"The Real Giant Octopus"

Last night, baby Jasmin was crying while Sam was holding her at his computer. He tried to get her to calm down, but she was pretty worked up…until Sam played the spiel from the Octopus Show…”You’ve seen it on the Discovery Channel, you’ve read about it in the newspapers…” She quieted right down. It was so funny. I wonder if she remembers it for real. They say that babies can recognize voices and music from when they were in the womb. I am sure she only heard it a few thousand times this summer while she was inside me!

Thanksgiving 2007

I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours was. We had our family over to our home. Sam’s two sisters and their families, His mom and my mom and dad. We cooked the turkeys, two – so we’d have lots of leftovers, and provided desserts. We assigned everyone else dishes to be responsible for and ended up with a delicious variety of snacks and sides! It was very laid back and enjoyable…the whole day. The kids played together so well, we almost forgot they were here. That’s a nice change! Other years, it hasn’t been like that at all.

I had been wanting to do a thankful tree. When I realized Sam wasn’t planning on eating until like 2:00, I went outside in the snow and cut off part of our Lilac Bush to be the tree. I quick made some leaves out of my scrapbooking paper and brought them out so everyone could write their thankful thoughts on a leaf and add it to the branches. I think most everyone participated. It was fun to see what the kids wrote or drew pictures of on their leaves.

It wasn’t too long before we gathered everyone around for a prayer and started eating. We all ate too much! My favorite was the turkey (it was so good) and the sweet potato casserole my sis-in-law made. It must have been really bad for us, because it tasted so good! When Max was finished with his dinner, he grabbed his Cars magna doodle and drew everyone eating Thanksgiving dinner…around a table with turkey, corn and some other dish I can’t remember. It was so cute!

After dinner, we cleaned up and Sam and his sisters sat down with their newspapers and ads and made their lists for Black Friday. It’s a tradition, now, that they all go shopping on Black Friday. Sam ended up leaving around 3:30 AM to go get Sherry and Shelly! They were done around noon and then spent the rest of the day together, saw a movie and ate dinner out.

I hung out with the kids yesterday all day. Karson has been really sick and so I took him into the dr. I can’t wait till he feels better because he is so crusty right now. It’s driving me nuts, but at the same time, I know he feels terrible, so I have to feel bad for him. Anyway, he has to be on breathing treatments and antibiotic…hopefully he will shake it off soon. After the dr. we ran a few errands and then I went Michael’s with the kids. I had a gift card from my birthday and wanted to get Jasmin a Christmas Stocking. We found a stocking, although it is Burgundy instead of the pink I was looking for, and we checked out the Christmas Village which was on sale.

We set up the village on our poker table and every year we add something to it. Last year we added the merry go round and the tree house. This year, we found a popcorn wagon! We also bought a deer eating a snowman’s nose. Max picked it out. I let the kids play with them. It’s one of their favorite things about the Christmas decorations we put up. Sure they get broken, but the little people are so inexpensive – and I usually only buy them on sale anyway – that they are easily replaced. They don’t really play with the buildings, they are just more of a backdrop. By the time we had it all set up, Sam came home, and they were so excited to show him. Then we all sat down and had hot chocolate by the fireplace before it was time to put the kids to bed. But not before trying out Sam’s favorite purchase of the day…a giant universal remote for 5.00 that is just about as big as baby Jasmin!

My Birthday

So today I am 37 years old! I don’t really feel all that old. It doesn’t seem all that different to me.
I had a pretty good day today. I ran up to my schools to drop some notes off for people and stayed just a short time. I got to see quite a few people though and show off the baby, of course. Everyone commented on how cute and perfect she is and how great I look…which I decided is a very nice thing to be told on my birthday. I’ve lost 24 pounds since last Wednesday…and I do feel great about that!
The funniest thing that happened today was that Sam and I ran both our vehicles out of gas. He ran out of gas on the way to take the kids to school…he called me, but I didn’t hear him because Karson and Jasmin and I were upstairs changing a poopy diaper. Our friend Jason brought him some gas. Later this morning…I knew my gas was way low, and I told Jasmin that I hoped I could make it to the gas station…but I’d call her if I couldn’t make it. Well wouldn’t you know that the gas ran out and the engine stalled out just after I pulled into the drive of the gas station. I probably could have coasted to a pump, but there were cars in the way on the side that I needed. So I stopped my car and luckily they had a gas can I could use so I could get over to the pump. I guess I could have asked someone to help me push my car…but it wasn’t that big of a deal. I thought it was so funny. Good thing I didn’t go and try to help Sam, I would have run out of gas on my way to help him…then we would have both been stuck!
Anyway, I also took Savannah to her dentist appt. today…she did great. And then her and I ran up to the secretary of state so I could get my license and registration renewed. Then we came back and I took a nap after a while. I was really tired.
Tonight we had a meal brought to us by a friend from church and it was really good. It’s been so nice that our friends have been bringing us meals this week. It’s great to not have to worry about fixing dinner every night. We have really appreciated them and they have been so delicious!

The BIG Day

So here is the big story…in case anyone is interested.

For the past month my OB has been very concerned about the baby’s size. He wanted to induce me, but we decided at my appt. on Nov. 1 that we would see what happens over the weekend. I did not want to be induced. I never had to with the others…and I did a bunch of reading over the weekend and almost everything I read was that the baby’s size alone was not a good enough reason to be induced. So Monday, Sam and I were all prepared with questions and a defense for not being induced. It was only 2 days past my due date anyway. But I had another ultrasound because my dr. wanted one more estimate of the weight of the baby. So the technician started the ultrasound…looking for the head, and all she found were feet…the head was all the way to the top…she was breech. I kind of suspected something like this because my tummy looked really different over the weekend and I wondered if she had turned

Anyway, so now we had a whole other issue. Realizing that with a breech baby, I had no other options but to go through with a c-section. We scheduled it for Wednesday at 12:30. I felt so defeated when I left there. I cried all day. I felt very depressed. It was not good. Tuesday, I felt better, and I actually tried a couple of positions to encourage her to turn. I felt her moving a lot on Monday night and Tuesday, but not any huge movements. I did not feel like she had turned, although somehow the word got around to many of our family, friends and church members who were fervently praying that baby Jasmin would turn on her own and I would start to go into labor on my own.

Tuesday night my parents came up to stay, and we planned out the scenario for the next day, who would be getting the kids and all that. I packed my bag for the hospital and wrote notes about packing lunches, and things that people needed to know to take care of the kids while I was gone.

Wednesday morning I got the kids off to school and mailed the bills and we headed over to the hospital around 10:30. We got registered and went up to the 4th floor and were put in a room where they were to check me in and take some vitals. I asked the nurses to please do an ultrasound to check the position of the baby, just to be sure. These nurses, you have to understand, do not normally do ultrasounds. They brought in this portable machine and as they were doing the ultrasound, they were saying I think the baby’s head is down, they kept saying it was but they weren’t sure, so they called my OB to confirm it. He showed up and said she was head down, and he also checked me and I was dilated to 1 (finally) and 50-60% effaced. Then he told us it would be safer to go ahead and do the c-section because she was big. And he said if we chose to go ahead with a natural birth, we had to sign a form saying that we understood the risks of shoulder dystocia and death. Then he left us to make our decision.

Holy crap! That is a big decision. For a minute I did not know what to do. How do you decide to risk killing your child!? Then a very calm spirit came over me, I’m sure someone had to be praying for us at that very moment, and everything became very clear. I turned to Sam, who had a very serious look on his face, and said, I think we should go ahead and do a natural birth…(at this point, this included being induced to speed things along a little)…because the two EXACT things that we asked people to pray for had been answered. God obviously has his hand in this whole thing and I think it is a test of how strong our faith is…so let’s trust that God will work it out for his glory.

Sam told me later, he wasn’t quite so confident. I am so, so glad I could have this baby naturally. I love the whole process of giving birth. It is so empowering. I think I would have felt much different about it with a c-section.

Anyway, we told the Dr. and signed the paper, and we were escorted down to our Labor and Delivery room where I was then hooked up to Pitocin. I have to say, we had a wonderful nurse, Paula, who told us it’s ok we were doing the right thing when we signed that paper. She was so sweet and gentle and encouraging to us. I praise God that we had her for our nurse through the delivery.

Dr. Vendola came and broke my water at around 1:00 and it seemed like the progress of labor was so slow. Normally when I get to the hospital I am already dilated to at least 6. So starting at one made it seem to take forever. The contractions really were not all that much worse than without the pitocin…I just hated that I had to stay in bed the whole time. I would have liked to be up walking around.

At around 3:30, I started feeling a lot of pressure and my nurse checked me and said I was dilated 6-7. She then walked out of the room to call the dr. and mentioned on her way out that if I started to feel any urge to push at all, to let her know right away. So she was gone for like 2 contractions, which were progressively getting way more painful and I started feeling like I needed to push. I only ever felt that feeling before with Savannah. With Max and Karson, they told me to start pushing before I actually felt like I needed to. It was strong and I couldn’t control it. I pushed through one contraction and then another one started coming right after, and I was still laying on my side…and not really knowing what else was happening in the room with the dr. and the nurses and my family – I started to feel the head coming, and I’m like, “I have to push, I hope it’s ok”. And I felt someone grab my knee and pull me over to my back and pull my legs apart, and I pushed again and the head came out and the rest of her followed in the same push. Apparently my dr was still putting on his gloves when the head came out. It was crazy fast, I don’t think anyone expected it to go so quickly.

Jasmin was beautiful, probably because it was so fast, her little head was perfectly round. She had an APGAR score of 9! I felt great! I tore just a little and required only a few stitches. I stayed in the delivery room for about an hour. I nursed baby Jasmin and she caught on so quickly. I love that time. Everyone else had left to go to my other room and so it was really quiet and relaxing.

When it came time to get up and move to my room, my nurse told me that there were no wheel chairs available at the moment, she’d have to get someone to bring one over. And I told her, I think I can just walk. So she walked with me (we took the shortcut) to my room. Everyone thought I was crazy when I came walking in where they were all waiting for us. But seriously, this was the easiest delivery and fastest recovery of all my children. I did not even take any medicine for pain in the hospital…I had none. Just some cramps when I would nurse…and I ended up taking a bit of motrin for that after I got home.

I didn’t sleep much the first night. There were a lot of visitors and then it was just coming down off all the excitement and stuff. I think I slept 2 hours. So the next day I was very tired. The next night was better. I ended up having the nurses take her for about 5 hours so I could get some rest. I was having to supplement with formula while I was there anyway, because baby Jasmin did not seem to be satisfied with what I could give her.

On Friday morning we came home. There were some issues though. She was a little jaundiced and she hadn’t pooped in 24 hours. We had to go back to the hospital on Saturday to check her levels, and she was better. She ended up pooping on the way home from the hospital.

She has been a great baby. Rarely cries and is so cuddly. She is on some sort of pattern though with sleeping at night. We have noticed, she has a good night, where she sleeps a lot only waking up for feeding and diaper changes…and the next night, she sleeps very little and fusses a lot. If it continues, I am in for another sleepless night tonight…we’ll see. Maybe she will change her little pattern soon. At least I have a good night’s sleep every other night – so I don’t feel totally exhausted.

Jasmin is one week old today. She had a check up on Monday and is back to her birth weight…9 lbs 14 oz. We sang happy birthday to her. The kids thought it was funny that we were singing happy birthday when she is only one week old. I told them that babies get to have lots of birthdays until they turn one. They love learning all about baby Jasmin and helping out with her. It’s so much fun with older siblings.

Anyway, we feel very blessed to have Jasmin Joy as part of our family. And her birth, the way God answered our prayer, was such a miracle! We are so thankful to all of you who prayed for us and baby Jasmin last week!

OH…and check this out. I was checking my phone for missed calls. Look who called right at the exact moment baby Jasmin was born! Pretty funny huh?