Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Congrats in order

Rainypete just had a little one of his own! Go on over and congratulate him. He is now a member of the no-sleep club.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Opinions Please!

Trying to get a picture for her announcements. Bryan and I can't seem to agree. So, which picture do you think is best??

Saturday, August 27, 2005

LA Story

The movie "LA Story" with Steve Martin has an excellent scene that I relate to very well.. The scene has Steve Martin speaking to God. He says something like (I haven't seen this movie since the 80's, so forgive my loose quotation) "God, if you want me to do this then give me a sign". Lights start flickering, lighting strikes, the ground moves, and Steve Martin continues "Any sign, God. I'll take any sign".

Sometimes I think this is the story of my life.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Grounds for Divorce

I love people with a sense of humor. I think, though, if my husband did this to me I would contemplate divorce.

My sister's boss is hilarious. He is married and has a three year old son. He told his three year old to go up to mommy and tell her "I see dead people". And the son did. And his wife screamed.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Pondering Life

Angela Marie had a post that is really thought provoking. An aquaintance of hers from high school has breast cancer and may or may not make it. And to make matters worse she feels like her life wasn't worth much.

This is incredibly sad to me. I can't imagine feeling this way. It makes me think and ponder my own life, too, and appreciate the blessings I've been given. If I died today would I think I had a good life? You betcha. I had a great career, I've traveled what I consider a lot, more importantly I've taken opportunities to help others, and most importantly I have a husband and a daughter for which I would give up anything. I've had a few rough patches in my life. Without getting into details, my pre-teen and teenage years weren't the greatest. There were some ugly things I've had to deal with. And, I always had to work hard for everything I've gotten. But I think those things just make you stronger - if you let them.

I completely believe life is what you make it. Yes, life can hand you lemons. But, it is your responsiblility to make lemonade. I know some people get more lemons than others. But I also believe God only gives you what he thinks you can handle. Your true character shows in how you handle it.

I will admit this...I've been mad at God before. I've blamed Him for things. When I was a teenager I thought God just didn't care about me. That I was just "here". No one cared about me but ME. When we went through 5 years of infertility issues I wanted God to tell me why he was "punishing" me. But you know what? I now know he wasn't punishing me at all. It was all in His time. And I also know he was there helping me through the teenage years. I just didn't know it THEN.

I hope Angie's aquaintance finds healing before it is too late.

Technology...the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I must admit I love technology. Well, some of it. When it works, it's great. I'm usually behind the times when it comes to electronics. I put off getting a cell phone until my work made me do it. Then once I had one I was addicted. Except I refuse to chat while I'm at the grocery store or in the doctor's waiting room, but I did use it often back in the days when I actually got out of the house.

Anyway, technology is great when you have a baby, too. We got a video camera a year ago and the other night hubby figured out how to transfer the videos onto the internet and burn them to a DVD. Big deal, you say? For the technologically challenged we thought we were geniouses. Of course, we won't tell anyone that it took 4 hours to figure out how to do it.

Technology is bad, though, in some hands. When we had Rachel we had her in a hospital at the Medical Center in Houston. The Medical Center is in downtown Houston and is not in the best part of town. In fact, my uncle was visiting someone at MD Anderson Cancer Center and got held up at gunpoint as he was getting his suitcase out of the trunk of his car. My parents are rather naive folk. They get nervous when they drive in town. Not necessarily the bad part of town, they just don't drive in the city much. They're more of a suburb or small town type.

So, you're asking what this has to do with technology being bad? Well, as I was saying, when Rachel was born the hospital was in downtown Houston. My folks came to the hospital so they could be there when she was born. It was a long day for everyone and they left the hospital at about 10 p.m. Not knowing downtown that well, and getting a bit turned around, they made a wrong turn and actually ened up on a street they weren't supposed to be on. And, to top it off the street was under construction, so they ened up in a traffic jam. AND, to top THAT off, the were behind an SUV. The SUV had one of those DVD player thingies. Have you ever been behind one of those in traffic? You can watch whatever they are watching. Usually it is a disney flick or something of the "G" rating. However, my naive parents weren't that lucky. They got behind an SUV that had a DVD of porn.

So, here they are, stuck in a traffic jam in the middle of downtown Houston, at 10 p.m. and they are behind an SUV that is playing porn. And it is right in front of them and they can't move either way. Dad said he had an "educational experience" and had a hard time keeping his eyes on the road.

They laughed about it forever, but I keep thinking how awkward that would be if you weren't with the right person. My luck I'd get stuck behind a vehicle playing porn when I had my boss in the car with me or something.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I Couldn't Resist

rachel laying
Originally uploaded by Carol H.

Just for the awe factor here is another picture...I couldn't help it.

Things I've learned in the 9 day's I've been responsible for this tiny little precious thing:

1. An 8 pound human being makes 7 times more laundry than the average human being

2. A smile never gets old

3. Two AM looks very differently when you are awakened from sleeping instead of just going to bed. So is Three AM and Four AM.

4. An 8 pound human being can poop their own body weight in a day (or so it seems).

5. The lung capacity of an 8 pound human being while crying is equivalent to a wild elephant.

Oh, lets see...what will the next week bring??

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Rachel and her doggie

Ahh, the birth story. Men, children and squeemish women, you can just ooh and ahh at the picture and go now. It's not for the weak stomached individual.

Seriously, my labor went well. That's about all in the pregnancy that went well, it seemed. And DURING the labor I would have told you otherwise.

At my 35 week ultrasound that they did because of the gestational diabetes, they determined that my amniotic fluid was a little borderline low. That was weird because a side effect of the diabetes is HIGH amniotic fluid, but they told me to take it easy and drink plenty of fluids and they would monitor it. No problem. So, the following week, at 36 weeks, I went in for my regular checkup. She did another ultrasound to monitor the fluid levels, and lo and behold it was dangerously low at that point. The doctor was perplexed because of the aforementioned diabetes reason, but she said the baby needs to come out immediately, that it was no longer a safe environment for her. She told me she would do an "emergency" induction the next day.

I learned that "emergency" meant if not so many people went into spontaneous labor that they could fit me in they would induce me the next day. If not, then the following day. If not then definitely the following. So, I had to call that night to see if they had room for me. 5pm, no they don't have room. 7 pm no room at the inn. 9 pm, not even a manger. 10:30 pm, c'mon in! So, we zoomed down to the hospital, which was about 45 minutes away.

They put the medicine in my cervix to make me dialate, as I hadn't budged yet. Oh, what is that stuff called? Anyway, Bryan slept on the sofa and I slept on the very uncomfortable labor bed. I say "slept". Who the hell can sleep when they know they will be giving birth in a few hours? I should have taken the sleeping pill they offered, but I hate medicine. So, I was on about two hours sleep the next day.

I had only dialated 1 cm when they gave me the IV for the induction at 7 am. The morning went well. I thought "Hey! This is a piece of cake!" No medication. I was fine. Cramping, but, hey, I could handle it! What are these wimpy women whining about?


Owch. That's all I have to say. I had only dialated 2 cm at that point, so I couldn't get the epidural. I had mentioned I would "see how it went" in the pain department on arrival at the hospital when asked if I would like an epidural. However, after the contractions were ripping my intestines out (or so I thought) I decided needles weren't so bad. But then the hosptial staff taunted me by saying I couldn't have one because the doctor wouldn't let me have it until I was 3 cm.

What's worse is the doctor wouldn't let the nurse check my cervix until 3 pm. She said she didn't want to risk infection. At 3 pm I was only a freakin' (not the word I was thinking in my head at the time) 2.5 cm dialated. I was begging for drugs. They said no. My husband and the nurse started chatting about what was on TV and politics and religion and many other things I didn't care about at that time. In my own little pain induced world I was strangling them. But all I could muster out was a "I'm fine. Are you SURE you can't just take a peek at my cervix?" when asked.

When the nurse told the doctor I had only dialated 2.5 cm at 3pm, she told her she couldn't check me again until 6 freakin' PM. At 4:30 I begged. I mean BEGGED the nurse to check. She said she would. If I was dialated more we would let the doctor know. If I wasn't, it would be our little secret. That was a deal I would have sold my own mother for.

At 4:30 was dialated to 5 cm. She called the doctor. The doctor said we could do the epidural. YAY! Relief on the way! What seemed like eternity and several short and incomprehensable to anyone but me comments to my husband later, which turned out to be about 30 minutes, the epidural came. By 5:15 I had it. But it did nothing. I still felt pain. I asked the nurse if I was supposed to feel pain still. She said no. I said I did. She called the anesthesiologist back. He came at 5:45 PM and increased the medicine. Ahhhh. All was better. I got my wits about me again. I felt like I could think, like I could actually enjoy the moment.

Just after the increased dosage at 5:45 the nurse checked my cervix. 9 cm! At 6 pm she had me push. All I saw was a huge flood of blood squirt right for the nurse. She said "Hold on! Don't Push!" She called for the doctor, who was there by 6:15 PM. Rachel was out just a few pushes later at 6:31 PM.

I think I should get credit for having her naturally since I only got 45 minutes of pain releif. LOL. But I'm thankful that I only pushed for 30 minutes. The doctor told me I better not tell my girlfriends that I only pushed that long or they'll hate me. I'll risk it.

I got to hold Rachel for about 30 mintues when she was first born. Then, she turned blue, and the rest you've been reading the last couple of weeks.

Now that I'm home I can't believe she is mine. I know I went through the labor, but God actually entrusted me with this fragile thing? He has to be crazy! :)

Breastfeeding (men, turn away if you don't want to recognize the functionality of breasts. It does kind of ruin it.) is a challenge because she was spoiled with a lazy bottle at the NICU. I have a feeling I'm going to have a lot of sweat and tears before we get that down, but I'm determined. She latches, but her jaw gets tired. We're working on it. Meanwhile I'm pumping, and bottle supplementing, too.

Anyway, that's the whole ugly story in a nutshell. Ugly story, but isn't she THE MOST beautiful thing you've ever seen??? :)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Just got home with Rachel a couple of hours ago!! Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers. It truly was comforting and meant a lot. She improved every day and she has been stable on her oxygen without help for the last several days, and she has been eating well, so she was released! We are so happy!!

Now, it is time to figure this baby thing out. I thought this kid would come with an owner's manual! :)

Just wanted to quickly post to let everyone know. As soon as things settle down I'll visit your blogs, post pictures, the birth story, and then (since you are probably tired of hearing all this baby stuff!) on to your regularly scheduled blog.

Thanks again!!!!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Thanks everyone for your comments, thoughts, and prayers. I have read every one and the support means so much to me. I want to get to each of your blogs to say so individually, and will eventually. Right now, though, just popping in to let you know she is doing much better! Slowly improving and things are looking positive. They gave her four doses of surfactants and she seems now to be breathing on her own with the ventilator's help (they slowly turn it down). They are even talking about taking the ventilator out either tomorrow or the next day, which is great news! Her mommy and daddy are anxious, but we know it is best she stay in the ICU as long as she needs to.

Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers.