedrest until the weekend. After that, I'm free to I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, but they will no be checking me anymore... until I'm in real-deal-labor. I'm not going to the hospital until I know for sure I'm having her! Bags are packed, emergency "take me to the hospital" numbers are collected, baby is baked enough to most likely come right on home with me... so now, we wait...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

For Valentine's Day, I get to go home! I had a very uneventful night last night and day so far today, so I'm going to get out the door. They aren't going to recheck me, which is great. Actually, they said they won't check me again until I'm really having the baby. So now I will go home, stay down and immobile until Friday and then I can get up and go on my merry way after that! If I could get this girl to 36 weeks, that would be fabulous!

Now, I am going to take a shower, pack my things and wait for Jeff to come and get me!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


The nurses have to go by the orders that are written (hence the fact I demanded to speak with the midwife). In fact, things are not as set in stone as a written order. It turns out, things are flexible after all. The doctor and midwives came up with a plan based on the fact that the doctors would be back in the office on Monday, as well as the weather. The roads are now fine... and I let her know that the doctor's schedule was NOT something that I factor in to my plan.

I will stay off the procardia today and tonight, see what happens tonight, and then if nothing happens I could go home tomorrow or stay if I want to see if I progress. They might check me before I leave, but if I'm not having active labor contractions, that is my call. If I'm not in active labor, I think I would rather them not check me and let me just go home until labor begins.

So... I'm off bedrest and I'm free to mosey around the hospital room (is there somewhere to mosey in here?) and there is the potential for me to go home if nothing exciting happens. I am well aware that I could go home and then be right back here... but it would be well worth a couple hours in my own house! You never know... I could go home and end up trucking along another week or so. It could happen, but I'm not trucking along another week in this bed!

Now, it's all up to Olive. Is she really ready to come now... or was she just bluffing and is perfectly comfy in there for a little while longer?


I am so irritated right now, I could scream. I probably should scream.

The nurse tried to bring me Procardia at 10am. Well, I explained that I was supposed to be off the Procardia today. She called the midwife and confirmed that yes, I was supposed to take the Procardia today and tonight, and then stop. Sure. Until tomorrow, when they say I should stay on it for another pill or two... and so on. That's the it works. If they didn't do this so often, I wouldn't assume it was the case. Even if that isn't their intent, I am not taking anything until I speak with the midwife myself. I would like to have two nights med-free before they "send me home" (ha). In order to get those two nights, I am not staying here until Tuesday. I might take their pill today, but not tonight. I don't care if the doctors aren't in until Monday or not.

If I don't go into labor by Monday, I know how this is going to work. They are going to check me on Monday and there will be some reason that I have to stay. Three of the last four times they checked my cervix I've been sent to the hospital. Odds are, my cervix will hold a great reason to have to keep me. Oh, magical cervix.... what is your command?? "The cervix has instructed us that we need to keep you one more day and see what happens". I can hear it now.

I MISS MY KIDS!!!! Today is their sixth day at Randy and Linda's house. They were supposed to come home last night, but a blizzard decided to come and dump 4-5" of snow. They were going to come this morning, but the roads are bad. Maybe the snow is also taking orders from my cervix in a grand plan to frustrate me to my limits.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another Tentative Plan

Okay, we all know that plans mean nothing... just when you make one the game changes completely, but nevertheless, it feels good to have one. Delrose let me know this morning that she had spoken to the doctor and that they had a plan for me. Tomorrow, they will take me off of the Procardia. They will keep me all day Sunday to see if anything happens. On Monday, they will hopefully send me home, knowing I will be on red alert for labor signs. They will check my cervix again maybe Sunday. As long as I'm not significantly more dilated, I could still go home. I can't complain. It's a good plan. I just hope either a) I just go into labor on Sunday or b) I don't do much of anything so I can definitely go home.

I will have to make sure to have people at the house with us. I'm already dilated to 4cm... so there is potentially very little time to get me to the hospital. After my 22 hour labor marathon with Ivey, I'll believe that when I see it. But, I definitely don't want to give birth on the side of 316.

I am so glad that my little baby girl will be 35 weeks tomorrow! I want her to be able to be in the room with me, nurse and snuggle, and then go home with us so we can all be together. I didn't think I would make it to 35 weeks, so this is excellent! I think I'll be able to make it until Monday... Mom is going to bring the kids home tomorrow and then they can come and see me! It has been 6 days since I have seen them... and over two weeks since I was up and moving around and playing with them. They can keep me until Monday, but then I want to go home!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Update

I've had a pretty calm couple days. I'm responding to the Procadia and not having too many contractions. Olive is looking great. But, I'm still not to that all important 35 week point, the point where there is a chance she could avoid the NICU all together. Plus, I am at least still 4cm dilated, so it's not like they can assume nothing is going on.

Toni came in today and let me know that I wouldn't be going anywhere until at least Saturday. I had already assumed this, so I can take it. Saturday would put me at 35 weeks. She said they may want to keep me until Monday, but that we will reassess my situation on Saturday. She didn't check my cervix, because it wouldn't really matter and because they don't want to stir anything up. If they check me on Saturday and I'm 5cm or more, I don't think they will let me go anywhere. At that point, Toni said it would be too dangerous to let me go 25 minutes away from the hospital. There's no reason to assume anything... I just have to wait until Saturday. Just two days away. If I didn't miss my kids so bad that it literally hurts, it would be no big deal. Toni said that it was hard to comply when your heart hurts. So true.

Valentine's Day is Sunday. I had great plans of homeschool Valentine's Day activities, cupcakes, a party with Anna and Bennett... and now I'm here. I want them to have a great Valentine's Day, even if I can't be there. Who knows... maybe we'll all get a new baby as a Valentine's Day present.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Change of Perspective

With this pregnancy, my biggest worry or concern was not about how hard labor would be... it was about how on earth I would manage with four kids. I felt really anxious thinking about how I would be able to care for Ivey and the boys after I come home.. the physical recovery, the exhaustion, the needy little newborn, and the rest of the crew. Well, my perspective has changed.

I am not as worried about how I will care for everyone or how I will survive life with four children. This bedrest and hospital stay has shown me that the reality is that I wouldn't survive without them. I need my job, I love my job, I have the best job in the world. Will it be hard? Harder than I can imagine. But, I wouldn't want any other job in the world.

I can't wait to get my new little family member home and put right in the mix. I can't wait to get back to teaching the boys, to playing the same song over and over again for Ivey on ITunes, and even washing all those cloth diapers. I am one lucky momma... now let's see how long it takes to get me back to work.

I'm going to be staying here at the hospital at least another night. Last night was pretty calm. They want to keep me until tomorrow and then see if I've had any changes. I think they will keep me until Saturday, which will be 35 weeks. I'm okay with that... it makes sense. If I make it that far, though, I hope they will let me go home. We shall see...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Maybe Storm Was Not So Weathered Afterall

My contractions slowed down and were back to their normally abnormal self by this morning. I headed to my 11:00 midwife appointment and they hooked me up to the contraction monitor. I was doing the same thing I always do... the same thing I've done with every pregnancy. I have tiny little "irritability contrations" about 2 minutes apart, that I can barely feel and I do not count at all. I have them starting at 20 weeks with all three pregnancies. I did have one big whopper while on the monitor. Then, they checked my cervix... I knew that was the moment that can let me waddle on my merry way or leave me trapped in the hospital. I am now at 4cm (She said 3-4, but closer to 4). They did my Group B Strep test and sent me straight to the hospital. Ug.

So, here I sit. They gave me an IV of fluids in case my irritability was caused by dehydration (I told them it wouldn't help... my irritability is caused by my dysfunctional body, not dehydration). Of course, it didn't help. They shot me up with terbutaline, making me yet again feel like a chipmunk on speed. It calmed me down for a little while. Now, remember, I'm not having the contractions that I time and count... these are all for tiny irritability ones that I don't even feel. Next, they gave me Procardia. I'm on it now. If they can get me calmed down, who knows... maybe I can go home. If not, they'll have to decide whether to send me home or keep me here. For how long? Who knows. If I am in full blown labor, they wouldn't stop me. I don't want a 34 1/2 weeker, but she will be much better than she would have been at 33 weeks. I need to let go and just relinquish my need to control.

In my opinion, they should keep me over night (since all my contractions happen at night) and then send me home tomorrow if nothing happens. I'll even tell them I can go back on a lower dose of Procardia. I just don't want to think about them trying to keep me until I get to 36 weeks (as someone mentioned as a possibility). The thought of being away from my kids that long makes me crazy. I miss them already, I cannot possibly go another 10 days... I just can't. If I have to stay there, they will have to spend time visiting me or I won't make it. Okay, I can't think, about that possibility any more... Plus, what's the point? The game changes so often there's really no point in spending too much time thinking of any hypothetical option.

Man, I wish Taco Stand delivered.

Weathered the Storm

Man, oh man. I'm beat. I was up a lot of the night with contractions. They pretty much stayed 8 minutes apart. The midwife said to come in if they made it to 4-5 minutes apart, which I thought they were going to at about 4am, but they didn't stay that close. They fell back to an 8 minutes apart schedule when I was up at 6am. Luckily, I was able to sleep through some of it. I learned my lesson with Ivey and got some sleep! With her, I didn't, and then went to the hospital at 2am only to be up in labor for 22 more hours, which led to a very sleep deprived Holly. This time, I figure that I will try my best to go back to sleep and my body will wake me up if its really really real.

Now, I am very interested to see what they say today at the doctor. I would bet that my cervix has changed even further, but you never know. I could go another 2 weeks. It's a lesson in letting go and not trying to be in control... We've had a lot of those lessons, so I'm pretty prepped to put up with it!

On a different note, I had Monica come to clean my house today! (Actually, she's here now!) I am so excited about having a really truly clean house. All I want to do is get up and clean and organize and get ready for Miss Olive's arrival, but I can't. So, it is very therapeutic to have had Mom come yesterday and organize and then Monica come today and really clean. Vicarious nesting completed.

I should be asleep, but...

I'm up counting contractions. I've had them since dinner, but I just started timing them about 2 hours ago. They have been about 7 minutes apart. They will probably fizzle out to nothing. I really wish I could get some sleep while they do. But, if they happen to get closer together (4-5 min apart) I will be heading to the hospital. My guess is that I will eventually be able to fall asleep and I will wake up in the morning, back to my same ol' sporadically contracting self.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tick, Tock....

The day after I stopped the Procardia, I thought I was on the fast track to a new baby. I had some contractions during the day, but that night I had so many I couldn't sleep. I had not just the typical big contractions, but these were more crampy, more painful, and the pain came from lower down and wrapped around my back. They were more like the real deal. The next morning, I felt better. I expected to get bad again last night, but no... I had a pretty calm night! There doesn't seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason to them. I guess I'll just cross my fingers for another week!! If I can make it to Saturday (just 5 more days), my little Olive could avoid the NICU completely!

Mom came over yesterday and tackled my list of things I wanted to do but couldn't. It feels so much better to have Olive's clothes put away and to have some sort of organization! I had all these things that I wanted to do, and mom was a great "me"! Mom took the kids in her car, and for the second time in a little over a week, Ivey got carsick in her car. Luckily, it happened at the end of the trip. The boys handled the projectile vomit better than expected. Mom told me that Addison said (in a very funny voice), "We are under the spell of the stench of Ivey's guts!" Silly boy. With his constantly funny use of the English language, I think he would be a good writer!

On a different note, both Ivey and Addison have cut teeth in the past couple weeks. Ivey now has all 4 of her first molars. She handled the whole thing so well that I didn't even realize it had happened! Addison has a new molar in the back, which was a total surprise to him. I hope we continue to have such easy teething experiences!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Under Pressure (doo, doo, doo, do-do doo doo)

The procardia has been doing a great job of keeping my contractions at bay. However, it has also been lowering my already low blood pressure a bit too much. I've had a few symptoms here and there, but last night it started effecting me a little too much for comfort. While sitting at the table eating dinner, I had about 5 minutes where I was struggling to keep my head up... my eyes wouldn't open, it was like I my batteries had run out right there at the table. Today, I have a bad headache and I feel a little nauseaus... and very run down. I called to let the office know and Toni called back. She pulled me off the procardia because the pros don't outweigh the cons at this point.

So, I thought I was trucking along on a medication that was working... and that I might keep on keepin' on. Now, I'm wondering what on earth is going to happen. I could still keep on truckin' on, or I could have a baby next week. I'm about 30 minutes away from when I would take my next pill, so I'm just waiting to see if I'll erupt into contractions. I'm sure keeping weight off of my cervix is playing a big part, as well, so maybe I'll be surprised.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Holding Strong!

Today was a wild day, Scooter and Jodie came to help get the boys to science class and to get me to the doctor, while Kierstin came to keep Miss Ivey. It takes a village! I was a bit nervous to go to my appointment, every other appointment I've had in the past week has sent me to the hospital. But, this one went very well.

First, they did an ultrasound to check Olive's growth and to see what size preemie we would be dealing with. She is right exactly on target, 55th percentile, measuring 5lbs 3oz! Her head was so low that the ultrasound tech had a very hard time getting a head measurement. Looks like she's still at +1. Everything with baby looked fabulous!

My cervix hasn't changed since I was at the hospital, which is fabulous. I'm at 2cm. The midwife decided to keep me on the Procardia for a while longer, so I now have enough to get me to 36 weeks, if that is even possible. I'm supposed to stay on strict bedrest until 34 weeks (Saturday), and then I can be on a modified bedrest, meaning no housework, lifting, or anything, but I can move around and sit with people instead of laying in the bed. That will last from Saturday until I reach 36 weeks or I deliver, whichever is sooner.

Now, I just have to keep laying here, letting people take care of things. This may sound great, but it's pretty hard to do! I keep thinking of things I want to do or need to do. It was a lot easier to be on bedrest back when I didn't have other children!