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Amusing post topics – 1

19 Oct

After publishing a post, WordPress always gives me an idea on what I can write for my next post.  Usually they are quite cheesy ideas.  While I might enjoy writing about them for fun (they are reminisce of 10th grade free-writing prompts), I doubt anyone would really want to read my thoughts on the topic.

Latest WordPress blog suggestion: The funniest show on TV these days.

I realized that I honestly could not blog about this topic.  Get ready for a scary revelation:  I am an alien.  Or, at least, anyone who hears (reads) this would view me as strangely as an alien.  We do not have a TV.  Okay, I take that back.  My brother actually gave us a TV last year and (sadly?  embarrassingly enough?) it is sitting in our garage.  We do not have cable and we have not even bothered to invest in the bunny-eared antennae.  I am not bothered a bit.  I cannot imagine spending money every month on cable or satellite TV.  That is some expensive entertainment.  In our defense of normalcy, we do have internet, and we did have NetFlix up until… about two weeks ago.  We decided to nix Netflix for two reasons:  1. Netflix increased our plan’s cost by $5 a month without even letting us know.  That was over a 30% hike in price!  Enraging.  And 2. We are trying to save in every way possible so we can buy astronomically high-priced plane tickets to Mexico for Christmas break.  I know there are only two months till Christmas break, which in Netflix-land only equals $40, but it is something.  And it is difficult to save in other places.  The only other “luxury” bill I can think of is internet, but it is important, since Fernando uses Skype to call internationally.

This is a computer, not a T.V.

So, back to TV, or lack thereof…that is really all I have to say.  I do not miss it or want it at all.  I guess even I think I am a little strange…

The birth of a miracle

16 Jul

Hadassah Sofía Navarro joined our family on Tuesday, June 21, 2011. Here is her story:

On Sunday, June 19th, I was extremely tired and took a 2 hour nap – very abnormal for me. I feel guilty when I sleep that long but after thinking about it I thought, “I think my body is telling me to rest up because I will be going in to labor soon.” Early Monday morning at exactly 3am I woke up and then immediately had a real contraction. I was excited, woke Fernando up and told him, but told him to go back to bed so we could rest. I waited and waited and had no more contractions! I was bummed. I was so sure this was it.

Monday afternoon, June 20th, I felt the same as Sunday and took another super long nap – I was exhausted! Fernando and I also had sex. I went to our small group we have at church and we got home about 10pm and in bed around 11pm. I woke up around 2:30am (Tuesday) and my panties felt really wet. I was laying there trying to decide if it was sweat, or if it was leftover from sex or what. I got up and went to the bathroom and decided it was way too much to be sweat, and that it couldn’t be from sex because I never have my panties wet like that after sex. I considered that it might be my water, but realized nothing else was leaking. Oh well, I thought. Crawled back in bed and shortly after I started having contractions. I can’t remember if they started at exactly 3am or if that is when I started timing them. But this time it was for real! They were coming at 5 minutes apart and were of a normal intensity. After timing them for about an hour and a half I woke Fernando up and we stayed in bed for a bit and I squeezed his hand during contractions.

Hadassah Arrives!

Hadassah Arrives!

Then we got out of bed and I started hydrating myself with herbal tea and water since I was refusing an IV and a heplock at the hospital. I felt really hungry so I ate 2 pieces of toast with jelly. Contractions were pretty much exactly 5 minutes apart and the intensity was still the same at 5:30 in the morning. A little bit later I decided to eat 2 scrambled eggs with a tortilla. Fernando and I chatted and I called my parents to let them know what was happening. Even though contractions were frequent I told my parents “This is easy!” I wasn’t using any hypnobirthing or real relaxation techniques – I didn’t want to implement them in too soon and later feel like I had been laboring forever. I even told Fernando, “why don’t we do the laundry?” So labor here wasn’t what I expected because I figured it would start out with contractions 15 minutes apart, then 10 minutes, etc. But here I was already at 5 minutes apart with them lasting 1 minute each!

I was really tired and around 8 o’clock I decided to lay down and try to get some rest. I slept from about 8-9 in between contractions that stayed 5 minutes apart. At 9 Fer came in and laid down with me. My contractions from 9am-10am slowed down to about every 10 minutes and I was disappointed. From 10am-11am they slowed down to about every 15 minutes and I even had a gap of 30 minutes! I thought that maybe it just so happened that this was false labor instead of real labor and got really bummed! Especially since I had that one contraction the night before. However, during this time when I would go to the bathroom I was having lots of mucousy blood, so I told myself that has to mean something!

We decided to go for a walk to see if that would speed things up – I thought that laying down for 2 hours (even though it was great for catching up on sleep) probably slowed my labor down.) I was also very comfortable laying down and listening to some of my hypnobirthing playlist. So we just went for a walk around our 2 blocks by our house. I was thinking it would be better to walk more, but I was feeling really hot and my contractions did pick up to about every every 4-6 minutes, but they were only lasting about 30 seconds.

I finally called our doula to see what she suggested. She suggested doing things that I had been doing to induce labor like nipple stimulation. So at about 12pm I plopped on the couch and did just 5 short minutes. I do not know if it was the pumping or not, but by 12:30pm my contractions were rather intense, but they were still only coming every 10-15 minutes. I was sad. I called our doula back around 1pm and told her that I really was upset because I could not relax during the contractions and remain all limp like hypnobirthing says. And my contractions were far apart but intense. She suggested waiting it out till they got closer together and to have Fer do breathing exercises WITH me.

Between 1 and 2 I was having these infrequent contractions that were intense and Fer kept suggesting that we call our midwife, and he kept mentioning that we should go to the hospital. I told him that our midwife doesn’t work on Tuesdays and that I didn’t want to go to the hospital because I didn’t want to be made to check in and be hooked up to everything and labor there forever. I finally decided to call my midwife’s office and at least to ask them what I should do. They mentioned that my midwife was actually over in the birth center and that I should head over. I felt very peaceful with this decision.

From about 2-2:30 we got our last minute things packed and headed to the hospital. As we were running out the door that last half hour, all of a sudden my contractions were at every 2 ½ -4 minutes, and I knew that we were making the right choice. I had to stop and lean on Fer on the way to the car and walking in to the hospital etc.

We got to the hospital and I was having these intense and now frequent contractions. Midwife checked me within 10 minutes of arriving and informed me that I was at 5 ½ centimeters. I was happy! We were monitored in triage for probably a half hour then we got admitted and went over to our birthing room. I was still decent at this time. On our way over the nurse mentioned to just let her know if I wanted to get in the tub.

Almost immediately upon settling in to our birth room everything changed. Our nurse started asking questions and I was able to answer some, but I almost immediately had to get in to my laboring element and was not able to answer her questions. Also right after getting in to the room I sent Fernando to get the rest of our stuff and it was horrible and hard not to have him there during that time.

About after 15 minutes in the birthing room I told the nurse I wanted to get in the tub as soon as possible. She suggested waiting 45 minutes, then we would be able do the mandatory 20 minutes of monitoring required per hour and then I would be able to have an entire hour in the tub without monitoring. I agreed and during that 45 minutes I did not see the nurse it was so difficult I thought about getting an epidural. I was also extremely tired as I was laboring standing up over the bed or on my hands and knees. My legs were really tired. I could NOT lay down as I had visualized myself doing during my hypnobirthing visualizations.

Somewhere around midnight - very tired but very happy!

Somewhere around midnight – very tired but very happy!

When the nurse came in to do monitoring I was totally in my own primitive birthing world. I felt a bunch of water run down my leg and just thought: there is my water. But I looked down and it was not my water – it was a ton of blood. The nurse asked me if I wanted the midwife to check me, and I said yes. She came in and I was at an 8 already!

It was time for me to go to the tub, and the midwife said if I feel rectal pressure I needed to let the nurse know immediately since water birthing is not allowed there. Also the tub was at the other end of the birthing center (they only have one! Bo0) I walked as fast as I could with my eyes closed to the tub and got in and felt immediate relief. It was so wonderful. However, it didn’t last long as I had a series of contractions that just would not stop that probably lasted 8 minutes or so. Finally I got a rest in between and it felt so good. I was really thirsty and dehydrated and I had sinus breath that was distracting me during the contractions, so Fer ran and got my toothbrush and paste and I quickly brushed my teeth in between the eternal sets of contractions. I had about 3 or 4 sets of those super long contractions total in the tub. By the 3 set I was screaming and was sweating and felt nauseated and had gas. This is where I feel/felt disappointed in a way in myself.

I had visualized myself being all calm when birthing the baby like in all the videos I had seen, but by this time I was vocalizing like crazy and actually felt like singing! A nurse – or maybe it was my midwife – came in and asked if I had rectal pressure and I said I don’t know. The 4th set of contractions I definitely starting feeling weird down there. They told me I had to get out of the tub and be wheeled to the birthing room. I couldn’t move and I said just wait. They were nice and were like, okay, but let’s get going. When I finally felt mobile I got up with lots of help and was haphazardly covered with towels to be transported. I just wanted to be wheeled through the halls naked at the time, but now that I think of it I am thinking how awkward it would have been to have been on a tour and to have seen me in labor at that moment! I closed my eyes and it felt good being wheeled through the hall because of the wind and the motion. So total I was in the birth tub maybe 45 minutes with 4 sets of contractions (that were really several contractions together).

My midwife checked me immediately and I was a 9, or maybe just over a 9. I got on the bed and starting making puking noises. I thought maybe I was exaggerating or somehow doing it on purpose because even though I kind of felt like I had to puke, I did not really think it was going to happen, and it did not feel very strong. However, I did puke! Twice. It got all over the bed and I remember thinking, “yuck! I don’t want to be kneeling in that!” But I did. I had maybe 2 more contractions and my midwife checked me again and I was already at a 10. I don’t know exactly what time it was, but I think it was probably around 5:30 or 6. So I went from 8-10cm in about 45 minutes I guess. I had no interest in looking at the clock!

I got on my hands and knees on the bed and was sweating like crazy and it was miserable having little wet hairs on my face. I wish I had used hairspray for my ponytail! My midwife told me to grunt with the contractions. I was really confused on how to deal with the pushing stage, because it wasn’t just me dealing with pain, it was me making myself work and deal with pain. And I had heard so many people say that pushing was the easiest part. And I had also read so many people say that their pushing stage was just 3 contractions long. It was the most difficult for me, and I think my expectations have to do with that.

I think my midwife told me to grunt because of the position of my cervix. Then she told me a few contractions later to bear down, and I felt discouraged like I must have been doing it wrong. But my midwife was saying good job and I didn’t believe her because I didn’t know what was going on. I had already reached the “goal” of 10cm, so I didn’t really know what the different miniphases of pushing were. My doula (who had arrived just before going to the tub) put cool washcloths on my back and face and Fernando rubbed my back constantly. I was aware of all this happening but at the same time felt like I was totally absorbed in the task and at the same time had no idea what was going on.

My midwife mentioned my bag of waters was still in tact and asked if she could break it. I said yes and noticed there was meconium. I heard my midwife tell the nurse to call the nursery or something and I felt like I was listening to conversations through an out of body experience.

Aunt Lori snuggling Hadassah

Aunt Lori snuggling Hadassah

My midwife had me turn around and lay on my side. I had to pause and move in the right moment. I was afraid of going to another position. However, I feel like this worked better for me – at least at that moment. It was so so hard. I started feeling the head move down which was encouraging because all my pushing before felt like it was doing nothing. But I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to push hard enough and I thought my little daughter might have to stay inside forever. I also had the thought that “What if I can’t do it and they have to take me to a c-section right now, and I have suffered all this for nothing!?” It was also sometimes painful where I pushed the head lower because I didn’t get as nice of a relief between contractions that I wanted to have. Sometime during this time Fernando peaked and whispered, “I can see her head!” I told him to shut up, because I didn’t believe him. I didn’t think I was that close.

Finally I felt the head for real coming so close to the end of the canal and I felt encouraged. It wasn’t pleasant to push, but it was my favorite part of this stage. My midwife told me to be strong and push through the burning, like she expected me to be suffering more pain at this point. I thought she must be talking about the ring of fire, and it felt BETTER than everything else to me! It didn’t feel too bad to me and I really didn’t care. I think it is because I knew it was almost over! My midwife asked if I wanted a mirror and I said no. I was so tuned in to getting her out – I had my eyes closed for about 2 hours straight since getting back from the tub.

I finally pushed her head out and I was SO happy. That was not what I would call painful! I expected her shoulders coming out to be a little less intense than it was, but I knew once I got that out I was home free! Once I got her all out, my expectations of after birth weren’t what I had wanted either, but it is okay. They put her on me all slippery and her head was on my chest and I thought she was suffocating because I couldn’t get a grip on her. Fernando says that I said, “She’s slippery!” There was a nurse next to me and she assured me if there was a problem she would intervene. I looked around and noticed there were so many people in the room, and the room was set up all surgically looking, and I hadn’t even noticed!

I was disappointed because I wanted to breastfeed and delay cord cutting, but because of the meconium they cut the cord right away and took her away from me. I saw her across the room and just felt weird, knowing things weren’t going as I expected but fine with it at the same time.

Hadassah was in our room for about 25 minutes before they took her to NICU. Before they took her away they let me hold her. She was bundled up in a little blanket on my chest. I remember looking at her hair and thinking it looked kinky and so I figured it would be curly.

After delivery things felt really relaxed. Jana took about 45 minutes to an hour to sew me up. Fernando went to the NICU with Hadassah. Fernando came back maybe around 8:45pm and said that Hadassah would be in NICU for about an hour more. Since I was still being sewn up, this didn’t actually sound very long and I think that is another reason I was okay with it.

Hadassah and Daddy

Hadassah and Daddy

After I got sewn up the nurse helped me get cleaned up and such. She said everyone “out there” was talking about me and how I did it all natural. I felt famous! I heard Fernando make a phone call to my parents to let them know Hadassah had made it to this world! We switched rooms, maybe at about 10pm or so. I tried breastfeeding and Fernando skyped his family. The nurse mentioned something about how we should order food if we wanted food, but we did not order anything.

I remember thinking, “wow, they are going to leave me alone with this baby – this is MY baby! Not their baby!” We kept Hadassah in our room for the night. At midnight we had to take her to the nursery for something. Fernando went after I was done trying to breastfeed. For the half hour he was gone I slept and if felt so good. When he got back I couldn’t sleep. The nurse kept coming in asking if I had slept and I told here that here and there between breastfeeding attempts I had rested. Finally around 5:00am the nurse suggested Hadassah be taken to the nursery. I couldn’t sleep because I was nervous she was going to suffocate or something. I realized it made sense to send her to the nursery so I could get some rest and she would be well taken care of. I was also learning how to nurse Hadassah and it was definitely tricky. The nurses were very helpful in assisting me. They told me to wake Hadassah up every 2-3 hours to nurse, and to try nursing 15-20 minutes on each side – boy was that a task! It was hard because Hadassah was extremely sleepy. When I called the nurse one of the first times telling her I couldn’t nurse because Hadassah was sleepy, she suggested changing her diaper. Then I realized that Fernando and I had not even thought about changing diapers! Oops! I just went through all this physical trauma of birth and labor, plus trying to breastfeed, AND I am supposed to change her diaper!?

Anyway, Hadassah came back in our room around 7am. Fernando and I both woke up and it felt like we had slept FOREVER! Who knew a few hours of sleep could feel so good?! I ordered breakfast and my main task all day was trying to sleep and breastfeeding. Fernando ran home from about 10am to noon to shower and eat something.

Wednesday night David, Jennifer, and Ansel Raymond came to visit us and they brought Fernando dinner (I chose to eat the hospital food because it did not seem too bad. I ate every morsel of food they gave me for breakfast, and I thought I was not going to have enough food at lunch, but I actually could not finish my whole lunch – I got a yummy giant hamburger and french fries. I took a shower Wednesday afternoon and put on my own nursing tank and PJ pants. I wish we had taken more pictures in the hospital, but I felt very yucky and had no desire to get ready and look nice.

Our visit with the Raymonds was nice. They stayed for maybe an hour and a half. Then Aunt Lori, Hannah, Matt, and Jamie Tubbs arrived at the hospital around 8:30 pm. They stayed for a little over an hour maybe. I gave them the whole labor story. Aunt Lori changed a diaper. It was lots of fun to have visitors and I actually liked it (I thought I wasn’t going to want any visitors). It was exhausting though!

Fernando and I ended up leaving the hospital with baby Hadassah around 10AM on Thursday, June 23. It felt like I had been in some sort of time warp – two days had passed but I did not live them “normally.” They went by really fast and when we left the hospital I felt like it should still be June 21st.

Hadassah seriously is the most precious GIFT that God has ever given me. I feel so privileged that he has blessed us with the task of caring for this little girl. I cannot believe how much I love her.

Here is a timeline of labor:

2:45ish – my panties feel wet, I debate whether or not to go to the bathroom. I go.
3:00AM – contractions start and I start timing them. They are 5 minutes apart and last 1 minute.
4:05AM – I have confirmed contractions are consistant. I wake Fernando up
5:00AMish – I call mom and dad and tell them I am pretty sure I am in labor 🙂
8:00AM – Contractions still the same, I decide to lay down and get some rest.
9:00AM-10:00AM – Still laying down, contractions have slowed to every 10 minutes
10:00AM-11:00AM – I get out of bed and take a shower. Contractions slow even more to 15-30 minutes apart.
11:30AMish – Contractions, even though far apart, are more intense in their nature and more painful. I cannot relax at all during them.
12:30PM – I call Tina (for the second time), our doula, and tell her I am frustrated because I cannot relax during contractions anymore, and I am frustrated because they have slowed down.
12:45PM – I pump for 5 minutes
1:00PM – We decide to go for a walk around the block. Contractions are sporatic. They seem to pick up a bit – about every 6 minutes, but only lasting 30 seconds or so. They do feel intense.
1:30PM – I call the birth center – What should I do? Good news, Jana is at the birth center! ! !
2:00PM – 2:30PM – Fernando and I grab our last minute things for our hospital suitcase. I can barely help because all of a sudden contractions are every 3-4 minutes and intense!!!
2:30PM – 3:00PM – Drive to the hospital. I listen to relaxing music in the car. The drive goes by pretty fast.
3:00PM – Arrive to Triage
3:15PM – Jana arrives and checks me – I am 5.5 cm!
3:15PM – 3:45PM – I am hooked up to monitors checking contractions and Hadassah’s heartbeat. Jana and nurses keep saying how our baby is doing so well!
3:45PM – Move to birthing room
3:45PM-4:00PM – I send Fernando to get the rest of our stuff from the car. Nurse asks me questions. Contractions are super duper intense. I tell nurse I want to get in the tub asap. She says we should wait 45 more minutes.
4:00PM-4:45PM – Laboring mostly standing up and on hands and knees.
4:45PM – 5:05PM – Getting monitored while standing up and having contractions. The time goes by super fast. Blood starts running down my leg. Tina arrives.
5:05PM – Jana comes and checks me before I get in the tub – I am 8 cm! I go pee.
5:10PM – Speed walk with my eyes closed down to the tub.
5:10PM – 5:45PM – In the tub, in transition. Have 4 sets of never-ending contractions.
6:00PM – Mandated back to the birthing room. Tossed in a wheelchair half naked. Eyes closed from here on out! Checked by Jana – 9 cm.
6:10PM – Checked by Jana – almost 10 cm
6:12PM – Checked by Jana – 10 cm, okay to push, but I don’t want to really
6:15PM – 7:56PM – Pushing and birthing baby Hadassah! I had no clue what was going on – I was very out of it. I pushed quite awhile on hands and knees. Jana had me change to side-lying position.
7:56PM – Pure joy and bliss as I hear Hadassah cry!!!!! I feel shaky and clumbsy. Placenta comes out later, I don’t remember anything else except seeing it in a bucket. I vaguely remember Fernando cutting the cord. So many people in the room!
8:10PM – Hadassah is in the little in-room warmer area. I remember seeing a clock tick on it counting how many minutes she had been out of the womb – it was about at 16 or 17 minutes. Time was FLYING.
8:20PMish – They finally give me Hadassah. I hold her for just a few minutes. She is bundled up in tons of blankets. Then they take her to NICU.
8:20PM-9:00PM – Jana sews me up
9:15PM – I get up, nurse helps me clean up.
9:20PM – Fernando comes back, no Hadassah. He makes phone calls. Tells me Hadassah should be back in around an hour.

One week post partum, I seriously wanted to relive my whole labor. Yes it was hard and painful at times, but I actually wanted to do it again and enjoy it even more and do things like take video and pictures! Maybe next time…