Friday, July 1, 2011

Birth Story

Baby K is our 6th precious gift from God. All of my other children have been born within a day or two of their due dates, so I wasn't expecting K to go 9 days overdue. I was feeling a little antsy the past few days. All of my "loose ends" were wrapped up: school finished, library books returned, freezer stocked with meals, toilets scrubbed, etc. so I was in a limbo land where I hated to start any new projects, but I really needed something to occupy my time. I kept busy running useless errands, restocking our fruit supply (M can eat a box of 20 oranges in about 2 days with only a little help from her siblings), baking pies, and going to frequent check-ups.

One of J's colleagues was flying his final flight in Hawaii late Tuesday, so J was going out to the plane after it landed to hose the pilot down according to AF tradition. The kids would all be in bed, so he asked me if I wanted to come along. We just pulled in the gate around 9:30 when I felt the familiar whoosh.

"Aaaah! Aaaah! My water broke! My water broke!" I exclaimed. J chuckled as though I were making some sort of joke but then realized I was serious as the fluid kept flowing and I kept squawking. When reality sunk in, he pulled an immediate U-turn and took us back out the gate and headed towards home.

I had actually been contracting all week. Every day the contractions got a little stronger. Every day I thought that THIS day would be THE day. But THIS day my contractions were still only 10 minutes apart even after my water broke, so there was nothing to rush to the hospital for. We called in our dear, gracious friend who had agreed to come stay with our 5 other children, and J was super anxious to get out the door.

"Relax! We have plenty of time!" I said as I collected my hospital bag. I had this vision of laboring in my chair by myself at home in the dark for as long as possible, but J was adamant that we needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible, so we left. It turned out to be a good thing that we arrived when we did. When my water broke, K descended on her umbilical cord, compressing it with her head, causing her vital signs to drop. The nurses immediately put me on oxygen and rolled me around until they found a position that freed up the umbilical cord-flat on the bed with a pillow under my right hip. My contractions were still pretty far apart, but since it was best for baby K to be delivered as soon as possible our midwife augmented my labor with pitocin.

Ok, so this labor wasn't going like I had planned! Not only did I not get to labor at home, but I was hooked up to an IV and laying flat in bed! Those requests I made for a birth ball and a jacuzzi upon arrival just were not going to happen. Now, those of you who know me know that I'm an all natural home-birthing type of mama, but around 3:00 and 5 cm, I betrayed the natural childbirth movement and asked for an epidural. Thirty minutes later, the nurse anesthetist arrived. Thirty minutes after that, I couldn't feel a thing, which was good because not only were the contractions painful, but my left hip was killing me from the pressure of laying on it for so long. J and I both had naps. At 7:00 our midwife did a quick exam and found our baby ready to make her entrance.

"I need to get help, but if I leave I'm afraid she'll come right out!" So J stood guard, promising to catch the baby before she hit the floor while our midwife exited the room and returned 10 seconds later with about 10 strange faces. The nurses and I chit-chatted about homebirthing and homeschooling while K was born. I didn't even realize I had delivered her because I COULDN'T ACTUALLY FEEL ANYTHING, which was a little disturbing.

"Wow," said J, "Usually you're screaming at this point." Thanks, J, for revealing to the whole delivery room staff that I'm a screamer when I push, though I prefer to think of it as athletic grunting. Labor is an endurance event, after all. But now that I've experienced birth the painless way, I'm having a hard time remembering what was so great about natural childbirth anyway. I was so rested and relaxed when K was born, when usually I feel exhausted and ready to vomit and pass out.

Despite the concerning circumstances surrounding her birth, Baby K arrived into the outside world unscathed, with fabulous Apgar scores of 9 and 9, weighing 7 lbs. 10 oz. and was 20.5 in. long. We are already crazy in love with our newest addition and look forward to filling up all the cuddling we can in the days to come.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Don't you know how that happens?

If you are a parent of many children, it's inevitable that at some point, you'll be asked THE QUESTION: "Don't you know how that happens?" The first time you hear it, you chuckle politely. And the eightieth time you hear it, you chuckle politely, because your mother raised you with better manners than to scream out any of snarky replies you've rehearsed in your mind.

Don't you know how that happens?
Don't you know how that happens?
Don't you know how that happens?
Don't you know how that happens?
Don't you know how that happens?
Don't you know how that happens?
Don't you know how that happens?
Don't you know how that happens?
Don't you know how that happens?
Don't you know how that happens?
Don't you know how that happens?

So we conspire together, and plot what we SHOULD say. What we're GOING to say next time. And we laugh because not only are we SO funny, but we know that we are too chicken to ever utter the words out loud.

Yes, we know how that happens, and obviously we're better at it than you are.

Sure we know. Would you like some tips?

No, could you explain it to us, please?

Yes, and he's just so hot I can't help myself.

Yes, and we're just not ready to stop yet.

For a hilarious article that addresses this same topic, read Snappy Answers for People's Stupid Questions About Your Big Family by Simcha Fisher.
Q: Don't you have a TV?
A: If you think TV is better than sex, then you must be doing it wrong.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Why Planned Parenthood Makes Me Sick (In which I get a little political)

I'm in a cantankerous mood today with all the talk of government shutdowns which would mean that our heroes who are overseas fighting for the freedoms of all Americans (even the whiny, childish ones who don't deserve it) will be denied basic pay and benefits.

"Thanks for your service to our country. Too bad you won't be able to feed your kids this month." US Government

One of the huge unresolved issues congress is fighting over is that of Planned Parenthood funding. Here's my beef with that:

"Planned Parenthood saying only they provide healthcare to women is like MacDonald's claiming they're the only way to get hamburgers." Thomas Peters

The fact is, there are over a thousand healthcare centers all around the country that can not only offer "reproductive" care, but they can also offer more comprehensive health care than Planned Parenthood ever could. Sure, PP can terminate your pregnancy and send you out the door with a year's worth of birth control pills, but women's healthcare entails more than just that. Breast cancer? Heart disease? Those are real issues women face that PP can't help with, despite their false claims of providing mammograms, etc.

2. Do you know that PP donated more that $148,000 to support "pro-choice" federal candidates in 2010? Do you know that PP spent an additional $905,796 in opposition of certain pro-life candidates, mostly through advertising in 2010? PP President, Cecile Richards, rakes in about $400,000 a year. Do you know that each PP has an "abortion quota" they are required to make in order to expand their earnings? PP is a very wealthy, powerful organization, and I have a issue issue with them taking our tax dollars, then using that money to inflict their liberal agenda on the rest of us.

3. If PP really is all about women's "choice," then why do they lobby so hard to restrict crisis pregnancy centers around the country? Crisis pregnancy centers actually provide real help to women in crisis: access to health care, car seats, diapers, financial assistance... What does PP offer? Oh, ya. And be sure to check out this graph detailing all the services PP offers to pregnant women:

4. PP founder, Margaret Sanger, was a racist and a eugenicist:

"We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population" Margaret Sanger

That racist agenda continues today, with 78% of clinics operating in minority neighborhoods. African Americans make up 12% of the population, but 35% of their babies are aborted, in New York, the statistic climbs to 41%.

"Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated." Margaret Sanger

5. Planned Parenthood has no problem covering up the sexual abuse of minors.

You can argue all you want about how this is an isolated incident, the woman was fired, blah, blah, blah. During the judicial investigation of former KS attorney general Phill Kline, it was discovered that164 cases of statutory rape went UNREPORTED by abortion clinics owned by George Tiller and Planned Parenthood during 2002-2003. One-hundred sixty four girls (In KS alone!) had their children aborted, and then were sent back into the arms of their rapists. Is this the type of help you would want for your young daughter? For any girl?

6. And the big issue, the "A" word that no one at Planned Parenthood wants to say: Abortion ends the life of an innocent, unique human being who was created by God. Even one abortion is too many.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Non-Food-Related Post Because Good Grief, it's Time.

Congratulations to my sweet, handsome husband "J" on his promotion! It was such a wonderful ceremony, and I was so touched to be a part of it. Here are some photos of the big day:

At Attention

"Pinning on" the new rank

Oath of Office

I am so proud of you, J!

Emerging from the bloggy shadows

I know, I know. No update from me in so long. It started in October when I became pregnant and was so overwhelmed with morning sickness that I got out of the bloggy habit. And it's just hard to re-establish a habit once you're out of it.

I made a minor change to the blog-changing everyone's name to an initial, because it was just too hard to keep up with their pseudonyms.

It is the middle of the night and I am still awake, even though I am really tired and want to go to bed. Miss M has been on a special diet for over a year with great success. The book says that after you've been symptom free for a year you can begin re-introducing "normal" foods, so this winter we started allowing her some grains and things. That was a really bad idea. She had a terrible relapse, so we immediately went back on the diet months ago, where she found almost immediate relief. So what does that have to do with me being awake in the middle of the night in March? Well, on Sunday we hosted a BBQ with some of our homeschool friends. Miss M snuck a bite of cookie and half of a hot dog bun and now she's feeling the effects of it, dancing around in pain because she can't sleep.

As I sit here tired and irrational, I can't help but think of these doctors I've gone to for help over the years who just dismissed me and told me to give her more fresh fruits and veggies. Really? First of all, M eats more fresh fruits and veggies than almost any child on the planet, and secondly, can you look me in the eye and tell me that it is totally normal to eat half a hot dog bun and a bite of cookie and be in pain for days afterwards?

I am so thankful for the diet and that it is really all we need to control her condition. I am wondering, though, if maybe we should pursue more testing, just to have a more definitive answer, if that's even possible. A friend of mine stated that if there's a chance your child has celiac's disease, that it's important to know for sure, because celiacs who cheat have much lower life expectancy than celiacs who don't. Besides celiac's, there could be any number of conditions out there she may have. Maybe her diagnosis is just "cranky gut" and there's nothing else they will be able to find wrong with her. Truth be told, I'm not sure I can get a doctor who will listen to me anyway. I don't really know what to do, so I will sit here in the doctor and ponder while M works through her pain.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Missing Plane-Part I

The day started out like any other. Cooking, cleaning, schooling, karate... Then I got the e-mail. "Hey Z, there is military wife stationed in Guam who is on her way back to the east coast and needs help getting from the Hickam passenger terminal to Honolulu International. Can you help her? Oh, by the way, she's traveling with 4 children (including 18 month old twins) and she's pregnant! And I don't know when she'll take off or land and she doesn't have a cell phone."

I enthusiastically accepted the challenge for several reasons. 1) It's nice now and then to break up the monotony of homeschooling: "Let's recite the second declension male nouns from our vocabulary list this week, kids." 2) My husband is very smart about locating airplanes, which would make this job a piece of cake. 3) I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of another person's kindness, so I appreciate the opportunity to "spread some love around." 4) Jesus gave so much to me, a ride to the airport is the least I could do.

My friend promised to call or e-mail when she knew more, and I promised to check my e-mail periodically throughout the night. It was around 3:00 when I read in an e-mail that the plane took off around 10:00. The flight from Guam to Hawaii is one that my husband flies frequently, so I figured they would land between 5:00 and 6:00. I called the pax terminal at Hickam and listened to the recording. Those of you who fly Space-A are familiar with the drill. Push 1 general information...push 2 for arrivals...push 3 for departures... The only missions that were scheduled to land were a flight from Korea coming in at 4:00am, and a flight from Okinawa landing at 8:00.

I got on the phone to my very smart husband who was in Tucson for a conference and asked if maybe the flight from Okinawa had been in Guam first. He confirmed that it had been in Guam first, but it left Guam 20 hours ago and there were only 2 registered passengers on board. He reported that he didn't see any other flights from Guam in the air. So, not knowing what else to do, I showered, got dressed, and drove to Hickam. I thought that on the off chance that the flight DID arrive at 6:00-ish, I should probably be there to greet this woman and her children. If it were me, I knew I would be terrified and exhausted after traveling so long with 4 children and not having anyone there at the airport as planned. I brought a book along, though, and was actually looking forward to the opportunity to sit and read, which I never get to do at home.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

Seven reasons to love living in paradise:
1. The rainbows. I see a rainbow more days than I do not see a rainbow. Many days I often see a double rainbow!

2. The sun, the sand, the water, the weather. Need I say more?

3. The view. I'm surrounded by incredible beauty! Trees, flowers, birds, blues skies, and blue seas. I just want to drink it all in!

4. The spam. No, just kidding. I will never understand the Hawaiians' appreciation for meat in a can. But I do adore all the fresh products I can get year round from local farms! Pineapples (of course!), bananas, tomatoes, eggs and goat's milk...

5. Costco. Ok, so as much as I love those bananas I get from a local family-owned farm, I love those gigantic packages of nuts flown in from California. And Costco is so close to the house! Right next to Target.

6. The people. It's an interesting cultural experience to be a racial minority. I was watching a group of school children walk, and out of 30 kids, there were only two Caucasians. I was worried when we first moved here that the Hawaiians would be resentful of our presence, both as whites and as mIlitary members, but I've found them to be a very warm and kind people. It's been a pleasure getting to know them and their land.

7. The company. If you live in paradise, you'll have lots of friends come out of the woodwork to visit. It's been fun hosting our friends and family. We hope to see more soon!

For the "original" seven quick takes click here.