Sunday, December 06, 2009

Answers to Questions

A couple of people posted questions in the comments section of the last post, and I never know what to do about that. . .should I answer them in the comments? Will they check back?

So I'll answer them here.

Question 1: Is my midwife a guy?

Yes. His name is Pete. This caused a few double-takes on John's part, because we have a brother-in-law named Pete. It would throw him for a second when he came home from work and I'd tell him that Pete said my cervix was such-and-such. Pete is a great midwife though, very hands-off and not at all into interventions. I had to ask for my water to be broken, and scheduling the induction (that never happened) was my idea.

I did joke that ONCE AGAIN I had a healthcare provider who has never given birth - neither the female midwife who delivered Trea nor the female OB resident who delivered Adia had had children. And, since I had a male L & D nurse with Trea, and the nurse who assisted at Adia's birth did not have children, I was the only one in the room who had given birth. It irritated me a bit when they said, "You can do this!" I wanted to ask them how the &!#&! they would know, having never done it themselves! (I asked my L & D nurse this time around if she had kids, and she has one, and then I explained that at my first couple of births no one else did, and how I felt about it - and of course Pete chose that moment to grin and say, "You can do this!" I shot him the Look of Death.)

I originally had a female midwife, but she moved her practice to Park City about three months ago. She wanted me to follow her there. Ha! She was great and all, but are you kidding me? I'm not driving to Park City once a week for a month, and I'm DEFINITELY not driving to Park City while in labor - I HATE doing contractions in the car, you can't move around at all. Besides, as things turned out, if I'd had to drive another half an hour we would have really been cutting it close.

Question 2: What is SPD?

SPD is Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. Basically, the body produces too much relaxin, and the hip joints start to separate. It hurts. A lot. Rolling over in bed was excrutiating, worse than all but the hardest contractions. Towards the end of my pregnancy, John would wince when I rolled over at night - because he could hear my hips grind and pop! Fortunately it has gotten a little bettter every day, and should be gone in the next month or so. It was one of the reasons I was considering the induction - it was painful to walk, to lay down, to get up, to roll over. I couldn't sleep at all, and I was just getting to the point where I wondered if I was even going to be able to cope with labor. . .SO GLAD that pregnancy is over!

Dylan is cute, though.

Monday, November 30, 2009

He's here!

And he's now a week old, almost to the minute, as I post this.

I know it's pathetic that it's taken me this long to post, but I wanted to post a picture with it, and at first we didn't have access to a computer, then we'd forgotten the cable to connect the digital camera to the computer, then we left the camera at my in-laws' house. . .basically we're really unorganized.

Anyhow. This is a birth post, so skip it if you're squeamish or just bored by the details.

On Monday, Nov. 23, I went in for my last midwife appointment. I was four centimeters dilated, so I asked to have my membranes stripped. And, even though I am scared to death of being induced, we tentatively scheduled an induction for the next day. Even though the schedule was super busy - lots of women trying to have babies before the holiday - I had priority because I was a "medical" induction, being "sooo late" and all that. I wasn't even two weeks past my due date! They really would have flipped with Adia. . .

We went home, called John's dad, and asked him if he and Lorraine could take the girls for a few days. Luckily one of them was off work for each of the days we needed (my in-laws are both of retirement age, but continue to work because they get bored easily). We sent the girls off to Orem about 5 ish. Then we hung out and waited. I was having irregular, painless contractions off and on. Active labor kicked in at 10 pm, when I hopped on the treadmill for 10 minutes. I went upstairs and told John I was pretty sure I was in labor, and I was going to take a shower. I got in the shower at 10:20, and when I got out at 10:40 I told John to get ready to go. We left for the hospital at 11 and arrived at 11:30. At that time of night, security has to buzz you in. I walked in and the security guard greeted me and asked me where I was headed. I smiled and said "Guess!" He just laughed.

I get back to L & D, and start checking in when the receptionist recognizes my name. "But. . .you're on the schedule for tomorrow!" she says. Um, ok, but I'm in labor NOW. I explain that I had my membranes stripped and it worked, apparently. She comments that she "doesn't know WHY they do that, it hurts." And possibly having an induction with Pitocin would feel better than the 20 seconds it took to have my membranes stripped? Whatever.

So, I get a room, get changed into a gown, and the nurse checks me. I'm almost 8 centimeters. Good, I think, I'm probably in transition (I'm shaky and nauseated) or pretty close to it. They call my midwife and tell him to come in. For the next 45 minutes, I sit in a rocking chair trying to breath through contractions and occasionally throwing out smart aleck remarks (I distinctly remember asking my midwife if he knew any good urologists. He said yes, did I need one? I jerked my head towards John and said "HE needs a vasectomy!" My midwife calmly says,"Would you like to do that now?")

At some point a guy comes in and starts talking about a blood draw. I was having HARD contractions 3 minutes apart, and this guy wants to draw MY blood? I believe my exact words were, "No FREAKING way!" I must have said it rather, um, emphatically, because John later told me that the guy and the two ladies behind him (no idea what they were doing) all stopped short and backed out of the room. Seriously, I realize there's hospital policy and all but that was NOT a good time.

At 12:15 I decide I am really tired of the hard contractions, and discouraged because I don't feel like pushing at all. So I ask the midwife to break my water. He checks me, and I'm almost 9 centimeters. Then he breaks my water. He mentions that I could probably push if I want to, and I say no. The nurse tries to encourage me to push, and I tell her no. Then another contraction hits, and suddenly I'm thinking maybe I DO want to push. John helped me get into a kneeling/hands and knees position, and within a few minutes I'm really feeling like I need to push. Baby was born at 12:40 am, less than three hours after my first "real" contractions and about 15 minutes after I first started pushing. I had one small tear that needed a couple of stitches but nothing else. The placenta, interestly enough, did not look at all post-dates; according the midwife it was a very healthy placenta.

Dylan Xavier was 8 lbs, 4 oz, and 21.5 inches long. He came out protesting loudly, but is really a sweet baby. Trea and Adia LOVE him (for now. . .wait until the novelty wears off). He has nursed really well from the beginning.

I still have some symptoms from the SPD I had during pregnancy, but other than that I feel fine. I still say I would repeat any of the three labors multiple times if I could just skip the first half of the pregnancy.

I am so glad Dylan is HERE, and so glad not to be pregnant anymore!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Don't get all excited

I haven't had the baby boy yet.

But, five years ago today, I gave birth to Trea. And I just want to say, she still amazes me. She's so smart, and fun, and observant, and headstrong. She made me sick as a dog for months on end and put me through 12.5 hours of labor, but she was so totally worth it.

Happy Birthday Trea!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Happy Birthday to my sister Erin!

Today is also the birthday of Edina, a lady who lives in our apartment complex and attends our congregation. She's 102 today. She's one of those people who makes getting old seem completely doable - she's still independent and able to drive, she goes dancing, she's sharp mentally. She jokes that she robbed the cradle when she married her current husband - he's her fourth or fifth (she was widowed each time, no divorces) and still in his 90s.

Funny story about her - she was single when we lived here before going to Thailand, then when we moved back I noticed she was always with this guy. So I asked a friend for the scoop. Apparently they met, dated, and got married in very short order (like a few months). When they announced their engagement, their children (who are all in their 60s and 70s) expressed some concern over the rushed timeline. Edina's response? "We don't have time to waste!"

And really, at that age, if you like being around him, what's the big deal? It's not like you need to worry about his ability to provide, or his parenting philosophy, or how great the chemistry is. If he's good company and does his share of the dishes, you're good.

So happy birthday to Edina too!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

BYU Wins!

Did you see that game??? Who would have guessed. . .the funniest part was right after the game ended, when one of the announcers, in mild shock, said, "Gosh. . .or whatever they say in Provo."

The phrase you are looking for is "Oh my heck!"

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

It's okay, tell me what you REALLY think. . .

A couple weeks ago, we went out to dinner with Ashely and Erin and their families. I decided to put a little effort into my appearance for the occasion. I flat-ironed my hair, put on makeup, my best maternity shirt, the whole bit. . .

Trea watched all this preparation with great interest, then looked up with wide eyes and said, "Wow, Mommy, you look almost pretty!"

I'll take what I can get.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I haven't really dropped off the face of the earth. . .

I have been a really bad blogger. So let me hit some important points really quick:

1. We are having a boy. The doctor who did the ultrasound said he looked "perfect." I was very happy to hear that; I didn't really have any concrete reason to worry, but I was not taking vitamins or eating especially healthy when I conceived this kid, so it was nice that he managed to develop anyway. I'm only throwing up every two-three weeks now, too!

2. John's job is going well. I can't remember if I mentioned it, but he was assigned to be the eco-care person in his office a while back; it's his job to coordinate/spearhead environmental awareness and iniatives in his office. He has become just a tad obsessive. I used to be the one harping on recycling and whatnot, now he is bringing home trash from family gatherings to make sure it gets recycled. He can't wait to have a house with a yard so he can compost and garden.

3. Speaking of which. . .we may be homeowners by this time next month. It all depends on the whims of the probate court in Utah, the efficiency of the sellers and sellers' agent involved, and whether Saturn aligns with Mars. I'll keep you updated.

We have had a restful but unexciting summer. That's mostly my fault, because I just haven't felt like dealing with heat or travel or anything else requiring a lot of energy. That's all right though, we'll make up for it next summer.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I am tired of. . .

  • being exhausted all the time, and having zero energy
  • evaluating every food on 1) the likelihood it will make me gag 2) how bad it will be coming up
  • feeling like a load of laundry is a monumental task
  • the abdominal pain that feels nearly constant
  • telling my kids "sorry, not today" when they want to play outside
  • feeling like everything - the house, my calling at church, my job, my kids - gets less of me than they need

Basically, I'm tired of being pregnant. It'll pass . . . in about six months.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Remember the last time. . .

I took a really long break from blogging? Back when I was first pregnant with Adia?

Remember what I said in my last post? (Go ahead, scroll down and cheat. . .second paragraph of the post before this one.)


Due November 13th. Trea is convinced of three things: I'm having twins, they are boys, and we should name them Jacob and . . . Tarzan.

Friday, March 06, 2009

If I spent half the time posting as I do reading. . .

I'd blog a WHOLE lot more.

I've been sick. The kids have been sick. We were supposed to go to North Carolina this week, but Trea managed to catch the flu (and distinguish herself as the first patient the doctor had seen, who managed to get the A strain of influenza despite receiving a flu vaccine). We cancelled the trip, and I'm relieved because they would have been miserable. Might as well be miserable at home.

Work has been crazy, not because of the actual work, but because our office is apparently cursed. My boss and one of my co-workers have both been diagnosed with serious medical conditions - one curable, the other chronic but treatable. I'm afraid I'm going to develop a brain tumor, or get pregnant or something. (I think I'd rather have the brain tumor, frankly; being pregnant with Adia was the most miserable experience of my life. The tumor can be cut out, usually, and no one expects me to be happy about having it.)

Sorry, I'm in a bad mood. I shouldn't post when I'm in a bad mood. Writing the above is a guaranteed to result in my being pregnant and feeling guilty about what I wrote. Watch and see.

Ok, good news . . . well, I've gotten good news from family members but it's theirs to announce, not mine.

Ah, I know! Silvia. Silvia is the student I posted about a few months ago, whose husband had been deported. She has been desperately holding her family together, providing childcare to five small children to pay the bills, caring for her two school-aged children, and coming to class twice a week. She downloaded all the questions on to MP3 player, and listened to it every chance she got. She carried flashcards around with her. She basically lived and breathed the test 24/7.

On Feb. 20, she took her citizenship test - wearing a locket engraved with her husband's name and their wedding date - and she PASSED!

I got to go with her, and watch, and she didn't miss a question. She totally rocked it. She had studied SO incredibly hard. I was so proud of her. I didn't dare even congratulate her in the test, because the examiner had made me swear to be quiet, but once we left the test she gave me a huge, long hug. She was shaking, she'd been so nervous. It's incredibly good news for her family though - now she can apply to sponsor her husband. She can get her family back in one piece. Her sons were so thrilled and proud of her - they made her promise to come to school and tell them. She walked into the classroom, and her son shot her the "Well?" look; she nodded, and he went said "Really?" "Yes."

"TEACHER! TEACHER! My mama passed her test! She is a citizen!"

Yes, she is. And she totally earned it.

So, one more thing, to end on a funny note. Trea was watching Star Wars III with John the other day. As John has noted, watching dramatic movies with a four-year-old instantly transforms them into comedies. Unintentional humor, to be sure, but humor nonetheless. So, they're watching a light saber battle, and Trea says, "I need one of those, so I can fight the bad guys."

Um, ok.

Then, she's watching Jedi knights, and observes to John, "I think it's Halloween there."

Finally, during the last scene of the movie, when the Jedis are dropping off Luke Skywalker with his aunt and uncle in the desert, she gets all excited and tells John, "Look, she's pretending to be Mary and he's pretending to be Joseph!"

They do look a lot like a nativity scene, you know.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Book Review

I've never done a book review on my blog before; that may be because, even though I LOVE to read, I rarely have time to read much these days. But, this one is worth it. It's The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language by John Mcwhorter, and it's awesome. Like languages? Looking for a little intellectual stimulation? (Amy, I'm smiling at you here!) This is your book. The author is amazing, I wish I knew half what he does about language and how it works, and he uses all these cool obscure languages as examples of how gender works and what classifiers do. It's taken me a long time to read it (I keep having to re-read things to follow) but that doesn't mean it would be as hard for someone more intelligent or less sleep deprived. Totally worth the effort though. I'm not even done and already I'm endorsing it!

For you non-language geeks. . .um, I got nothing for ya. Maybe next month?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Stuff and more stuff

Have you seen The Story of Stuff? If not, it's worth the 20 minutes. It's a little preachy at times (I don't buy into the whole "the GOVERNMENT is supposed to protect us! It's not our fault we were deceived! thing), but also very thought provoking.

Warning: it may completely ruin Wal-mart for you forever. I haven't set foot in Wal-mart since I watched it two months ago.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Proof the new Naturalization test is too hard

Last week, one of my tutors was out sick. Happens all the time, sometimes I combine groups and sometimes I can get a sub. This group, though, is studying for the citizenship test, and one of the students has a test date next month so I really wanted her to have all the instructional time she could possibly have. As luck would have it, several of my students weren't able to come and that freed up one of my other tutors. Dan just happens to be a professor of political science. Could you ask for a more perfect tutor for a citizenship group? I think not.

Only he didn't know all the answers to the questions. He guessed wrong on more than one.

So. . .how many of you could pass the U.S. citizenship test? Here are some questions students have to know:

What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?
How many amendments does the Constitution have?
What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
What is the economic system in the United States?
What is the rule of law?
Who is one of your state's U.S. Senators now?
The House of Representatives has how many voting members?
Name your U.S. representative.
What does the President's Cabinet do?
Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?
What is one power of the federal government?
What is one power of the states?
Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
Name three of the 13 original states.
When was the Constitution written?
Name one writer of the Federalist Papers.
Who was President during World War I?
Name one state that borders Canada.
Name one state that borders Mexico.

Ok, so it's really not THAT hard. There's 100 questions to study, they are asked ten of them, they have to get six right. There's also a reading and writing test, and they have to speak English well enough to answer all the questions posed to them about their family, personal and work history, etc. (and that can get very complicated if you're a refugee and have no idea where members of your family are, or if they're even alive, and have been bounced around several different countries).

Still, I think some of these are a bit nitpicky. So tell me, how many can you answer - without Googling?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

You might live in Utah if. . .

You go to your company's (or, in my case, my spouse's company's) rather posh Christmas party, held in a venue with a beautiful view, and the open bar runs out of . . . . Sprite.