Friday, August 28, 2009

Hazelnut cinnamon coffee + apple cinnamon bagel= Enough morning inspiration for a blog post! Lucky you...

There you have it! So I have some more to write about Charlotte's birth, but I'm not up to it at the moment. But in the spirit of breaking my obsessive-compulsiveness about blogging (ie wanting a Perfectly Organized Comprehensive Blog with Pictures and Everything...), I'm writing this little post just for you and just for me, just so I can be WRITING. I really miss writing in here.

Now that I'm here, what shall I tell you about?

I have tutor training in a few minutes! ONLINE tutor training for ONLINE tutoring! Hurrah! I will not be a scaredy-cat, and I will learn how to use the electronic tablet and the headset to tutor the children! Yay! I will work Sunday and Thursday nights, 8-10 pm. I am excited! I need to come up with some things for Nate and Madelaine to do during that time...

Speaking of Madelaine: I have a confession to make: I let her watch too much TV. WAY too much TV. I am not opposed to kids watching some TV, but the key is, IN MODERATION, yes? We're missing the moderation part. I just have trouble, you know, with the small one wanting to be held all the time (yes, even when she sleeps), and then the Constant Nursing, and then the Daily Tasks of life like getting dressed and eating food and unloading the dishwasher and changing diapers. It is so easy to just turn on the TV when I know there's a PBS show that will keep her glued to the screen... to get a break from the constant barrage of requests to nurse and various trouble-seeking enterprises she pursues. In my mind I think I should be this Supermom that has craft projects planned on a regular basis and is always ready to engage in Creative, Interactive Play... but somehow on a daily basis it doesn't happen much? It's easier to sit here and drink coffee and read random things on the internet. Sigh...

Let's end on a happier note! Uh... Charlotte is waking up now and starting to fuss. I don't know what else to say at the moment. But I think my two beautiful children are Happy Notes. So think of them! And click on the link to see all our Photobucket pictures...


Thursday, August 20, 2009

*Charlotte's Birth Story, Part 3*

Baby steps, people! Baby steps!

So the next phase of labor, when the epidural had me pain-free and I was just hanging out and dilating, was the Golden Phase of labor. Nate and I just got to chat and enjoy each other's company, and everything was very calm and peaceful. Around 11:30 my OB checked my progress (painless! epidural!) and I was fully dilated! Woo-hoo!

So here's a little more explanation... with Maddy, I was totally numb, and not long after I was fully dilated the nurses coached me on pushing, and I pushed her out in 11 minutes. I also had a pretty bad tear (3rd degree), which wasn't hard to recover from in the short-term, but left me with some problems in the long term. So I did a lot of research before this labor, and decided that I wanted to try a few things differently to prevent tearing. This time around, I put in my birth plan that I wanted to wait to push after I was fully dilated until I felt pressure- even with an epidural, the force of contractions will continue to push the baby down, and sometimes you can feel pressure even when you're too numb to feel pain. So I wanted to not have coached pushing- just push when I felt the urge- and try pushing in some position where gravity could help, like hands and knees, or squatting... these are things that help prevent the tearing. Ask Dr. Google, she'll tell you all about it...

Okay, I have GOT to stop beginning every paragraph with "so."


Around 12:30 my mom got there, and Nate's mom showed up at some point too (I have no idea when!) and our assorted siblings and fathers hung out in the waiting room and took care of Madelaine. I asked one of the nurses (Lindsay! My hero!) if I could try different positions, and she said "what did you have in mind?" and I said anything more upright, so that gravity would help. Hospitals tend to be REALLY cautious when you have an epidural, since they don't want you to fall out of bed or something, but Lindsay was super cool and helped me get into a kneeling position, where I could lean on the upper part of the bed. So I stayed like that for awhile, even though it wasn't super comfortable, but it didn't seem to help much in terms of getting the baby's head to descend. At that point I started to get more uncomfortable, and the Golden Phase of labor began to come to a close...

So*, pressure. I was feeling pressure. And the pressure got more uncomfortable. So I decided to push the epidural button again for more medicine- I hadn't pushed the button since 10 am, and it was now maybe 1:30? Repeat dry heaving, only this time I actually threw up a little bit. Then the nurses said that I needed to get out of hands and knees position, because the baby's heart rate monitor kept slipping and they would lose the signal. So I tried lying on my side. I had been doing little wimpy pushes occasionally for awhile, when I felt pressure, but I certainly hadn't felt like I HAD to push yet... but now I started kind of pushing for real, while Nate held my leg. The pressure! It was VERY UNCOMFORTABLE! And the button-pushing! Was not helping! Hadn't my friend warned me about this?!?

Eventually the OB came in, (oh I forgot to mention- I actually agreed to let her break my water earlier, to try to move things along, once I was fully dilated and it was clear the baby would be here soon anyway- ) and the nurses said the monitor was still slipping (and also the baby's heart rate was dropping a bit?) so they wanted me to lie on my back? So I ended up on my back with my feet supported. Sigh...

And then I pushed the baby out. I was pretty vocal... Charlotte was born at 2:31. And she was beautiful. :-)

*I said I would stop, didn't I? Didn't I?? Oh, the addiction of the so. So!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Charlotte's Birth Story, Part 2!

Look! Posting on Consecutive Days!

So we got to the hospital a little before 8. We went in through the emergency room (in case the other doors were closed) and a cheerful lady at the front desk offered us a copy of the newspaper. The Sunday paper! With comics! More about that later... And then a nice elderly gentleman (I think the lady and gentleman were both Volunteers) took me upstairs in a wheelchair, because I didn't feel like walking to the fourth floor with THE CONTRACTIONS.

So, change into hospital gown, urine sample, IV, paperwork blah blah blah... Nate helped answer questions and fill out some of the paperwork, which was great, since I was focused on THE CONTRACTIONS at that point, my stars, THE CONTRACTIONS, someone page the anesthesiologist RIGHT NOW PLEASE. The nursing staff were very efficient really, and after "checking to see" (oh PLEASE let's only do that once, pre-epidural, THANK YOU...) and determining that I was already 5 cm dilated, the nice epidural man (wearing jeans? whatever. He had The Drugs. He could have been wearing a polyester leisure suit with Ugg Boots, for all I cared...) came and did his epidural thing. I think that was 9:30, so really no complaints! And I was excited I was at 5 cm so quickly, because at my last appointment on Friday I actually agreed that they could "check to see" (big mistake! won't do that again! AAUUGGHH!!) and he said I really wasn't dilated at all.

Now, here's where I have to Explain a little to you. I have a friend from church who also had her baby at Mount Nittany, and she said that they had given her the kind of epidural that's patient-controlled... you push the button when you need more medicine. She said it was fine until the end, when it was wearing off and she was pushing the button and it WASN'T HELPING... So I had a little chat with Mr. Epidural Guy- he said both the regular kind and the patient-controlled kind were available and left it up to me which to get. I asked him if the patient-controlled kind could deliver the same amount of medicine as the regular kind, and he said yes, and I thought, if that's the case, I might as well do the patient-controlled thing, right? (do you sense the foreshadowing???)

So with Maddy, I didn't have any side effects with the epidural. This time around, as soon as the medicine went in I started dry heaving. But that only lasted a couple of minutes (thank goodness!) I also had this weird sensation of itching all over... so I kept rubbing my face. That lasted pretty much the whole time. But while these things were annoying, they were NOTHING compared to the pain of contractions... oh I should also mention that I had heartburn that ranged from mild to bad the whole time I was in labor, because before we left for the hospital I insisted on drinking a large cup of coffee and eating most of a bagel. I think it was probably the coffee that did it... at least I was properly caffeinated!

*The End! Tune in tomorrow for Part 3!*

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wow! I still Exist! Also? I have TWO children now...

Hello, amazingly loyal family and friends!!

It seems REALLY hard to start back after being away for so long.

You know what it is, don't you? Overwhelmment. (Yes, it's a word, blogger! Because I Say So.) Too many stories, too many pictures, way too much to write in too little time. Even now that I've actually opened this window and started typing, I'm struggling with where to start...?

How about this: I had another baby, on August 2nd, and her name is Charlotte Roseanna Wentzel and she's beautiful!

And I love both my children dearly. And I have the Ups and Downs of adjusting to life with two children... Sunday morning was a high point, followed by a low point Sunday afternoon (Nap Fail!), followed by a Hard Day on Monday, followed by a Pretty Good Day today... you get the idea. The Hard Days tend to be characterized by lack of sleep and Toddler Behavior Issues (which are really Parent Response Issues... she's just being a normal toddler, and I need to get my act together as her mother.) The good days are quite joyful... Sunday morning I was particularly Happy about life. Really, quite drowning in joy. It was nice. And I'm sure it will come back (once I've had enough sleep to think straight again...)

Alright, well how about this... do you want to hear Charlotte's Birth Story?

*Charlotte's Birth Story*
(Part 1)
So there I was, 40 weeks and one day pregnant. OVERDUE. Which of course is not at all unusual, but since Maddy was almost 4 weeks early, a little unexpected. I was really feeling pretty okay with it- in the final weeks of pregnancy, I felt like I'd sort of gotten used to being huge and achy and so forth. I *was* rather dreading my OB(s) starting to talk about induction, but other than that I was pretty chill.

On my due date (Aug. 1st) I went to bed and couldn't sleep until sometime after 3 in the morning, because the baby was moving a lot and I was having pretty annoying contractions. (Sometimes in late pregnancy I couldn't distinguish between her movements and contractions... which sounds weird, but it's true!) I really wondered if I was going into labor, but didn't get too excited because I'd been having lots of contractions for weeks and they always fizzled out eventually. If fact I felt pretty cranky about the prospect of being in labor because I was SO tired and just wanted to sleep... I felt like I couldn't face the idea of getting up and going to the hospital and, you know, GIVING BIRTH and everything. So I was glad to finally fall asleep, and sure enough in the morning, when I woke up at 6, nothing was going on, so I thought "false alarm, just like every other night..."

BUT THEN (you totally dig my flair for the dramatic, don't you?!?):

At 6:10 I got hit with a really strong, really painful contraction... a LABOR contraction! And a few minutes later, another! And another! It only took a few for me to be pretty sure I was in labor. But I knew I should time them for awhile to make sure they continued, so I got up and got on Skype and talked to my brother for a bit, and then woke up Nate and eventually called my parents and my doctor's office (the OB on call actually called me back IN PERSON. This surprised me greatly!) Adrienne was staying with us then, so she stayed with Madelaine when we left. By the time we got in the car I was pretty uncomfortable, but of course excited to meet my daughter!

*I AM SLEEPY. Going to bed now... must maximize sleep opportunities! Sleep while the children sleep! Part 2 later!*

Love, Neb