Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Day To Remember

Early Thursday morning- as in 1am early, I woke up having to pee. Not shocking. But, I had to pee and I had a really weird feeling in my... I don't know what. Pelvis? Abdomen? I couldn't tell. But it happened again at 2, and then 3, and again at 4, and I think I slept through the pain and the urge to pee at 5, but I woke up again at 6, and finally at 7. By the time it was 7, I got up and felt really weird. Now the pain was in my back and in my butt. I thought I was really constipated cause I ate a lot of chicken and bread and potatoes the night before. So I tried to go tot the bathroom. Nothing happened. I looked at the clock, 7:15. Weird pain. Took a shower and felt ok. Came out of the shower at 7:30. Chris was in bed with Lily at his side. I told him I felt weird. He said ok and took a shower. He came out, asked how I was feeling, and I said I still felt kinda weird, looked at the time, and it was 7:45. We were supposed to have a nurse come by the house to take blood and urine samples for our Life Insurance stuff. The nurse called and said he would be at our house at 8:30, not 8 like he was supposed to be. We said that was fine. It was Chris' mom's birthday and I was going to go to work for half the day, then we were all going to have lunch and then go down to Queen Creek- a slightly remote, but growing 'burb where we are hopefully/probably going to live once we sell our house. I told Barb about my pain- that it was in my back/butt and kinda in my crotchal region as well. She just shook her head pensively. I told her I didn't know if they were contractions cause I never had them with Lily.

As calm as can be, Barb and Jerry took Lily on their morning walk to get the paper and some coffee. Chris and I waited for the nurse and decided it was probably a good time to pack our hospital bag, just in case the baby decided to come sooner than later. By now the pain was getting a bit more intense and was coming a bit more frequently. Every ten minutes. So then we called and cancelled our appointment with the nurse and tried to concentrate on what we were now 'pretty sure' were contractions. Chris was so great and so calm and trying really hard to appease me. 'Make coffee, get me some cereal, come and rub my back, can you get me that book from the hospital about labour? No not that one, the other one. Come and eat with me. Grab the bag, I think we need to go to the hospital.'

It was 8:30 when we got in the car. Barb and co were not back yet, so we called them and told them we were going to the hospital and that the front door was unlocked for them. Then we called Chris' dad to tell him I probably was not going to make it into work that morning. he thought/hoped/prayed that we were kidding. (Remember, he is my boss and it is tax season). Chris called Robert, who also thought we were kidding, and I tried to call Jeehon who didn't answer her phone. By now the pain was coming every five minutes and it sucked! I really wanted to have this baby naturally, but these contractions were really kicking my butt! If I couldn't handle what I thought were 'beginning stage contractions', then how the crap was I going to make it through hours of labour and then an actual birthing of a child? One of my girlfriends, who is all about natural childbearing, once told me that if you think you can't do it, then you can't, but in reality- everyone can. So, I was just trying to tell myself that over and over again. Thanks Kendra- great advice.

We got to the hospital and Chris dropped me off at the front where I thought I was supposed to check in. Last year, when we were going to the hospital to bring Lily into the world, we were chillin like vilains. The hospital already knew we were coming, Chris and I walked in there hand in hand, cool as cucumbers. This time- not so much. When I got into the hospital, a volunteer behind the check-in desk stopped me and asked if I needed help. I told her no. I just needed to check in. So she told me to wait while she got a wheel chair. This woman was so sweet and helpful, but dang was she slow! I was having another contraction so I didn't have the energy to yell at her. She got back to me with the chair just as Chris walked in. We went and checked in, and she insisted on escorting us up to the maternity ward. Very. Slowly.

We were finally upstairs and they brought us into a triage room where there were about three other pregnant women waiting. After getting changed into the hot gowns they give you at the hospital, I thought I was dying. Now the contractions were every few minutes and kicking my butt even harder than before. Lots of tears and screaming ensued. The nurse checked me out to see how dialated and effaced I was. After she announced that I didn't really have a cervix left, everyone started operating in high gear. They took us out of triage, brought us into our delivery room, were calling for the doctor, and strapping me up to machines and monitors. All I could think was 1. This was all Chris' fault. and 2. I hope I don't poop chicken, bread and potatoes on the table. I told Chris to stay focused on my upper-half during the birthing process and he agreed.

The doctor came in and we were rolling. The doctor was actually the same one who delivered Gabe six weeks ago. She, unlike some of the other doctors at my OB office, was big on natural birth, so I was so very happy to see her come in. Praise Jesus. She was very good cause she told me to focus and push when it was time to push, and she actually told me not to push when it was imperative to not push. 11 long and psychotically painful minutes later- Topher was outta my belly and in the world! I was in shock. I did it! And no drugs! I coulda used some drugs when they were stitching me up (only had one tear! Praise Jesus again!) but I was not able to complain. Even at two and a half weeks early, he weighed in at a hearty 6 lbs and 4 oz. And measures 20 inches long.

Everything happened so fast, and insanely that I could not believe it. In fact, I still can't believe it. I really didn't want Topher to come early, but now I am so glad that he did. God's timing was so perfect on all fronts. If Topher had come the day before- Chris would have been at training, and if he had come the day after, Chris would have been at work. Either case, Chris would have missed the birth of his son. And how awesome is it that Topher's birthday is the same day as his Nana Barb's?

So, Topher is here, and everyone is doing great. Lily is very interested in the baby, though still not completely sure what to make of him; Chris has been superhusband/superdad to me and both the kiddies. Last year when Lily showed up, he had no idea what to do with her. Now with Topher, he is all over the whole diaper changing scene, making sure he is swaddled up properly, it is amazing. And he is so attentive to Lily to make sure she isn't feeling left out, it's a beautiful thing to witness. And as for me, I have minimal tearing, and NO HEMROIDS (can't spell it, but glad I don't have it. Another answer to another very specific prayer!) so I have no complaints. We came home after just a night's stay at the hospital. And when we got home, it was not the same home I had left! Barb and Jerry cleaned and did laundry and got Topher's clothes ready (they were in bags in the basement. I was so very unprepared for this little guy!). and all this while watching Lily too. I am SO VERY indebted to those two.

So that's the story of how Topher came into the world. Twas a day I will never forget. Chris Sr. either. And Praise Jesus for it.
Ps. Topher's most amazing feature, besides his being built like a bullet, is this tiny tuft of blond hair right in the middle of his head in the midst of all the black. He is truly Chris' son if there was any doubt!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

15 minutes

So my in-laws are here visiting for the week because Jerry, my wonderful step-father-in-law, has spring break. Jerry, and my beautiful and equally wonderful mother-in-law, are out on a walk with Lily. They went to get a paper from the gas station, which is about half a mile away. I figure I have fifteen solid minutes to write, so excuse me if this thing doesn't quite flow, but I 'wasted' the first ten minutes they've been gone on updating my fantasy basketball line-up.

Lily turned one last week on Wednesday. How crazy is that? I was at work and visiting the potty for the umpteenth time that day, and I thought for a moment "before this day last year, I didn't know who Lily was." And I almost started to cry. I don't cry much in general, so you can tell that I am really getting ready to have another baby soon. Anyway, we had a lovely birthday party for Lil with her closest uncles and aunts, and her Arizona grandparents. The cake-eating portion of the evening was definitely the best, only because Lily was so tentative about the whole thing. I truly expected her to smash her face into the piece, but instead she just dipped her fingers in the frosting and licked them, one by one, giggling all the while. She is so cute it makes me want to throw up. Man I love her!

To be completely fair, I went pee, and had started a new paragraph and then my fifteen minutes were up. But how glorious those fifteen minutes were! Now Lily is asleep, as are the in-laws, and Chris is on his way home from playing basketball with his buddies. I figure I have another 15 minute window...

So I came home from work today to a brand new house. Kinda. My in-laws are crazy because they come out to Arizona from Oregon to see their kids, grandkids, and to either make things or fix things. these crazy people do not know how to sit still. Last time they were here they made up Gabe's nursery, the time before that they totally redid my bathroom that got jacked up by clogged gutters and too much rain, and they did Lily's nursery too. They are so amazing at everything they do. Anyhoo, we are trying to get ready to put our house on the market, but before we can do that we need to fix the things that need fixing. So there was a hole in our ceiling in the living from- you guessed it- rain, and there were holes in the walls in our dining room and master bathroom from our dogs. I use the past tense only because THERE ARE NO MORE HOLES! These crazy kids have been working on the house for two days and they are already done! Plus they fixed my shower, cleaned my bathroom, the kitchen, and not only filled the holes in the dining room, but they repainted the whole thing and scrubbed it down! INCREDIBLE! There was at least an inch of THICK dirt on everything in the dining room- cause it's actually been the dining room slash dogs' room. And our dogs are D-I-R-T-Y. Chris gave them a bath the other day, bless his heart, but it doesn't matter. There is dirt in the backyard so there is dirt on them. But now the dogs are not allowed in the house, after my mother-in-law talked sense into her son, so the house should stay relatively clean.

I would have been more embarrassed by all that my in-laws have done for me, and all the crap that they've seen and had to clean, but they just did such an incredible job with EVERYTHING that there is no room for embarrassment, just undying gratitude. I actually feel a little bit more prepared to have this baby now that the house is getting fixed up, and there isn't as much dirt and dander on everything. Sure the child-to-be doesn't have any real bedding yet, and his clothes aren't set up in his drawers or anything yet, but the dining room looks great! And that makes me feel great.

Friday, March 14, 2008

When It Rains It Pours

Story of my life- everything is going just fine, and then all of a sudden anything and everything that can go wrong does. For example, when I was sixteen I found myself at one point going to the doctor, the dentist, a dermatologist and a neurologist on a regular basis. I was constantly sick, I still had braces, I suddenly developed psoriasis (a very unattractive skin disorder. although there are not many skin disorders that actually make you more attractive. probably why they call it a disorder.), and I was getting migraines regularly and no one knew the cause.

Then three years ago, while I was working in Korea, I was back to seeing a dermatologist and the doctor on the regular because I still had psoriasis, and suddenly I got an amazing bout of adult acne, and I developed an ulcer. So great. And I had just gotten back together with Chris after we split up (he split up with me technically) for a few months, but we got back together long-distance cause he was in Iraq and I was in Korea, but we were going to see each other again for the first time in over a year in the midst of all my unattarctive and sickly glory at my sister's wedding in Toronto. Again- amazing. The Lord taught me a lot about humility and vanity through all that.

Anyhoo, here I am eight months and then some pregnant. Everyday is another day filled with back aches, pelvic pain, and lots of trips to the potty. Chris just got a new schedule at work, which means he is actually home with me in the evenings which is INCREDIBLE, seeing as how for the first two years of our marriage I only got to eat dinner with him three times a week. If I was lucky. But having him home is so great cause we eat dinner together, can see our friends together, and he is around to do bath time and bed time with Lily, which is so great cause it is getting harder and harder for me to get Lily out of the tub by my gigantic self.

So Sunday night, we were just enjoying a quite night at home. We rented 'Michael Clayton' which was a good movie (I rarely to never watch 'serious' movies), but we ate dinner first and then we were going to get settled to watch it. But I was afraid that we were going to be extremely tired by the time the movie was over so I insisted that we do the dishes first. Chris put Lily to bed (bless his heart) and I got started on the dishes. I was almost done when he came in and I asked for his help. That was mistake number one. There were two frying pans and a pot lid on the stove from breakfast, and I asked him to pass them to me. Mistake numero dos. As he passed them over, the pot lid slid off the pans and landed right on my third toe on my left foot. Oh the cussing that ran through my head (I have since repented.) The toe started to bleed and I told Chris to get out of the kitchen. He was in shock over what just happened and he insisted on helping me out. I told him I would finish the dishes and that he could just go and watch tv. This made him feel worse, but I just didn't want to look at him for some reason. Anyway, I felt like a big weenie for being in SO MUCH PAIN over such a small cut on such a small appendage. We finally sat to watch the movie, but every once in awhile I had to sit up and just hold my foot cause it hurt so badly.

Chris felt horrible. Which made me feel kinda bad too. I know he didn't do it on purpose (or did he? He says he feels too bad to help me in the kitchen anymore...) But seriosuly, Chris is just a big beautiful bleeding heart. He has never hurt me on purpose, or by accident before, but if he does hurt me by accident, he always feels really horrible about it. He's a good boy. Anyhoo, we went to bed that night and I was pretty pissed. What if my toe was broken? What if I had to wear a cast or something crazy while being eight months pregnant? And of course, the next day I also got a scab or something in my nose- and it hurts like crazy every time I have to blow it. Again- something so small, but painful, and definitely very annoying in the grand scheme of everything else that is going on with my body at present.

So, my toe actually is broken (in two places near the top) but it doesn't hurt anymore. I wear a special shoe so that I can't bend my toe in a weird way. But now that it is officially broken, Chris doesn't feel bad anymore! He's crazy. I was really hoping to milk this for as long as possible. But alas, here I sit, with my crazy new shoe, and umbrella overhead, waiting for this storm to pass. And it will, because that's what storms do.