Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The happy, helpful, big sister

Riley had her one month checkup last week.  While we all waited, Riley 
had some tummy time.  

She does pretty good on her tummy.  Most of the time I get 3 or 4 minutes before
she starts to get cranky.  

Hannah decided to read to Riley.  

Yes, Hannah is wearing her "Big Sister" pin.  

Hannah and Riley's doctor, Dr. Iskander. 

Hannah takes hold....of the camera

Riley is not happy!

Hannah's dollhouse

Grandma Moon

Great Grandma Davis

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Broadway at the Beach

I love the beach, so anytime someone suggests going to the beach, I jump right in.  While Amy and Tom were visiting, we decided to all drive down.  Riley was 6 days old but I didn't think she would mind much.  There's a place in Myrtle Beach called Broadway at the Beach.  They have lots of restaurants, shopping, the aquarium and a fair like area with lots of rides for little kids.  The plan was for Amy and Tom to just have fun with Hannah on all the rides while Riley stuck close to David and I.  

Hannah is ready, running down the boardwalk!

It was hot!  And I was the only one who would venture in the water 
with her.  What can I say, it felt good.  Of course, my shorts were damp until about 5 p.m. that day.  I think these little splash areas are a great idea.

On the teacups with Grandma

The motorcycles

The caterpillar.  Seeing her on this was hilarious!!
I think she went on this ride 5 times.  

Airplane ride

Riley in the sling for a little while.

It wouldn't be a proper fair experience without face painting.

We match!

Riley's ride, this is what she did the whole day.

Hula hooping at Margaritaville.  
We like Margarittaville for the margarita's and the atmosphere.  The food is only so-so and pricey, so we don't eat there.  But they do have a large outdoor area that includes a sand pit and hula hoops.  They also had a live DJ on this night.  David and Hannah danced the night away together.  They did the cha cha slide, the electric slide and danced together for many other songs.   

During the hottest part of the day, David and I sat down to watch a movie, Bridesmaids.  This got Riley out of the heat for a little while.  I nursed her in the cool, quiet movie theatre and David and I got to enjoy a movie together.  It was really funny, by the way.  We laughed so hard we cried at some parts.  Riley did awesome; she slept.  Hannah had so much fun, and we all had fun just watching her.   We drove home around 11 pm.  It's such a great way to spend a family day together.  I'm not going to say it's the cheapest thing you can do, but it sure is fun.   

Monday, August 15, 2011

Riley: 1 Month

I've been taking pictures daily to send to my sister.  Here's some of the ones I've snapped over the last month.  

Still in the hospital

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Last days with Casey and Ethan

They've been gone since July 4th.  They're making a nice home in California.  Sometimes I'm jealous I'm not there too!

Playing in the pool

Aunt Casey playing Hannah's fairy wings

The rest of the pictures were taken at Portrait Innovations.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Riley's Story, Part ll

Despite my best will power efforts and my doctor's efforts, nothing changed.  So Friday morning we checked in to Labor and Delivery.  They took me back to prep me.  David had to stay in the waiting area.  Already, this was so different than my birth with Hannah.  David never left my side with Hannah.  My nurse was really nice.  A few minutes after I was back there she looked at me and said "You wanted a VBAC, didn't you?"  Tears again, as I nodded.  After about 10  minutes, I asked why David could be with me.  I was having a hard time, and I knew if David were with me I'd be happier.  She said he could be back there with me, just that they don't normally bring dads back because of limited space.  For whatever reasons, she told me she'd get him for me.  Maybe she felt sorry for me.  While David was back there, we talked with our nurse about everything.  David and I were so concerned about Riley being taken away from us right after she was born.  With Hannah, I was able to breast-feed her before she was an hour old.  However, I knew the nurses at Cape Fear would take Riley to the nursery to do all her checks right after she was born.  We talked my birthing experience with Hannah.  Eventually she left to go do some stuff.  When she came back she said "Ok, as long as everything goes smoothly, you can breast-feed while in the recovery room and your husband can stay with you."  Yes, I had to go to recovery for an hour.  I was thrilled and relieved and happy.  So was David.  Later I learned, from the lactation consultant, that this was unheard of and a very big deal that my OB had agreed to allow this.  It was time to go back to the surgery room.  David could not go with me.  Again different than with Hannah.  When I received the epidural with Hannah, David held me in position as I leaned against his chest.  This time I would be leaning against my nurses' chest.  They brought David back right after the epidural.  Shortly thereafter, Riley Moon was born, at 1223.  

Everything did go smoothly.  Riley and David joined me for the hour I was in recovery.  Then David took Riley to the nursery for her checks and I went to get settled in a room.  Once David and I were in the room, he started to make some phone calls.  In the meantime, David bounced back and forth between my room and the nursery.  You see, Hannah never left us.  Everything was done in our hospital room.  We heard horror stories about babies being taken to the nursery at Cape Fear for hours and neither of us wanted that.  That was all there was to it.  I met with the lactation consultant on Saturday.  When I told her about being able to nurse Riley in the recovery room, she was thrilled.  She said it's something the lactation consultants are trying to get the hospital to start doing.  

Looking back, the two days before I went to the hospital were rough.  I dreaded it.  I refused to tell anyone because I didn't want to admit that I had failed again.  Yet I still had two days to process it, which made it easier after Riley was born than my previous C-Section.  It took days for me to get over it, after Hannah was born.  This time, I find that I think about "my failure" very little.  All that matters is that Riley is here.  I've talked to David and if we do this a third time, I'll go into it believing I will have a third C-Section.  Not that I won't hold out as long as possible for a VBAC, but I'm beginning to think that a  VBAC is not in the cards for me and THAT"S OK!  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Riley's Story, Part I

Now that I've told Hannah's story, I can tell the world about Riley's entrance into the world.  I keep to myself about it, but now that it's over and Riley is here, I think it might do me some good to talk about her story.  Like my pregnancy with Hannah, this one was pretty easy.  I had no complications, and as far as pregnancy symptoms go, I had it pretty easy.  Fast forward to July 13th.  I had my 40 week appointment that day.  For two weeks I had been dilated to 1 cm and 50% effaced.  I had lost my plug 10 days prior. But I wasn't having contractions, so I was nervous about going to my doctors appointment that day, I knew my doctor was going to talk to me about a C-Section.  My doctor's office would let me go to 41 weeks before I was required to have another C-Section.  I could not be induced, because of the prior C-Section.  I had to go in to labor on my own before anything could be done to progress my labor.  I show up for my appointment and my doctor checks me.  Nothing had changed.  He starts to talk to me about a C-Section.  He told me that typically a C-Section appointment is made 2-3 weeks out, because the hospital fills up.  The doctor I had seen the prior visit just hadn't done that.  So he called the hospital and learned that the hospital was full every day for the next 10 days, except for one day when another doctor would have to do it.  My doctor was going to be out of the office the following week, which is why he would not be able to do it.  And the on-call doctor was the doctor I had a previously had horrible exam with.  I wrote about it here: bad doctor visit.  My doctor goes back and forth between my room and his office a few times, then tells me the hospital has an opening on Friday, the 15th.  This meant that he would be able to do the delivery.  Otherwise, I would have to wait two more weeks.  My thoughts felt so scrambled and I just wanted to feel sorry for myself and cry.  Naturally, this was the doctor's appointment that David ended up missing!  I asked if I could have an hour or two to think about it and headed outside to meet David, who was on his way.  And I cried.  A lot.  David and I went to a little cafe and talked about it all.  I didn't want to throw in the towel.  I wanted to go as long as my doctor would allow.  I wanted to be forced into a C-Section, not volunteer for it.  But it wasn't that simple, it never is!  First of all, my friend Pam was flying in on the 27th.  If I waited two weeks, I'd still be in the hospital when she flew in and I didn't want that.  Amy and Tom would have to go back to Illinois before I left the hospital, which meant I would be without their help.  And the bottom line was that I could wait two weeks, and still end up having a C-Section.  I told David I felt like I had to choose between being selfish and making the responsible decision.  I really wanted to be selfish, but deep down I knew I would make the responsible decision.  David and I walked back over to  my doctor's office and sat down to talk to my doctor.  I explained that I had really hoped to have a VBAC, and cried some more.  He told me that he had stripped my membranes earlier, and that if I wanted, I could come back tomorrow and he would do it again, in hopes that something would start to happen on it's own.  I felt really good that he was offering to go extra to help, to do what he could.  So David and I went home.  We prepped for a C-Section Friday morning.  I prayed.  Not for a VBAC, but for myself and understanding.  I remember calling Casey, my sister, to tell her.  I told her I just wanted to go home, feel sorry for myself and cry.  And she said "then do that."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hannah and Riley

Hannah is an awesome big sister.  She wants to be around Riley all the time.  Sometimes a little too much!  Since most of Riley's day consists of sleeping and eating, it is sometimes a problem.  You see, Hannah has woken Riley up.  The other day Hannah came to me and apologized for waking Riley up.  I told her it was ok, and asked if it was an accident.  Hannah proceeded to tell me that it was not an accident, she meant to wake Riley up because she wanted to give her a hug and a kiss.  Hannah is also rightthere every time I sit to feed Riley.  We're working on it though.  We talked about it and now Hannah asks if she can be near Riley when she's sleeping or eating instead of Hannah just doing it.  And I'm going to get better about making Riley available in the small times she's awake and happy.  Yesterday, they spent some time together on the floor mat.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hannah's Story, Part II

Sunday, April 30th, I was experiencing the same problem.  In the afternoon, David began talking to me about going back to the birthing center.  I resisted.  We had just been and they had said I wasn't in labor.  I didn't want to be "that parent."  You know, the one who shows up at the hospital many times, proclaiming to be in labor, only to find out they are not actually in labor.  It took him, my mother in law, and my very good friend Kelly, until 8 p.m. to convince me to go back to the birthing center.  We took nothing with us.  As we closed our drive in gates, my neighbor Tammy stepped out front and asked if everything was ok.  I brushed it off nonchalantly and said everything was fine.  At the birthing center, they tested the fluid and told me again that I was not in labor.  They brushed it off as normal, end of the pregnancy "leakage."  The nurse walked out of the room and David and I began to talk about how we just didn't think this was normal.  Then it happened right there, on the hospital paper I was laying on.  David pulled it up and took it to the nurse.  He held it up and said "this is not normal."  She agreed.  A more in depth exam was done.  It took mere seconds for them to determine it was amniotic fluid.  I started to cry.  David laughed at me, and asked why I was crying.   I remember telling him "I'm not ready."  My doctor, who is the best doctor, came in and explained that she was going to sit back and let me body do it's thing and take another look at my progress in the morning.

By the following night, I had not progressed.  This included 12 hours of pitocin.  So late Monday night, I agreed to an epidural.  I knew that it was going to be a long night and next day and that getting some rest was important.  The next day saw no changes.  Around noon, my temperature began to slowly rise.  Then Hannah's heart rate began to decelerate.  Around this time my doctor came in with the head OB, who examined me.  When they left I remember David looking at me and saying "I think they're handing off the football babe."  I just nodded my head and started to cry.   Hours later, a decision was made for me.  I had yet to progress to active labor, 4 centimeters dilated.  I remember crying, a lot.  I remember talking to my doctor about my ability to have a natural delivery the next time I got pregnant.  Hannah was born a little after 3 p.m. on Tuesday, at 37 weeks.  

Having a C-Section was a hard thing for me.  I felt like my body could not do what God had designed it to do.  Hard as I may have tried, I could not have had this baby without the intervention of doctors.  This made me so sad to think about.  I got over it though.  The more time I spent with Hannah, the less it mattered how she was born.  However, I vowed that I would have a VBAC the next time I got pregnant.  After having the C-Section, which is pretty uncomfortable, I knew I didn't want another one. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hannah's Story, Part I

There I was, thinking about Riley's story for the blog, when it occurred to me that nowhere was Hannah's story journalized.  So if for no other than reason than my own preservation, here is the story of how Hannah joined our family.  Some suspect that it may have started on a Tuesday, when David and I hiked a mountain.

52 Tunnels

From wikipedia: Strada delle 52 Gallerie, too Strada della 1st Prima Strada della Armata Armata and is today one of the best known and most visited Italian military roads of the First World War . It was built to the positions of the Alpini in the Pasubio in trench warfare in the southern Dolomites to supply.

Yes, I was trying to have her as quickly as possible.  My due date was May 12th, David was set to deploy May 21st.  The faster she was born, the more time he would get with her.  So we hiked a mountain.  I made it to tunnel 38 before snow, ice and the risk of falling became too high for me to comfortable.  I'm not so sure it began here, but because other people, to include David, think this was a contributing factor, I decided to add it to the story.  

I think it began sometime in during the night Friday/early Saturday morning.  The Friday following 52 Tunnels, David and I drove to Lido di Jesolo for the weekend.  While on the beach Saturday I began to leak, sorry there's no other way to put!  After it happened a few times, we decided to head back to Vicenza, just to be on the safe side.  I don't remember if we went straight to the birthing center or not.  I only know that we went sometime on Saturday.  The nurses checked everything out and sent me home, assuring me I was not in labor.  I was nervous, but tried to have faith in the 
nurses at the birthing center.