Saturday, February 09, 2008

Six, Now

Six births since Monday

But I still exist. Hi everyone.

We're going for seven in a week I think...there are two likely candidates today...I've got a couple assignments, but my mom is in town, so sorry....they'll be late.

I've decided that I do really poorly on three hours of sleep - worse than 2 or 4. I thought I was going to throw up, driving out to this birth. But I got there and did just fine. My poor mom, she was sleeping in the living room and I was banging around all through there...she eventually got up and asked if she could help. Ah well, she's done her share of doula work, she understands.

Babe this morning came "sunny side up," which was really interesting.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday Evening

And I've now been to five births since Monday.


My back is OK - still sore but I can move almost like normal - and I'm feeling surprisingly alright, only a little tired. OK, pretty tired. But not entirely falling over, especially considering the hour. My mom is flying in this evening and my house is absolutely destroyed, I'm not sure it has ever been this messy.

Did I mention that right after I wrote that previous post, BittyPrincess smashed into my coffee, spilling it all over my computer? Yeah, my better computer is out of commission now. I'm hoping once it dries all the way it will start working again - it will start but the keyboard doesn't work. Cross your fingers for me. That computer was expensive. It was also in parts all over the living room when I got called to birth number 4.

Birth number 4 was awesome, just in case anyone was wondering. Totally hands off, that baby basically crawled/pushed out to the hips and then dad picked her up. It was absolutely awesome. I think I like that better than I like catching.

Baby number 5 came with mom on hands and knees, and was the first time I've seen a birth without any tears or skids at all. It was also the first time I've felt a nuchal cord, AND it feels to me like my first catch, even though it isn't, probably because I wasn't constantly looking to my preceptor for feedback this time. The funny thing is that she moaned and complained more than the moms with tears. Which kind of brings to mind this thought that the perineum numbs when it tears...but I don't know. N of one and all that.

So I'm off to push toys around with a vaccuum cleaner and hope it doesn't look too horrific in here when my mom shows up in half an hour.

UGH. Nevermind. It appears the vaccuum broke. Ugh.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

In Which Niki Throws Out Her Back, And Has a Long Night

Out shopping with the kids yesterday, I got a phone call "[person] is in labor and moving along quick, you should come in now." Predictably, while I am talking on the phone, BittyPrincess removes her boots and socks and starts splashing around in the water fountain. I pick her up and bend over to place her back in her boots, and POP, a truly horrifying sensation in my back. As I lean on the water fountain and blow and swoon, BittyPrincess begins whining full volume about wanting more water. I actually wind up having to drag her out of the store. And force her into her carseat, because "NO!" is her new favorite...not just word, but THING. I made a semi-frantic phone call to ~L~ to ask what I should do, and then remember that I have naproxen sodium in my bag, and take something just short of the lethal dose.

By the time I got home, the pain was manageable, and so were the kids. I'd managed to sweat up a storm, so I needed to shower and change, and I finally left the house an hour after that original call.

"You got here quick!" my preceptor said, as usual, despite the rush-hour ride into town (surprisingly short at 45 minutes). I did not miss that birth, which featured a lot of scary heart tones, rushed pushing, and a fourth degree tear. I didn't miss the impromptu prenatal we did down the hall an hour later, or the induction for high BP we started (not aggressive, some cervidil and a good night sleep, we hope). I didn't get home until 11.

Crash out, until 2, when someone unexpected came in. I got there in record time but still was only there long enough for some perineal support and a really fast delivery, followed by some interesting bleeding and a really interesting placenta.

Home at 6am...I got three hours of sleep in and am waiting for the mama we started an induction on to go into labor.

Altogether, not horrible, actually. The back thing, that sucks. The overnight thing wasn't so bad, I tally 6 hours sleep in there. Back is tight and sore, but not PAINful.

Monday, February 04, 2008

First Cesarean Section

So today I saw my first cesarean section. Mom was a primip with a breech babe that didn't particularly want to turn and too little amniotic fluid to get very aggressive with a version.

It was pretty incredible. My preceptor was assisting, and the doctor was very friendly to my being there. Once the baby was out and mom and dad were thoroughly distracted, he started describing what he was doing and what I was seeing. That was really cool. Of all the strange things to be impressed by, I noticed how easy it was to tell tissue layers apart, and with how smooth and neat the exterior of the uterus looks. This doctor did not (as I've heard many do) take anything OUT to sew it up.

Mom and baby did awesome. Any time anyone left the baby's feet free, up they'd go, right back into the position he'd spent the last month-plus in (frank breech).

There was no separation, really, but it bothered me how long baby spent in the warmer after the "peek a boo" parent show. And it bothered me that the warmer was probably about 10 degrees out of mom's sight beyond her drape...couldn't it be a foot more to the side so she could see? I can see the point of not having it visible in some cases, but when they're just making sure baby gets all the amniotic fluid clear and he's basically just alternatively yelling, startling, and looking around...why?

By the time we left, mom was happy and baby was happy, breastfeeding nicely back up in L&D. The crowd of family members that had come with them (I think there were 6 of them) was just thinking about coming in. At least we know she will have a ton of people around to wait on her while she recovers.

Another thing...I am not really understanding why mom and dad had to be separated as mom was being prepped for the surgery. If I got to be there, why couldn't he be there? Why couldn't he see the spinal being placed? What is the hospital afraid of? Worse, what does he think must be going on? Particularly with this family, where the dad had expressed a fear of being separated from his wife and baby (being led to a variety of hillarious-in-retrospect wrong places instead of to his wife and baby), it seemed unnecessarily cruel. I will ask my preceptor about this for sure, but I have a feeling the answer will be less than satisfying. At least the parents were never separated from each other or from their baby once the surgery began.

Girliness is EIGHT

I can't believe she's eight. Time flies, eh? It really doesn't feel like it has been that long since I first became a parent. Eight years. Wow.

My daughter is awesome.

She chose to have a party at Odyssey, a play-zone place the kids all really like. So that's what we did.

The kids all had fun. But they were running around like nuts and I didn't get any good pictures, except for the bit of time BittyPrincess spent enjoying an air jet:

We "kidnapped" a few neighbor kids and brought a vanload down to the party. Everyone had fun, it was great...and I had a flat tire on the way home, on a highway that was under construction (read: oh crap, what shoulder?). It turns out there probably wasn't any better place for a flat that day. We found a nice widened place to stop where we weren't threatened by passing cars, we had a man stop to help, and it turned out that the worst part of the whole ordeal was the chill of the wind. I'd even grabbed food for all the kids on the way home, so they sat in the van and munched and joked, and didn't really have a problem with it.

We had a repeat performance of Girliness' birthday later in the evening when Fran got home. And then again yesterday when we found a present I'd bought for her and misplaced.

She is proudly telling everyone she is EIGHT. This isn't a birthday that holds any real significance for me psychologically, but I think it is extra-important to her for some reason. Enjoy your year, Girliness. Don't rush into preteen too fast.

A Lazy Post

Lazy because I'm not really feeling like updating properly.


It all started with a haircut. Our usual haircut, 1/2 inch long on top, tapered sides. "No, I want it shaved mama," he says. OK, 1/4 inch all the way around. "NO, I want to see my HEAD mama, I want to see it like Captain Picard." I busted out laughing, cursed my nerd of a husband, and busted out a razor. Why not, I thought:

And sure enough, a week later, it is 1/8 inch all around and he no longer looks like an alien.

It was really cold last week. So cold that the lake at our favorite park froze. Which is really something special around here. We don't exactly live in a skate-on-the-pond kind of area, it just doesn't usually get below freezing for very long. The lake wasn't solid enough to do a ton of walking on, but the kids all got a chance to stand on the ice, and throw stones across the slush (it made really cool noises).