February 21, 2008

A Life Changing Day

I am going to divert from my Valentine's weekend story to share a very special story with you. It was a very special day 14 years, 1 month & 10 days ago-and it was a day that changed my life FOREVER! It was the day our son was born.

My husband & I had been married about 3 yrs when we decided that at the ripe old ages of 23 & 21 we were ready to start a family! Well, it didn't take long until we were expecting & we were so excited! After eating cases of animal crackers-the only food that would stay in my stomach through the first tri-mester, feeling like a beached whale in my final tri-mester every time I had to get out of our bed-a water bed no less , finishing a business course I started when I got pregnant and decorating a nursery-IT WAS TIME!

Go back with me in time will you to January 9, 1993 . Our baby (whose sex we did NOT know much to everyones surprise) was due on January 21, 1993. So I had plenty of time to finish my course & paint the nursery. After all, B-day was 12 days away! So study during the day I did while hubby was at work. Paint that night we did after hubby came home from work-and paint we sure did until around midnight when the walls were complete-YEAH!!!

Well, around 2am on the 10th I woke up for one of those now infamous treks across our bedroom, down the stairs, across the house & into the very chilly bathroom of our 100+ year old farmhouse. As I reach the bottom step a very large puddle suddenly appears out of no where at my feet-I just peed on the floor! Then a funny thing happened-I had some very severe stomach cramps! OMGH-I was in labor! But it was almost 2 weeks to early, and first babies NEVER come early-so they say (whoever THEY are)! So perhaps it was just gas or some cramps-that has happened alot since I got pregnant-YEAH that must be it! Although... this did feel different.

So, I finish my trek to the chilly bathroom, then the LONG journey BACK to bed only to have 2 more of these "pains." I was getting very suspicious that these might not be just gas or cramps after all! So for the next half hour I track these so called pains/cramps to see if they are actually contractions. I soon realize that every 5 minutes for a minute or so is not the way cramps work-I think I'm really in labor! I really was happy to be having this baby, but I had a list of uncompleted tasks in my head. (we'll come back to that in a little bit!)

So I wake up hubby, we call the doctor & after a yes Mrs. King you should come in because it sounds like real labor, we are off to the hospital at around 3:30 am or so. This is where life got quite interesting for us. It is now January 10, 1993, very early in the morning & I am in pain-no longer thinking it is gas or cramps at all! In come the nurses, the doctor, and anyone else could have come in at that point & I wouldn't have noticed. Yes you are definately in labor-that puddle WAS probably your water breaking-you are 70% effaced-and the baby is moving into position and at the -1 station-but the bad news is you are only dilated to 1 cm.

So we hang out at the hospital for awhile, contractions are staying steady, but absolutely nothing seems to be happening other than my baby wants to come out & he (though we didn't know he was a he yet) was moving down that birth canal-I was not dilating & I was not happy. I talked with my doctor-she was THE BEST EVER! Found out that she was on call only through tomorrow (the 11th) and asked if I could go home-I had company scheduled to come over & food to cook! Yes, I did say company & food (remember my mentioning the LIST of things on my mind) besides absolutely NOTHING was happening here in the hospital! Oh -and I prayed & prayed I'd have this baby before the 11th was over because I really wanted her to deliver our baby-she truly was the best (did I mention that already?)

My wonderful doctor allowed me to go home (wow I don't know how I managed to pull that one off even to this day) with very strict instructions: 1. I was NOT to cook-my hubby had to. 2. IF my contractions changed at all I was to IMMEDIATELY return to the hospital. 3. The only reason I am letting you go home is because you live so close to the hospital, otherwise you would be here to stay.

YEAH! I can go home to my own house. We arrive home on Sunday morning around 7:30am & promptly call our friends, M&L, who were coming over to watch the Eagles game right after church. Hubby's phone conversation went something like this: "Shelly is in labor. " "Wow, that is so exciting!" "I am going to start the food, so please call J&A to let them know that lunch is still on." "Are you sure?" "Yup, she's sure." "Ok, but tell her that eventhough I'm a nurse, I have NEVER delivered a baby & do NOT want to deliver hers either!" (i could actually overhear that part & LOL-ed like you wouldn't believe!) "If anything changes, we'll call ya! Otherwise we'll see ya around noon." "Ok, bye." "Bye." CLICK

We were the first to have children among our friends, so our dear pals M&L, J&A arrive with many questions & comments-are you sure? we could go home. are you feeling ok? are you really sure? we really could go home. I am NOT delivering that baby! and these lasted all afternoon. Later we would let them know how truly grateful we were for their company b/c our day would have been very long without them (as you'll soon realize). We love to reminisce today & laugh so hard about how CRAZY I was.

Game over-nothing exciting-can't remember it the Eagles won, labor was the same all day long-a minute to a minute & a half contractions 5 minutes apart. Around 6pm things started to intensify, the pain moved to my back & we were off to the hospital to stay this time! I was in agony & nothing I did, hubby did, or my nurse did helped (BTW-she was my prenatal instructor-she did NOT let me get away with anything-I can't do that wasn't an option-she knew what I had learned! DARN IT!) . I walked and walked and walked the halls for what seemed like FOREVER! I breathed, I talked (that was my hubby's trick! He knows I love to talk so he'd ask me questions because he knew I'd have to breathe to talk-sneaky man!) That little baby was completely in the birth canal, I was fully effaced & still only at 2.5 cm.

UGH! And I was exhausted! I had been up since 2am with only an hour or so of sleep. So we tried a pill-I think it was a sleeping pill (I forget now)-and the shower. Wow, did I like that. Although my hubby thought I had died! I was falling sound asleep in between each contraction and they were only 3 minutes apart by now-I mean out cold, head flopped back, mouth hanging open- out cold as soon as the contraction ended! No wonder he thought I'd died-I NEVER have fallen asleep like that in my ENTIRE life! Only to wake up just as quickly when the contractions started-and I was sitting in the shower to boot! (Can you picture this? I really must have looked totally ridiculous, but I did NOT care! I was sleeping even if it was only for 1 minute at a time!)

This is where my details begin to get a little fuzzy & I rely on hubby to fill in the blanks b/c I am just a little bit beyond exhaustion at this point & on drugs now. It was time to check me again. I was ready- I WANTED AN EPIDURAL! But my nurse informed me that because I was only at 4 cm, I needed to dilate more before that was an option because it slows down labor(as you know) and you have been in labor for 23 hours Mrs. King! I was NOT happy (did I mention that the nurse was my prenatal instructor)! So it was demerol or major pain for who knew how long-I opted for the demerol & stuck in bed on a monitor until it was over from this point on! I wasn't loving being stuck in bed, but I couldn't stand the pain. My hubby was getting worried too, because we tried counter pressure on my back & he thought he was going to break my spine if he pushed any harder. It didn't even make a stitch of difference for the back pain-it felt like he was barely touching me!

Well, that was around 1am or so on the 11th. I'm told the shot will last about 1 hour & that I should be able to have that epidural then. An hour is up, my nurse checked me said good news you are at 8cm, to which i said YEAH I can have my epidural now? She called the doctor-said NO you are too far along now! What are you serious? Check me again, pleeeeeaaaaasssssseeeeeeee! (in what I'm certain was THE whiniest whine ever to be uttered on this planet) So, she checked me again & told me to push, then called the doctor again. This did not compute correctly with me at first-why am I pushing I'm only at 8cm? I did mention that my nurse was my prenatal instructor right? Because she had told us that in NO case whatsoever should you ever push prior to 10cm. I can't possibly be at 10-she only walked to the head of my bed & back again! OMGH! I am having our baby!

The next things I remember seeing (& picture this with me if you will) are stirrups appearing out of nowhere, the cover being ripped from the instrument table & the bottom part of my bed flying across the room into the corner. A mere 10 minutes & 3 pushes yes I said 3 pushes later, our little boy was out & on my belly. No time for a gown for hubby, no episiotomy for me-everything happened so fast that our nurse, Anne-Marie, actually delivered our baby. (did I mention she was my prenatal instructor too? I think I did:-) Our doctor, whom I'd prayed would still be on call to deliver-yes deliver our baby, came just in time to stitch up my very large tear! As we chatted, I found out that was the way the entire night went in the birthing wing of the hospital! If I had known that perhaps I'd have prayed to NOT be in labor until tomorrow (the 12th)

All kidding aside- at 2:42 am on Sunday, Jan. 11th 1993 our 7lb. 6oz bundle of joy joined our family. (24 & 3/4 hours after his laborious journey began)

My life has never been the same since! The love between mother & son is just so amazing.

(I really hope my story wasn't too long-but what could you possibly leave out?)

February 16, 2008

Valentine's Day on the Mountain

...or should I say glacier, but I'll get to that!

Well, our day started out ordinarily enough. School started on time-darn it all! So it was up on time-really wanted to sleep in, but that just wasn't going to happen today.

So it's up, showered, dressed & ready to take our DS to school then off to work for me. So out the door we head to the car. Ice was everywhere (and I mean EVERYWHERE)-oh, did I mention that when it is cold our mountain turns into a glacier outside our front door? Thank God for our carport-which shelters me & my car from glacier like weather. Well, we back out of the carport onto the glacier & our morning trek begins at 8am!

Our normal drive to school is about 8 minutes long. This morning it took 8 minutes just to get down our growing glacier-um I mean our driveway. Our glacier had grown beyond anything I had EVER seen before in Pennsylvania. Our entire upper half of our driveway, parking area & yard had become solid ice overnight! REALLY-SOLID ice from END TO END-one end being the cliff that drops off on one side. I am a paranoid freak on ice & now I have to figure out how to get my son to school without careening off the edge of our glacier-SIDEWAYS no less.

Yes, we were heading down the driveway with both driver side wheels leading the way. THIS IS NOT THE WAY MY CAR IS SUPPOSED TO TRAVEL! 8 minutes later-the new world record (according to our 15 yr old son) for longest time EVER getting down the driveway, an expletive that just never comes out of my mouth & many thoughts later-why am I taking him to school?-he could just stay home today, couldn't he?-this would count as an excused absence I'm sure! Oh yes and How in the world did my Dear hubby get those roses & wonderful card into the house without me seeing him-did he actually go out early this morning & make it back up this glacial mess?-we're now on with our day!

...that is until it was time for dinner. My MIL had invited us for dinner this evening (yes it was v-day) so my traditional dinner gift would have to wait until another night. Are you ready for this-dinner was a King family favorite beef heart & beef tongue (not this King though)! I am told it is very good, but I just cannot get past the picture of a cow's tongue sticking out (come on picture it with me!) *Mmmllllleeeeeee-sound of sticking your tongue out I think :-)

My MIL is so wonderful though-she knows this is not for me-so I had pork instead! Yummy chocolate cake for dessert & a great visit with all. I must say, I did really enjoy not having to cook after a long day at work! But our weekend of celebrating doesn't end there....

Check back in for an update on the rest of my Valentine Holiday weekend.

BTW-I am so excited that everyone is celebrating our anniversary with us on Monday-can you believe it our anniversary is A NATIONAL HOLIDAY!!!! LOL!

(Remind me to tell you about the week leading up to valentine's day sometime-OMGH!)

February 1, 2008

Snow Day-YEAH! (well really Ice Day)

No School today, a day to sleep in & what does my dear teenager do? He gets up at 5:45 (doesn't check to see if there is school) and gets ready to go to Friday morning breakfast! Now me I would have slept in for sure! But I must say (another surprise for me from the teenage set) I am impressed!

To understand the reason you must understand a teenager! Normal teens must be drug out of bed daily for school & anything else that happens before 10am-my son is no different. He likes to sleep in whenever he can. NOT THIS MORNING though!

These Friday morning breakfasts are special-it is a guys Bible study that started oh-5 or so years ago. This is my sons first year attending & he really looks forward it-so much so that he gets up at 5:45 am (a WHOLE hour & a half before he'd have to be up) CAN YOU BELIEVE IT???

I couldn't either when he told me he wanted to go. My response was-that's great, if you can get up you can go-Oh yeah & BTW exactly how are you getting there? To my sweet surprise he was up & has a ride to get there every Friday he's around.

Just one more way the teens I know surprise me! These are guys who want to run through life with God in the lead and in today's world that is the only way to run life! There is so much to wade through for kids & teens today-that to have this support is crucial.

SO....I end this morning saying-You GO BOYS-don't let a little snow (or ice) stop ya-just slow down a little bit =)

What an impression-BTW did I mention that school ended up cancelled, but a couple of the guys still went to breakfast-just later in the morning?