I have wanted to start a blog for a while. But not just a personal blog that only my family or friends will view...
I got the call from Julie around 4pm to meet her at Fred Meyer's so that I can help her grocery shop. She told me that she was concerned because she was leaking a little. I figured this might be "it" because she was having multiple contractions every day for the last few days.
The timing was, in my opinion, tough on me because I was working on an important, high stress project that needed all of my attention and focus. Not to mention, the guys were counting on me to be there. Regardless, if the baby was born this night, there was no way I'd go in to work, except to do a turnover.
We left Fred Meyer's in separate cars. Julie left without traffic resistance, while I got stuck. Now I was worried that something would happen to her on the drive home and I, stuck in traffic, could not catch up to her. Fortunately, when I pulled into our street, her car was already in the garage.
We got home at around 5pm. Julie told the kids to get ready as soon as they can and was very serious about it. Now I knew it was time. She indicated to me that her water broke. I had "the talk" with Brandon and Alex. They seemed to understand and mature in an instant. I quickly grabbed the sleeping bags, pajamas, and a change of clothes for each of the kids. We left some food out, but at this point, who cares. Our neighbors, the Harrisons, were great and accepted the kids in with no problems.
We got to the hospital at around 6:30pm. Julie's expressions indicated to me that we got there a little early, and if it weren't for the fact that her water broke, we'd still be laboring at home. The nurse told us that shift change was starting while she was setting up the external baby heart rate monitor. The nurse on the next shift would check to see how far along Julie was. Julie started to get settled in the room.
Now it was 7:30pm. The nurse finally showed up. She checked and found that Julie was about 4cm dilated. She also mentioned that Julie's water sack was not broken. Anyways, I thought we'll be laboring for at least another 3 hours before Julie gets checked again. Who knows when Julie will start pushing at this point! Julie was clearly not happy about this news. Her contractions were frequent and getting stronger by the minute. The nurse disconnected the monitors so that she can get up. Julie went to the bathroom for a few minutes. After she got out, she walked around the room a little while.
About 15 minutes later, Julie told me I needed to get the nurse. When the nurse checked, her report was, "We need to get the doctor in ASAP." I guess this meant that Julie was fully dilated. Within seconds, there were half a dozen nurses in the delivery room, trying to get Julie ready for delivery. One nurse was trying to put on the heplock so that they can set up Julie's IV. She was not having much success with that because the contractions were too frequent. Another nurse was saying, "Don't push until the doctor arrives." Okay, good luck with that! My experience with Julie is that when she's giving birth, she'll do it her way, with or without the doctor!
The one thing that I find very interesting about Julie is her resolve. She delivered each of our kids all natural. No medication. Each time, however, she told me that she can't do this and that she wants some sort of pain medication. Each time she mentions this, it's too late. And when she finally accepts this, she finds a way to dig deep within her and push through the pain.
I really don't know how long or how hard Julie was pushing, but the doctor finally arrives at around 8:25pm. The surprised look on his face was priceless. He must have known that Julie was ready to push, but I guess he didn't realize while on his way to the hospital that he'd be catching the baby within a few minutes of putting his rubber gloves on. It's a good thing he arrived. With the nurses hesitant to man the catcher's position, I was within a minute of telling Julie that I'm going to catch the baby. OK, so I don't know what I'm doing, but at least there are half a dozen nurses there to coach me if that time came.
Kyle came out at 8:38pm. Another little guy. Another early baby. After I cut the umbilical cord, I watched as the nurse cleaned him up and checked him out. The vitals on him were good in my opinion. He was alert, crying, and responsive. Julie was doing pretty well herself.
With all my pregnancies I have had what are called Braxton Hicks contractions. When I was pregnant with Alex and this time as well, I felt these "practice contractions" starting at around four months. With my first two labors we knew when the contractions started to change, becoming more regular and a little more uncomfortable. Brandon and Alex were also very accommodating to our schedule by coming on a holiday (President's Day) and on a Saturday. Both these labors started at night and woke me up, alerting me to the changes. With this pregnancy our main concern with the labor was what we were going to do with the older kids... what if they were in school or asleep at night? Several of our friends offered to help so we knew they would have a place to go, it was just the timing that was unknown and a bit stressful to think about.
OK, so onto December 29th. We had been having lots of trouble with my car not starting. The kids would leave a door open, or a light on in the car, and the next morning the battery would be dead. The week before I went and bought a new battery and Tony replaced it... great, worked fine after that! Well, on December 27th again my car wouldn't start. It was just that the connections between the battery and car were not tight enough but it was very frustrating because I was on my way to an OB appointment. Tony tightened them down that evening, and I must not have gone anywhere on Tuesday because when we got in the car Wednesday morning, on the way to drop Alex off at a playdate, again the car would not start! I was so irritated at this point I blurted out, "Their house is close enough, we'll just ride our bikes over!" The kids thought this was a grand idea and started to get ready. I called Tony, not expecting to get ahold of him, but he was at his desk and answered. He suggested that I may need to input the security code to the radio and this worked. So now the car was fine but the kids still wanted to ride bikes! This ended up not being such a great idea. It was a short ride, but not really if you are nine months pregnant! When we got to the house for Alex's playdate I noticed I was "leaking" probably amniotic fluid. This was at approximately 11:15 am. Brandon and I still had to ride our bikes home... very slowly! The leaking continued throughout the day, after each contraction. I took Brandon to IHOP for brunch while Alex was at her playdate, and then in the afternoon we went to a doctor appointment for Alex's shoulders. I still needed to get to the grocery store so I called Tony and he was on his way home from work and met us at the Fred Meyers in Richland. I was very distracted and walking pretty slowly around the store and I asked everyone "do you want to have a baby today?" I was half joking, but I whispered to Tony about the "leaking" so that he knew it could be a real possibility.
At home as the kids started eating and Tony was putting the groceries away, I had to use the restroom and there was a gush of amniotic fluid. I said "Tony DeGuia" to get Tony's attention and told him through the door that we probably needed to get ready to go to the hospital. I called our neighbor Kori who had offered to watch the kids overnight. Although obviously quite early, this was actually fairly good timing because we were still on winter break and there would be no rushing off to school in the morning. I called Labor and Delivery at the hospital and explained what was happening and they said I should come in. I still wasn't positive it was time, only because this labor had not followed the same pattern as the other two. However, it is quite an unpleasant feeling to be leaking that much fluid so I wanted to get in quickly.
Fast forward to the hospital. I got changed and the nurse checked me - only 4 cm. dilated. I was kind of disappointed to not be very far along, and even asked the nurse if I really should have come in. I was dreading hours and hours of labor before it was time to push, so we started calling family to let them know we were in the hospital. Well, after a trip to the bathroom the contractions started getting noticeably worse and closer together. I was really doubting my ability to do this without any pain medication and thought maybe laying down would feel better. It didn't but Tony rubbed my lower back very hard during the contractions which did help. I was on my side holding onto the bed rail shaking it when I said to the nurse "I think I am farther along than you think I am!" She checked me again and left the room without saying anything. And then LOTS of people came into the room getting things ready for the delivery. I had gone from a 4 to a 10 and ready to push in about 30 minutes... but there was no doctor there yet! I was told "officially" I was not allowed to push yet but had to push a little to alleviate the intense pain. Finally the doctor arrived, and I was put in "the position" to push properly. In this position the pushing was much more effective. However, after the second round of contractions the doctor told me he really needed the baby out very soon because his heart-rate was dropping between contractions. So Kyle was born on the next contraction at 8:38pm. Everything after that was really quite blissful for me... just as long as those horribly painful contractions didn't EVER come back! LOL! Little Kyle weighed in at 5 pounds 4.5 ounces and measured 18 inches long. After the delivery the nurse came over to me and asked "Does that answer your question of whether you should have come in or not?" Yes, I suppose it did!
I wanted to post a scrapbook page I made over a year and a half ago... interesting to read the journaling now that little Kyle is actually here! I made this for a challenge at the Designer Digitals site - create a page with no photos. The topic of another baby joining our family had just come up again the evening before I started working on the challenge, and was a perfect topic. Here is the page (click for product credits) and journaling:
Journaling (as if I am talking to our not-yet-conceived baby) - Last night was the first night you became a real possibility! Without going into details of what exactly Daddy and I were doing, I will simply say I was very surprised at the change in Daddy's answer to the question "Do you want another baby?" We have been discussing this particular topic for about six months now and Daddy has always been a strong 80 percent NO! I have held my ground at 50/50 with the main reason for not having a baby being my age. However, with several babies being born to moms in our playgroup this past year, I have been having very strong maternal urges! Of course having you come into our lives would mean new everything, since we have already sold or given away all our baby gear. And the gap between you and Alex will be six years - it would be like having an only child when you get older. But I am in love with the idea of having you all to myself during the day when Brandon and Alex are in school. With the experience from raising two already, no "brand-new-parent" worries, and no toddler running around to distract us, I envision lots of fun, and of course lots of pictures! One of the main things that fascinates both Daddy and me is what you, another DeGuia baby, will look like... I guess we will just have to wait and see!
So it is fun to look at this page, now knowing the result of this little conversation. It did take us longer than I thought, and the gap between Kyle and Alex is almost seven years instead of six, but fears of my age being a factor were unfounded and it is amazing to have him in our lives!
OK... still pretty slow at this but I will be working to get my posts up-to-date this coming weekend, including the previous post which I never finished.
Yes, we had Kyle Thomas on December 29th at 8:38pm. He was 5 pounds 4.5 ounces and measured 18 inches long. He came just a bit early as his official due date is not until January 21st! I will have the rest of the story in another post, but for now, here is a picture of our newest miracle!
Well obviously it has been too long since I have written a blog post. And this is something I truly would like to get into the habit of doing on a regular basis. There are so many things that happen during day-to-day life that I know will be forgotten if I don't get them down on "paper!" The main reason for being away so long has been due to my pregnancy. Now this is a fairly weak excuse because I really had nothing to complain about during my nine months... mild morning sickness (actually a mild all-day icky feeling) in months two and three, heartburn here and there, uncomfortable and itchy skin, not being able to sleep on my tummy (my favorite position), and general grumpiness at not being able to do everything I was used to doing! Nothing to write home about but the morning sickness did prevent me from sitting at the computer too long, as I would get more nauseous, so after that break I just never got back into posting here. I did get a bunch of scrapbooking done and enjoyed time to myself once the kids were back in school. I have spent a lot of time researching all the baby products we have had to re-buy, and then setting up the nursery and attempting to de-clutter the house a bit.
So I thought I would post some collages of favorite pictures from the year to recap what we have been up to.
1. Alex with her creation from a cupcake maker kit she bought with birthday money. She turned six in February!
2. Brandon and Alex before school in March. The thing to note here is that Brandon is wearing the smaller sweatshirt and Alex the larger one. Brandon was very particular for a while that his clothes not be too big for him and Alex got the "leftover" sweatshirt but didn't seem to mind at all.
3. Brandon turns 8! Here he is before his birthday dinner with a present from us. He chose Costco pizza and ice cream!
4. A park outing over Spring Break. Alex is on the cable swing at a local park - one of the first parks we visited when we moved here and Alex has loved this swing ever since!
5. Tony and Alex at Willie and Nancy's wedding in Union City, CA. This was a quick trip but lots of fun catching up with relatives on Tony's side of the family!
6. A new trampoline for spring. This was the first day we had it set up and all "three kids" had a good time jumping around.
7. A nice smile from Brandon, which we usually don't see because he normally will smile with his mouth closed. He was laughing at an experiment we were conducting with vinegar and baking soda which causes a bubbly reaction!
8. Brandon on Easter Sunday. I asked him to hold up his favorite egg.
These pictures were taken in Carlsbad in June. We flew into Las Vegas, stayed a night with Tony's parents and then rented a car to drive to Southern California. Although our main purpose for stopping in this area was to visit Legoland, we made time for the beach! Even with the temps only in the 60's, the kids had a great time!
This past weekend Tony was away in California so the kids and I had fun on a beautiful Saturday afternoon washing the car! Of course they like using the hose to spray the car and helping to wash, but what they really like is to play with the bucket an in the bucket! I don't know why anyone would intentionally sit in dirty, soapy water but they love it! I got a couple cute shots of them and picked the best one of them together to highlight on this scrapbook page. I started with a template by Katie Pertiet (new this weekend at Designer Digitals), altered it slightly and added a couple other elements to finish it off. Pretty simple! Full credits are here.
And one more layout from this past week. Journaling reads: "Alex’s class was releasing lady bugs when I arrived at school. There were still a lot of lady bugs in the grass around where they had let them go and Alex captured about five before we left. Her plan was to keep them in her hand until we got home, but we were stopping at Target so she stashed them in an empty water bottle for a while. She was concerned because the bugs were getting stuck in the leftover water, but they all survived. She kept them for a couple hours and then let all but two go free" And... "Alex has such a pretty smile when it is a “real” smile which it is here! It was my idea to try to get a picture with the lady bug on her nose, but the lady bug was not cooperating with us at all!" Full credits can be found here.
When I had my Miche Bag party several weeks ago I spent most of the day prior to the party cleaning the house. I guess this is a normal activity to do before having guests in your home. I cleaned off the kitchen island, picked up all the kids' toys (downstairs at least), swept the floor, made sure all the dishes were clean and out of the sink, and cleaned the downstairs bathroom. But I did spend ALL DAY getting this done. When I was talking to Tony about it later he confessed that he thought he would come home that evening and have to help me get the house tidy... and then (the funny thing) he said "It's amazing what you can do when you apply yourself." Well of course if I spend all day cleaning, getting nothing else done, then YES, I can get a lot done. But this is no way to spend the day on a normal basis.
What frustrates me about cleaning is that even when you do a good job at it, the dirt and dishes and toys and clutter all come back! And you just have to do it all again. I know if I had a better system then this would all go a little more smoothly, but I don't yet. The other frustrating thing is that there is more to do in the house then just the normal cleaning... there is the clutter clearing and organizing I would like to get done when I have the time. But when I do find time for cleaning it is always the "normal" things that must get done first - like the laundry and the bathrooms and the floors/vacuuming! By the time that is finished I am usually either too tired to do more or I am out of time! Now I realize I am not the first woman to realize these issues with cleaning, but it is upsetting none-the-less.
And then the kids are awful about helping... which I know is partly a lack of discipline on our part. At the start of last summer I gave the kids an ultimatum... clean the playroom or no TV. Well it was an entire week before they cleaned it and then they had gotten so used to not watching TV they just didn't ask anymore. So they went an entire month without watching TV. Glorious. But that still didn't really solve the cleaning issue.
I declared today a cleaning day and the kids have done next to nothing to help. They like spraying the cleaner so they cleaned all the mirrors in the bathrooms and Brandon got out the disinfectant and sprayed all the door knobs and light switches but what I really need them to do is pick up their toys and clean their rooms which they will not do. I can't spend all my time overseeing them or I won't get anything done myself so I have told them what they need to do and now I am ignoring them until they do it. I have mentioned if it doesn't get done today then we will try again tomorrow after school, and the next day and the next until it gets done. No TV, no playing with their neighbor friends and no reading until they help out and do their part. As far as the downstairs (where we all have to live), after I am done with the bathrooms and laundry I will be going around with a trash bag and picking up for them. I have already mentioned this as well so it should be no surprise when I do it, although that won't change the screaming and crying that will ensue.
There is definitely a "My Life as it Should Be" post coming on this topic, but I am not ready to tackle it yet. Maybe a chore chart, or an allowance system... I just don't know what will motivate the kids. I wish I had it all figured out. Any suggestions are welcome! :-)
So after that horrible day I decided to clean out my purse, I had to come up with a plan to keep the clutter out! I did a little research the same evening I wrote the blog post and thought I would go with a new purse and one of the organizing systems I found on-line. That next weekend I went to Fred Meyer and looked at purses but didn't find anything I really liked. Then I remembered the purse a friend of mine had showed me except I wasn't sure of the name... but it just so happened I saw a lady in the store with the same type of purse so I stopped her to get the name and ask her opinion of the product. She said it was a little small for her but that is exactly what I needed... smaller! The name was Miche Bag. These purses come in two sizes and are sold though home-based distributorships. I liked what I saw on-line and sent off an e-mail to have someone contact me. Within a couple days they had responded that my information was passed on and then a very nice lady contacted me to set up a Miche Bag party just one week later. Great turn-around time! She suggested a later date but I was in a hurry! I had already ditched my big wallet for a smaller one and that was all I was carrying around - I needed a purse! The party was a success and I was able to get a base, two shells (the Ashley and Christa) and a purse organizer (over $90 worth of product) for just over $20 with my party credit and discounts!
Great! I got what I needed, other ladies were able to purchase this fun bag, and we all supported a local woman in business for herself! I will say I am not too sure about the organizer yet, as the only thing I am organizing so far is a pen! But the purse has been working great the past couple weeks and I have not felt the need to stuff anything in there! Receipts go in the bag at the store and then are either disposed of or saved when I get home. Kids items are given back to the kids for them to put away... as it should be for heaven's sake!
I think the best change so far is my wallet. My old wallet was big and bulky, and the perfect place to put all those troublesome receipts! Look at the difference!
First of all I found eleven cards I was able to simply get rid of: seven old insurance cards, one old NV state drivers license, one grocery store rewards card (no Smith's in WA), one old Costco card, and one old 24 hour fitness card! I also took out cards that I can use by giving a phone number, making sure the phone number method works before removing the card! I was able to take out two grocery store cards and several other store cards - whoo hooo! Getting lighter and lighter! And of course just managing my receipts better probably cuts out about half the weight of my old wallet! I don't have room in the new wallet to store receipts so they either go in the bag or in my pocket, but either way they will be dealt with when I get home. I finally returned an item I was saving a receipt for and when I got home all the receipts were shredded... instead of them sitting in my wallet until the next big clean out!
We don't really do much for Mother's Day here. Sometimes I will get breakfast in bed, but this morning we headed off to church early where the Knights of Columbus were hosting a free breakfast. Brandon liked the bright napkins they had out and wanted me to save one to put in his lunch on Hawaiian Day at school. Last night we went out to dinner at Red Robin, mainly because I wanted a milkshake... and it was really yummy! Brandon couldn't wait to give me all the presents he made at school so I opened them at dinner. He made a pouch with a pretty watercolor picture on the outside that held all the presents.
The petals read:
There were a couple other items in the pouch. One was a Mother's Day Creative Writing sheet with the instructions: Write a word, poem or sentence using each letter in the word M-O-T-H-E-R.
And another where they were practicing paragraph techniques...
"Mommy you are the best mom. First, you make a lot of home made things like chocolate sauce and smoothies. They are very yummy. Second, you and Daddy bought a house to eat, sleep and play. Third, when I am sick, you give me medicine and if I have a fever, you take me to the doctor. You are the best mommy because you make home made things, bought us a home, and take care of me when I am sick. Thank you for being my mommy."
Alex had a present for me as well, but couldn't wait and gave it to me on Friday... hand print art made in her kindergarten class. Brandon remembered making his and ran upstairs to get it from my room so they could compare the size of the hand prints!
There is a poem that goes with the hand print:
Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small.
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls.
But every day I'm growing
I'll be grown-up some day.
And all those little hand prints
Will surely fade away.
So here's a final hand print,
Just so you can recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small.
I am amazed at how fast time has passed, and how fast the kids are growing. Alex will be in first grade in September and I will be without kids from 8am to 3pm every weekday. Unbelievable! While I already know I will have plenty of activities to fill my days, it is bitter sweet to think about how much time the kids will be away from me. The days of taking them to morning play group or story time at the library are gone. Now the afternoons/evenings will be forever filled with homework and rushing from one activity to the next, usually with little time for dinner. I must remember this sure fact and try to savor the time with them over the summer... give more of myself during the long lazy days because I know I will have my time come the 1st day of the next school year!
The first Saturday of every month we try to get the kids to the Home Depot Kids Workshop. This is available at every Home Depot and you can attend anytime between 9am-12pm. The kids get a Home Depot apron (the first time they are there) and a certificate of completion with a pin after finishing their project. This past Saturday Tony took the kids and each of them made a Picket Fence Planter.
They get to assemble the pieces right there with glue and a hammer and nails, with adult supervision of course! The kids enjoy the hands-on activity and it is free! Well, mostly. I wasn't with them this week but apparently they were handing out marigolds to go in the pot. Tony wasn't aware of this so they headed over to the nursery area of the store where Alex saw the cactuses and had to have one. Brandon also said he wanted a cactus but took a good 20 minutes (not sure if Tony is exaggerating here) looking for one and then said he wanted one of the marigolds that were being handed out instead. So back over to the other side of the store they went and then they still had to wait in line for the (free) marigold. All this put them 20 minutes late to Alex's gymnastics practice. Oh well, here is a picture of the cactus... the flowers are fake, glued on rather sloppily. Alex loved how soft the needles were, but not that soft as they still stuck right into her hand!