Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Limerick Chick Contest

It's time for The 6th Annual Limerick Chick Contest hosted by Lori Lavender Luz at Write Mind Open Heart.

This is the second year I'm competing and here's my entry:

If you're feeling lost in a foreign city
But don't want to drown yourself in self pity
Then go to your blog and say
"I'm very far away"
And turn chagrin into something charming and witty

If you want to enter yourself, you only have until tomorrow, February 29, 10 pm MST, to do so.

Voting starts on March 4th (please vote for me!)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Perfect Moment Monday - Kisses

I've been a bad blogger lately, even a worse commenter. Life has been taken up by baby, sleep (or lack thereof) and to-do lists getting longer. But I want to look into PAIL, keep being part of the Thoughtful Thursday Intelligentsia, get inspiration for a limerick to enter the Limerick Chick Contest before it's too late (only two days to go, jikes!), and of course continue my 2012 resolution of partaking in Perfect Moment Monday.

This weekend we drove to the mountains to meet up with a woman who was my BFF from kindergarten through elementary school. Then our lives took different turns and we last saw each other about 16 years ago. Last year we connected again through FB and when she said she would be 'only' 2.5 hr drive away for a short skiing holiday this weekend, we decided to meet up. It would also be a nice opportunity to give our toddler a bit fun in the snow.

That opportunity came on Sunday morning, when I put the toddler and myself on skis and did two runs on the baby lift with him. Of course there was hardly any control on his side - hanging in his mother's arms instead of standing on his feet, especially in the lift - but he did enjoy the speed. Then hubby took him for two runs on the sled, and then he'd had enough. I was ready for a break too as pulling toddler up while trying not to fall out of the lift is quite some work!

I picked my son up, asked if he had enjoyed it. He nodded and then showered me with kisses. A perfect moment, which made the whole trip worthwhile.

What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit Write Mind Open Heart and share your comment love.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Birth story

Sorry for the delay, but I finally have some quiet time to sit down and write this story while I’m vacationing at my SIL’s with the kids (while hubby is away for business) and their teenage daughters are entertaining our toddler while the baby is asleep. (I hope it's coherent, I haven't reread it yet...)

After about three days of lots and lots of (sometimes painful) BH contractions and losing my mucous plug, things seemed to getting serious in the early morning of Monday, January 23rd. I first thought they were still BH contractions, as I mainly felt them in my lower abdomen, but they did come in more regular intervals and seemed to be getting stronger too. The previous days the contractions were mainly there when I was lying in bed and would subside when I would get up and/or take two Spasfon tablets. This time however they remained strong, even after changing position, taking Spasfon, and taking a warm bath. I had been up since 4 am and around 5:30 am we decided that this was the real thing, and moved into gear to get the toddler off to the neighbors and ourselves to the hospital about an hour later. We arrived at the hospital just before 7:30 am, just in time for a shift change. We were greeted by a midwife and student midwife who checked how far along I was: 3 cm dilated. Not that far, but we were allowed to stay and brought into a pre-L&D room, where I was put on monitoring for the first hour and then left to ourselves. After a total of two hours they did another cervical check: 5 cm dilated – off to the L&D room.

I had told the midwife that I wanted to see how things were progressing whether or not to ask for an epidural. With the birth of our first son I had taken an epidural after about 20 hrs of labor, when things were not progressing as they should and I was completely exhausted. The first dose had worn almost off by the time I was fully dilated, so I was able to feel everything (or so I thought, but more on that later…) when it was time to push, and I’d like to have that same experience this time.

I was very lucky that it wasn’t a busy day at all and the midwife came to check on me very regularly. The first part of labor I’d been sitting on a big exercise ball, with my hands on the bed and was handling the contractions pretty well up until about 6 cm when they changed in intensity. Just when I was thinking ‘next time the midwife comes in, I will probably ask for the epidural’, she came in, proposed a different position (on all fours on the bed, with a smaller exercise ball to lean on), which was wonderful, so we continued the natural way. I was still laboring at a pace of about 1 cm per hour, not very fast (and I was certainly not getting the 5-6 hr labor as everyone was saying is pretty common for a second baby), but steady. Every time things were getting tough the midwife proposed something else and helped me through it. As I was having quite some back contractions she had also put some acupuncture needles in my back (I’m not really sure if they did anything, and in the end she took them out because I was lying on my back and they were bothering me) and showed my husband the pressure points on my lower back, so he was helping a lot too.

When I was about 8-9 cm dilated the contractions became quite unbearable, but I was not going for the epidural anymore, I had such a good team around me, and was still feeling in pretty good shape, so we were set for an all-natural birth! However the end was really, really tough, I won’t lie. I felt a slight urge to push and told the midwife so. She told me I could push, but somehow I didn’t really dare to, so she wondered if I really felt the urge, that we could also wait a little, but I just couldn’t bear breathing the contractions away anymore, I just wanted this baby to come out! They told me to pull my legs towards me, but at that point I didn’t have much strength left and would have preferred if I could have put my feet up against something/someone. It took quite a few pushes before the head came out – the first few I didn’t have enough strength to make them last long enough. The midwife made me feel the top of the baby’s head as encouragement, but I was just one ball of pain. At one point (when the head was crowning) it hurt so much I was screaming like in the movies and asking the midwife what the hell she was doing when she replied: “I’m not doing anything, it’s the head that’s coming out”. They urged me to keep pushing to get the shoulders out as well, but I just needed to take a break and gather my strength to push again. Apparently the cord was around the baby’s neck – hubby told me later the midwife removed it in one swift motion. Encouraged by hubby and the two midwives I did manage that final push that got the shoulders and then the rest of the body out. The midwife handed me a bit of a limp and bluish baby that didn’t cry much, but once on my chest everything was perfect. It was Monday, January 23rd, 2:54 pm, our second son (3640 g and 53 cm) was safely in my arms after 11 hours of labor.

Despite the feeling that I didn't push as well as I could have, the midwife was very impressed with the way I did it and wanted to know where I'd taken my birthing preparation classes, because she said it didn't happen very often that a woman was able to push while breathing out (and not blocking my breath, like I'd done with baby #1, which was very effective, but as the preparation midwife had told me, especially for a second baby, not so good for your body - with a chance of pushing other organs too much down).

The placenta and membranes came out OK as well and after that they had to stitch two minor tears, which was a bit uncomfortable as I think she didn’t wait quite long enough for the local anesthetic to take effect.

After about two hours we were wheeled to our room in the maternity ward, where we stayed until Thursday morning (standard procedure in France). The first few nights were a bit rough, since he was constantly demanding to be fed and the colostrum didn’t seem to satisfy him, so we complemented two or three times with a little bit of formula. Once my milk came in this problem was over (not that he didn’t demand to be fed anymore) and in the first week he gained about 600 g and the second week another 500 g.

In the hospital
We’re adjusting pretty well to a life as a family of four. Our toddler is very sweet with the baby but also needs his fair share of attention, which he sometimes demands by throwing tantrums or being otherwise disobedient, which is all pretty normal I guess.