Thursday, December 29, 2011

Induction vs. Natural Labor

As I promised two weeks ago, here is my post on whether I prefer to be induced or go into labor naturally. To answer that question succinctly, I prefer to be induced. (You could probably figure that out by my earlier posts.) Why do I prefer to be induced?
  • I'm a planner. I want to know when the baby is coming so I can plan accordingly: who will keep the other children, when to clean the house, when to pack my suitcase, etc.. Then I'm not caught by surprise as I was when I went unexpectedly into labor with Mary. (I had to hurriedly pack in the middle of the night, and I left a messy house.)
  • My labors are shorter when I'm induced. And once you get an epidural, it doesn't really matter how strong your contractions are from the Pitocin. Of course, I'm sure that part of why this labor was so long was because the residents weren't in any hurry since they were there all day anyway. With my previous labors, I had a private practice physician, and she had other patients to see so she was in a little bit of a hurry. She got there early and broke my water shortly after the Pitocin was started so I delivered quickly. (And I liked that!)
  • An induction guarantees that my doctor will deliver my baby, not whoever is on call. I prefer to have someone I know getting that familiar with me.
  • With my inductions, I got my epidurals much more quickly than I did laboring with Mary. Again, that probably has to do with the difference in a teaching versus private hospital.
So, there you go. Have you gone into labor naturally and been induced? Which did you prefer and why?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review: Shadows on the Sand by Gayle G. Roper

Shadows on the Sand by Gayle G. Roper is a murder mystery, thriller, and romance novel all wrapped up in one. Carrie owns a little cafe in a seaside town, and Jase, one of the men who washes dishes for her, turns up murdered. While she does not set out to solve this mystery, she plays an integral part in capturing the murderer. Along the way, she and Greg, one of her cafe's regular patrons, begin dating, and both of them have lots of baggage to overcome as they progress.

I really enjoyed this book; I had a hard time putting it down, and I can't remember the last book I read where I had this problem. The love story between Greg and Carrie is a sweet one. Since they are both mature (not old) Christians, they know what they want in a relationship and are not willing to settle for less. There is no flirting or other silliness that often ends up in romance novels. This is a straightforward relationship, and therefore is believable. While it is obvious who killed Jase, you have no idea how it will turn out and how Andi, a waitress at Carrie's cafe, is important to the story.

If you're looking for a fun book to read, I recommend this one. I haven't read anything else by Roper, but I plan to remedy that. If her other books are half as good as this one, I won't be disappointed.

I want to thank WaterBrook Multnomah for my (kindle) copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What We Did for Christmas

For the past month, we have been contemplating whether to head back to our old stomping grounds for Christmas. We hadn't been back since we moved, and it would be so nice to see my family. I really wanted to go, but I wasn't sure how it would work with a newborn. Then I had an induction scheduled for November 30, and I thought for sure that we'd be able to make it back to visit my parents and siblings for Christmas.

Well, you know how that induction worked out.

Then as the time got closer and closer to Christmas, John and my mother convinced me that heading back to my hometown wasn't the best idea. So I started preparing mentally to stay home for Christmas...which would be fine. We had a nice, small Thanksgiving, and a nice, small Christmas would be good, too.

But Mary is such a good baby, and so far she's fairly easy, so we started considering again heading up to Georgia for Christmas.

(Do you see how many times we changed our mind?)

Finally, last week on Wednesday, we decided to make the trip. And we're so glad that we did. We left Friday morning and got to my parents' house in late afternoon. One of my good friends dropped by for a quick visit. Then my younger brother and his family and my sister and her children showed up for supper. Our children had soooo much fun playing with their cousins, and Rachel was spoiled with all the attention she got.

We stayed with my sister which was really nice. And we saw some more good friends (Laura with her family and Audrey with hers) Saturday night.

And, of course, Sunday was Christmas. We had a big, Christmas dinner, and all of my family came to my sister's house for it. I felt a little guilty since I didn't prepare a single dish for dinner. But it was wonderful to spend so much time with family, especially since I hadn't seen them in so long.

Then we came back home Monday. And it's so nice to be home. As Dorothy said, "There's no place like home."

My only regret is that I didn't take a single picture. Argh!

What did you do for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Busy, Busy

I had forgotten how busy newborns keep you. Between all the feedings and the rockings to sleep, babies are almost a full-time job in themselves! Thankfully, John is still home, helping with our other children. I'll get to the induction vs. natural labor as soon as I get a chance -- probably next week.

In the meantime, I thought I would let you know what else we have been doing. My sister and her daughter came for a visit on Monday, and it was so good to see them. We haven't seen them since we moved down to Florida in August. John has been doing a good bit with our older children, leaving me at home with Mary. He even took the older three shopping at a mall that's about 45 minutes away on Tuesday. Wasn't that brave of him? Right now, he's playing golf with the older two. I've got Rachel and Mary and clothes to fold.

Here are a couple of pictures for you:

Proud big sister. Doesn't Sarah Beth look so grown up?

Our Christmas picture. We had to wait until Mary was born to take them, so our Christmas cards will be late this year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mary's Birth Story

When I went to bed Monday night, everything seemed "normal." I had no idea that I was going to go into labor later that night. I got up a little before 1:00 a.m. to use the bathroom, and I realized that I didn't feel "normal." I wondered if I were in labor, but I had felt not-quite-normal several times before, so.... When I climbed back in bed, I realized that I was having contractions. They were coming about every four or five minutes, but they weren't very strong. I watched the clock for an hour, making sure that I was actually in labor. I certainly didn't want a false alarm.

A little before 2:00, I woke John up, saying, "I think I'm in labor." He jumped up so fast! I got the phone and called one of my new friends here in town. As a matter of fact, I only know her because a mutual friend told her that I would need some help with my children when I went into labor. This kind lady volunteered to help out; she also has a seventeen year old daughter who was willing to help, as well. Then I called my parents. I laughed when my mother said that they couldn't leave right away, that they would leave first thing in the morning. I knew she wouldn't be able to get back to sleep, and they would be leaving soon. While we waited for the daughter to get here, I finished packing my suitcase. When she arrived, we left.

We got to the hospital about 3:00 a.m., and my contractions were still about five minutes apart, but they were getting stronger. As I waited in the lobby for John to park the car, my mother called to let me know that they were on the way. I knew it! I finally got checked in and everything about 4:00 a.m., and I was four centimeters. Since I went from 4 cm to delivery in an hour with both Daniel and Rachel, I figured I was almost done. But I really wanted my epidural before the baby came.

Meanwhile, my contractions were getting stronger and stronger, and it was about 5:30 before I got my epidural. And that was the worst thirty minutes of my life. I won't say anything else because I don't want to alarm anyone, and I don't want to relive it. But I was thankful for the epidural when it was all over. I will say that I think the difference in this epidural and the others I have received was who gave it. My other ones were done by full-fledged doctors, and this one was done by a third year resident.

At this point, it was about 6:00 a.m. -- shift change for the residents. (Yes, I was at a teaching hospital. Never again!) The nurse's shift change was at 7:00. So I didn't see anyone for about an hour and a half. I was pretty irked by that. I really wanted someone to come in and break my water so I could have this baby. But no one was in a hurry for me to deliver...except for me.

Things continued to drag on all morning until about 8:45 when I insisted that the doctor (a second year resident which I chose because everyone else on the team was a man) come and check me. (The nurses at this hospital aren't allowed to; isn't that ridiculous?) I was hoping that she would break my water at this time, too. At 9:15, my water broke. Then I insisted even more strongly that the doctor needed to come because I was sure that Mary would be coming soon. She got there about 9:30. They got everything set up, and she wanted me to start pushing.

I pushed once, and everyone (the doctor, nurses, and John) were amazed at how far down the birth canal Mary moved. As I relaxed, waiting for the next contraction, my parents opened the door. It was too late for them to come in, but I was so glad they had made it there for the delivery. Mary arrived with the next push at 9:45. She was 8 pounds, 10 ounces which is my biggest baby. She was also 19.29 inches long which is shorter than my other babies.

And there you have it! This labor was my longest one at nine hours. My others were four to six hours long. I really think that if my water had been broken earlier, I would have delivered much earlier. Like I said, I think I was the only one that was in a hurry to have this baby. But from this side of it, I was glad that my parents made it, and they just did! And I was so relieved to have my epidural.

My cousin Angela asked me if I still prefer to be induced or if I liked doing it naturally better. That will have to be the subject of my next post because I figure that, if she's wondering, someone else probably is, too.

Friday, December 16, 2011

And the Winner is...

Last night, John took our oldest three children out for supper to give me some quiet time with Mary. And I took the opportunity to do some catching up on the computer like uploading some pictures of Mary onto facebook. You know, important things. Then Mary did one of the things that newborns do best -- she fell asleep in my arms. So I put her down and figured I would be a little productive and draw the name for the giveaway while I had the chance. I used, and it drew number 8 which is my good, real life friend Laura at Six Little Arrows. Congratulations, Laura! I will get the snowflakes in the mail as soon as I can, and hopefully you'll get them before Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Happened?

Are you wondering what happened to my announcing the winner to my giveaway yesterday? Well, I warned you that I wouldn't be able to draw a name or announce the winner if I were at the hospital having a baby...although I didn't have her Wednesday morning. Rather, Mary Rebekah arrived Tuesday morning at 9:45.

So I've been just a little bit busy for the past few days. I hope to draw a name and announce the winner tomorrow, but I'm not promising anything. And I also hope to write up Mary's birth story this weekend, but again, I can't guarantee anything.

We are doing well, and our other children are adjusting nicely to having a new baby in the house, even Rachel. But I may not be around much in the blogosphere in the near future.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rachel's Antics

The other day, I left my crocheting things out because I was hoping to spend some time that afternoon working on snowflakes. (I usually put my crocheting away because Rachel can ruin hours of work in less than 30 seconds, and I don't want to take the risk.) When I found Rachel, she had pulled out several hooks from the little package and stuck them into my skein of yarn. I thought her "artwork" looked neat so I took some pictures. Doesn't she look proud of herself? Then I took it away from her before she unraveled the skein of yarn.

A couple of days later while John was out with Sarah Beth and Daniel, I found Rachel down in the playroom, playing with Sarah Beth's doll house.

Do you see that she had climbed onto the end table in order to reach it? She's not allowed to play with it because it has small pieces, and she still puts things in her mouth. As soon as she realized I had found her, she started shoving the furniture and dolls back into the house. I know that I should have taken her down immediately and disciplined her, but I just had to get the camera and take a few pictures. I have no idea how she got up there, but she did!

I told you a while ago about Rachel's vibrant personality, but she is also sneaky and mischievous. She is always looking for something to get into, as evidenced by her fun with my yarn. And if you haven't seen or heard her in the last five minutes, you had better go check on her because she will find something to get into. Sarah Beth and Daniel are not like this; they aren't sneaky. But Rachel sure does bring a lot of fun into our lives!

Do you have a sneaky or mischievous child? What kinds of stunts have they pulled?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Giveaway Times Two

First of all, I want to let you know about the giveaway that Laura is having at Six Little Arrows that is for these beautiful hair flowers. You can go here to enter. (Oh, and I "borrowed" her picture of the flowers. Aren't they pretty?)

I was inspired by Laura, and in honor of today being my due date, I thought I would host a giveaway, too. Since I've had some extra time on my hands lately, I've been doing a little extra crocheting. I found this great pattern for snowflakes, and I adapted it just a bit to make them into Christmas ornaments. I mean, who really wants orange, green, blue, red, etc. snowflakes. So I just made them all white, and the yarn has a little bit of shimmer to it which is very nice for snowflakes, too, I think. Please excuse the "tails;" I haven't gotten around to weaving the ends in yet. (But I will before I send them to you.)

To enter, just leave a comment. For additional entries, blog about this giveaway or link to this post on facebook; then leave another comment stating that you did so. The winner will receive a set of three snowflakes. The drawing will be open until Tuesday, December 13, at midnight. I will announce a winner on Wednesday, assuming, of course, that I'm not at the hospital giving birth.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


At my appointment yesterday, once again I was disappointed in my hopes and plans to have this baby. While I was more ready than last week, my doctor did not think I was ready enough to be induced. I know that my old doctor would have induced me at this stage of readiness, and I did try to change his mind. But he wouldn't be persuaded. However, he did strip my membranes. I wish he would have told me beforehand because I would have asked him not to. I don't think he understands that I don't want to go into labor spontaneously; I want to be induced. I listed all my reasons for being induced here, and here are my worries about going into labor at home.
  • John works half an hour from home, so it will take him at least that long to get here.
  • Everyone who has volunteered to keep our children, if my parents aren't here to help, live half an hour or more away.
  • My labors tend to be short, between four and six hours, but that's when I'm induced. Will they be longer or shorter without Pitocin? If they're shorter, will I make it the hour to the hospital where my doctor delivers babies.
  • Of course, if my doctor isn't on call, what does it matter where I deliver, really? If a stranger is going to deliver my baby, it may as well be at the small hospital in my town, don't you think?
  • I just don't do well without a plan, and it stresses me out thinking that I may go into labor.
  • I do not want to have this baby in the car.
We do have a plan, assuming that I don't have this baby before next week. My doctor scheduled an induction for Thursday when I will be 41 weeks. He did not schedule an appointment to check me beforehand, so he can't change his mind. It just seems so long until then. And I haven't gone that far before. With Sarah Beth, I was induced three days after my due date. With my other two, I was induced at 39 weeks.

Once again, I'm left with trying to figure out what I'm going to do with this extra week I've been given. More cookies? I'm almost done with Christmas shopping. I can't think of anywhere to go with my children. And I can't get motivated to work on these boxes that I still need to unpack. *Sigh* Do you have any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What's in Our (Extended) Backyard?

Since our house is on a golf course, we have an extended backyard. Sometimes in the evenings, John will take our children out to play on the fairway that is behind our house. The golfers are usually done for the day, so we aren't bothering anybody. And we have the benefit of a much larger backyard that we don't have to take care of!

The other day, John thought he heard a bald eagle out in the little lake that is on the other side of the fairway. The next day, he actually saw it. So he took his camera out and took some pictures. Here is a sampling of the pictures that he took.

You have to look closely to see the bald eagle. If you look closely, you can see his white head.

It's a little easier to see now.

Didn't John get some good pictures?!

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's Happening This Week?

After my huge disappointment last week about not being ready to be induced, I'm cautiously optimistic this week. Since I'll be forty weeks on Thursday, surely I'll be ready to have this baby. Surely. I have a doctor's appointment Tuesday afternoon, and we have an induction scheduled tentatively for Thursday, assuming.... If things look favorable, my parents will drive down for the birth and to help with childcare on Wednesday. If not, well, they won't.

I realized that some of you may not understand why I want an induction so badly, so I thought I would list some reasons. Just in case you're interested.
  • I've been induced with all three of my children so far, and I have had great experiences with being induced.
  • I'm a planner. I like to know when things will happen so I can plan for them. Having an induction (or a C-section, I guess) lets me plan. And it keeps me from having to call someone at 3 a.m. to come stay with our children.
  • My labors tend to be fairly quick (about five hours), and the hospital where my doctor delivers is about an hour away. If I go into labor spontaneously, we will not try to make it there; I will deliver this baby at the little hospital here in our small town. That's not really a problem except that I would like for my doctor to deliver my baby.
  • Being induced lets my parents know when this baby is coming so they can be here for the birth. (It's a five hour drive, so they'd never make it in time.)
Meanwhile, I plan to keep doing what I've been doing: resting and baking cookies. I have a friend and her children coming over today for a play date, and that should be fun. I have a few other last minute chores to do but nothing major.

I just hope that my plans for this week include having a baby!

What do you have planned for the week?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Finished Object Friday (on Saturday)

I didn't get to this post yesterday, you know, since I have so much to do just sitting around and waiting for this baby to come. Really, that's pretty much what I've been doing. Oh, and baking some cookies.

Anyway, I finished this blanket a while ago, but I never got around to posting about it. I made it for Rachel because she used to steal Sarah Beth's blanket and Daniel's, and she would try to steal John's. So I thought she would appreciate having her own. I used such a vibrant color because Rachel has a vibrant personality. She is almost always happy; she walks around with a smile on her face. But when she's not happy, oh, boy! She's not happy! And her moods can change with the drop of a hat, from crying to laughing and vice versa. Honestly, we're not sure where Rachel came from because John and I (and our first two children) tend to be more even-keeled than that. But she makes a fun addition to our family!

The thing is, though, that Rachel doesn't seem to care for this blanket. She hasn't touched it since I gave it to her. I'm not sure what to do now. I guess I'll just put it away and try again later. Maybe for her birthday in January?

For more Finished Object Friday, or to add your own, head over to Fresh from the Chari Tree.