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Friday, November 7, 2014

Bucky's Birth Story

After carrying my first baby 41w and 6d, and having to be induced, I was determined that this one would be different. I went back and forth between wanting to try “natural induction” methods and wanting to let my body do its thing. I was convinced this baby was going to come early and eagerly awaited going into labor. However, I again made it 41w and 6d.
On the morning of October 2, 2014, I went to my doctor to get checked and receive instructions on coming in to be induced. The night before I had been having a few stronger contractions (definitely different than the Braxton Hicks I had been having for months). I told Simon that I was sure they had been working for me and that I would be more dilated than before. Sure enough, that morning, I was finally dilated to a 3 (I had been between a 1 and a 2 for about 3 weeks). Because of this, my doctor said we could wait until the following morning to start the induction. He was confident my body would respond easily to the medication (unlike with my first, where my body fought going into labor). At least a couple times, I jokingly added…”unless I go into labor today”.
After going to the chiropractor, we went home to get ready to have a baby the next day. However, by about noon, I realized I was having semi-regular contractions. They were starting to be strong enough that I was having to stop what I was doing and take a second to breathe. By 1:30, I had begun tracking them on my phone. They were still 10-15 minutes apart, so I figured it would be a while before it really got exciting. Emma and I hung out while Simon worked. I tried to think about getting things ready for the following morning.
The contractions kept coming pretty regularly, and I kept tracking them. I noticed that the time between was getting smaller, but still figured I had a while to go. Just before 3, Simon agreed to take Emma to the park after dropping off some items to a friend in the neighborhood. However, just as they were about to leave, the sky got dark and it began to rain. They changed the plan and headed out for the library. After dropping off the items, Simon decided it was too crazy to go to the library (wind, rain, hail) and decided to come home. While driving past our street, he noticed that we had lost two large pieces of our trees, one of them nearly blocking the entire street.
So, about 3:30, with labor in full swing, Emma became my responsibility again and Simon went to work cleaning up our mess. A friend from church and another friend’s husband came to help Simon. Amy showed up (in record time) and whisked Emma away. I was grateful to be able to focus on the contractions, coming even closer together now. They were serious but not at all unbearable. Rachel came about 5:30 (I guess I had called her at some point….LOL). She was helping me pack my last minute things so we could leave for the hospital shortly. I had her call Simon in the house:
Me: I think we’re getting close.
Simon: Ok. Keep me posted on what you need.
Me: This is me keeping you posted. What else do you need to do?
Simon: I need to climb on the roof and put up a tarp.
Me: Ok, that’s the last thing you can do. Then you need to take a shower so we can go to the hospital.
During this time, I moved back and forth from the bed to the toilet. It was not at all comfortable to labor on the toilet, but I wasn’t worried about trying to relax and going to the bathroom on myself. By the time Simon made it inside, things were getting pretty serious. My biggest concern was feeling like I needed to push. With my first labor, the urge to push came too early, I got stuck at a 6, and every time I pushed, my cervix closed, instead of opened. I knew the dangers of pushing too soon and used all my skills/strength/power/concentration to keep from pushing. Even with all of that, I was scared. I did “horse lips” all the way to the hospital, trying to not push.
When we arrived at the hospital, my doula met us outside and pushed me up to labor and delivery. When we got there, we found out they didn’t have any clean rooms to put me in. So, there I sat- in the hallway, doing horse lips, trying to not push. I needed to know how dilated I was. If the same situation was happening again, I needed DRUGS!! They decided to put us in the c-section recovery room to get me checked in. When the nurse checked me (I jumped on the bed on my hands and knees, trying to get some kind of relief), she said I was between a 7 and an 8. I wasn’t thrilled with that, but at least I was pretty close. With each contraction came the strong urge to push, which resulted in my doula and the nurse trying to get me to not push. Hollie was encouraging and helpful, while the nurse was not. A couple of times she felt the need to remind me what pushing too early could do if I still had cervix (my cervix could swell, oh and she felt the need to tell me that when I held my breath and pushed, my baby’s heart rate dropped). “I understand lady….I’m doing the best I can!!!!” ß That’s what I wanted to say. What I did eventually say was, “I need you to stop. You’re not being helpful.” After about 15 minutes of them trying to check me in and me trying not to push, another contraction came. Again, I did the best I could, but still ended up pushing. That’s when I felt it- the baby was coming! I could feel baby’s head.
“The baby is coming…now…I can feel it!” This of course caused a whirlwind of action. They finally had a room for me and decided to wheel my bed into the room. Down the hallway, I breathed as best I could so I didn’t have a baby in the hallway. We made it into the room and the nurse told me to get onto the other bed. After a short contraction and small push, I somehow managed to change beds. The doctor arrived and began putting on his “accessories”. However, when he looked up, he realized that he wasn’t going to have time to finish. “We’re going to have a baby.” The next contraction, I pushed a small push and out came baby’s head. “One more big push and we’ll get the shoulders out.” Sure enough, one more push later and my sweet baby was here. They laid him on my chest and I was thrilled. The whirlwind of activity continued around me, but I was my own world. A nurse was scrubbing my baby with a towel and I finally asked her to stop. Not exactly sure when it happened, but Simon did get to cut the cord this time. The scrubbing nurse came back and asked if she could take baby to weigh him. I said, “Can you not?” I hope it didn’t sound too rude!
The feeling of having the natural birth I really wanted was amazing. I kept giving Simon fist bumps, saying, “I did it,” and “We did it.” It was exactly the birth I had wanted. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Pretty sure no one reads this, but I needed a place to verbalize some feelings.

I'm trying to do too much. I need to cut out of my life those things that don't really matter. Let me list a few:
* television
* pinterest
* crafting
* redocrating the house
* creating fancy foods for festivus
* trying to "keep up with the mommies"
* lose weight

I enjoy these things. I don't do them because I feel like I have to. I like crafting. I want my house to be pleasant. I want to enjoy my home and I think I will enjoy it more if it is pleasantly decorated. However, that cannot be my number one goal. It just cannot be!! Emma is my focus. I need to get rid of "stuff" so I can focus on the basics. Not sure how to do that, and most days I'm still just trying to survive.

I don't know. Guess that's it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 3: June 13, 2011- Heading to London!!!

Monday morning we got up and enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the Cromwell. We repacked our bags so we only had to take one big one to London and headed to Simon's grandpa's flat. We caught a cab to the train station and were on our way. It was a fairly short train ride into London (a little more than an hour), with beautiful views all the way.

Train station in Banbury

When we got to the train station, we caught a cab to the hotel. We stayed at the Victory Services Club, a chain of hotels that provide services to those who served in the military. Simon's grandfather served in world war two and always stays at the VSC when he is in London. Eventually, Simon will also be able to join the VSC (because of his grandfather's service) so we can also enjoy the advantages of the hotel chain.

My favourite cab in London...names of train (and maybe bus) stations in the shape of a union jack.

Simon's grandfather and I in the cab on the way to the hotel.

We checked into the hotel and had a drink with Simon's grandfather before heading off on our own. It was beautiful in London and we headed straight over to Harrod's. I don't think I understood what Harrod's was before I went. I just knew I had to go. Let me explain.....
It's the most GINORMOUS department store you have ever seen! It has floor after floor of everything you could ever want. They sell clothing, china, chandeliers, carpet, furniture, toys....pretty much everything! On top of that, there are also restaurants (that's right....lots of them) on virtually every floor. Finally, they have a "food court"...but not like the one you find at the mall. This is like the most high end vegetables and meats and cheeses and chocolates and breads and....all displayed beautifully in room after room. It was incredible!

We wandered for a bit before finding our way to the gift shop area of the store. Oh yeah...not only do they sell everything...they sell it at incredibly expensive all we could afford were things at the gift shop. After finding some good souvenirs, we stumbled on the "Chocolate Bar". We stopped and had an ice-cream sundae with white chocolate sauce (that means a cup full of melted chocolate to pour over your ice-cream...mmmmm) and pan au chocolat.

After leaving Harrod's, we began wandering. We ended up with more time than we thought we would have, so this ended up being a pretty relaxing day. We popped out of the tube right under Big Ben and Parliament. One of my favourite things in London ended up being Big Ben. Not sure why....everyone has seen dozens of pictures, but I was so impressed with it in person.

***Side note....Simon would be unhappy if I did not stop to inform you here that the tower is not actually Big Ben. The name "Big Ben" actually refers to the bell inside the tower (which is just called the clock tower). Therefore, you cannot actually see "Big Ben". However, I like the name and will continue calling it "Big Ben".***

We also managed to see the London eye (which I took loads of pictures of as well...not sure what it was...just fun to take pictures of).

As we walked along between Parliament and Westminster Abbey, we saw this cute married couple taking pictures.
I was most impressed with how much detail there was on every building we saw. It was just incredible what they were able to do when they built these buildings so long ago.
We had some time, and it was the most beautiful day, so we relaxed in a park next to Parliament. It seemed like the appropriate thing to do.
We returned to the hotel to have dinner with Simon's grandpa. He wanted to take us to a restaurant called the Texas Embassy. It was a bit of an ordeal getting there. Simon's grandfather is quite old, but still manages to get around ok. We had a few bus issues and eventually ended up taking a cab (during rush hour...$$$$$) before getting to the location. The food was good, but a little spicy for me. However, it was not bad for foreign Tex-Mex.

After dinner, we dropped Simon's grandpa back at the hotel and headed out to Piccadilly Circus. There were so many people and it was a very fun atmosphere. We found a gift shop nearby and did a little shopping before heading back to the hotel for some shut-eye.

Not bad for the first day in London!

Second Day: Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 2....
We got some sleep on the plane and before we knew it, we were in Manchester. We made our way through customs and were on our way.

After getting the car, we headed down to Stratford. As Simon drove, I did my best to stay awake (not very successfully!). This was my first glimpse of the English countryside...and boy is it beautiful!

We arrived in Stratford (hometown of Shakespeare) to some lovely cold and wet weather. We were both exhausted from traveling but did our best to see a few of the sights. We stopped briefly in front of a flat owned by Simon's parents (currently rent out) and then headed to see the town.

We grabbed some lunch (Simon had some fish and chips...which he was very excited about) and headed into the Royal Shakespeare Company theater. We only wandered for a bit before heading to Shakespeare's boyhood home. (I blame the complete lack of photos on being cold, wet, and very tired!)

On our way out of town, we drove past Anne Hathaway's house.

We continued heading south toward Banbury, where we would be staying the night. We arrived at the Cromwell and checked in. We both showered, in an attempt to feel human again, and left to visit Simon's grandpa. We visited for a while, but after watching Simon fall asleep (multiple times) while sitting up, I suggested we go get some rest.

We got some dinner on the way back to the hotel and barely ate anything before falling asleep (before 8 pm). Simon's tip for overcoming jet lag: when you arrive at your destination, stay awake as long as you can, then sleep until local morning time. Seemed to work for us pretty well!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 1: Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday night, we began packing and did a last minute shopping trip. While trying to finish the last load of laundry, the dryer just stopped working. Simon wanted to go to a laundromat, but I convinced him to just hang the clothes up so we could get to bed.

Saturday morning, we got up and finished packing. Thankfully, all the clothes were dry. Simon's parents picked us up and took us to the airport. We had a little time at the airport and wanted to get something to eat, so we rode the train one very short stop. It probably would have been faster and easier to walk, but we both love trains, so we enjoyed it.

Our flight to JFK went smoothly. Our itinerary had a 5 hour layover in NYC, so when we landed we starting joking about making a very short trip into the city. We both laughed it off, until Simon finally said, "Let's do it!" We checked our carry-on into left luggage and jumped on the E train. While on the train, I called my parents to do some quick googling of where exactly we would end up and where we should get off to get the biggest bang for our buck. We decided to get off on 5th Ave. We walked a few short blocks and found Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. Simon had never been to NYC (outside of the airport) so this was a big deal for him. We walked past the Today show set and just kept going. We only had about an hour to spend and we wanted to see as much as we could. Truly...all I wanted was a slice of New York pizza. We eventually found a suitable place (Ray's on 7th Ave) and grabbed some pizza. We kept walking and made it to the edge of Central Park. We walked along Central Park and then headed back up 5th Ave to our train.

Simon at Central Park

We were both pretty giddy the whole time. It's fun to be spontaneous!

This was the first sight we stumbled upon in New York.

Way cool picture in the had multiple levels and included so many aspects of New York.

We made it back to the airport with plenty of time to spare. We got on the plane and were overjoyed (read with sarcasm) to meet our seatmate for the next leg of the trip. First, he was sitting in one of our seats and argued with Simon for a minute or so before finally giving in and moving over. Next, he made it very clear that he was interested in minding everyone else's business. Long before take-off, he began advising other passengers to close the overhead bins ("or everything will fall out"). He also made comments about very obvious things to absolutely no one at all ("Here we go." "Now we're taking off.") Not sure if he was drunk or just nervous about the flight. Thankfully, he slept for most of the trip. We watched a few movies, ate some food, and slept our way all the way to Manchester.

Intro to Vacation Posts

So, in June of 2011, Simon and I took a two week holiday to the U.K. Being from England, Simon has family and close friends still living there. We spent our time seeing sights, visiting, and relaxing. It was an amazing experience (my first visit to Europe).
When I got home, I began working through the pictures we took. There were nearly 600! In an effort to make these posts enjoyable, I will be writing one post about each day, sharing the most interesting or telling pictures from the day. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New kitchen!

Through a great gift (wedding present) and wonderful sacrifice of my amazing in-laws, we have a brand new kitchen!!!! There is still more work to do (flooring, back-splash, paint, kick-plates, etc) but I still sigh every time I use this fabulous new kitchen! Enjoy the transformation!