Sunday, August 28, 2011

The First Week

It took three tries, but I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that we finally got our easy baby! Of course, as soon as I say that, Naomi will turn into the terror of all terrors. But even if that's the case, given our track record for first weeks at home (Justin = hospital re-admittance for dehydration; Jasmine = constipation and a constant fight to feed).. we'll take a full first week of harmony; even if that's all we get. Once we saw that she was latching properly at the hospital, we should've suspected that Miss Naomi Janelle would be our first baby to do everything by the book (eat, sleep, poop, eat sleep, poop... wake time... repeat cycle). It's a beautiful thing. Meanwhile, Thing 1 and Thing 2 took forever to figure out the breast feeding thing, let alone the rest of the equation. But I guess they turned out alright. They just drove us crazy in the process.

Anyhow, the point is that things are well here at home. We're all adjusting to our new norms (and there are plenty of 'em) and Naomi is doing her part in keeping everyone smiling. Bundle of Joy number 3 has been exactly that. As a matter of fact, I think we'll keep her.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hello World

Say hello to Naomi Janelle.

13:35. 6 lbs 6 oz. 19 inches. Alert. Inquisitive. And quiet as a church mouse. Mom is well and resting soundly. We are officially a family of 5. Praise God.

Progressive Energy

12:15 : No back pain. No headache. Feeling pretty good all around. Venesa's okay, too (ha!). 6 to 7 centimeters. We're getting there. Doc is guessing, "about two more hours." Mommy is still asleep. Rest up my love. We'll be pushing in no time.

Hold Still Please

10:30 : Epidural is a done deal

11:00 : Drugs kick in, and mommy begins to fade. Now that I look at the picture, she looks a little mad about it, actually. But I'm gonna go out on a limb and figure that she approves of the reduced pain levels. After 48 hours, her headache is also beginning to subside. Finally.

11:30 : New IV was put in. Blood was drawn for the umpteenth time. And mommy is still unaware of what planet she's on. Time for me to sneak away for a bite to eat.

Waiting on Baby

00:00 - 04:20 : Daddy is dead to the world. A pull-out sofa never felt so good before.

04:00 : Let the Pitocin Party begin. We also have a magnesium drip; something new for delivery number 2.

05:00 : 1 cm dilated. Pain medication delivered. Pitocin dosage increased for the second time in an hour. Time to get those contractions a little closer. 2.5 minutes apart.

05:30 : 2 - 4 minutes apart.Crank up the Pitocin.

07:30 : 3 cm

09:00 : Still battling the same headache from Monday. More pain meds. We'll see if it helps.

09:30 : Dr. Daniel breaks the water. Back labor kicks in like adidas. Epidural is on the way.

BellyWatch: 37 weeks

At 12:00am this morning, mommy was officially 37 weeks pregnant... but let's back up about 10 hours before then.

@ 2pm the 24 hour testing period ended.

@ 3pm Dr. Daniel shared the diagnosis.
The verdict: Preeclampsia
The Cure: Delivery
Projected birthdate: Tomorrow (as in today... Wednesday)
Daddy's Status: Delirious

@ 5pm Mommy moved from her temp room to the Labor & Delivery center.

@ 6pm
The cervix softener was given and contractions started almost immediately. That's about when I got a text from mommy stating that I better get back to the hospital if I want to live... or something like that. Kids are cooling at home with Lela, and daddy's on the way.

@ 10pm we have a bit of a scare (well, at least I was scared). With baby girl's heart rate dipping after every contraction, Dr. Daniel starts tossing around the C word; and our nurse is suddenly frantic as she prepares for the possibility of immediate surgery. V stayed cool, but I pretty much almost lost my mind for about the 8th time in 5 days. In the end, they fiddled and tweaked medications and positions, and (voila) we dodged the bullet and stayed on course with the original vaginal birth plan. Exhale.

So, we are back to where we started: Midnight on Tuesday. By now, we've spent exactly 3.5 days in Hartsville as a family, and mommy has spent more time in the hospital than in our new home. On the surface, it's certainly an inauspicious start to our new southern lives, but God has a funny way of making a mockery of our best laid plans; doesn't He? In that regards, we have no complaints. Call it a hunch, but we've got this strange feeling that He knows what He's doing.

On to Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BellyWatch: 36 weeks

I promise, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. And so the story begins...

On Monday morning, we all loaded up to return the moving trucks and meet with our OB for the first time. Busy morning ahead. Little did we know that returning the trucks would be about the last thing to go according to plan over the next 48 hours.

Drama instance numero uno: No kids allowed at the OB's office
Whaaaa? I'm doubtful that Justin ever missed an OB appointment during our pregnancy with Jasmine; and Justin and Jasmine have since become joint fixtures at V's appointments for baby number 3... but here we are... New state. New office. New rules. And most certainly, no kids. So off I go to find a place to stash our kids for 45 minutes in this town that we've been in for less than 2 days while we meet the new obstetrician. All I can say is, thank God for new neighbors and fast friends.

Drama instance numero dos: No Insurance
To say that V had done her homework on transferring her medical records and our insurance coverage from Virginia to SC would be the understatement of the year. But here we stood at the check-in counter listening to the insurance clerk explain that our coverage did not extend to this practice. Mind you, V had been told (on multiple occasions) that there was only ONE DOCTOR in all of Hartsville that took our Virginia insurance. That's exactly where we were... except that he suddenly wasn't seeming very accepting. So, to make a long story short, after I convinced Venesa that she should could NOT jump through the phone and strangle the life out of the insurance representative... we finally got straight (about an hour later) and were cleared to see the doctor.

Numero Tres? Overbooked
Of course, we missed our appointment time. "Can you come back on Thursday?"... Um... no. Hello?! High risk pregnancy. Kids at a one-time sitter. Daddy with only but-so-much time to slip away from work. Not happening. Fast Forward. Fast Forward. Bicker. Plea. Smile. Nod. And we're in to see the doctor.

Cuatro? Where's Mommy?
So much for just going to say hello to the new OB. We finally got through triage, met the doctor, and promptly got the wonderful news that he was keeping Venesa overnight due to high blood pressure (amongst other things). Okay... how did we just go from "we can't see you" to "come back Thursday" ... to "I'm sorry, but we'll have to admit you immediately"?

24 hours of testing. Good grief.

See you later mommy. Oh... and welcome to Hartsville.

To be continued

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Officially Southern

Welcome to the 4am Caravan.

As of Saturday around 1pm, we were officially moved in to our new home in SC. We would've been here about 90 minutes earlier if a certain not-so-bright doctor of mathematics didn't LOCK THE UHAUL KEYS in the truck.

Oh... but no problem right? Just call triple A... oh but wait, AAA can't find a locksmith associated with them near our location because we're in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, NC.

Okay... relax... just call a nonaffiliated locksmith, and AAA will reimburse you up to $100... oh but wait, this MIDDLE OF NOWHERE town in North Carolina happens to be hosting a LOCKSMITH CONVENTION today, and so just about every locksmith who could help is at the convention (I promise... I'm not making this up). The feeling of sipping on that proverbial last straw was getting stronger by the minute, and my sleep deprivation and general fatigue was starting to tilt the sanity meter towards the nervous breakdown category. I guess the hustle and bustle of moving combined with driving 20 hours in the last 36 was slowly catching up with me.

Anyhow, in the end Venesa had enough composure for us both and found a locksmith who got us back on our way. Granted, we're up to our eyeballs in boxes (quite literally, actually) and so it'll be a while before we feel truly settled. But to have the bulk of this move behind us, not to mention being together again (that weekend visitation thing had gotten old really fast) is feeling pretty priceless right now.

Speaking of price: Uhaul truck. BP station. Read it and weep.

And that was less than half a tank.That's just plan monstrous. Here's to keeping receipts for moving expense reimbursements. Cheers.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Edward Coombs

What I learned from attending his funeral yesterday was that 19-year-old Edward Taylor Coombs was one of the most amazing people that I never got to spend an appreciable amount of time with. He was (and still is) my cousin, and a real-life hero in his own right.

On the way home while listening to NPR, I heard someone say that we can measure the value of our life by the size of the impact that we have on the lives of other people. Eddie, it's now obvious to me that the impact you made, and funny enough continue to make, was as limitless as the love, kindness, and selflessness that you shared with those who had the pleasure of meeting you. I know that it is typically no more than a cliche when we say that someone makes us want to be a better person… but yet I can not find a better way to express how I felt and continue to feel after leaving your service yesterday. I'm inspired beyond words. Inspired to do more. To be more. Connect more. And to simply be better in every way that I possible can. Because the amount of joy that you very clearly and consistently gave to all of those around you speaks to your greatness of character. And for that inspiration, I thank you. Love always.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

BellyWatch3: 35 Weeks

[This entry was absolutely positively stolen from V's sent mail folder]

35 weeks, and yep, I'm still pretty miserable. Things seem to only go from bad to worse with this 3rd BellyWatch. But God's giving me strength to get through each day - really. I've been sleeping in a recliner now for about 5 weeks because getting in and out of bed is excruciatingly painful... but that's getting old, too. I tried the floor the other night, but didn't fair any better there either; and getting in and out of the bed is out of the question with this crazy groin injury. So I'm back on the recliner. Anyway, I went to a few weeks of physical therapy and now I do some of those exercises at home. These things just help minimize the pain, but are not a real fix. But, every little bit helps, of course.

As far as the Gestational Diabetes goes, well although I was able to control my blood sugars with my diet alone during the previous pregnancy, apparently this time that hasn't been enough, so I am on medication twice a day for that. The medication wasn't really improving my blood sugar readings, so I ended up on a new type of meds last week. Still not much difference, but the doctors seem content with my numbers. We'll see. Good news is that I am not stressed about that at all. I just want to do whatever is going to keep me and the baby healthy. The more I address this issue and get things under control, the greater the chance of me not having a super big baby that will result in a c-section. That's really my goal at this point. I would hate to have survived 2 pregnancies naturally and have to get a c-section on the last. And yes, I did say last (smile). Jerome and I both agree that my body is making it crystal clear that my baby making days are over! So, if we add to our family as we talked about before then it will most definitely be through adoption - which is something we've always talked about anyway.

The good news about the pregnancy is that I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I turned 35 weeks yesterday, so I have 4 or 5 weeks to go. Yay! We are almost there. I am really excited about welcoming Baby #3 into the world! Things are falling into place in Hartsville in terms of the house and the new OB, etc., so we continue to have peace about everything even in the midst of my discomfort and pain. The excitement of a new home, new job, new baby has been compensating for all of the prego related set backs. Oh, and I contacted the MOPs person down in Hartsville and got an immediate sense of peace about having a circle of mommies to connect to down there. They sound like a good tight-knit group like the one here in Virginia. I am really excited about that, too. It's comforting to know that I am not going to be alone while Jerome is working.

[The End]