Wednesday, February 23, 2011

6 months

Today Frankie turns six months. It's amazing! She's already half a year old. She had her 6 month check up yesterday and is doing well. We started her on rice cereal when we were visiting family in Ontario, and now we can start trying every other kind of baby food. I'm going to have to look up how to do it... I think I remember something about starting her with vegetables instead of fruit because the fruit is sweet and she won't want anything else if we go with that first. And I think maybe I am supposed to mix rice cereal and breast milk with the food to water it down and get her used to it. She liked the cereal well enough when we tried that, so hopefully we'll have another good eater. Micah was never too picky, and even now he'll eat pretty much anything we put in front of him.

I do want to record my birth story with Francess and I figure the six month marker is as good a time as any since I didn't do it way back when she was born. So, if you are reading this and are not too fond of hearing these details, you may want to stop now.

I had to schedule a c-section because Micah was born via emergency c-section when some complications arose, but I still wanted to try to give birth naturally this time. So I scheduled the c-section for five days after my due date, hoping I'd maybe go into labor sometime before the date came. My parents were arriving a day before my due date and staying for about a week. For weeks, I had been having plenty of contractions. I was counting them, but they weren't bothering me enough to feel the need to call. There were times when I definitely had contractions that were strong enough to make me stop and breathe through it, but that wouldn't last too long. When my parents were here, we even went to the zoo with Micah and walked around a lot. I was hoping that maybe my water would break and I could get this baby out of me! But, looking back, I sure am glad that my water did not break at the zoo. I don't think we would have made it to the hospital in time!

So, August 23rd came, the day of my scheduled c-section. My parents said some prayers for us and sent us off to the hospital. When I got there, the nurse set up the monitors and could tell that I was contracting quite regularly and that I was already 5 cm dilated and almost 100 % effaced because she felt that she almost broke my water sack just by checking. They wondered if I'd like to have my water broken and try going into labor just to try doing a the VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I wanted to try that, so my doctor came in, broke my water, and then they moved me to labor and delivery. The nurse there told me I'd want to get up and walk up and down the hallways, and try moving about to help the baby get into position. I was also allowed to drink and eat something, so I ordered a sandwich from the hospital menu. When it came, not too long after I ordered, I took maybe one bite but I was not hungry even though I hadn't eaten since the night before. With the scheduled surgery I wasn't supposed to eat or drink anything at all for 8 hours ahead.

I decided to get up and "walk." I made it as far as the toilet in my room and started feeling like I had to push. David had gone out to the car to get our overnight bag, and he barely made it back in time! From the time they broke my water to when I was pushing was maybe about 45 minutes, and the nurses thought that was super fast. I don't know, I just knew I had to push and could feel that my body knew what to do. The nurse was concerned that I was going to push the baby out into the toilet, so she made me come back to the bed and she called the doctor to come. The nurse also told me to try not to push until the doctor got there, but that was very difficult. Since I was told to try to stop what my body wanted so naturally to do, I asked for the epidural. Actually, they HAD to give me the epidural since I was scheduled for a c-section, in case they had to the do the cesarean anyway. It was difficult holding still for the anesthesiologist, but somehow the guy got it in me and then I felt the sweet relief. I just wish I had had the presence of mind to ask for a smaller dosage of the epidural so that I could still feel a little bit. The epidural worked so well that I couldn't feel anything and I couldn't feel how to push. So when they had me try pushing again, I wasn't doing it right and she wasn't coming. The baby's heartrate would drop a little, so they would have me stop pushing and just rest for about an hour, letting my body do the work of getting the baby down into position, and then try again. This kept happening for about 4 more hours, until finally I was exhausted from pushing and waiting and pushing some more, so the doctor offered to try the vacuum extraction. I was so exhausted and just felt DONE with pushing, so I said if the vacuum didn't work I just wanted her out by c-section. They moved me to the OR and got the team all ready for the c-section in case this didn't work. But on the first try, Frankie came out!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 Trip to Ontario

We had a wonderful visit to Ontario at the beginning of February. We flew right when a huge storm was hitting pretty much every state in the east and middle parts of the US as well as Canada. Our original flight was supposed to go from Seattle to Chicago to Buffalo, but since Chicago was supposed to get hit pretty hard, we decided to change the flight. United Airlines switched us to fly through Washington DC. When we arrived in DC, all the flights to Buffalo were cancelled, so we had to stay the night and then fly the next day out of Reagan National airport, on US Airways instead of United. When we got on the plane in DC to fly to Buffalo, they decided that the storm would be hitting Buffalo right when we were to fly in, so they were going to redirect us to Philadelphia first and then go to Buffalo after the storm hit. My parents had been waiting in Buffalo for a few days, and hadn't seen much of a storm. We finally landed there in the evening but of course our luggage didn't make it. It was stuck in DC. US Airways was going to get it on the next flight to Buffalo in the morning and then drive it over the border to us in Canada. I was surprised. I thought we'd have to stay another night in Buffalo, but thankfully they brought it to us, much to my parent's relief as they were done with staying in a hotel and just wanted to get home. We were ready to get to our destination too! I was thankful our kids did great with all the travelling. Micah was excited about having to take THREE airplanes instead of just two. David's mom had watched for cancelled flights and booked a beautiful room in the Marriott Suites for us to stay the night in DC. We had a nice, luxurious night. Sadly, though, we were on PST and slept in past the time the pool was open so Micah was a little disappointed when Dave took him to go swimming while we waited for our next flight out of DC and found the pool locked.

I remember what it was like flying for the first time with a baby and how stressful it was to make sure he was good and quiet for the other passengers, and how much extra stuff you have to bring along when you have a baby. This time around, with two kids, I found it so much easier. I am much more relaxed as a parent and don't stress about a baby crying even if it disturbs the other passengers. It doesn't help anyone if I get worked up and stressed out, so I just stay calm. It definitely helps that David and I traveled together, because since there is a lot of cargo that comes with carrying a baby around, the extra set of hands comes in most helpful, especially going through security. On the way home, unfortunately, we had forgotten the stroller in my parents garage, so we had to carry Frankie in the carseat through the airport, but thankfully we didn't get stopped anywhere and had two easy flights home.

Micah and Grandma at the retreat

Uncle Greg and Aunt Amanda snuggling with Francess at the retreat

Micah showing his friends how his Leapster works

Movie time with Grandma and Grandpa, watching Micah's current favorite, Toy Story 3

Grandpa and Frankie

Grandma and Frankie

"We're gonna getchya Daddy, watch out!"

Shoveling the walkway

Rosy cheeks

While in Ontario, we had a great time visiting with my parents, playing in the snow, spending time at a family camp with close family friends, visiting with my grandparents, my dad's sister, and my close friends and all their kiddos.

My lovely girlfriends and all their kids. It's amazing how things change so much in just one year. All those babies weren't here the last time I visited.

Micah is reading a book to Frankie with Great Gran

Here Micah is showing Great Gran how his Tag reading system works

During the week we were there, Frankie really started being able to sit pretty well on her own. My mom noticed a difference from the beginning of the week to the end of the week. My mom also started feeding Frankie rice cereal for the first time while we were there!

He's one very protective big brother!
I am so thankful for these two cuties and super blessed to be raising them.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Five months, January 23rd

I did so well in December, posting almost everyday about what we were doing. Now we're halfway into February already and I haven't posted since Christmas! Back on January 23rd I had taken a picture of Frankie's fifth month. What a delightful little girl she is! She's always got lots of big happy smiles for us.