Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A U-turn on the Road to Recovery

Not sure if that is an appropriate title or not, but it sounded good at the time. For the last few days I've been dealing with some very painful hemorrhoids that literally nothing would help. I know, gross, right? Yesterday I finally had it and called the Doc. She saw me this morning, gave me some good pain meds, and referred me to general surgery for a consult. Luckily we were able to be seen today.

To make a long story short: Good news = No surgery. Bad News = 4 days or more of Bed Rest. With two toddlers at a home and a newborn, you can imagine this was not the best news for neither Neil nor me. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right? Healing is key right now, and I'm no good to anyone in the state I'm in currently. We would all appreciate your prayers for quick recovery so I can get back to taking care of my family. Man, I tell you, if I needed anything else to convince that 3 is the right number for us, this is it. I feel like it's been one thing after another since the beginning of my third trimester. This week alone we've visited the Doc three times, and none of them were for the newborn. Not to fret though, she has her check up on Monday.

In other, happier, news. It snowed this week. I think we got like 3 inches, but it's the most snow we've seen this season. Owen couldn't wait to get out and play in it. When you asked him what he wanted to do in the snow, he'd say, "I want to build a snowman, and make a snow angel, and throw a snow ball." Of course we didn't get enough to make that snowman, but he was able to check the other two off his list. He was also a big helper to his daddy when he was cleaning off cars and shoveling off the sidewalk. Grandma took pics so I'll post those tomorrow. What else do I have to do?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just Enough Energy to Write

I've heard of babies getting their days and nights confused, but have never actually experienced least until now. For most of the last nine days, Madison has spent her days peacefully sleeping and her nights battling restlessness and yucky (and stinky) gas. A couple nights ago we all thought she had generously switched her schedule by sleeping all night, only to awake to feed. But the very next night she reverted to her old ways, and then last night slept 7 hours straight. I'm guessing this cycle may continue back and forth from days to nights until she figures it all out. Until then I will take whatever sleep I can get.

Other than the vampire effect she is absolutely adorable and perfect in every way (except that whole original sin issue). On Saturday several of our friends gathered here at our house to welcome both Madison and her older (by 12 days) friend, Bekah. Honestly I think all showers, except for the first child, should happen after the baby comes. What a great way to show off the baby and stock up on necessities or just really cute outfits for her to wear. Katy and I both had a blast and I actually felt a bit rejuvenated considering I was working on 2 1/2 hours of sleep.

So Blake is sick now. Saturday night, our worst so far, brought not only an awake newborn but also a 20 month old with a 103.6 fever. Neil, my mom, and I felt like we were trapped in a juggling act. I'm guessing Owen felt left out because he got up at one point to make his presence known. It was not fun. Through out the weekend his fever went away only when given Motrin. This morning Mom and I took Blake to the Doc. Luckily, at this point, there is no infection, but if the fever continues longer than a day or so more, we're to return for another check up. In a way I am sitting there thinking, "gee Blake, could you have picked a worse time to get sick?" But on the other hand, I'm glad it happened when my mom was here to help out.

At this very moment, I am enjoying the peace and quiet of all three children sleeping. Wow, three children...did I really just write that? Crazy, crazy.

In other news, I just heard by BFF Jo might come visit this weekend, which would be perfect b/c we'll be between family. Man, I can't wait to see her. Hopefully it will work out.

That's all the updates I have for now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So What's the Story?

Maybe this is more for me than for anyone who reads this blog, but I thought it only appropriate to recount the arrival of Madison Riley Pennington while it is still somewhat fresh in my head.

The last few weeks were pretty miserable. I literally felt like I was in labor for 2 months, but when it finally came on, it was fast and furious. As you may know from previous posts, Friday was one day past my due date. If she had not have come on her own by Wednesday (tomorrow), they would have broken my water, and if that didn't work, they would have C-sectioned her. I was all about preventing the slice and dice approach. So needless to say we are all thrilled that she came when she did at 40 weeks, 1 day, and 1 hour.

Friday was a day like any other day lately. I took Owen to school, ran some errands, picked Owen up and headed home for a restful afternoon. Normally Owen doesn't nap. It's just the fact of life for a 3 1/2 year old, but Friday he and his brother both took three hour naps. I was able to catch up on Grey's Anatomy and take in a little shut eye. I'd been having braxton hicks all day, but nothing to make me think I was in labor or going into labor. Neil came home, we had dinner, put the boys down, and came down to watch Ghost Whisperer. Right around that time I started timing the contractions which remained 11 minutes apart throughout the show. The around 9:50 (8 minutes after my last one), I had this one contraction and I know right then that this was no braxton hick. Suddenly (and surprisingly) I had the urge to take a shower just in case. Plus, if it wasn't the real thing, then they would probably dissipate with the movement. A few minutes later I was in shower and in intense pain at the same time. This is when I knew I was in labor. By the time I got back downstairs, the contractions had jumped to 6 minutes apart. I called the Kaiser advice line to see if I should go in, and the contractions were getting stronger and were more like 5 minutes apart. Of course they said come.

We left the house a little after 10:30 or so and arrived at the hospital around 11 pm. By the time I got checked in and sent the triage, I was 7 cm dilated. Yay, they were admitting me, and bonus...I was checked in by a mid-wife, so now I have experienced it all. Once we got to the room, the finality of all was setting in. There was absolutely no turning back now. My delivery nurse, Lindsay, was amazing. She was so chill which put me at ease right away. She checked me around 12:30 or so and I was 9 cm. It was time to call in the doctor. I'd never met Dr. Willard before. She doesn't work out of my usual office. She basically came in, broke my water and waited for me to get to 10, which didn't take long. Three or four real pushes later and she was out...just about the time I had decided I couldn't take anymore.

My first words: "Please tell me it's a girl." Thankfully she was and she was beautiful...okay maybe not with all that goo on her but once they got her all cleaned off, she was absolutely gorgeous.

Of course if you've had a baby before you know it doesn't end once she is out. There's all kinds of grossness to deal with. And then there are the stitches. Normally it's not too big of a deal because of all the adrenaline pumping through the body, but this time they couldn't find any local anesthetic. It took several minutes and I could feel the adrenaline fading. By the time she was ready to stitch me up, it was very uncomfortable, but that's okay because I got my girl.

A couple hours later we were "resting" in our room with our new little girl.

Mat brought the boys to see us Saturday evening. Blake waltzed in and went right for the baby. Owen took a few minutes to warm up, even to me. But at least he gets that the baby is Madison and that Madison is no longer in my belly (though it still looks like she could be). I'm thinking this new addition (and hopefully last) to our family will complete us.

Speaking of Madison, she is demanding some Mommy time and I will happily oblige. Maybe later I'll tell you about her first couple nights at home. It really is amazing how different she is from the boys, like night and day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Madison Has Arrived!

Being a true lady who is fashionably late, Madison Pennington arrived at 1:10 this morning weighing in at 8lbs 2oz and 20 1/4" long. Labor was fast an uneventful. Hillary, Neil, and Madison are at GBMC and more than happy to see visitors. They are in room 2643 and the direct line is (443) 849-8417 or you can always reach them on Hillary's cell phone. The plan for now is to come home tomorrow. Mom, Dad, and Baby are all doing well!

Friday, January 16, 2009

40 PLUS 1

It's really too bad that you can't fake labor like you can an orgasm. If that were the case, I'd be at the hospital right now with these semi-hard, yet inconsistent, contractions. But you can't fake out those monitors, can you?

Today was a pretty painful one. Along with the normal, yet slightly stronger, contractions, I've had more trouble walking, standing, know, normal everyday activity. It's almost as if once I hit 40 weeks my pain level jumped up a level or two. Plus it seems I'm coming down with a slight cold...nothing major, but enough to add misery to misery.

I appreciate everyones prayers and support, and as always, I enjoy reading the comments left on the blog. It makes me feel like I'm not all alone in this, though I can feel the weight of this whole thing on my shoulders and my hormones are completely out of wack. Is it possible to struggle with post-partum depression before you are actually post-partum? Seriously, I balled my eyes out over a commercial for Johnson's baby wash today. Utterly ridiculous, really!

In other news I'd like to thank all of you who have voted for Madison's middle name. It seems at the moment that Riley is in the lead. There is still time to vote, so if you haven't already, go vote. I can't guarantee it will be a completely democratic process as we have final say, but it is interesting to see what people think. I wonder what Madison would think about how we picked her middle name.

It's almost time for Ghost Whisperer so I have to split. Tomorrow I will try to write about something more uplifting and less depressing. I am planning to go see my friend Joyce who had foot surgery today (all is well). Seeing as she is all drugged up, I might have some funny stories to tell. Then again...maybe I'll have a baby tomorrow and have some funny stories to tell of my own.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

D-Day is Here

And what a day it's been. At 9:30 this morning, we headed in to see Dr. Bernard. She checked me here and there and everywhere. It seems that we've made a little progress, about 1/2 a cm or so. Good to know that days and days of contractions have helped move things along(ish).

"So what's next Doc, seeing as I am still pregnant at 40 weeks? Can we induce (break my water) tomorrow?"

Doc leaves the room to make a phone call. When she returns she has that look on her face. You know the look I speak of, right? The one where you know you are not going to like the answer. It seems that through this process nobody thought to check with the hospital to see if they would allow the induction with all their bureaucratic B.S. and liability mumbo jumbo. So Doc put in the request for approval, but either way, it wasn't happening tomorrow. She also asked me to stay and be monitored for a little while to make sure the baby is doing good and all. Neil took me back to the house so I could pick up his truck and return to be monitored. He took the boys to the Science Center (which by the way, did you know that if you're a Zoo member, you get to go to the Science Center for free during Jan/Feb?).

Baby monitoring went well. She "peaked" several times, whatever that means, and I was free to go. Before I left, Doc caught me and told me that the induction had been approved and scheduled for 8:00 am on Weds. The good news is that I have 6 days to get this child out of me before they induce. The bad news is if she doesn't come on her own in the next 6 days, I have to continue to be miserable for 6 days. So here's what I need you to do for me. Please pray with us that she comes on her own this weekend. It might seem selfish, but it really would work out better for everyone involved if she could come now rather than later.

My faith is a little weak right now. I guess I can admit that. Emotionally and physically I'm spent. In fact, I fear my faith my not even reach the mustard seed requirement. So I guess that is why I'm reaching out to all of have the faith for me that by weekend end, I will be holding her in my arms, a healthy baby girl.

Thanks for joining me in this journey. It's a rough road especially when you feel alone.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Day, Another Day Pregnant!

Well folks D-Day is less than 48 hours away. I really do feel like I'm on a countdown of some kind, but I'm not really sure what we're counting down too. My friend, who is a Doula, told me that third babies tend to be more finicky than the others. They don't follow the patterns of their previous siblings. That's it! I'm putting my foot down. No more third babies. This is it!

This same Doula friend spent over an hour working pressure points in my hands and feet this morning, hoping to stimulate labor. I have been having contractions, but lets face it, I've pretty much been in labor for the last 6 weeks. That said, I am extremely grateful for her kindness and willingness to serve (good thing I took a shower last night though and my feet don't sweat much).

Here's the good news. I sent an email to my doc to see what the outcome was of the "Induction discussion." You know the one where all the docs get together and decide if they're willing to risk breaking my water before they reach for the scalpel. The verdict is in (drum roll please)...YES! Though you probably guessed that since I led in with the good news piece, but that's beside the point. They are also willing to let me go to 41 weeks, but I'm pretty sure we'll schedule the "induction" before that point. I'm so ready to be done, but we'll have to see what happens on Thursday. Hopefully there has been a little more progress in dilation and breaking my water would be a natural next step maybe even on Friday, which would work better for Clare who is watching my kids for me.

In the meantime, I hope these braxton hicks I've been having round the clock kick into labor and little Madison pops out all on her own because that really is the best way. Tonight is Kid's Night at CFA, a time I look forward to every week.

Right now though I'd really like to take a nap, but since neither of my two little monsters think they should, I am unable to actually close my eyes. Seriously, what is it about kids? When you really want or even need them to do one thing, they insist of doing another? It's actually quite annoying. Don't they understand that I was up late last night trying to get their sister to come out and play. Do they not understand that I took them to Connections (Women's Bible Study) this morning to poop them out so they would nap? I guess not! Oh well, who needs sleep anyways, right?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Countdown Continues

Yes, I'm still pregnant, and quickly approaching my due date (Jan 15). So why am I so anxious to get this baby out? Well, for starters, I've been painfully uncomfortable for almost 8 weeks, getting little sleep and making it nearly impossible to get anything accomplished. On top of that I've been dilated for about 4 weeks since she so graciously decided to put her head down. Right now I am 3 cm dilated and almost fully effaced. My cervix is "very" anterior and soft (still not sure what that means, but I've heard my cervix described as "favorable.") Really there is nothing stopping this baby from coming except for the fact that I haven't gone into labor.

So besides the fact that I'm being fairly impatient, what's the problem? During my visit today, my doc told me that if I come back next week (on my due date) that we'll be scheduling a C-section shortly thereafter. Given my previous experience with the knife, they're not too keen on allowing me to go much past 40 weeks. And given my disposition towards C-sections, I'd like to do everything in my power to prevent this worst case that means she needs to get the heck out of dodge and quick.

There is one alternative they may consider, but it requires the approval of all the docs at Kaiser. Dr. Bernard (whom I love) is willing to break my water to see if I would go into labor naturally, but I would have to know that if nothing happened within a certain time frame then I would end up with a C-section. But at that point we'd be past my due date, and a c-section would be pretty much imminent anyways, so why not try? This is not what we want. I'd rather her just kick it into gear like now, so I don't have to worry about the possibilities.

On a side note, my friend Katy (who was due the day before me) had her baby on Monday. Her water broke at my house (luckily not in my house) on Sunday night, and labor followed. In the AM, they headed to the Birth Center and were given some very bad was breech. A few hours later, Rebekah Joelle Linda was born via C-section. I know this wasn't at all what Katy or Wes (her hubby) wanted, and I remember feeling that disappointment with Owen. It's emotionally and physically draining. But the baby is healthy and beautiful and that's all that matters, right?

Please join me in prayer that Madison decides to grace us with her presence soon. I'd really like to prevent the slice and dice approach this time around. The recovery alone would be ridiculous given the fact that I still have 2 boys at home who need my attention. Plus, who would do laundry (since you're not supposed to go up and down stairs)...Neil? Not so much. Please Madison, be a good girl and come out and play soon.