Monday, December 31, 2007

And a happy new year

Well, I imagine by the time I get around to those promised pictures, even all *my* Christmas decorations will be repacked for the year.

Last night was the first night in a week that Israel went to bed for the night after only 1 wake up, that Eve went to bed without any wake ups, and that Israel did not get up at 6. Thank goodness, because the secret to my success is that Eve didn't go to sleep until 10, and Israel not until 11. Needless to say, getting to sleep in was a welcome relief, but ill-timed since today is a work day. I was so late that the gal I share a desk with had moved in for the day, expecting me not to come in at all.

This has been a year of high highs and low lows for us.

We welcomed a new and wonderful son, a new and wonderful niece, and a new brother-in-law. We were blessed so much by friends and family, and the mysterious and yet tangible ways in which God provides and loves us. We truly became a part of our new church and feel at home there, and continue to strengthen our friendships, even as we add to them. We received a Christmas card from an old friend I was quite certain had been killed in action (so regular was his correspondence prior to 2006), so I'm delighted to have, in essence, received him back from the dead--and with a wife as well (now I know what was keeping him so busy, or rather who.) In light of the highs, the lows don't really matter so much.

My hopes for 2008 include:
Healing, both emotionally and physically for Tom.
That my son will continue to grow as issue-free as he has so far and as his sister has.
That my daughter will continue to grow more delightful and accomplished, and perhaps just a little more tempered and tractable.
That Tom's side of the family will have no more alarming and devastating health diagnoses, and no deaths either.
That my side of the family will meet with life, health, and success. I wouldn't mind if my brothers' wives turned up expecting either.
That my crafty skills will increase and that I will be able to accomplish a rather ambitious to-do list which I've laid out for myself.
That I might have just a bit of money to spend on myself, and maybe obtain a pair of truly flattering trousers.
That I would love others in such a manner that they would know so and be blessed.
And last, but probably most importantly, that I would increase in love and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

On the third day of Christmas...

I finally have a chance to post.

I hope to someday post pictures and stories of our Advent activities and Christmas parties.

I intend to post an over-full craft post to show you all the fun things I finished just in time, and those that must be gifts for later days of Christmas.

But today, I'll simply wish you the true, deep, everlasting joy of Christmas. The coming of God to earth as a child isn't over when the Christmas trappings go on clearance. His gift is for us whenever we come to recognize it.

I read a beautiful, painful post today that I must share. So go to sweet | Salty, read, and then hold your children with a new sense of appreciation for them, even in the trials. Though I know it's not a direct correlation, I can only imagine that this is akin to the pain of Mary. How sweet to hold your child in your arms, for how ever long you're allowed.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I'm back at work all of a sudden. :(

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I missed an entire month. But things sure were busy, so I feel I have a good excuse.

Eve turned three. I know, I can't believe it either.


We went round and round about what kind of cake she wanted. First it was pink with pink frosting, but then she got into green with blue territory, and then purple with white...and then brown with brown (which I rejoiced easy? how delicious!), but then daddy suggested a multi-colored cake, and when she saw a can of frosting with rainbow sprinkles, it was all over. I much prefer homemade cakes, and especially homemade icing, but my laziness beat out my tastebuds.

I made her a photo book to put her own photography in, because she'd been snapping quite a few shots with a few disposables we had about...


but then she got a digital from her aunt and uncle. Wow!!


no presents got the adoration they deserved at the party though, as is often the case.

Peanut enjoyed a visit from granny.




And Eve tried out her new camera





For all I know, this was taken in November...and he's been smiling since September...but here's one of the better shots of him smiling.


He was silently laughing at Daddy. He can't smile without his whole body being involved. He wiggles with joy. It's adorable. His laugh is hilarious too...though I'm dirt at taking video, and worse than dirt at posting I'm not sure many of you will ever get the chance to hear it...I'm sorry.

For Halloween, Eve was a beautiful Angel.


A chocolate devouring angel. It's my least favorite costume yet, but my mom wanted to get it for her, and I had too much going on and no access to my sewing machine, so this was it. the "Baa sheep" costume will probably ever be my favorite.

getting pumpkins


decking pumpkins -- boy did she have fun!


Big sister, little brother


One day when Eli came to visit...their expressions here crack me up. This is Eve's awesome hand-me-down learning tower that makes a great little fort for climbing and just hanging out. Especially if your Eli's size.


Bath day

This is pretty late (as in, I'm sure this was in September) but here was a bath day for the kids...all shiny and clean.




Peanut used to really like baths...but lately he's cried through every one. I'm hoping I'm just having poor timing.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Mmm...egg nog...with rum...what a nice little treat.

I'd love to post some pictures of some of Eve and Peanut's latest adventures, but someone is playing Halo online so I can't get flickr to work fast enough for my tastes. click on a picture in previous posts to see the latest photos if you just can't wait.

So, instead, I'll talk about what I don't have pictures of. 

I learned to knit.

Know why I learned to embroider? Because Knitting was too popular, and I hate to be a follower. But...everyone I know (only a slight exaggeration) can make totally cool stuff out of nothing but a lot of's so amazing to me, so I just couldn't keep resisting something so cool out of mere pride.

So...the bad thing about this is that I am really enjoying it! No, that's not bad, but since my current embroidery project was started over a year ago, I really would like to have it done by this Christmas. But it's less fun than many of my normal projects. And, it's old. keeps getting older and remains unfinished, while I've moved on from "sampler" knitting squares to a scarf for Eve.

A sweet friend of mine who recently learned to knit started on socks for her son. I'm just not that ambitious. I know a scarf is totally basic, but, Eve needs one, and I know it's an obtainable goal. Of course, when I started it last night, I had to unravel it completely. Three (yes) times. So now I'm taking it a bit slower. 

I'm much too much a perfectionist--which is why I spent my first week knitting ugly yarn into a baby blanket for Eve's dolls (and I had to unravel that once too!) just so I could keep going and not obsess about the mistakes. Yay! That was actually quite freeing, which might be part of the reason I enjoyed it. With the pressure on now, you can see that I'm blogging rather than knitting (rather than embroidering). 

I'm not without ambition though. I intend to sew and embroider three entirely un-begun gifts, and complete two other embroidery projects from last Christmas as well. Last year was the year of the unfinished hand-made gift. It is only December 1st, but this year may shape up much the same way.

As for knitting ambition? I have a book from the library with a skirt in it that has some really pretty lace panels. Unfortunately the instructions might as well be in Swahili for all I can decipher them. 

Thursday, October 25, 2007





Sunday, October 21, 2007

What is this face capable of?






I got the flu this weekend. Yuck. I guess it's been a while since I had the flu, because I really can't remember the last time I felt that awful. Thursday night and Friday were the worst, but Saturday wasn't too great either. Today is better...I'm not on tylenol, and yet I'm also not shivering and feeling cold in an 80 degree room. Progress.

Tom's parents took Eve on Friday for most the day and then overnight. Friday was supposed to be a great day for us--I was going to spend all my time embroidering, and Tom was going to play Xbox 360 (did I tell you he won a free xbox 360? I'm happy for him, but not so much for me, being an xbox widow is at least as bad as being a football widow...except there is really no end to's there 24/7). Well, my head was killing me all day with or without the mild drugs that I can take, and without electricity, huddled in the basement where it's warm and sunlight not exactly spilling in through the windows, I got very little embroidery done, and didn't enjoy my day in the least. And Tom was worse off--at least I could sleep and feel I was doing all I really wanted to. Tom was bored and xboxless...and he doesn't like to read or do anything crafty, so he was totally bored until about 3 P.M. when the power came back.

Thursday night after it took just a bit longer than expected to get Eve to sleep, Tom and I fought about Eve and sleeping and our vastly differing parenting philosophies. I hate when that happens. Actually, it's been long enough since we fought about parenting philosophies in general that I was lulled into a false sense of security thinking maybe Tom had come to see things my way. We called a truce fairly quickly, but it just brings up all of my conflicting thoughts on how far to go with I "submit" and let him take the reigns so our children can be neither seen nor heard? That's really too harsh...he loves his kids, but he thinks that it's my refusal to let Eve cry it out in her bed that has made her a poor sleeper, he thinks co-sleeping is designed by the devil (tongue in cheek) to prohibit parental intimacy and sleep (his, specifically), and thinks that if we just bottle fed, our children would have no preference between he and I, and either of us could take care of their needs at any time of day or night. I disagree (of course, right? That's why we fight), I don't think that bottle feeding would remove the children's preference for their mom when they need compassion and comfort, and if we kicked the kids out of our bed entirely, Tom might get more sleep, but I would be up a million times a night to feed or comfort, well, unless I could somehow render myself def so I could just leave them to cry themselves back to sleep. What it comes down to, is I feel that the way he wants to do things is entirely about his comfort and convenience, while my motivation is to do what is the very best for my children, even if it costs my comfort and is inconvenient.

Sigh. It's been a constant struggle since Eve came, and it would be so nice to be at peace together about this, but I don't see that anywhere on the horizon. If I do give could I? But if I did, I would feel my children were being robbed of precious and irreplacable commodities, and I'm sure I'd have to resign myself to that each day, as I would also have to forgive Tom each day or stew in unrelenting bitterness toward him for harming my children.

Either way, I can see why Tom doesn't want more kids. I really do, but it would be nice to get past the time in their lives that seems to cause us the most strife and move on to older childhood where breastfeeding is in the distant past and sleeping in their own bed is a given. Plus, we'd never have to deal with the circumcision question again or imperfect births.

Like I said, we've called a truce. I don't even know if Tom has given this stuff another thought...but I can't stop. I never know if I'm doing the right thing. I know I'm doing what's best for my children, if I separate it from the fact that I don't know if I'm doing what's best for my marriage with their father, but I do know the relationships are deeply entwined. If I say I am in the wrong in my marriage, then I guess the question comes down to: What's worse for my children? My behavior toward their dad or taking away breastfeeding, responsiveness to their cries, and warmth and comfort in the middle of the dark and lonely night? I really, honestly don't know.

So...I think I might be making all this sound worse than it's the conflict in my mind that is most bitter. Tom and I are doing fine, though there's always room for improvement.

And now that I'm feeling better, Peanut has the flu. Poor little guy. I guess it's good that I got it first so I know what he's going through. He was not himself last night, and now I know why. Today he's listless, but sleeping peacefully and cheerful as long as the tylenol controls his fever.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thoughts on God

Israel is 9 weeks old now. Time has flown by. It's strange, even though I wouldn't say it's been easy I was *so* afraid of how things would be with Eve, but now I see there was no reason to fear, or simply God has given me peace about it.

Eve doesn't seem jealous at all. And Peanut has been such an easy baby, I have plenty of time to spend with her. Yes, there are definitely behavioral challenges, but those are par for the course, I think, with or without a new little brother.

I've had a much better week in parenting than I was having when I last posted. I was feeling so angry and even hateful (I hate to admit it) toward Eve, and every little thing she did, even very innocent things, seemed to push all my buttons. The thoughts I had were really awful, 180 degrees from loving and gentle. As I mentioned last time, I have totally been, simply put, just too busy to spend much time with God, and doing so seemed like such a...well, waste of time when I have so many projects and responsibilities that require productivity. But, after that last post, I faced the fact that I was suffering for it, and so was my family.

So, over the past week I've been reading Amos, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and John. I'm reading Amos because that's what our Pastor is preaching on. Proverbs, because I can just choose the chapter based on the date of the month, so it's easy. Ecclesiastes on a whim, and John, because it's the gospel with which I am least familiar. I find my days simply go better, and I have more Patience and peace when I start my day relating with God before I face the challenges of parenting (and, erm...wifing?). Tom's been great in trying to give me a somewhat uninterrupted time in which to read, drink my tea, and eat breakfast.

I'm not doing any deep study, just reading and reflecting. I notice that Solomon, or whoever wrote Ecclesiastes is bitter. The great wisdom he had didn't bring him happiness or peace. Contrast this with King David, his father, and this "man after God's heart" shows that Love is better than wisdom. I am a knowledge seeker...and this, combined with some other reading I've been doing, convicted me that I need to seek God more and rely on his spirit when parenting, and that will serve me much better, not to mention my children. I can't be the parent I need to be under my own power, and when I try I feel defeated and frustrated, and my goal of having a deep and loving relationship with my children is hindered by my behavior and reactions.

Praying for guidance in parenting is not a new idea, and I've frequently in the past realized I needed to do it, and then failed to follow through, a total un-piphany.

I've also been reading Heartfelt Discipline. It's not new to me to read a different perspective on the "Rod" verses in Proverbs, but it was a fuller explanation than I'd previously had. Common Christian belief about these verses is that they constitute a Christian imperative to spank and punish our young children. One really interesting point the author made is that the word for Rod is not a symbolic word, so if you're going to implement it biblically, you're talking a big heavy stick, used to beat slaves and animals. Additionally, the age group that is being addressed, contextually in Proverbs, is young men and fathers of young men, who need to be guided to the path of life and light--not to young children.

The book reminded me, again, to seek God for guidance in parenting, and to be led by the holy spirit. It also has some practical guidelines for relating to our children. So far it's covered having sympathy for our children, and encouraging them biblically. I especially like one idea for encouragement that points back to the stone monuments in the Old Testament, which father's were supposed to point out to their children to tell them about God's faithfulness. The author suggests as a family reflecting on God's faithfulness over the past year, month, whatever, and then drawing pictures to represent those instances of God's work in our lives, and collecting those in a notebook that can be reviewed whenever we need encouragement or are facing tough times. Seems like a good Thanksgiving activity.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Catching up...

So, Israel is over 6 weeks old, and I'm finally done sharing his birth story with you. A lot has occurred in the mean time.

Over the past 3 days Eve has been almost totally potty trained, including one spontaneous trip to the bathroom to poop. Yay!! Of course, today she was still wearing her overnight diaper when she decided to poop, so I haven't seen the last of those yet. But progress is good and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Israel is smiling and has been since 3 and a half weeks or so...but we've yet to get a photo of it.

I realized that I was taking a ton of pictures today of him and Eve, in a pointless attempt to make up for not taking photos as frequently as I ought. And as I was looking through them, I noticed that he's wearing the same outfit he was in an earlier batch I took. I think I had a picture of every one of Eve's outfits...he'll be lucky to be pictured in more than two.

My sister got married...I'm not sure what day...but yesterday I got a text message from her that said, "Married". That cracked me up.

Tom is making progress in healing, but not so much that he can go without crutches without really paying for it.

I'm struggling. I know that there's some hormonal shift going on that is causing me to feel PMSy. I know that will pass, but it makes things tougher. I'm trying not to dwell on the thoughts and feelings elicited by my latest Doc appointment, but I can't help it. And I seem to be filled with anger toward Eve. I don't feel at all like I'm exhibiting Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control. I haven't been doing much in the way of Bible study, or even Bible reading, I can't keep up on housework, and yet I really can't figure out where all the time is going. I rarely leave the house because Israel isn't a fan of the car (he's better than Eve, but it's just still so unpleasant) and not to mention I have to drive the beast. I'm feeling a bit isolated. All in all, it's been a tough few weeks for me.

But let's get on to some pictures.

These were taken in early September, so Peanut was around 3 weeks old.



Here's cousin Karl and Eve (sporting very similar hair styles) and Peanut.


Eve in brown...I think it may be her best color.




Thursday, September 27, 2007


Somehow, I'm not in the mood for detail. Me? I know, unbelievable.

I've written down the details of my conversation with my OB, and have decided though I want to share it, I also really do not. suffice it to say, next time, if there is a next time, I will be doing things somewhat differently. I look on Eve's birth with new appreciation, and will probably be sad over Israel's for some time--not just sad for Israel and myself, but sad for my doctor as well. He is a great doctor and I trust and respect him, and my dialog with him helped me to see I've been selfish and a bit reckless. Perhaps it is shame that makes me wish to keep this small event private. Goodness knows I share almost everything else, right? Perhaps too much.

I want to make it clear here that the doc was in no way attempting to cause me to feel guilty. It was a very respectful and constructive conversation.

As for my conversation with the Hospital Director, that was a much less memorable conversation, and a great deal less important. For one, it was mostly just an apology...which is nice but powerless. Nothing in our conversation will change me in the least, as I didn't need an apology to forgive. She did say those two nurses tend to be the worst offenders and that her goal is to "get to yes" with every mother. Her philosophy is pretty family friendly.

The policy of no "visitors" at shift change is due to HIPPA restrictions and no place for the nurses to congregate and speak privately and keep an eye on the babies at the same time.

There is no policy against parents being present when the IVs are placed.

She felt it was a communication issue, and felt very bad that I was caused so much distress by a couple of less sensitive nurses. I don't know that anything will change because of my letter, but the nurses will be spoken to. I guess that's enough.

The End?

It's possible that I've told enough of the story that this could be my last Birth Story/Hospital Saga post. Wouldn't that be nice?

So, what didn't make it into the letter....

I was exhausted by about 9 P.M....which is when they kicked me out of the nursery the second time, when Peanut needed a break. whatever.

I couldn't sleep, of course. so I rested from about 10 to 11, when they told me I could come back. Tom was resting too, and when I asked him if he wanted to come, he politely declined.

In addition to telling me I wasn't allowed in when I got there, they gave me some other bad news. When I told them I'd like to come back soon--because when I talked to the pediatrician the second time that evening, he'd said it would probably be okay to feed Israel at Midnight--they said something like "Oh no. Dr. so and so said you definitely may not feed him tonight." I burst into tears and went back to my room. I hope I never have to see that silly on-call doc for an office visit at the pediatrician's office, as I'd have a hard time not giving her a piece of my mind.

I'm sure if I could have gotten my pediatrician's opinion on the matter at that time, that he would have given the green light, because when I'd talked to him a little before 8 that night, he said that Israel was doing surprisingly well (no surprise to me, but anyway) and that in these matters it's important that you look to the patient and proceed accordingly, and that he may be ready to be fed as early as midnight. The doctor on call probably just didn't take a look at the situation when she was last in--probably not long after the last time my ped. saw him, quite honestly--and just read the report on what had happened and made the same call my ped. had to begin with.

At the time, I was really happy to be laboring during the day time and to have the baby at a time of day that would allow a fairly normal night's sleep to follow. However, looking back, since Israel wasn't okay enough to be with me, I really wish I'd had him in the early morning like I'd had Eve--that way my Ped. would have been working and available to assess Israel's state more than 4 or 5 hours after his birth.

Anyway...the postpartum nurses were concerned for me coming back from the nursery crying hysterically, and Tom got pretty freaked out when I got back in. I've only just now considered that Tom might have thought something much worse was going on than rude nurses and bad decisions by on-call doctors. (I hate that about all the clinics I go to for care--I don't trust other doctors the way I trust my doctors. I detest having to ever rely on them for advice or decisions, because I can never be sure they are as invested in the situation as my own doctors, and I know nothing about their judgment in general.) Poor Tom, I wonder what went through his mind. Once I got out what had happened, between sobs, I just cried in his arms for a while. He was very sweet and understanding. I have such a wonderful husband.

I had been avoiding the pump and the need to pump until that point, as I'd been hoping to just get to breastfeed soon. However, I decided that just possibly pumping would help me. I could maybe get enough stimulation to produce some good hormones and maybe even some uterine contractions. I pumped for the first time ever with a double electric, and it wasn't as awful as I thought it would be, although I still feel hand pumps are superior. I got probably two teaspoons worth of colostrum in about 15 minutes.

I was sore from sitting up and didn't really want to keep pumping, and of course, I was still really tired. I was also really angry. I let bitterness creep in, and honestly, I think it might still be there in my heart. I need to take care of that and forgive those lousy nurses and the lousy on call doctor, and probably my own pediatrician as well...and anyone else I might hold responsible for the way things went. sigh. That realization just hit me. It's funny...I might still need to forgive my previous OB...and both the nurses who placed IVs in me....I bet if I gave it some time, I could think of even more. I'll have to take care of that today. It could take a while to go through the list.

So, looking back, I think the nurses kicked me out at 9 partly because I was so tired, and gave me a bogus time to return because they didn't expect me to be conscious until much later.

After pumping I took Demerol because it wasn't time for the next dose of Ibuprofen and I was hurting. I'm not sure if I could have fallen asleep then without the influence of Demerol, but Demerol certainly didn't give me a good night's sleep. I woke up at least 3 times between whenever I actually fell asleep and 6:30 A.M. when the Ped. finally came back. And each time, my mind raced with repetitions of the events following Israel's birth, and my fear that this forced separation would adversely effect our nursing relationship grew. I couldn't keep myself from being worried that all those struggles I'd read about in the La Leche League magazine would become my own struggles, but that I wouldn't be able to face them or conquer them. Tom, as wonderful as he is, is not the biggest breastfeeding proponent. I had visions of myself hysterical over trying to feed my baby and Tom saying off-handedly to simply give him formula and be done with it. I had such any easy time initiating breastfeeding with Eve that I don't know if I'm equipped to handle breastfeeding obstacles combined with the same--or even more pronounced--lack of support at home that I experienced with Eve. I prayed and prayed that God would still my fears and give me peace. And he would, and I would sleep, but each waking brought a renewal of those fears and a disruption of peace.

With a clear mind, a weight-gaining son, and the period of breastfeeding initiation behind us, I cannot say what exactly I expected to go wrong, but the possibilities seemed endless.

I want to mention here as well, that Tom has been much more supportive this time around, in all ways really, but specifically in regards to breastfeeding. We are both in such a better place spiritually and in our life and marriage, it's amazing the difference that makes.

I woke up when the Pediatrician came, just like he said at like 6:30. He said I could breastfeed and that Israel was doing great. He encouraged me to go down to the nursery as soon as possible.

It's a good thing I got at least some sleep the night before, because I tried for quite some time to wake Israel up, and he simply wouldn't...I got him to suck literally once. If I'd been a bit more tired, I'm sure I would have been hysterical, because this simply seemed to confirm that breastfeeding was going to be an uphill battle. Discouraged and uncomfortable in the nursery (even though the staff was different and much more friendly), and still tired enough, I left the nursery and my baby by choice for the first time. I went back to sleep, had breakfast, and then saw my OB before heading back down for what I just knew would be a painful and failing attempt to breastfeed Israel again at around 10:30.

Happily, my fears were unfounded, because this time he was waking up and hungry and ready to go. He latched on well and stayed on for about 12 minutes before falling asleep again. I'm sure I was grinning from ear to ear, because not only did this mean breastfeeding was not utterly doomed to failure, it also meant that we could take Israel to our room, and I wouldn't have to deal with the nursery staff anymore and I could hold him and breastfeed him all I wanted.

The rest of our hospital stay was fairly uneventful. Nursing continued to go well, although I rushed laying down to nurse with this lazy boy and ended up with one side blistered, cracked and bleeding because he wouldn't maintain a good latch in that position. I had to deal with that for a couple weeks.

My OB kept me in the hospital over concerns about elevated blood pressure, which looked significantly better once breastfeeding was initiated, so I'm sure it was all emotionally induced. Israel had to stay until 24 hours from his first feeding. We were discharged at 9:45 PM on the 16th--we had our 10th anniversary dinner in the hospital. Not quite what I'd have in mind for unforgettable, although it surely will be so.

Indeed, the end, although I still have some related posts regarding the call from the Hospital Director and my recent discussion with my OB.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The further adventures of Israel in the Nursery

If there was a way to change the font in the title there to make "Nursery" be in that halloween-y font, I'd be all over it. Come to think of it, there probably is, but I'm too lazy to spend that much time looking for something like that.

I really wanted to get this up yesterday, on International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Happy belated ITLAPD to ye anyway. ;)

So, due to what I felt was pretty awful treatment by the staff in the Nursery at the hospital, I wrote a letter. I'm usually a fairly...hmm, how shall I put this...I simply don't get real bent out of shape over things. However, I felt it was bad enough that something needed to be said. I got a call from the Director of the the Women and Children's care at the hospital yesterday in response to this letter. I'll tell you about that next time.

Dear Mr. Bosch,

I gave birth to my second child at the Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale, WA in the afternoon on August 14th, 2007. In my discharge papers, I received a card, signed by yourself, that states that “exceptional care” and “Service Excellence” are your priority at Harrison. I’m writing to give to you my thoughts on how well your hospital met my expectations.

I will begin by saying that the L&D nurse we had toward the end of my labor was truly excellent. Her name is Patti, and I was extremely pleased to have her be a part of my baby’s birth.

My baby needed extra care after birth because he did not begin to breathe on his own for around 5 minutes. Hospital policy required him to be transferred to the nursery. I did not get to hold my child until he was over an hour old.

It’s a well-documented fact that newborn babies and post-partum mothers fare better when they are not separated. At Harrison, knowledge of this fact is evident in the policies followed for healthy babies who need no special care or monitoring. I commend you and your staff for the general rooming-in policy you follow.

However, I’m deeply disappointed that the same policy is not followed for all babies at Harrison. By the time I reached the nursery, my son was merely being monitored, and did not need any artificial breathing support. It appeared to me that babies could be monitored from the in-room stations in which my child was initially cared for immediately after birth, leading me to believe that, at least in the case of my son, his presence in the nursery had more to do with the convenience of the neo-natal nurses than with his wellbeing. The very babies that could benefit most from close contact with their mother are denied that right. This doesn’t seem like baby-friendly care, let alone the best care.

I know that other hospitals in the area do all they can to keep mothers and babies together, even when the babies need extra care. Knowing that any baby with a truly serious condition is transferred to other area hospitals with NICUs, I would think with some extra effort to provide the “exceptional care” you promise, the need for a nursery at Harrison could be virtually eliminated.

Perhaps I would be less distressed by being physically separated from my son for the first 20 hours of his life had I found the nursery staff themselves and the nursery policies to be more mother/baby-friendly. Instead, I got the distinct impression that the nurses on duty the afternoon and evening of my son’s birth were more concerned with what they were doing than with who they were doing it for.

When I left the hospital, I took home a safe and healthy boy, so I assume the nurses were qualified and adept at the technical aspect of their jobs. However, they were completely lacking in compassion.

To begin with, I was only given about 40 minutes with my son before being told it was time for me to leave in order for them to give him an IV. We were given the impression that this would be a process that took an hour or so, however several hours later when my husband went to see his son with some visitors, he was denied entrance because they were still working on the IV. I am not a medical professional, but the IV placed during my labor took only a few minutes, why would it take several hours for my son? Additionally, the policy that parents not be allowed to be present when the IV is put in is unacceptable. Yes, it’s probably distressing to watch, but the baby does not belong to Harrison hospital, he belongs to his parents. That fact was completely ignored by the nurses on duty during my son’s first hours of life.

After finally being allowed back into the nursery after many hours and finding multiple poke-marks on my son, I was told to leave, again after less than an hour with my son. The nurses said he “needed a break” which is the silliest concept I’ve ever heard from the lips of someone who’s supposed to know about the needs of a newborn. My son needed to be skin to skin with me, since he wasn’t supposed to breastfeed, he needed to be held close to receive the benefits of Kangaroo care. But he wasn’t allowed to have me near him for any length of time.

I was told to come back in a few hours, specifically at 11:00 PM. When I arrived at that time, I was denied entrance because it was shift change and time for reports. Why should reports prohibit a mother from being with and caring for her baby? And why would I be told to return at the very time the nursery is “closed to visitors.” And when does a child’s mother count as a “visitor?”

The behavior of the nurses, and possibly the policies behind that behavior seemed cold and callous. If a mother is forced to be away from her newborn, she, not to mention the baby, deserves the utmost consideration and gentleness. It was devastating to me to not be able to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of my baby’s life, a situation that the hospital staff had no control over. The inconsiderate behavior of the nurses and the policies that kept me physically separated from my child for nearly a full day added greatly to my distress during a vulnerable emotional time, causing me to withdraw from even family visitors and making simple tasks seem insurmountable.

Luckily, my baby is resilient, and I think we are well bonded despite our forced separation. Your facility implies you hold the mother/baby relationship in high regard. But this mother was only allowed to even be near her baby for a few hours out of the first day of his life, a situation his “condition” did not warrant. The responsibility for that rests in the hands of those who work and determine policy in the nursery. I did not find Harrison to be friendly in that regard.

I’m disappointed that though I can praise my Obstetrician, your L&D department, and even my post-partum nurses for providing excellent care and consideration, I cannot praise the nursery staff for the same thing. I take pride in Kitsap County and love to support local businesses and facilities. I am sad to say that I do not believe I can continue to do so with Harrison. If another child is in our family’s future, I will likely be traveling to Seattle or Jefferson County in order to give birth in a location where I know my and my baby’s needs will be given more consideration, and where I can expect true mother/baby friendliness even in the face of difficulties.



Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Updates and ramblings

I'll do a post on more of my hospital stay next time...for now, here's the latest.

Tom's doing well, and trying to use a cane instead of crutches. I'm not actually sure that's advisable, but he's a grown man and I'm not his mother, and really, no amount of nagging or chastisment has ever gotten me anywhere with him.

Eve wore big girl panties all day after about 10 this morning until her bed time. She did great! Of course, she never had to do more than I think we lucked out on that one. Her behavior has been better though not perfect--I don't except perfection. However, I do find myself a lot less patient with her than I usually am. I'm sure that has something to do with lack of sleep. I think she's been waking up early (like around midnight last night...makes for a long night for me) is because she's falling out of bed. She fell out tonight about 45 minutes after she went to now she's back in bed far from the edge. Maybe that means I'll get my side of the bed mostly to myself for a while tonight. :)

This evening Tom took the van to his IT side job and was gone for about 5 hours. Why is it that dinner time is when everyone melts down? Israel and I had troubling communicating...I wasn't doing a great job of teaching him he can count on me, or teaching him he doesn't need to wail to get what he needs, and he was not being very clear about whether or not he was hungry.

I had this totally inconvenient convenience food thing to cook--it's a "kit" that comes with, essentially, noodles, a can of condensed cream soup, breadcrumbs and what I think was mostly powdered milk with some spices and garlic powder. You add your own chicken and veggies and it's supposed to take 35 minutes or so in the oven. Well...I think it took me closer to twice that amount of time. With lots of back and forth of trying to figure Israel out and keeping Eve from coloring on my embroidery pattern sheets and other such things. and all in all, though it wasn't bad, it wasn't great, and I would have been equally happy with soup, cheese and crackers, and it would have left me with much less to take me away from Israel.

I had to pray to keep from loosing my temper, because I just have a tendency to kind of blow up when I'm hungry and slightly sleep deprived. I wasn't mad at any body, just mad at the why does Israel have to have his most fussy and confusing night yet when my husband isn't home and I have to make dinner? It just seems unfair. I had the baby in my arms and was heading down stairs to get the bouncy seat in a last ditch effort to be able to open the 400 degree oven to check the chicken for done-ness, and I really wanted to just kind of yell, probably something along the lines of wondering why Tom has to choose the worst times to work and why does it always take 3 times longer than he expects? But instead, I prayed, and that helped.

And when I did pull the food out of the oven finally and could put Israel in the sling, I was able to eat and feed Eve and after that, things got smooth, because Israel was not hungry, he was tired and couldn't fall asleep on his own, and 2 minutes in the sling solved it. I wish there was some way to safely cook and sling. I could wear him on my back, and I did earlier today, but it simply isn't a quick enough process for me to be able to do while he's crying.

Tom got home earlier than I expected...that was a nice surprise.

I hate it when my babies cry. It's not just the normal mom thing either--unless all moms are neurotic. Now, I'm sure there's no factual basis to this, so I am trying to stop thinking this way, but I have this fantastical theory that if I could just keep my baby from every having to cry to get my attention in the early days, that they would basically only cry when in pain, because in order to get their needs met they've never needed to cry and so never do. Somehow, no matter how hard I try, or how good my intentions are, I never attain the responsive perfection. It frustrates me, but I know I can't be perfect, so I should just get over it. However, I do see it work the opposite way in the short term. Peanut got into a fever-pitch because he was hungry and I didn't realize it (because he'd filled up and then flat out refused a very short time before his tummy started eating its self--Tom's term for "he's hungry"). I fed him, and he relaxed. But then he needed his diaper changed and then he was tired and couldn't fall asleep. Normally, those things don't make him cry, but tonight they did. Sigh, poor little guy--and poor you too, if you could follow that paragraph, you deserve a gold star.

Monday, September 17, 2007

more tears

I shook and cried for most of the post-birth events. I never had another contraction after the head came out. That is, until the next day when the after pains started, and those were pretty darn uncomfortable.

I had a very minor tear on my episiotomy scar, 3 stitches. Yay! Except, I also had a fairly major and very high labial tear. The doc didn't mention how many stitches, but I'm still feeling some pain from it, so I know it wasn't just a scratch.

At some point during labor, but before transition, I'd had a HEPLOCK placed. Aside from mary paying no attention to the fact that my doc fully supported shorter time periods on the EFM at more frequent intervals, this was the worst part of the labor for me, because for one, the nurse did it wrong, and two, they insisted I get on the bed and lay down. I want them to get better at their jobs so that next time around, I can be where ever I'm at and get that silly thing put in. I told the nurse who placed it, as did Kim and probably Ashia, that it simply had to be in my arm rather than my hand, becuase last time, it hurt so much to hold my hand in any position but nutral that it drove me nuts, who needs added irritation during labor? I guess this nurse didn't get it (big surprise) and so it was in my wrist. Again, it was like a torture device meant to make labor just a tad more painful. I had to be careful the whole labor to rest on my forearm on the left side rather than brace myself with my hand, otherwise, I'd get a nice shooting pain in my arm. grrr.

Anyway, after the baby was out and I was in the hospital bed, I got hooked up to pitocin, seeing as there wouldn't be any natural nursing stimulation coming from my baby. And had that awful tummy punching--nurses can be so mean!

I pushed the placenta out and the glimpse I got of it looked pretty good. Although having seen none in real life before, I can't be entirely sure. The cord did look rather short, even accounting for the part that had already been cut off, but once again, I don't really know what normal looks like. I wish I could have gotten a closer look at everything, just because I'm curious that way.

It seemed like forever that I was getting stitched up. I kept apologizing that I couldn't stop shaking, but the doc and nurse both assured me that it wasn't causing him any difficulties. I wasn't so worried about making his job hard, I just wanted to be stitched up really well. :)

all the while, I was crying. Ashia and Kim were both so kind and encouraging through all of the scary times, and though Ashia had to leave fairly quickly, Kim assured me she would stay until I could see the baby. My wonderful big sister, Greta, came in. She was the only one of my family (aside from her own children) in the hospital when Israel was born. And of course, all of Tom's family was otherwise engaged in various emergencies and life. My sister was in awe of me, having heard my loud vocalizations during pushing. I did scream, but it wasn't so much a pained scream, as just what my body needed to do to facilitate and manage the powerful contractions. Saddly, rather than inspiring her to try natural birth for her own birth, coming in November, it confirmed her desire for another c-section. :( I was really happy she was there though. I longed for someone who would mother me, and my sister has always done so. She's the best person in the world to have around when you're ill or hurt, just full of kind compassion.

I really wanted Tom with me too, but I didn't want him to leave Israel, and he didn't.

I was really a mess--those of you who've done this yourself know what I'm talking about--so the nurse encouraged me to shower if I wanted to before I headed down to the nursery. A part of me wanted to get to the nursery as soon as possible, but I knew once I got there, I wouldn't want to leave, so Kim and Ashia helped me take a quick shower. They joked with me about how I probably never thought I'd have a couple women standing around holding the soap and the shower curtain while I showered in my birthday suit. Ha ha, I worked at a swimming pool when I was 15 doing life guard work and assisting swim instructors (it's where I met Tom), the women's staff locker room was a good introduction to becoming less inhibited about ones body around other women. This was something that really shocked my christian school sports team compatriots later on...he he.

Just as I finished dressing, the pediatrician came in. He told me Israel was doing well, and that his counts had stayed great the whole time and though he didn't say so, I knew he meant to reassure me that there was no concern about brain damage. He then said that the baby needed to be monitored because he still wasn't breathing as well as he should be. This was distressing, but the next thing he said was much worse. He told me that the baby had been really stressed, and that because under stress blood flow is diverted to vital organs (heart, lungs, brain, etc.) and away from less vital ones, like the digestive system, it was important not to feed the baby right away. I've never had my head buzz, except when extremely exerting myself physically (like running too hard for long periods of time) but it did so now. I felt dizzy and it was hard to hear. I sat down and willed myself not to cry.

Looking back with a clear head, I'm not sure following the pediatrician's advice was the best course of action. I have a lot of respect for this doctor, he has been great to work with, and he was Tom's pediatrician and Tom's parent's neighbor. He'd also really helped out with recent advice to Tom regarding his back injury and had assisted us when Tom had injured his hand a few years ago when Tom didn't have health insurance. In general, he's great. However, I know from reports from other moms that he's not fanaticly supportive of breastfeeding. He supports it, because, of course, the evidence of its benifits is overwhelming, but he is not a "breastfeeding at almost any cost" type.

He said that generally the concern with smaller babies is necratizing of the intestines, requiring surgery later and possibly causing life-long problems. I kind of asked what the concern for big babies was, and I think I didn't get a great answer, possibly because larger babies weren't as commonly stressed as the small ones. It was a very fuzzy conversation for me. I asked when I could breastfeed him, and the doctor said we needed to wait a bit and see how Israel did.

I just sat there when the doc left and cried. Ashia, who's a La Leche League leader, was so encouraging and supportive, as was Kim. And I know that they asked questions of the doc on my and Israel's behalf. well, this just meant I was going to have to stay in the nursery even more and hold him skin to skin and breastfeed him as soon as it was safe to do so.

It was about this time that I was getting ready to leave the room, drying my tears and heading for the nursery that my parent's arrived with Eve. Did I already mention that they had to take over Eve-sitting for the birth? Tom's parent's had to help with Hunter, Eve's 13 year old cousin and Tom's sister's son who had to be life-flight-ed to Seattle that morning. Anyway, as soon as I saw Eve, and knowing how much she was looking forward to meeting the baby, and how much I wanted to be cheerful for her, I started crying. My mom told me later that Eve told her that she doesn't like to see me sad. Such a sweet girl. But crying in front of her just added to my distress. It was worse that I couldn't hold and hug her like I really wanted to.


I did finally make it to the nursery. And he looked so good and was so wonderful to cuddle. I did feel a whole lot better with him in my arms.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Quick update


There's the post-op patient making a silly face. And the cute little guy actually awake! That pic was taken on Saturday of last week, some 30 hours after surgery.

Since I last updated you, we went to Seattle to have the stitches removed this past Thursday afternoon. Not a great time for traveling to and from Seattle, it made for a long, late night. But, everything looked good and I got to see Tom in some really cool shorts made of paper. :)

His patience with recovery is beginning to wear thin. Yesterday he was pretty down. Bored, frustrated, in pain.


Eve seems to be losing patience as well. Today she told my mom that she wanted to spend the night there again (second night in a row) because daddy is busy playing video games and mama is busy giving Peanut nummy nums.

Friday as I was fighting her to get her strapped into her carseat, she was totally uncooperative. It went through my mind that the way she was acting really motivated me to spank her hand to just get her to stop for a minute. the rational side of me of course knew that she wouldn't stop, she'd go farther into hysteria.

Just as I was thinking all this and telling her she needed to turn so I could get the strap over her shoulder, and physically attempting to help her do so, she wound up and slapped me so hard in the face that it didn't stop hurting for 30 minutes. my reaction was immediate, I gasped and smacked her right back. Angry and more angry at my reaction, I told her it was completely unacceptable to hit me, and then stepped back to say how angry I was, and take a few breaths. I had peanut in the wrap, and was driving Tom's beast of a van (because mine is having transmission problems), so the whole thing was more difficult to begin with. I was at a low level of frustration all day due to Eve's behaviors and having to drive this van, and because on our way to our errand I'd hit every red light possible, and Peanut cried hard whenever we weren't moving.

Ugh. I'm so frustrated with myself for that reaction. I felt terrible after I did it. And yet still really angry at her, and still wanting to do some sort of more correct discipline to teach her that hitting me is not okay. I did tell her it wasn't okay for me to hit her either, and I asked her forgiveness.

I'm definitely feeling somewhat hopeless. My only consolation is she hadn't had a nap and was more tired than usual. So, maybe her bad behavior was due to that more than anything, but she kind of woke up on the wrong side of bed that day anyway. Sigh. I know it's been tough for her to deal with Tom being chair-bound and mostly glued to the TV (I am not a fan of having a TV in our living room, but since Tom isn't much of a reader, it was important that we have something to keep him entertained. So he watched TV, movies, and plays the borrowed Xbox 360 his brother loaned us. And tends to tune everything else out, Eve included. And I've been just feeling haggard and busy, and part of the reason I hate the TV is because I get sucked in and distracted myself. And for the past few days, Peanut has been on a growth spurt and nursing a ton more.

I definitely need to show her some grace.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm a slacker

I admit it. I even slack on my slacking. Here's the thing, there's just so much to do during my "free time" that I simply can't keep up. I'm actually reading a novel. And you know how that can get--I'll just finish this page...uh, section...uh, chapter...and then I'll do the dishes (or, thank you cards :)) and all of a sudden, I'm halfway through the next chapter. So I chose not to even pick it up today. But having neglected my email and blogs and whatnot, I think I'm running short on time now anyway. So we'll just see how far we get.

I am going to just stick to the birth story in this post, and probably post later today (I hope) on family updates and that long forgotten subject I was so fond of before Israel...discipline, specifically of the toddler variety.

So, last time, I left myself laboring on the bed.

It was as I was staring at the mattress during or between a contraction that I had some, well, not very natural birthy thoughts. I thought...maybe I could just ask for a c-section...and, I bet the fact that I really feel like asking for drugs right now means that it's too late to get them anyway. I am pretty sure I kept these thoughts to myself. I never really wanted the drugs, because I kept telling myself that it's not as bad as it could possibly get. I'd only want drugs if it got the worst it was going to get...but I knew I didn't want drugs, period. Does any of that even make sense? The c-section on the other hand? Well, now that I've witnessed Tom's post-op discomfort from arthroscopic hip surgery, I'm pretty sure major abdominal surgery recovery is way more than I want to endure, pain-wise. But I was so concerned (that is, ahem, frightened) about a repeat of the pain I'd had from recovering from the episiotomy I'd had when Eve was born (and rightly so) that I genuinely thought I'd rather have a c-section. At least, that's what the irrational, emotional side of me wanted. The rational side who wrote my birth plan and went in to natural birth with eye's wide open, of course said, no, which is why I remained silent.

I took a potty break and had to endure a double peaking contraction with no one putting counter pressure on my back. That was kind of a tough one.

When I came back out I switched to the birth ball.


and labored there until I started to feel pushy...not full blown pushing, just a little at the peak of each contraction. At that point, there was enough pressure, that I had to stand up off the ball during contractions.

In between I would relax...totally. Good thing Ashia was behind me. :)


grrr...hated those straps.

Here's an interesting can see the shape of the baby on the lower left (your right) of my belly. Weird.


Transition was kind of, well, a blur. I don't remember anything really distinct about it. I had a general feeling of being sick...but not really intense, not like I was going to throw up at any moment or anything. And then I was sort of all of a sudden feeling that pushy at the peak feeling I mentioned.

Here's my awesome doctor checking up on me. He did chastise me a teensy bit for not coming in over the possibly broken water concern, but that just meant no checking, which was fine. He came in once early in order to officially admit me, but after I was on the ball, and then when I was feeling pushy. I'm pretty sure that's a picture of that second visit, he stayed. Everything seemed to happen quickly. That's really a good thing as far as I'm concerned.


So the first and only time I was checked was by my doc and at the point where I felt like pushing. All I had to do was roll forward on the forcing me back into the bed or anything awful like that.

My water broke as I was being checked. The doc told me not to push for the next few contractions because I was a very...I think he used the word floppy...9...but the very next contraction after my water broke was so intense, and I had such an overwhelming urge to push, that through the next two contractions I kind of screamed (more than kind of, I think) "I'm trying not to push! I can't help it!" at which point I would groan trying not to push but pushing anyway. After the second contraction like that, the doctor told me to relax and not worry about it and just push when I felt like it.

What a relief!

So, Kim saw that I wasn't comfortable during contractions on the ball, and since I was pushing they kind of asked what I wanted to do. I was pretty out of it, as far as conversation goes, so I just repeated that I didn't care as long as I didn't have to lay down.

Kim asked the doc if it was okay if I labored on the birth stool, and he was cool with it (isn't that awesome?! I told you!) as long as I turned around so he had room to get to me. So, between contractions, I turned and was switched, and at this point had a new nurse named Patti--who was totally great for all the reasons Mary was not. She was just what I needed, quiet and patient and encouraging.

I don't think I pushed very long, I think it was very few contractions, but the specifics like how many pushing contractions I had, or how many were on the birth stool are fuzzy.

The doctor was patient and quiet, and the baby's heart rate stayed great the whole time, unlike Eve, which at the time I thought meant we were golden.

I now know I never got to the really painful crowning part of pushing with Eve. They vacuumed her out as she was just beginning to crown. My memories of pushing with Eve is that it was a welcome relief after the intense, right-on-top-of-another contractions of transition.

This time around, I was really surprised by the pain. It was so much worse than I expected, and seemed to last so much longer. I guess I was expecting it only to be painful right before the head came all the way out. I was wrong. It hurt from the moment the baby started to crown and only felt better after the head was out. I know I said, "I don't know why I liked this part so much before." and, "This really hurts" and other such exclamations of surprise.

Kim made sure I touched the baby's head once just as he was beginning to crown. It was an important thing to me as I was planning for the birth, but when I was right there in it, I really didn't want to do it. Not so much because I didn't want to touch his head, but because it was a lot more comfortable to simply leave my hands where they were, bracing me and keeping me upright. Kim was firm though. :)

After I got his head more than half out, I had to keep pushing to get his chin out, at which point things got...less smooth.

The doctor was, again, very patient, but very firm in his instructions to me. The cord was very tight around Israel's neck, and the doc couldn't unloop it because it was too short. So, he cut the cord while baby was still mostly inside, and then he had me push, I think when I wasn't having a contraction, in order to get the baby all the way out. Israel paused kind of at his middle, and then slid out into the doctor's arms.

Did I mention that the doctor was on the floor in front of me? Yeah, he spread out some pads and pulled his table over and sat on the floor in front of the stool.


That shot is during crowning.

So, there's baby in the doc's lap, and he's suctioning baby and trying to stimulate him and I notice a few things:

Israel looks huge and his body is blue and his head is purple. And, he's really floppy.

I was feeling really great about how all of labor and delivery went, and kind of waiting to see what would happen, but I think I knew right away I wasn't going to have the baby handed to me. I think part of it was I couldn't just have him set on me, I was sitting upright completely, not reclining, and no where to recline to. This went through my head as I recalled my conversation with the doctor in which he said unless the baby was in really rough shape, and not at all responsive, he would give mom the baby and do what needed doing right there. But after half a minute or so during which I encouraged Israel, the doc struggled to stand up with the rolling cart beside him and the baby in his arms.

Israel was whisked away to the crash cart just as Eve had been, except Eve had been pink and crying.

You already know that the end of the story is a healthy little boy, but it was pretty scary at the time. I knew that if this doc took the baby, it was serious.

Tom says it took Israel 5 minutes to begin breathing on his own. So I figure it was at least 7 minutes from the time his cord was cut.


It was pretty awful as they transferred me to the bed to not hear my baby cry. I kept waiting for it, but it never came. And I did start to flip out and cry. It never really entered my mind that he wouldn't live, but I was pretty concerned that he would have brain damage, and just really upset that I couldn't hold him and bond with him and see him.

Tom, on the other hand, as he watched them bag him so his little chest would inflate and deflate, kept expecting the doc to turn to him and say, "I'm sorry." Poor Tom. No wonder he tells me he doesn't want to be in the labor and delivery room. And no wonder he says I have a lot of work to do to convince him to have another. I'll leave that in God's hands, because it will be quite a while before I'm ready for another anyway, and God can change Tom's heart and mind--I really don't have that kind of power.

After about 10 minutes they felt Israel was stable enough to move to the nursery, Tom held him up to me so I could see him and touch his face. It was so hard to just lay there as they took him away.


In my preparation for birth, and in all my prayers for specifics of the birth to go well, I did always ask that Israel come safely and healthy, but it never really entered my mind that his situation could be worse than Eve's. I just assumed he'd be okay, and with his heart rate so good the whole time (even after the cord was cut) I couldn't imagine there'd be anything that would keep him from being in my arms right away. I suppose that will be a big topic of my preparation and prayers for number 3 (if that happens).

In the end, he was safe and healthy. Both my doctor and the baby's doctor told me that all his stats were great, blood oxygen level and heart rate included, he just wouldn't breath.

I think that's more than enough for one post. Stay tuned for post-baby details.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another installment, but not the finale

So, Today was most certainly Peanut's roughest day. He actually cried because he was hungry. Except when I've deliberately put him off (I know, bad mama!) he's never cried when he's hungry. Today it seemed like he cried every darn time he wanted to nurse. I guess I didn't realize I was missing his early signals. I don't think I was that busy today.

I also finished writing the complaint letter to the hospital. I hope it comes across as reasonable rather than over-the-top dramatic and that it's not written off as just the result of postpartum emotionalism.

Complaint letter? Oh yeah. We'll get to that. That is kind of post-birth so we'll talk about that later.

Tom's doing well. He's expiramenting with not being on the meds constantly. This is giving him some painful moments, but it's definitely helped him get up a bit more and move around since he's not so light-headed and sleepy.

More labor story...

So the car ride wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. When I was in labor with Eve Tom packed some towels onto the front seat and I sat up there like I always would, but it was excruciatingly painful. One of my friends has shared with me that having been through labor, she now knows it's going to be pretty tough and has aprehension about it. Not me, I felt confident I could do it, and felt more like "bring it on--except the car ride." It's only a 10 minute drive or so from home to the hospital, and the first time around, it was one of the worst 10 minutes of my life.

This time, Kim rode with us, and her and I were stashed in the back among the luggage, me on a pile of blankets, and Kim rubbing my back during contractions. There was a great air vent right up by my face, which was soooo welcome. I hardly wanted to get out, quite honestly.

Based on some recorded times from Kim's notes on the labor, I think we got to the hospital right around 1 P.M.


If only there were some flattering pictures of me at this point in pregnancy. Anyway. Notice the orange skirt...and the orange drink in that water bottle! It was watered down Tang, and I drank quite a bit of it during labor. I've never been a big Tang fan, but it seemed like a good idea to drink something besides water to keep my electrolytes up as well as my energy. Now I've decided Tang's not so bad.


I'm all about fixing up those triceps....


There is where all the magic happens. ;-)

I started out having to fight with the Labor and Delivery nurse, Mary. Not my favorite person in the world. I wasn't sure what it was I didn't like about her. She was too perky, and a little condescending--treating me like a child rather than an adult. I know some people like that from a nurse, but I really only want my mom to treat me like that, and then only when I'm ill. Labor is not illness. And the perkiness, well, I like perky waitresses. A loud and overly cheerful person who's forcing Electronic Fetal Monitoring on me while I suffer bouts of intense pain is just not welcome. After a discussion with a friend who's also had this nurse during labor, she clarified for me a better explanation for why Mary bugged me. She is just plain fake. So...altogether, I wasn't happy with this nurse. However, I'm sure it could have been worse. I could have arrived much earlier in labor, or the old policy of the nurse checking dilation could have been in effect. Thank God for small blessings.

I labored first on the bed, with the back raised as high as it would go, on my hands and knees using the head of the bed for support.

I am, again, running short on time, so this will have to do. More later!

Monday, September 10, 2007


Well, I now have the pictures that Kim took of the birth in digital form, so we can finish off the birth story, but I have less than 10 minutes here, so instead of more birth story, you get some pre-birth pics.

Family photo:


I think this was about a week before Israel arrived.

And just two days before Israel came, Kim and Jeff brought Eli over for S'mores.





wow, thank goodness I'm not pregnant anymore!!

By the way, Tom is recovering well from surgery. Friday and Saturday were difficult days, but we've had a ton of help, and since Israel is such an easy little guy, God has just really blessed us.