Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Between Two Worlds: Financing an Adoption

Between Two Worlds: Financing an Adoption

I thank God everyday that he gave us the blessing of a child and hope to receive the blessing many more times before my life is over. One thing Bruce and I have always discussed is adding to our family through adoption. While we aren't ready to do that just yet, this blog gives some wonderful resources on how to make it more affordable. I look forward to coming back to this post someday to take advantage of these resources.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I Found a New Blog

I love reading blogs... I have been adding to my Google Reader list regularly for a few months. Some of the blogs have come off, but not all of them. One that I added recently and will probably be keeping is Multi-Tasking Moms. I decided to share this blog with all of you because they are giving away a MomAgenda and I think I'd like to win it. I know I only have 1 little one to keep up after, but being organized is so important to me. This seems like a good time to get started!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Picture Fix

What is a new mom at home with her baby supposed to do with a digital camera and basic photo software? Go crazy taking pictures of her precious baby of course! I can concentrate on little else besides her even though there are tons of other things I could be doing. So, I thought I'd share the photos with you who are waiting so patiently for more Charlotte Moon news!

Here are the happy grandparents a few hours after Charlotte was born. Grumpy (grandpa) wasn't able to hold her because he had to get back on the road, but he'll be here this weekend! I've heard he might be excited.
Excited srandparents peeking into the nursery

This is Bruce's first time holding Charlotte. He was nervous, but you can't tell from this picture.
Bruce holding Charlotte

Here the Sabin family goes from 2 to 3 people.
2 Become 3

Charlotte is a baby after her mother's heart. She came out of the womb asking for a manicure!
Charlotte's First Manicure

After nearly 48 hours, they let Mommy and Charlotte go home. She was very quiet for her first car ride.
Going home!

Uncle Nick and Aunt Michelle came down to visit the next day. I never knew my brother had a soft spot for babies!
Uncle Nick

Due to her jaundice, Charlotte had to sleep on a Bili-Blanket for the first few nights. She reminded us of her glowworm! She came back Coombs negative so she won't need any transfusions, just light therapy (which she is off of as today).
Our own little glowworm

It looks like I have a gangsta baby. Notice the hand signal she is flashing.
You wanna piece of this?

During her first bath at home I learned an important lesson - make sure they are done going to the bathroom before you take the diaper off! I thought you only had to worry about this with little boys. Notice the stain on the front of my shirt and the smile on my face. I'm definitely keeping my sense of humor!
I get messy at bath time!

This is Charlotte's blue sundress. You can't see it here, but the headband Grandma put on her says "Adorable." While she is adorable, I can't figure out why she needs a headband. We aren't going to Jazzercise!
Don't you like my blue dress?

My mom had a lot of fun taking pictures of me this afternoon. Here I am trying to rest peacefully and she is snapping and flashing away!
Naps are fun!
My hands are so tiny.
Aren't my hands tiny?
And my feet too!
Isn't my foot cute?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm So Happy

I know many have waited a long time to see a post about Charlotte Moon. And I've been waiting to make the post as well. There are already so many wonderful things I want the world to know about our beautiful baby girl it will take me forever to share them all with you. So, I decided to start small and have been making a list that I will try to get to over the next couple of weeks. The only problem is... sometimes I get so caught up just staring at Charlotte I forget that I have other things to do. :-) I'll start tonight with the "birth story." On Monday, August 6th, I had my regularly scheduled 39-week appointment. While there, Dr. Salamon checked my cervix and decided I was 70-80% effaced and 1-2 cm dilated. Apparently, every time my belly was hardening in the last couple of months, I was having a contraction. If only they had stayed so innocuous! Monday afternoon though, I did start to experience stronger contractions but they were fairly irregular.

After talking to several people and doing some of my own research, I am sure the cervical exam helped to spur on my labor. When I woke up on Tuesday morning at 5:30, I was still having some contractions, only they were coming more consistently, maybe every 10-15 minutes on average. Since I wasn't sure if these were the real thing or not, I laid down for a couple of hours to see if they would go away - they didn't. So, Bruce and I spent the rest of the day finding places to walk. We went to Lowe's and visited just about every department. Then, we went to Walmart and walked around there for another hour or so. By this time, Bruce was hungry and I was tired of walking and contracting so we stopped at Burger King for Bruce to eat something. I ate a Zone bar myself since I didn't want any greasy fast food in my system.

From there, I decided to go to the Regency to see if I had made any progress since my contractions were now about 1 minute long and ~5 minutes apart. After the triage nurse examined me, we were told to go home. I had not progressed. She speculated that I was tired and tense so my muscles weren't relaxing enough for my labor to progress. Her suggestion was to go home, take a Tylenol PM and try to get some rest because I would need it. She was right! I caught about 2 1/2 hours of shut-eye and then my water broke.

We high-tailed it back to the hospital and got me admitted. It was a long night of walking around and trying to breathe through the contractions. The most comfortable position during a contraction was kneeling over one of the couches in the Family Lounge. By the time 8:30 am came around though, I was exhausted. My contractions still weren't progressing and I was only dilated about 4 cm. I decided to ask for some Stadol to ease the pain. Along with the Stadol I took something to relax my muscles. This allowed me to sleep for about 2 hours. I desperately needed that sleep. I didn't feel as if I had it in me to push when the time came and it didn't feel like it was coming anytime soon.

After resting for 2 hours (in which I could still feel my contractions, but ignore them if I wanted too), Dr. Salamon came in and pulled my tape only to announce that my contractions had slowed down and were now irregular. Of course, at this point, my water had been broken for about 10 hours and Dr. Salamon said it was time for Pitocin. I wasn't happy about that and we discussed the decision for several minutes before I conceded that her advice was the best for my situation by this point. So the Pitocin drip started out at the lowest dose, 2, and the nurse did her best to not increase it until she had to. I only ended up getting a dose of 6, which I was told is only a half-dose.

The Pitocin worked though. I ended up getting to the pushing stage around 1:45 pm, which lasted for 2 hours. It was not fun nor was it easy. As many people as I talked to and as many books as I read, nothing prepared me for the pain of actually pushing Charlotte through the last bit of the birth canal. Renee, the delivery nurse, told me it would feel like a ring of fire. She was right, but I didn't know how right she was going to be! I think the majority of my pain came from the 2 tears I had. One small one on the bottom and one slightly larger one on top. I ended up with 4 stitches total.

One funny part of this whole story is that when I gave the final push, once Charlotte was out a huge gush of amniotic fluid went flying across the room and part of it caught the doctor in the face. It was a surreal moment to say the least. :)

After she was out, Charlotte Moon was brought to my chest. I didn't think I could get the hospital gown off fast enough to hold her skin-t0-skin. It was an amazing feeling to meet her and well, find out Belly Monster was a little girl! She stayed in my arms for close to an hour before the nurses took her to finish their measuring and testing. Here is a photo taken of her after they took her and bathed her. I like to think her dance career starts here, as she practices her Krumping. If you look close at her eyes, don't be alarmed by the wet stuff... she wasn't crying, that is some sort of vitamin E goop they put there to prevent blindness.

It has taken me 3 days to write this post because I keep getting distracted by Charlotte and her attempts to eat and my attempts to sleep. I'll try to get another post up by the end of the weekend. If I start now I should be able to make it.

Monday, August 06, 2007

1 Week Left?

Today was another ObGyn appointment. I finally met with Dr. Salamon again. She did a pelvic exam and announced that I am 70-80% effaced and 1-2 cm dilated. She thinks I might have the baby this week, but we've still scheduled an appointment for next Monday. We also set-up an ultrasound so they can check on the amniotic fluid.

Remember when I said I didn't think I was having contractions... I was wrong. I found out today that I have been having them, but since they didn't hurt I hadn't really noticed them. It turns out that all those times my belly got that rock-hard feeling, I was having a practice contraction. I never knew. I just thought it was kind of cool how hard my belly was. How naive of me. :-)

Dr. Salamon said that if I hadn't gone into labor my next appointment, on 8/13, she wanted to schedule an induction. Well, regular readers of my blog know that is not high on my list of ways to begin labor and delivery. I came home and looked into it some more and at this point, can see no medical reason why an induction will be necessary. Even the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists doesn't seem to recommend an induction in my particular circumstance. I didn't question the doctor today because she was already behind schedule, but you can be sure that next week if she tries to schedule one (and my circumstances haven't changed) I will politely decline her offer. I don't see any reason why going past my due date, by a week even, is harmful. This of course, assumes that there are no major changes in my condition or that of Baby Sabin's.

I feel ready though. Baby Sabin can come whenever he or she feels ready!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Good Day

Today was a good day. My parents came down for a visit along with my brother and his wife. The visit was in honor of Bruce's birthday, which is next Saturday. Since my dad is an over the road truck driver we celebrated today while he could be with us. I made a special lunch for Bruce of his favorite Chicken-Spinach Lasagna with Snickerdoodles for dessert. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, which made me happy since I spent most of the morning in the kitchen preparing it. Bruce was also able to open presents and I am proud to report that all but one of them had nothing to do with Baby Sabin.

You see, with Bruce's birthday being so close to the anticipated birth of Baby Sabin, he is worried about his birthday being co-opted by Baby Sabin. I've told him I will do my best to make sure that doesn't happen, though we might have to ask them to share a cake in the future because I don't think I could handle having 2 cakes to eat in the house around the same time.

After lunch, the ladies sorted through some items I received at various showers that I decided I didn't need, mostly some of the 30 receiving blankets and some photo albums. After deciding which store everything came from, we went to Wal-Mart to make some exchanges. While I am the first to tell you that I hate going to Wal-Mart, I am very thankful for their generous return policy. So much better than Target's policy. It turned out that not everything I guessed as Wal-Mart was really from there, but we just put that back in the car and returned the things that were in Wal-Mart's system. I ended up with nearly $100 to spend today. And it didn't take me long. :-) I bought a bath-tub for Baby Sabin, along with some breastfeeding accessories, a laundry hamper, and bedding for a new twin bed we are getting to accommodate my mom's scheduled visit. I think that is about it. I still have 2 more stores to hit, so let's hope things go as well there too.

When we got back, my brother had finished setting up the wireless router my parents gave Bruce to go along with the new laptop they also gave him. This works out great for me too since I was hard-wired to the traditional router we had been using. Now, Bruce and I can chat on IM while we sit next to each other in the living room. No... we wouldn't really do that, except on Wednesday nights when our whole family gets on IM.

Finally, we ended our family day by going to see the Bourne Ultimatum. It was a great movie, though the cinematography was a bit too modern (i.e. shaky) for my tastes. Is this a sign that I am getting old too??? Bruce will be 30 in a week and I am not far behind him...

Erica brought up a good point in her most recent comment... Bruce has been fully trained on how to make a blog post! I have also created a draft e-mail for him to use to send out an electronic announcement once Baby Sabin arrives and I decide to let him leave my side at the hospital. If I have your e-mail address, then you are already included in the draft e-mail. If I don't, and you want an e-mail, just let me know what your e-mail address is.

Apart from being very busy in the nursery yesterday and getting lunch ready for today, I have taken time to just relax. Once I got my To Do list down on paper and started tackling the items one at a time, my brain eased up a little. Apart from needed to finish packing a few items in my hospital bag, I think I am ready (or as ready as one can be for this type of new experience). My house is clean, the nursery is in order, diapers are sorted with the smallest sizes most accessible, clothes are folded and put into the dresser, and things I won't be needing for several months are organized and packed away neatly for quick access. I'll take some photos tomorrow to share with all you devoted readers out there. For now, it is late and I need to go to bed. G'night!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I'm Beat

Baby Sabin isn't even officially here and I am beat. Now, today was a busy and active day for me, but I'm exhausted and hope a good night's rest will take care of me a little bit. Tomorrow I will try to be a little easier on myself though. We started off the day bright and early to do some work in the yard. It was a great day for yard work as it stayed fairly cool until 10:00 or so.

Have you ever tried to do yard work with a bowling bowl hanging off your stomach??? That is the best way I can describe what it was like to pull weeds and shape some plants today. I couldn't just bend over, so most of my morning consisted of plopping down, pulling all the weeds within arms reach, then scooting or crab crawling to the next patch of earth and pulling more weeds. I was terribly slow, but got the most important areas done. Bruce did a ton as well, pulling up many of the dead annuals we planted 18 months ago along with laying some new landscaping timbers and cleaning up his fish pond. He stayed out a little bit longer than I did and looked tired too.

After taking a much needed, cold shower I worked on my grocery list and coupons. Eventually, I left to run my errands and go grocery shopping. It began raining really hard while I was out and subsequently, I got soaked each time I went into or came out of any place. Should have skipped the shower at home. :-) Publix was nice though because the bagger brought my groceries out to the car and loaded them up for me. Now, I am just waiting for my baby daddy to get home and unload the non-perishables from the car for me. I'll put them away tomorrow.

My friend Julie had her baby today. Jordan Ann was born around 10 am, weighing 7 lb. 8 oz. at Shand's in Gainesville, FL. They will decide in the next day or so when to perform the hernia surgery on Jordan. By all accounts Julie is doing well. I hope to get an update with more details tomorrow.

Everyone keeps assuming that I am so ready to be done with my pregnancy. But I have to be very honest that I am not. Assuming it would be healthy for the baby, I could stay pregnant for another month and I would be fine. My discomfort is fairly minimal and my enthusiasm and energy level are remaining pretty consistent (today notwithstanding). I love being pregnant and hope to do it many more times! I love having a miracle in my belly and being the Keeper Of The Belly Monster (my new nickname around the house).