Saturday, May 24, 2008

Finally!

OK, so it's been a while, so I figure I should get on this and update before I let it go for another week feeling guilty. We've kept ourselves fairly busy in the interim, so let's get straight into it. I thought you might like this little vid of Steven enjoying his little rocking horse.

video

We haven't really posted much of anything since Matthew's birth, but we have had quite a bit going on. One of the biggest was B's family gathering for her Mom's, um, well, her 32nd birthday! ;-) All 4 of her kids were there, their spouses and children, and a good selection of cousins and other relatives as well. They stayed the whole weekend and we had lots of good times to chat and play, and I was once again reminded of the many ways I am not really culturally an American (the story of how we collected honey from an in-use casket when I was a kid always gets such a weird reaction here!).

It really was a good time, and we managed to get our cameras out for the gathering, so I'll just walk you through the festivities bit by bit. First, though, a picture of Steven playing with his friend Noah at a recent visit to his house (well, his grandparents' house, but close enough).

The weather here has been as close to perfect as imaginable for the past few weeks, so we decided to take a family trip to a local park one day while everyone was here. Here, Katy (I hope I spelled that right) takes Steven down the slide. The slides here are a bit higher and it seemed to scare him at first, but after a while he liked it.

B's cousin Tara also had a baby recently - exactly 26 hours after Matthew, as it turned out, and here's a picture of her with baby Natalie at the park.

Matthew was also able to meet his great-grandmother for the first time, which was nice:

The nice weather continued the whole time everyone was here, and the kids really enjoyed their time outdoors. Here Steven enjoys a wagon ride with his two cousins, pulled by B's cousin's husband Wes.

One of the most interesting events of the weekend was the "Un-Talent Show." Each one of us arranged to do something, centered around the guest of honor, to display our lack of talents. Here, Janice's sister Patti pretended to be a boisterous and rather garish "character," who came bearing some lovely clothing for the birthday girl so she could be as stylish as she. I wish I could show you the video, but I've been sworn to a non-disclosure agreement on that particular part of the act.

Anyway, I don't have time or energy to get into the various acts, but had to include this picture of Wes rocking a pastel blue wool scarf. Work it, sir, if I may be so bold!

Of course, my (J's) family are here in town as well. It's been fun to see my parents interacting with their grandsons and refresh my memory of some things about my childhood I had forgotten. One of those things was my mother's creativity. She spotted a large box that no one was using, and turned it into a sort of fort for Steven, who loves it!

Since I haven't posted in so long, I'm trying to make up for lost time by making this an extra-long post. Hope it doesn't feel like just filler, but I know some of you will like this video. It's funny to see kid's develop and grow in their understanding of the world, but I don't think Steven totally understands what a chair is really for yet:


OK, so that should about do it. Tomorrow morning I'm heading out to the mountains for a camping/hiking trip with B's dad and sister. I'll try to take some photos of what promises to be a fun weekend for next post. For now, I'll leave you with a picture I like - Daddy just enjoying being around his new little boy.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Warning: Details Below (The B Perspective)

Note: This is for the more detailed-oriented audience who are interested in knowing more of what happened at the delivery of our son Matthew (by now I have probably lost about 90% of the male readers) from the perspective of the one who did all the work! Let me first say both Matthew and I are recovering well. Matthew is back up to his birth weight of 8 lbs 5 oz. My staples are out and I can actually walk around now but still am quite slow because of the pain. They say it I will have pain for another few weeks. Yea!

I also have to take more rest breaks during the day since Matthew seems to think nights are when you are suppose to eat most often (about every 2-3 hours at night compared to every 3-4 hours during the day). Anyway, we are adjusting well thanks to all the support and help given to us by our friends and family (thanks y'all).

Well, enough babbling about the present and let me take you back to April 28, 2008. I was scheduled to be induced that day as the doctor thought the baby might be around 9-10 lbs and didn't want him growing any bigger. Since I didn't mind being induced, we went ahead with the plan. We checked in around 5:30am and I started labor around 7:00am. At this point Matthew had not dropped yet into position to be ready for birth. The medicine they gave me (Pitocin) basically jumpstarts labor but it is hard to adjust it because it is different for every woman. As with Steven (I was given this same medication with Steven as well), they were having a hard time getting my contractions regular. Then about 1:30pm I decided to get an epidural (which turned out to be a blessing in disguise).

The labor was not bad but I had torn my groin muscles the previous night and it was very painful . Anyway, the labor continued and I felt great once the epidural kicked in. Then around 2:00pm the nurse came in a told us that the baby's heart rate didn't look so good. She tried to turn me into different positions which worked only briefly. They turned the Pitocin down to see if that helped. Although Matthew's heart rate was doing better my contractions had stopped so they tried again to start me on a low dose of Pitocin. However, as soon as the contractions started again, Matthew's heart rate started dropping. Not only this, he still had not dropped.

This went on for a few hours until the doctor came in around 5:00pm to check me (see above - a wonderful doctor; not a very formal sense of dress :). Although I was at 10 cm dilated Matthew was not dropping and was now showing signs of distress. He suggested that a C-section was looking more and more likely if Matthew's heart rate didn't improve. It was about 20 minutes later when the doctor and whole team came rushing in and told me I needed an emergency C-section as Matthew's heart rate was dangerously low and not coming back up. Within 10 minutes they had me in the OR prepping me for the surgery.

They did not put me all the way under but gave me enough drugs to make me feel like I was dreaming. As they were doing this J was putting on his garments. It turned out to be a good thing that I already had the epidural, since that sped the process up quite a bit. By the time J came into the room, they were already opening me up. A few minutes later Matthew came into this world screaming. They found two problems that were causing Matthew's heart rate to drop. The first was the cord was wrapped around his neck three times and was very tight. If he had dropped into the birth canal, he might have strangled to death. The second problem was that his head was turned in such a way that he would not fit into the birth canal (thankfully). Matthew checked out to be a very healthy baby.

Headed Home!

And so here we are, healthy and well. Thank you for all of your thoughts! We're actually adjusting to life with two kids OK, but it is a bigger adjustment than both of us thought, I think. So far we've had it fairly easy, since we took the first week after the delivery off from our lessons and just sort of recovered for a while. Now, however, we're getting back into our routine of classes and studying, which is proving a challenge with the new addition and with my limitations. We'll post more on our adventures with the two kids in the days to come, but I'll just leave you with a picture of the newcomer with his paternal grandmother.