Ada’s Birth Story

September 11th, 2014

You’d think I’d be a pro at the whole pregnancy thing for baby#4. But every pregnancy is different and I was so tired throughout and super smell sensitive.
The smell sensitivity started early the first trimester when shrimp were being cooked at my sister’s house for Christmas. Then a few weeks later Matt cooked up some tuna at home and the smell was SO disgusting. I didn’t fix tuna or seafood anything for months. I was very glad when that sensitivity went away. However, the smell sensitivity continued even in the third trimester…this time with my husband’s body wash he was using. Once we pinpointed what product it was, he stopped using it for my sake. :)

The tiredness was bad, partially due to anemia, but also due to having three other little kids to run around after. I kept waiting for the return of energy and feeling better with the second trimester but it never came. I survived rather than thrived through the pregnancy.

Another difference for this pregnancy was that we were going to attempt a VBAC for the delivery. The hospital in our town has a strict no-VBAC policy, which meant we would be delivering at a hospital in Oklahoma City, two hours away from us. I was NOT looking forward to a 2 hour drive while in labor, I can tell you that.

Labor with my first was 14 hours, my second was a c-section because she’d flipped transverse, and my third was also a c-section because we had moved across the country during that pregnancy and the hospital’s no-VBAC policy. with my third, labor started in the early A.M.  hours of the day of his scheduled c-section. I had about six or so hours of labor with him and was only 4-5 cm when we got to the hospital. Because I’d not had fast labors we figured if we left right when labor started with baby #4, that we could easily do a 2 hour drive.

I had to have a few appointments with my doctor in Oklahoma City but thankfully he worked with my OB’s office in town so that I didn’t have to make the 2 hour drive for every appointment. My last appointment with him was scheduled for when I was 39 weeks. I wasn’t thrilled about driving there that day knowing that, more than likely, we’d have another trip to OKC soon for the actual delivery.

I was at my OB’s office in town for my 37 week checkup and I was 1 cm dilated. No big deal, though I’d never been dilated early at all before with the others. But at my 38 week appointment, I was 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced!!! That kinda freaked me out especially since it was still 2 days before any family would be arriving. I sat and did just the bare minimum I had to until my sister-in-law arrived from California. I didn’t want to do anything to have labor start before she was here to watch the other kids.

Once she arrived, however, I started cleaning and moving stuff around and walking around stores to encourage things to keep moving along. I was big and uncomfortable and ready for baby to come. We’d also had a last minute unexpected change of plans with the family help after delivery so I was totally okay with her coming early (so we could have the maximum amount of help after she was born) since she was already showing signs of wanting to come.

At my 39 week appointment with my OB in town, I was 3 cm dilated. All of this progression was without me having had a single contraction.
So I asked them about stripping my membranes, which they did. I’ve never had that done before but I asked for a few reasons:

1. Because I had already been progressing with dilation and effacement
2. I was okay with stripping the membranes because it was a more “natural” way to hopefully get labor started.
3. Like I said previously, we wanted to maximize the amount of time we had help after her birth.

They stripped my membranes on Monday, August 18. On Tuesday, August 19 I had my appointment scheduled in Oklahoma City.
Monday after my appointment I still had no contractions or anything. I finished sewing a play mat I’d been making that evening and went to bed.

I woke up the next morning at 6 A.M. and was rather disappointed that labor hadn’t started and assumed I would have to make the trip for my last appointment in OKC that day.

Cue 6:53 A.M. and the first contraction hit. Matt woke up at 7, right as I had the third contraction. He promptly handed me his phone with a contraction timer app on it…something I hadn’t even thought of preparing for! By this time I had already texted my doctor friend who had agreed to come by and check how far dilated I was to give us an idea of if we’d be able to make the trip to OKC. I timed a few more contractions in between getting clothes out to wear to the hospital. At this point I was still able to function between contractions. They were coming 2-3 minutes apart and lasting from 20 seconds to a minute each.

Matt knocked on the room his sister was in and told her the baby was coming. She got up and was taking care of the other kids while everything else happened.

It was some point very shortly after this that I pretty much lost all track of time and stopped timing the contractions. I had gone to the bathroom and at that point things started getting intense. I quite literally had no idea how much time had passed. Contractions were not spaced far apart and were super painful! It made me realize the labor I had gone through before was NOTHING compared to this. I’d requested drugs with the two labors I’d gone through before and these contractions made those ones seem like a very pleasant walk in the park.

I made it back into bed because Matt had been texting our friend and knew she was on her way over to check me. I had been in labor for less than an hour when she arrived and was moaning miserably in bed. She checked me and I was already at 6 cm.

At that point I knew I needed to force myself to get up and moving and that we weren’t going to make it to the hospital at OKC. Even with knowing I needed to get moving, I had a hard time moving at all with the pain. Matt suggested a bath to slow contractions down and I thought that sounded wonderful. I sat up in bed and moved to the edge when my water suddenly broke. I knew we had to leave then and I had to make myself get to the car. I was fully expecting to be mobbed by my three munchkins upon leaving my room but they didn’t. I was leaning on Matt to be able to walk so I’m not sure what was going through their minds.

We made it to the car and thankfully the hospital in town is at most five minutes away. It was still a miserable 5 minute drive. We parked right by the ER doors and walked in. Getting a wheelchair brought out to the car never occurred to me even though I had to stop and lean on Matt through a contraction on the very short walk in. We were met at the doors by someone with a wheelchair which I gratefully sat in. They took us to the admissions desk where Matt was handed a stack of papers to fill out.

I was incapable of speech at this point and was thinking, “Get me to a room! No time for paperwork!” I was pretty much stifling screams during each contraction and doing a pretty poor job of that. I noticed a kid about 12 in the ER with his mom and thought, “This poor kid is going to be forever traumatized by seeing this crazy lady in labor.”

Someone else came out and started to wheel us back. We got up to the right floor and into a room. It took me a couple minutes to be able to move out of the wheelchair and into the bed. Matt was very patient and encouraging. The nurses were telling me I had to get into the bed. Which I knew but I couldn’t move through the contractions. Matt was telling them I would get into the bed when I was able.

I made it into bed and I remember saying I wanted drugs. I had fully planned on getting an epidural with this baby. I also knew that if I was at 6 cm at home that if I had any chance of the epidural having time to take effect that I needed it ASAP. The nurse said she couldn’t give me drugs in that room or something like that. I think asking for drugs was the only thing I said because things were still so intense I couldn’t manage to talk. They checked to see how far dilated I was as soon as I was in the bed and said I was still at a 6. I thought, “Really?!? All this and I’m still at a 6?”

Since this was our small local hospital, the nurses were talking of prepping me for a c-section. They got the fetal monitor and contraction monitor on me and I despised them for it. I didn’t want anything touching my belly at that point. The nurses were flustered and kept scolding me to not push. At this point I was screaming through each contraction and squeezing Matt’s hand to death. Poor guy. He was still trying to get paperwork filled out for them. (Since we weren’t planning to deliver at this hospital we hadn’t pre-registered or anything)

The nurses kept scolding me about pushing and  I think at least one of them was in and out of the room fairly often. Contractions were one right on top of each other at this point.

They checked again to see how far along I was and I was 8-9 cm. I was still being told not to push and I really wanted to just tell the nurses to shove it at this point. Had I been capable I probably would’ve just yelled at them because they were really annoying me. My OB came into the room and I was really glad to see him.

I was also finally not scolded for pushing. I learned the hospital uses stirrups for delivery which surprised me but I was just so glad to get to actually push that I didn’t protest. They gave me some oxygen to help and some coaching on pushing. I just had to concentrate through the pain to push properly. After pushing for a bit and her not coming, my OB mentioned using the vacuum to help get her head out. Which I didn’t want. I can’t explain it, I just didn’t want them to have to use a vacuum to help get her head out. I moved my legs out of the stirrups and braced my feet on the edge of them to push and she was promptly born.

It was a crazy wild ride. From the first contraction to when she was born, it had been 2 hours and 54 minutes exactly. From when we got wheeled into the room to her birth was only 28 minutes.

I never thought I was capable of a completely natural birth but I did it. And since things moved so quickly there was no time to prep me for a repeat c-section and I got to deliver at the local hospital. It really couldn’t have worked out any better, even though it was all unplanned.

And that is how our little 8 lb beautiful bundle of joy, Adalynn, made her entry into this great big world.

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Slush day

February 27th, 2013

Yesterday, we had a beautiful blanket of snow in our yard. The older two kids had so much fun in it, well, William did, anyway. Tati had trouble walking around in it and was done after about 10 minutes.

It started melting fairly rapidly so we just a slushy mess today. That, coupled with the fact that all three had some combination of congestion, sneezing, coughing and runny noses, kept us inside today.

Slushy snow mess

The morning started out with  an early morning nap for Xander who had been awake three times overnight and some cartoons for the kids while I ate breakfast and got myself ready for the day.

Aren’t they so cute cuddled up together watching cartoons together?

Tati then found my boots and had fun stomping around in them. 

 

Xander woke up and Tati went down for a nap and I got busy making chocolate chip cookies and tested the capacity of the bowl on my stand mixer.

By the way, if you ever want a good use for sour cream containers, they are excellent for freezing cookie dough. I love being able to pull out a container when I want to bake something and don’t have a lot of time.

I kept the little guy entertained by feeding him cheerios while mixing the dough.

William was pacified by getting to lick the bowl since I excluded his little sick self from helping with the mixing.

After lunch and nap time was over, we had fun goofing around with play dough, Tati had fun dressing up with the kitchen towel, then we curled up on the couch and watched Rescuers Down Under.

Already working her audition to be Mary in the church Christmas play :)

Curled up watching a movie with mommy and her Tigger

I left the kids in the house and checked the mail. Walking back up to the house, this is how I found my dear little daughter:

Xander is perfectly capable of feeding himself but sometimes I love to just hold him while he drinks his bottle.

When I went to fix supper, Tati and Xander had a blast tearing out most of the diapers.

Then I went to AWANA at church, leaving William at home so he could go to bed on time and avoid spreading germs to his friends.

All in all, it was a pretty good slush day. :)

 

My Top Ten Stuffed Animals and Plush Toys

November 29th, 2012

Christmas is coming soon and since grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, etc. are shopping for little ones, I figured a top ten list could come in handy as a guide.

It took a bit for me to narrow this down but here they are: my children’s top ten favorite stuffed animals and plush toys.

1. My Pal Scout (or Violet)

My 22 month old absolutely LOVES this puppy. I have seen her play with this for over 30 minutes at a time. One of the neat features of this stuffed animal is you can plug it into your computer and program to say your child’s name, favorite animal, color and food. You also get to pick from a list of songs for it to play…so you not only select your child’s favorite songs but can switch them when you get tired of hearing the same 5 songs over and over.
One of the best things about this is that she can push any paw or the tummy and it starts playing. We have several musical toys she loves but can’t manage the on/off switches yet so I am constantly being brought toys to turn them on. Then my 3 year old turns them off and the cycle constantly repeats itself. It’s very inconvenient to have a child pulling at your legs while cutting meat or other such tasks every 30 seconds so a toy that minimizes that happening is wonderful.

2. Lamaze Musical Inchworm

I first saw this toy when my oldest was a baby and thought it looked wonderful. We recently got it through using the Huggies diapers reward points program. My 7 month old really enjoys it. His face lit up when I first showed to him and it makes tummy time so much more fun. It only plays one tune but it hasn’t grown annoying yet, especially as it plays rather quietly.

3. Lamaze Jacques the Peacock

This fun bird is my youngest’s Christmas present this year so I can’t report on his reaction yet. However, it is well-made, the colors are vibrant (the picture doesn’t do it justice) and it has crinkly parts, a rattle, mirror, various textures and a clip to attach it to something. I can’t wait to see his face on Christmas morning.

4. FAO Schwarz Noah’s Ark

This toy was a Christmas present my kids got last year and it was an instant hit, particularly with my 2.5 year old. He’s a year older now and it is still a big hit. My 22 month old has become more interested in it the last couple of months. There are two of each animal and the bottom of the ark has a zippered door where all the animals can be stored. The little animals are also the perfect size for my 7 month old to play with.

 

5. Large Stuffed Animal

It doesn’t really matter what animal it is; ours is Winnie the Pooh. I had a giant stuffed animal as a child and I loved it. All 3 of my kids love our Winnie the Pooh. There is just something so delightful about seeing my little girl hug and carry around an toy as big as she is or my youngest boy try and wrestle this massive animal as he rolls around on the floor. We also have a large duck; commonly used as a pillow by my 3 year old and a sea turtle that my kids have taken many a ride on.
Go get your kids a big stuffed animal. Look at garage sales, they sell cheap, and can be cleaned by throwing them in the washing machine.

6. Puppets

Again, it doesn’t matter what kind. Puppets provide hours of entertainment. Get creative if you need to and hot glue eyes and yarn for hair to socks.

7. Soft rattle ball

This is a great toy to have, especially for little ones learning to sit up. If they fall- and they will- there is at least a chance of having something soft to land on. Plus if your exuberant toddler decides to throw it across the room, at the glass door of your entertainment cabinet, or at his younger sibling, there is a significantly less chance of anything breaking or anyone getting hurt.

8.  Lovey/Security blanket

We have quite the assortment of these. They have been a favorite of each kid at one point or another. Even at a month or two old, my daughter had several months where she wouldn’t sleep without hers tucked under her arm.

 

9. Sort-a-Shape Fun Cube

This comes with 3 wooden shaped blocks, a square, triangle and circle. We haven’t played much with the wooden blocks yet. Each side has a different texture and I highly recommend it, even for a 3-4 month old. They can grasp at the different sides and when they start teething the plastic bar has nice rounded edges to gnaw on without danger of them hurting their mouth.

10. Baby Einstein Stack and Discover Blocks

We apparently own the old version of these so I decided not to upload my picture. These soft, plush blocks are good for learning to stack and if they fall you don’t have to worry about head bonks and tears. Each side has different textures and are easy to manipulate and grasp for young children.

So there you have it; my kid’s plush favorite toys.

 

Crockpot Homemade Yogurt

November 12th, 2012

My kids love yogurt. They eat plain yogurt every morning for breakfast.

My 3 year old prefers his with applesauce and my 1 year old likes hers best with mashed up banana. Sometimes yogurt is the special treat I give my 3 year old after he finishes eating all his lunch.

We go through approximately 2 of the large yogurt containers a week and so it certainly is a crucial part of our grocery budget.

I heard about making homemade yogurt over a year ago and filed the idea away to try someday. In the last year, we moved from Chicago to a small town in Oklahoma and, to our surprise, we found that most groceries cost 30-50% more here.

However, being pregnant, having just made a cross-country move and with 2 little ones, I held off on trying my hand at yogurt.

After a number of months and I’d settled into a pretty good routine, the time had come to make yogurt and help alleviate our rising grocery costs.

My first attempt tasted like yogurt but came out really thin and runny. The kids ate it, but boy, was it messy. So I started researching ways to thicken it and settled on trying gelatin.

The gelatin worked its wonders and so, without further ado, here is my yogurt recipe:

Ingredients:

8 cups whole milk

8 oz plain yogurt (as a starter)

1 package (2 teaspoons) Knox powered gelatin

Directions:

1. Take yogurt starter out of fridge to start warming up

2. Turn crockpot on low to warm up

3. Pour 8 cups milk into saucepan and stir occasionally until it reaches 185 degrees (Fill sink half full with cold water while milk is warming up)

4. Once milk has reached 185 degrees, remove from heat, add powdered gelatin a little at a time, whisk in completely before adding more. Continue until all the gelatin has been dissolved.

5. Remove 1 cup of heated milk and set aside.

6. Put lid on saucepan with remaining milk and place in sink of cold water (make sure the water level is not too high, as you don’t want water getting into the pan) for 10 minutes or until you can somewhat comfortably briefly stick your pinky finger in.  (After making this several times, I just time it for 10 minutes and no longer bother checking the temperature with my finger.)

7. Take the 1 cup of heated milk you earlier set aside and mix in your yogurt starter completely.

8. Take the pan of milk out of the sink and pour into crockpot. Add in the 1 cup of milk and yogurt starter mix.

9. Put lid on crockpot, turn off and unplug. Wrap entire crockpot in heavy towel overnight or for 6-10 hours.

10. Place crockpot in fridge and wait another 6-10 hours for it to finish setting completely.

The finished product

 

Yields: Approximately 70 ounces (will stay good for up to 14 days)

A week's worth of yogurt in our house

 

It may sound like a lot of work but it only takes about a half hour each batch and 10 minutes of that time is when the milk is cooling in the sink.

Note: Set aside 8 ounces as a starter to use for your next batch right away (to make sure you don’t eat it all)

Wondering if it really saves us money? Two large containers of yogurt costs me $4+ tax at Aldi or $5+ tax at Walmart, assuming you buy the store brand.

1 gallon of milk costs me $3.20, so 8 cups is $1.60. The yogurt starter cost me $1.07 and the package of gelatin cost $0.94. The total is $3.61.

If you eliminate the $1.07 for the yogurt starter, the costs come down to $2.54.

Definitely a significant savings over buying yogurt each week. Not only is it cheaper, but it is nice knowing exactly what I’m feeding my kids.

 


 

 

 

 

No More Pain

May 16th, 2012

Heaven welcomed home a dear friend of mine yesterday evening. A wife and mother of seven. And a Grandmother, even though her grandchild is not due until December and she will never meet that little one here on earth.

After a two year battle with cancer, she is out of pain and safe in her Savior’s arms.

I rejoice for her and I weep for me. For her husband. For my best friend, Krista, who has stayed so strong throughout it all. For the rest of her siblings as they are hurting and I wish to be able to give them all hugs. And especially for Calli, the youngest, who turns sixteen today.

Most of the lovely Nebe family

 

One tends to gloss over people’s faults once they have died. I know Connie had flaws…after all, she was a fallen, sinful human like the rest of us.

But she had a big heart and she opened her arms to you. I was welcomed into their family and became one of them.

She made the most amazing muffins I’ve ever had. And she gave me her recipes but it must be something in her touch because mine didn’t turn out anywhere near as good.

She could sew like nobody else and made me the prettiest skirts I’ve ever owned. I also have a darling dress she made for my daughter. She made all the flower bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres for my wedding. We had so much fun on that shopping trip picking everything out. She did a gorgeous job on the flowers.

On sleepovers I had at her house with her daughters, she’d stay up talking and giggling with us.

Putting these memories into black and white text does not seem to do them justice.

Connie Nebe loved life and now she is truly living. She is missed by those of us still in the shadowlands.

 

January 31, 2012

January 31st, 2012

Playing peek-a-boo with his sister

January 30, 2012

January 30th, 2012

Having paci and bottle, I will be content

January 29, 2012

January 29th, 2012

Hat-loving babies

January 28, 2012

January 28th, 2012

William was slightly jealous of Tati getting attention so got in the way

January 27, 2012

January 28th, 2012

Happy girl in the tub