Archive for October, 2008

Lazy day

Yesterday I decided to be adventurous, so I took all three kids out into the cold and walked a mile to the library, stayed for storytime, and then walked home again. It was hard work, but there was no inconsolable screaming! James thinks it was too much for two weeks postpardum, and I’m sure Michelle would scold me too, so today I’m being lazy. It gives me time to finish up Liesel’s birth story, as long as the kids stay asleep (yes, all three of them are asleep at once today, amazing!).

Liesel’s birth

As I wrote before, I had several false alarms of labor over the last couple of weeks. When James was home, we could always get contractions started, but we could never keep them going. I think the main reason was because of stress. Any noise stressed me out, even good happy noises from the kids. We had planned to have them downstairs at home with my mom during the labor while I had the baby upstairs, but before I called my mom, I wanted labor to be well underway. With Aslan, it took me about 40 hours of consistent, easy contractions before I went into really active labor. With Shiloh, it took about 19 hours. During this time James and I hung out, went for walks, slept at night, etc without the contractions ever going away. This labor however, would stop as soon as the kids needed anything from me or made any loud noises. This was getting super frustrating! I had contractions all night on October 1st, 4th, and 8th. Come morning, they would fizzle and then completely stop. On the 11th I was having contractions in the morning and then I tried to ignite labor with Swiss Kriss in the evening, but that failed too.

Finally on October 13th I started having contractions after the boys went to bed, and they lasted fairly well through the night, but in the morning when the alarm went off I didn’t feel any so James went off to work. After a little bit I realized that I was still having very light contractions, so I did my very best not to let myself get stressed about anything. The boys and I only whispered as we got ready and set out for a walk. I continued to have contractions on the walk, but when we got home and I made lunch, they went away. James came home from work while the boys were napping, and I had an emotional breakdown. I tried so hard not to because I knew that my stress would keep the labor from starting again for another day. I just realized that I couldn’t keep labor going and be a mom at the same time. I thought something was terribly wrong with me. Finally James convinced me to call Michelle to ask her what to do. She really wanted me to have the baby too, since Shiloh was so big and she could tell that this baby was getting bigger. Michelle reassured me that it was totally normal for me to have trouble getting labor going with my other kids around, especially since my labors started so slowly. She herself had an emotional breakdown when she was wanting to have her second child, so her husband sent her daughter to his parents house to give her a break and she ended up having her baby that night. She also offered to check me and potentially break my bag of water to get labor going.

James and I called my mom to see if she could take the boys for the night, and she could. This was at about 3 in the afternoon. We were packed and in Michelle’s office by 4. I even had a few contractions on the way in the car. Michelle found that I was 4 centimeters dilated, 75% effaced, and the baby was nice and low. Michelle was easily able to stretch me to 4.5 centimeters. If she broke my water bag, I had 24 hours to go into labor and she couldn’t imagine that I wouldn’t. We decided that we would take the boys to my mom’s and then head home. Michelle would come to our house at about 6 to “rip my bag open” as James kept saying. The boys were very excited to eat apples from Oma’s tree and camp out in her living room.

On the way home I had more contractions in the car. At home, James and I excitedly did some last minute prep and at 6:30 I was 5 cm dilated with a small nick in my water bag. For the next 2 hours or so James and I walked outside in the cold under the stars. Contractions came about every 4 minutes, but they weren’t yet strong enough for me to have to stop walking in order to cope. Finally we got home to the warm house, and I refused to go out in the cold again. I sat on a birthing ball during contractions and walked back and forth across the room in between. My contractions were getting harder, but they came in an odd pattern. Since I was still very alert, James was writing the timing down. I would have a few decent contractions, 4 minutes apart, then I would have a really weak one, then an 8 minute break, then an incredibly tough one. I could feel that that one was getting lots of work done.

After a couple of hours, my contractions were hurting enough that I couldn’t properly relax on the birthing ball. I begged James to let me lay down. He hesitated  because walking and sitting did help keep the contractions strong. I remember Michelle trying to encourage me to keep walking at 10:45 or so because I’d really wanted the 14th to be the birthday (the math part of my brain doesn’t turn off, even to have a baby.) In my head, I rolled my eyes, because I *knew* the birth was at least a couple of hours away. I wasn’t going to make myself uncomfortable for something that I considered impossible. I did end up laying down and still walking in between contractions. Then, my legs started to shake because I felt cold. I have know idea what time that was because James turned the alarm clock around. I begged and begged to take a warm bath. It was just James and I upstairs, so he went down in between contractions to talk with Michelle and Jess. James and Michelle agreed that after a half an hour of contractions less than 5 minutes apart, I could take a bath. I *knew* they were conspiring against me to get me all the way to pushing, when I would know longer want a bath. I said okay, and kept going, but I had such a hard time relaxing my legs because they were so cold, even with blankets. I complained a lot.

Finally, a half and hour passed and Michelle and James decided to overlook my 8-minute rest period. James went down to fill the bath tub. When I got downstairs and stepped into the tub, it was very hot, but I was so glad not to be cold. I started a contraction with both feet in the tub, so I just leaned on James to relax. Jess took the temperature of the water and said it was too hot, so they started adding cooler water. I was just happy to be in the tub. I tried to get comfortable for the next contraction. It came fast and I started relaxing just fine, but about half way through I yelled, “I need to push!” What a commotion! All the running up and down stairs as Michelle and Jess started to bring their neatly set up supplies down. James pulled me out of the tub and put a towel around me. I wasn’t allowed to push until it was confirmed that I was fully dilated, but Michelle has always said that I’m a strong pusher and she thought the baby could come very quickly. They asked if I wanted to stay downstairs or go back up, and James voted for me to go up. I’m very thankful for that.

We headed upstairs and, even though I was all wet and I had hardly been in the bath, I was hot. I laid down for a few contractions. I could give little pushes with my contractions, but nothing full force because there was still a lip of cervix. I couldn’t relax anymore, and my back really hurt. James rubbed my sacrum so hard that I almost fell off the bed. I had to use all the strength in my arms to stay on, but this helped me not push and completely relaxing was out of the question. I don’t know if walking downstairs, relaxing in the bath, or just the coincidence of the timing put me into transition, but there I was miserable but SOOOOOO glad not to be cold anymore.

Once it was time for me to push I wanted to try squatting. I started in a full squat and then moved into the supported squat against James, but my contractions weren’t very long or hard and I was having a really hard time working with them. I was happy to have fairly easy contractions, though I got discouraged when shown my “progress” in a mirror and I couldn’t see any “progress.” I was also very tired. Whenever I was asked a question I answered “I don’t know” because I didn’t want to have to process what was being asked of me. Finally instead of asking a question, Michelle appealed to James and suggested laying on my side so that I could fully relax in between contractions. This worked, but my contractions were still weak. Michelle had me stimulate my nipples. In the next contraction, the baby was crowning. I asked if the baby had hair, and they told me yes. In the next contraction I pushed her head out and had to stp to let Jess unwrap the umbilical cord. The shoulders took quite a bit of effort and I think that the contraction was over, but I gave everything I had because I did not want another shoulder dystocia. The baby came straight out and onto my tummy. I smiled huge. After a second, James said, “It’s Liesel” very quietly, and this time I trusted him, but he double checked a few seconds later. The thought of having a girl was pretty incomprehensible to both of us. At that moment I was sure he was going to say boy. I was just glad to be holding my little baby. She didn’t cry. She let out a few little sounds to let us know she was breathing, and just looked around.

Here is our girl just a minute or two old.

I’ve been more alert after the birth with every baby, which is great, but I’ve also been more alert (and whiney) during the labor. This part drives me crazy! It’s like I expect it to be easy, or something. I hardley remember my first labor, and in the pictures I look like I’m on drugs. With the last two I ask myself questions like, can I still make myself smile, and if I can, I know I’m not in transition yet.  Though it’s tough when my mind doesn’t switch into “off” mode, the physical work in labor has gotten easier, and the length of the labors has been less. It’s always a lot of work though. James, too, does a lot of work. I could never do it without his encouragement, his voice, and his awesome back rub (which leaves a sore spot for several days after labor). Michelle is amazing, too. She’s there when and how she needs to be, but amazingly, she disappears the rest of the time, even if she’s still right there. I’m so thankful for each of our births and each of our babies, and I’m so blessed by how we’ve chosen and been able to have them. I’m in awe of how God has created such beauty and blessing to be present even in a fallen world.

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It is tradition in our family that after our children (can’t say boys anymore!) lose the “stinky piece of rotting flesh” and get their first “Big Kid Part” (their belly button), they get to take a shower with Papa.

Here is Aslan’s first shower with Papa:

Shiloh’s first shower with Papa:

And last night, Liesel got to take her first shower with Papa.

Liesel didn’t seem to especially enjoy or hate the shower, and she didn’t scream when we wrapped her in a towel afterward. She’s so calm most of the time. That is a little bit weird to James and me. Liesel has expressed some likes and dislikes, but she hasn’t had an absolute melt-down screaming fit. We hope that continues!

And here is one more adorable picture of Liesel with Papa. We’ve decided that purple is her color.

I have been working on the story of Liesel’s birth. It should be up soon!

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More pictures

I don’t have the energy to write a ton right now, but here are a few more pictures of our little girl. I think that she takes after the Lyon family more than either of our other two kids, but she couldn’t have a more German name.

Maybe I’ll be able to write more later, for now I’m going to go rest!

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Liesel Renee Lyon

Liesel Renee Lyon

Born at home, 8 lbs. 12 oz. at 1:17am Wednesday the 15th.

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…but I think I’m finally getting used to the fact that they are not going to lead to labor. I have to have this baby some time, though!

At the beginning of last week both of the boys got pretty sick, then James was done for a day also. I was tired from being up at night with the boys, and it just wasn’t the right time to have a baby, even though I never stopped having contractions! Now the boys are well except for a little cough in the mornings.

On Saturday I was having some contractions in the morning, and in the afternoon I took Swiss Kriss, an herbal laxative. I was miserable for a while, but labor did not start.

Yesterday (Sunday)  James and I walked a total of about 9 miles. It was a beautiful day and it was great to get out together after a sick week. I was so sore in the evening that I didn’t even want to go into labor! Afterward we went and got ice cream. I know I wasn’t supposed to eat that much sugar, but after the birth I won’t be able to have dairy, so it was a nice treat. After the boys went to bed and the house was once again ready for a birth, we decided to carve our pumpkins. I haven’t carved a pumpkin since I was 12 or so. It was fun! Today I get to toast the seeds.

It’s supposed to be a laughing lion. I took the idea from a book that teaches you how to draw, but I think it just looks mean. James’ is pretty clearly an alien.

Today I may let the boys paint their pumpkins.

Here are a few more pictures of those cutie pies.

Well, now the camera is empty and charged again, waiting to take more pictures…maybe of a baby!

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I’m waiting to have a baby, but reading Lauren’s blog has inspired me to start one of my own. Since I don’t know much about how to do this I suppose I’ll try to add a picture or two.

So this is me last Thursday morning. I had contractions all night on Wednesday and I expected them to slowly get harder over Thursday, resulting in a baby. My other two labors both started slow, so everything seemed to be progressing normally.

We went on a walk to try to keep labor going and we found some beautiful maple leaves and we said hi to some young cows. Unfortunately, though, labor stopped.

Here I am on Saturday, at 39 weeks.

And today, a week after those first contractions, I am still pregnant. Hopefully we will have a baby soon! I’d love for the birthday to be tomorrow, 10-09-08, plus it’s Mark Driscoll’s birthday tomorrow… it seems like the perfect day… We’ll see.

The awesome thing about the fact that labor stopped is that we got to go to the Festival of Family Farms on Saturday. It’s become a family tradition, and we always have a terrific time. Here are some pictures of us visiting the farms. The director of the festival was also taking pictures of the boys, and we were asked to sign a release form, so who knows, maybe one of them will be published in next years’ pamphlet!

While driving in the car, a balloon popped and scared us all. James yelled, “What was that,” I said that it was a balloon popping. After hearing what it was, Aslan started screaming, “Was it my balloon? Was it my balloon? IT WAS MY BALLOON!” They both cried inconsolably while James and I tried not to laugh at all the hysteria. It was a major event for them. Shiloh was just as upset for Aslan as Aslan was for himself.  Eventually we arrived at the next farm and the balloon was forgotten, for a little while at least.

Shiloh riding on Nutmeg

Aslan riding on Moonbeam

We love the Festival of Family Farms! We’ve never been disappointed! Now that that is over, though, we’re ready to have this baby!

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