Sunday, May 28, 2006

Grandee and Papa enjoyed their visit, but CP's parents were just drained the entire time that they were here. I think that CP enjoyed seeing some new people, but she seemed to miss them at about 2am and took this anguish out on her parents. We enjoyed their visit and look forward to seeing them again in October.

The garden put off it's first tiny blast of summer vegetables this morning and we'll cook them up this coming week. Not much going on today. I juiced some lemons a bit ago and put it in the freezer in the ice trays. Grapefruit are next on the list.

It's memorial day weekend and I had planned to go do some riding down near the border on the dirt bike, but lack of sleep crimped that plan. Instead this weekend fills with thoughts of those who joined the military and other government branches to see the world as I did, but never returned home to their families. My thanks to you all.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My folks are in town this week and it's good to see them. We've caught up on all the family news from "down south" and they are really enjoying playing with CP. She just rolls with it and does whatever pleases her at the moment. It seems that while we're sleeping, it pleases her to scream or make some type of noise every 20 minutes or so. Mmmmmmmmmm that's really pleasant.

The veggie garden is coming along nicely and the corn is really moving along. I think that I learned a good lesson this season about corn though, and that is to not plant things directly on the north side of it. It tends to make a nice shade tree and forces things to sprawl in search of sunlight. The tomato plants from Lowes have started bushing out in search of sun as a result of the corn shade. All else is well and the zuccini have already started producing. I'm so glad that I only have one plant though - it's a beast. Brandy came by a few days ago (all days are the same now) and took some onions and zuccini home. She promised to come and raid the herb garden some time soon as it needs a good mowing.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

About Cady Paine's namesake:

"But, whatever may be the imprudent utterances of the one or the impolitic methods of the other, the animating motives of both are evermore as white as the light. The good that they do is by design; the harm by accident. These two women, sitting together in their parlors, have, for the last thirty years, been diligent forgers of all manner of projectiles, from fireworks to thunderbolts, and have hurled them with unexpected explosion into the midst of all manner of educational, reformatory, religious, and political assemblies; sometimes to the pleasant surprise and half welcome of the members, more often to the bewilderment and prostration of numerous victims; and, in a few signal instances, to the gnashing of angry men's teeth. I know of no two more pertinacious incendiaries in the whole country. Nor will they themselves deny the charge. In fact this noise-making twain are the two sticks of a drum, keeping up what Daniel Webster called 'The rub-a-dub of agitation.'"

Theodore Tilton

If you have not seen it yet, check out the Ken Burns documentary called "Not For Ourselves Alone". Also, check out the last speech of Elizabeth Cady Stanton called "The Solitude Of Self". It is well worth the time that it takes to read.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Now this is a welcome sight. Yaknow all of those parents tell you about getting your sleep and all that crap. Well they're right to a point. Most of the first week was great and CP was just a happy camper.....then the LW's milk dropped and so did our levels of consistent sleep. We're doing ok though. It's nothing worse that the LW experienced during the KU 5-year plan or that I dealt with during my 6 years in Uncle Sam's Yacht Club.

As far as feeding goes, she either:

a. gets too much
b. gets enough and gets hellish hiccups
c. gets enough and can't burp which leads to power regurgitation
d. gets enough and gets painful (baby opera) gas
e. gets just the right amount and keeps it down happily

We hope to make it to "e." more than once a day some time in the next year.

It's good to have Grandma here, but a bit nerve wracking at the same time. It's a strange thing to have someone foreign in your home, but is sweet relief to hand a screaming kid off to someone at 3am when you really just need one more hour of sleep.

It's Melissa's birthday today and there's a cake in the kitchen, but no Melissa. She's not feeling well and goes waaaaaaaaaay too long without sleeping. It must be rough for all of the hospital folks who have to dodge deadly diseases and cranky people on the aptly-named graveyard shift.

I just got home from a run to Sierra Vista to pick up a motorcycle to find CP sacked out in her secure sleeper on the dining room table. The house smells like a bakery. Yayyyyy!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Grandma has arrived safely from Kansas City this morning and is enjoying her time with CP already. This time with grandma should allow the LW to get back into the swing of work and get into a bit of a routine. CP and I went out in the garden today to give the LW some rest time. It's amazing how every little noise and burble from CP jolts us both out of sleep like a bucket of ice water. The LW was able to catch up on some rest this morning and is as beautiful as ever. Last night I took CP out into the corn patch at dusk so she could see everything without having to squint. She seemed to like it, but was really interested in her fingers and the nursing session that she seemed to know was on the way.

Brandy and Carie came by yesterday and visited with the LW. It was just what she needed and right when she needed it most. The nursing, lack of sleep, worrying about work, and again the lack of sleep had conspired to break her down, but her dear friends showed up just in time to lift her up again and put a smile back on her face.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

CP's been sleeping well and having only a little bit of trouble with nursing. It seems that the shift from having to work at it to having it come easily to her, has been a bit strange. She's fine though and it's more worrying for the LW than for CP. Last night was the GABA board meeting and it was a big surprise to see what all of the wonderful board members had in store for us. The decorated cake was really great - it tastes wonderful too. CP got her first helmet and a gift certificate to our local baby stuff store, Aldrich Baby News. The helmet is really cute - it has fairies and unicorns on it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

This weekend we had some visitors. Kurt and Lisa came by to see CP as did Melissa. The LW's milk came in also and CP has been taking full advantage of that. The Traditional Medicinal tea really helped get things jump started. CP's sleep has calmed down a bit and we've been able to get a few hours at a time during the night. I've tried to sleep through some of the night feedings (since I have nothing to offer) so that I can "step~n~fetch" during the daytime and take care of household stuff. CP has been getting some "nekkid time" and a bit of supervised time on her tummy lately and is enjoying both. The indirect sunlight coming through the window in the bedroom seems to be doing her some good too. The follow-up visit at the Birth Center went well this morning. CP and the LW are fine. It was reassuring for the LW to get a quick checkup too. She's been worried about the blood/clotting and was happy to hear that she was really doing fine.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

CP had her first pediatrician appointment this morning at 8am. It was a bit of a rush to get our breakfast made (biscuits, jam, bacon, & bananas), get dressed, and get CP into the car and going. We made it 5 minutes late and all was well. The nurse measured and weighed her while we were waiting for the doc. Dr. Callie (Jr.) came in shortly afterward and checked her out. We looked at her skin in the sun to see where the jaundice was, and she looked fine. He's very nice and we're glad that Dr. Tooley recommended him and his father. It's a father and son practice.

After the doc, we went over to the Corbett Garden and got to see the gang. Oma, George, Naniloa, and Gary got to see CP and hold her. Two days old and she's making the rounds.

She's been eating well at the colostrum fountains and the LW is using an organic mother's milk tea to get things started. She's nursing about every two hours and actually slept for 3 whole hours this morning. The LW had the 10p-2a watch and I got the 2a-6a portion. She was a bit fussy during the LW's time, but settled down while I was on watch. By 4am, she settled into the secure sleeper and was off in dreamland until around 7am when I started rustling around in the kitchen. She's been enjoying the aquarium take-along swing that Harmony let us borrow, although it's made for a bigger person and swings like crazy with her in it. I've been just turning it off and pushing her in it a bit to soothe her - it's great during the early mornings.

Our neighbors Bill & Karen were out this morning and saw me out moving the trash cans and watering the plants. They came over to get the news and were really happy to hear that all was well. They are soooo nice. They've both been fighting cancer and Karen recently had another surgery. All of this and her brother is going to Iraq soon - still all she could talk about was our baby. It's wonderful to have good neighbors.

We're still just overwhelmed with gratitude towards all of the folks who helped get little CP here. Caryn Fraser of Agave Massage, our doula, was a lifesaver. Her husband is a world class cyclist, but she will always be my hero. She took the role that I couldn't have figured out and helped the LW in so many ways. Tanya and Tiffany, in addition to the remainder of the top notch staff at the birth center did what they must do every day at work. What a job to have - seeing beautiful little things come into the world on a regular basis.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Wednesday morning our midwife Tanya told us that the LW was set for the prostaglandin gel and that we should make our way to the hospital. It was our last possible day to have CP at the Birth and Women's Health Center, so we got right on it. After the requisite check-in and paperwork fumbling, we were put in a windowless room and told that we'd probably be there for 12 hours. Now there's nothing that'll take the wind out of your sails like going to the hospital for what you thought would be an in-and-out procedure and realizing that you're stuck there. You're not only stuck there though, there's a chance that your wife will go into labor and all you brought with you were the clothes on your back and a book to read. We got lucky. The nurse, Anne, came in and told us that she needed to check with Tanya to see which gel we were getting. There's one kind that's a slow release kind of deal and the other just gets squirted near the cervix. She came back in and told us that we'd be using the kind that only required a 3 hour stay. SWEEEEET! All that was settled and we just waited.

Anne came in to apply the gel and see the monitor readings. The LW and CP were working as advertised and all was well. The gel went on and the LW was at 2cm/80%. Anne is evidently the resident gel master as the LW's contractions started hammering away soon after it was applied. This continued until 3pm when we were to go over to the birth center. By this time, she could not walk or talk during the contractions and was working on her bedside white-knuckle grip technique. By the time the release papers came, her grip was in top form. She was at 4cm and we were off to the house to pick up our stuff and head the the birth center.

Evidently, my driving does nothing to soothe the discomfort of contractions. It's not hot enough for all of the snowbirds to have left town, so driving was a bit sketchy. There are numerous gerontology specialists and drugstores along the route from our house as well. I sketched "wife in labor" in the dust and pollen on the back of the car as an open apology to those who I offended during our drive.

In the front door of the birth center we went. Suitcase and aching wife in hand. The midwives were in a meeting and as we walked by the doorway, I heard one of them say, "It looks like they're moving in..". We were. We just didn't know it would be a 20-hour stay at the time. Nothing like a wife in labor and a husband with a suitcase to get things stirring though. Chris came in and helped get things settled before taking off for the day. Tanya was with the LW in short order and things were moving along nicely. The LW was moving through the contractions using the breathing stuff that she uses for yoga. It worked well, but as we would learn later, it's all about how well you can control the muscles of your pelvic basin and floor.

I got on the phone to everyone and let them know that things were ready to crank up. Short messages, but happy news! The gang started showing up around 5 or so and by 7, they were all there. It was good to have them there too. Melissa, "Oma" Darlene, our doula Caryn, and Lisa rounded out the friends and family crew and everyone settled in to watch the early part of the show.

By 7pm or so, the LW had come entirely out of her clothes and didn't care who saw her that way. She was having serious contractions with euphoria in between. She had spent time up on the bed hung over the ball and in the tub. Caryn really helped the LW through the contractions and the rest of us took turns holding the LW's hands during them. By this time I could see that we had made the right decision to have Caryn help us out. She's the best! She said the right things, did the right things, and best of all, took the heat off of me. The LW takes everything that I say differently than what comes from other people and this really saved our butts and kept the birth process from getting ugly..until the end, but I'll get to that.

Between 8 and 9pm, the grunting/yelling portion of the process began. She spent a good bit of time laboring on the toilet and birthing stool during this portion. Her knees aren't the best, so the squatting idea wasn't an option early on. The LW was completely worn out by this time and didn't really know who or what was around her. We all tried to keep her drinking water and I brought some Cytomax energy drink mix with me as well. I don't know where we'd be without that stuff. It seemed to give her just enough juice to keep going and it didn't make her sick. Some time between 9pm and 1am, she must have hit "transition", but she couldn't tell. She was doing so well, but was so tired.

1am and then 1:30am came and went and the gang was still taking turns. Caryn ran the support crew and stayed with the LW pretty much the entire time. The LW was "purple pushing" by this time and it was hard to watch. She had begun to fade out a bit. She was pushing against her own pelvic muscles. When she went into a contraction, she also tightened these musles and was basically fighting against her own strength. (Note to female cyclists. Figure out which muscles you'll need to relax ahead of time or you'll regret it.) Tanya seemed to think that labor was progressing, but by about 1:45am, I was concerned and begin to question whether or not we should call it after 13 hours and ship her over to TMC for a C-section. Tanya, and Tiffany (our wonderful nurse) were thinking of the possibility of a vacuum extraction and the LW said that she'd rather be cut open than have something like that done to the baby. They refused to give up and didn't let the LW give up either. About this time, the squatting option came into play. Caryn had her under the arms and she sat a bit on a little 8" tall horshoe-shaped stool. I don't know who makes that stool, but I'd like to hug them as I am eternally grateful to them and the people who put it in that room.

I got more involved near the end and stopped worrying about whether everyone could see or whether I was getting in the way. CP was on the way now as her head was almost near the opening. On a couple of the strong squatting pushes, I could actually see her head moving out. This is where it got really exciting, but also worriesome, as the LW was almost completely spent and I knew that she couldn't take much more. Tanya and Tiffany were on either side of me making sure that I didn't screw anything up. The LW kept working on her positioning and pushing and things began to happen fast. Melissa worked so well at keeping hot compresses made and Darlene passed them along for the rotation. I put my yell ("Push that baby out damnit!!") in with the rest of the encouraging words that the LW was getting and I got the "you're number one" gesture that she often makes with her middle finger. I had her attention and she was mad. I think that making her mad gave her a little bit of a boost. She's pretty powerful when she's mad and I've seen it more than once! A few more contractions and little CP's head was cresting. It seemed like only a minute had passed when after the contraction stopped, her head no longer ducked back out of sight. It was now staying there. Her head was just sitting there, trying to make its way out. We worked the edges back and away and applied some lubricant to the head and surrounding tissues. Tanya asked me to push the head down, but when I did, it mashed her skull in, leaving imprints, and that was just more than I could stand. I stuck to doing the warm compresses on her distended perineum and let Tanya do the head work. More contractions came and with a flush of blood, fluid, and skin, CP's head came completely out. She was draining well and her face was down and to the LW's left. Tanya and Tiffany got her cleaned up a bit and the LW got to see her head out. I couldn't take my eyes of of the baby, but I wish that I'd seen the LW's expression. She was in the home stretch and would be done in only moments. While Tanya was working on CP's exposed head, she figured out what some of the problem was. CP's right hand was up near her face and under her head during the labor and delivery. She had come through the canal with not only her head taking up space, but her arm too. I looked over at Tiffany and asked her if all of the blood was normal. She assured me that it was and that I shouldn't worry. The LW was doing just fine. She also said that the other shoulder would come next. Another contraction and more encouragement to the LW were followed by another flush of blood and more flesh. The other shoulder had cleared and this time, CP was free.

The LW and I had been worried about this kid since the early portions of the pregnancy when it looked like things weren't going to work - when, for 12 weeks or so of constant vomiting she was losing a pound a week. Now she had bounced back and we'd made it through all of the hurdles. As a beautiful little body emerged from the LW's, all that I could do was laugh out loud. All of the worry, questioning, waiting, and wondering were gone in a flash and our anxiety spilled on the floor, finished. Without cleaning her or anything, CP was put right up on the LW's chest. Melissa cranked open the oxygen bottle while Tanya gave it to her and Tiffany helped to get other things rolling and checked out. Blood was still streaming out as Cady gained some color and everyone savored our fleeting special time.

She's home and beautiful now after wonderful care at the birth center. Our morning nurse Lisa helped us understand some of the things from the baby owner's manual after Tiffany bought us breakfast. I don't know how we'd have made it through today without those pancakes! Before we left, our pediatrician stopped by to pronounce CP as healthy. It's a little after 5am here and we haven't had much sleep, as everyone advised, but we haven't missed it either. The sun of Cady's first full day is coming up and there are too many beautiful things going on in that baby's face. If I fall asleep, I might miss some of it.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Still no baby. Today is the last day that we can have the baby at the BWHC. Their new med group will toss us to the amateur golfers wild western medical show tomorrow if Cady isn't here. We just heard back from the oncall MW and we're getting set up for a prostaglandin gel treatment for the LW. We'll hit the MW clinic after that and see where we go from there.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Well there's nothing like waking up to being another day closer to Pitocin and an amateur golfer with a set of forceps. We went for a bit of a stroll around da'hood this morning and the LW made a castor oil smoothie when we got home. She came outside while I watered the plants and finished the thing off. About half an hour later, I heard the sounds that were familiar back in the first and second trimester when she was dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum. Yup, she was face down at the porcelain altar. Now I thought that castor oil was supposed to work with gravity, not against it, but I guess that I was wrong.

Then I found this while reading the morning news. I guess I was expecting crap this morning, but from my wife, not a failed yankee oilman who thinks he's been appointed king by his man-deity in the sky:

Monday, May 01, 2006

We just returned from the Birth Center. Chris and Fran took great care of the LW this morning. The non-stress test was normal and little CP seems to be reacting just as she should be. Her heart rate really jumps when she starts moving around. It went from ~130 to ~165 when she started kicking and stretching.

They talked to us about what's going to happen this week. I guess since the center has a new medical group, they are less willing now to let the mother move beyond 41-3 or so. That OB malpractice insurance premium sure does scare the crap out of people. (41wks-3days) LW is at 41 weeks today. Fran checked her and she's at 1cm dilation. We picked up some homeopathic things on the way home. Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh, Evening Primrose, and Castor Oil. The castor oil bit will probably be tomorrow. That should be fun!