Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Savannah could have very well died tonight. But she didn't. And I have no clue how it is that she is absolutely unharmed by what happened. It is a miracle, plain and simple.

Earlier today the girls and I went to my parents' house to play for a bit, to escape the endless bickering that was taking place due to their being sick and cranky. (How does a 10-month old bicker? By screaming at her sister everytime that sister gets near her, and then big sis pushes/hits little sis, and they both scream. Fun).

At the end of our visit, around 5 o'clock p.m. my mom noticed that Savannah was pushing her tongue in and out, seemingly to feel her top teeth (which, apparently, she never knew she had). It was cute and we watched her and laughed and she was fine and happy.

I drove home with the girls and let Emma ride her bike around and put Savannah down on the ground for maybe 30 seconds while I ran inside and grabbed the mail key. We went for a walk and I noticed Savannah doing something silly with her mouth; it looked like she was chewing on her tongue and trying out those new teeth again. Jared came home and he took the girls upstairs to play while I started dinner, and finally about an hour later Savannah was ready for a nap. I nursed her on both sides and noticed that her latch was off and it hurt, but this isn't anything new because the new additions of teeth have made for some painful nursings lately. Once she had eaten on both sides I gave her her binky but she kept spitting it out and was really out of sorts. I laid her down and she freaked out, so I picked her back up and tried to get her to settle. She would lay her head on my shoulder then start making a weird gnashing sound with her teeth and as I held her up to look at her I noticed that there was something in her mouth. I put my finger in, expecting paper or a tiny happy-face sticker that Emma has put on every toy in the house, but instead I felt something hard. I forcefully swept my finger from side to side and out popped a rock.

I seriously almost lost it. Savannah was screaming and I was screaming for Jared, not knowing if there were any more in her mouth and basically falling apart a bit at the idea of the danger of the situation. Jared ran upstairs and we quickly found that her mouth was empty, thank God. I could not stop saying "Oh my God, Oh my God, thank You, God, thank You...." over and over again. Then I immediately burst into tears. The only thought going through my mind was "She could have baby could have choked and died". If she had fallen asleep and choked we wouldn't have known. Not for hours. We don't go in and check when she's sleeping because she never sleeps for longer than 2 hours and she's such a light sleeper that any movement/noise will wake her up.

I cannot believe that this happened. I sobbed and sobbed, holding her close as she stared, confused, at me and played with my hair. Then I thanked God over and over and over again for the miracle of our tiny babe, who knows how to swallow solid food, keeping that damn rock in her mouth and NOT swallowing it. How the hell did she NOT swallow it? She had it in there for over an hour! And she NURSED! And sucked on a binky! How did she drink and swallow breastmilk and NOT swallow that jagged rock?

I am shaking, still, hours later. My faith has been restored. That may sound cheesy, but it's true.

Posted by Kier at 7:29 PM | 0 comments
Friday, April 11, 2008
We were all set to have a fun and exciting Friday...until both Emma and Savannah took a turn for the worse! Savvy was up all night long; I had to hold her through the night so she could breathe, and even then she awoke every 20 minutes or so to cough up some pretty disgusting stuff and cry about it, toss and turn for while and babble herself to sleep while I sung her the girls favorite lullabye. Emma woke up with the same cough that Sav has and a runny/sneezy nose.
This means we'll be missing out on three big things that were supposed to happen today:

1. Saying goodbye to Grandma and Papa - my parents leave today at 2pm to visit my sister Breanna in Uxbridge, England. We were going to give my parents some letters and drawings made by the girls to pass on to Bre and her love, Simon. And we haven't seen Grandma and Papa since Monday, so Emma was really looking forward to seeing her Grammy. They'll be back in 8 days, and that's a long time for us not to see them (I'm really close with my parents, as are my girlies). Even though I'm 28 and have a family of my own I still feel lonely when my mom goes away. She really is my best friend (besides Jared of course) and I love just being near her. And my Dad just adores Emma and Savannah. They are Papa's girls, for sure - just like their mommy.

2. Emma's last Rolly Pollies class of the session. I can't believe I have to make her miss this! But there's really no way I could possibly take Savannah (she's just so, so sick) and Emma is sick now too, so they wouldn't appreciate me bringing her to spread around the virus. But she friggin' loves Rolly Pollies and I'm not sure we'll be able to do another session with her for awhile. Needless to say it's been ixnay on the ollyray olliespay. We don't want her upset, so we're just pretending it's not Friday.

3. Our big potluck dinner tonight! Now, this is the ONE thing I didn't want to have to miss! We have a Monday playgroup with my best friends and their kids (8 moms, 13 kids) and our buddy Maureen (Mo) and her kids just moved and left us in January. Her husband Bryan came home from Iraq and they were finally able to be a family again! Mo has a daughter named Maddie (Emma's BFF) and a son named Luke (born on Savannah's birthday - I heard her screaming while in labor before I even knew her!). Mo and her family are in town for a visit and the entire playgroup; moms, kids and husbands were going to meet for a potluck dinner tonight. And now we're going to have to miss it. I am beyond bummed about this! If the girls are doing okay tonight I might sneak over for a quick visit with everyone. But I doubt it.

So that's what we're missing today. It's one of those rainy, everybody's sick, don't-wanna-do-anything kind of days. I think I'll make some Belgian waffles for lunch and play some Raffi. Might not sound like fun to others, but some it always makes us feel better!

Posted by Kier at 9:25 AM | 0 comments
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Poor Savannah! She developed a terrible cough 2 nights ago and has a very bad cold, sore throat, and now an insane rash from the virus (we took her to the pedi this morning). My poor little one can't sleep without being propped up so Jared slept with her in his arms in the comfy chair for a bit last night then finally settled her on Emma's play Elmo couch propped up with a couch pillow.
She was pretty funny at around 4am, though! With a fever and juts not feeling well she was acting almost delusional (okay, that sounds worse than it is, I swear!) and humming to herself and babbling and looking around so was so cute and funny that I didn't mind being up with a sick baby.

Jared took the day off so he's outside with Emma soaking in the sunshine. We've declared today 'National Happy Day' because we're fighting so much stress that we just have to smile and laugh it all away. (He quit his good paying job, we lost health insurance and are having to go all out to get it back, we're struggling financially until he's started getting paid from this new temp job, the girls are both sick, etc.). It's funny; when I type that all out I would think that we'd be more stressed out! But I think we've both reached a point where we can step back, realize that there is more to life than money, and thank God that we are all (relatively!) healthy and happy. Everything works out the way it should. I'm a firm believer in karma and I know we are good, kind people who help others, and that that kind of energy comes back to you.

Life is good! We have a beautiful new townhome, all the clothes and food we need, two decently running cars, a plethora of family and friends who love us, and most importantly, each other.

Posted by Kier at 11:38 AM | 2 comments
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
I spent the entire day cleaning and cooking and getting things ready for our friends C & D to come over and they never showed. We haven't seen them in a year and a half and stopped talking for awhile when I told them we were pregnant with Savannah (they suffered a miscarriage a few years ago). They split up (I think they were close to divorce but don't really know because they didn't talk to us. They're back together now and I was really looking forward to catching up. I guess they were going to be here at 4ish and it's now 8pm and I'm getting really worried that something happened on their hour and a half drive here. D isn't answering her phone and we called their work to see if they were working tonight but they're not. I have a bad feeling about this. And if they simply didn't show and didn't feel like answering their phone or calling us...well, I just can't imagine why that would have happened.

Okay, to get my mind off of this I'll post some pics.

Emma sitting on the beanbag chair we got Josh for his 5th birthday (sitting with Bella and Charlotte, Josh's friends).

Emma and Zelda magnadoodling together in her cardboard box house. :)

Look what happened when Savannah got into the wipes!

Daddy and Emma cheesing it up for the camera.

Emmie G riding in style!

Savannah taking a ride on Josh's scooter. She loved it!!

Savvy trying out the beanbag chair. Doesn't she look like a little flower in that skirt?

My dear nephew and his mommy, my sister Alissa, celebrating Josh's 5th birthday.

It's an Emma sandwhich! Hayley and Miriam are the bread. :) This was taken at this past Monday's playgroup.

Savvy's first swinging!!! She LOVED it!!! (That's Emma pushing her).

The little flower girl on my parent's driveway.

Posted by Kier at 6:49 PM | 0 comments
The Business of Being Born
Birth is a miracle, a rite of passage, a natural part of life. But birth is also big business.
Compelled to explore the subject after the delivery of her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to question the way American women have babies.
The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system. When director Epstein discovers she is pregnant during the making of the film, the journey becomes even more personal.
Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?

Jared and I got out to see a free screening of Ricky Lake and Abby Epstein’s The Business of Being Born on Monday night, and it was awesome! I’ve been wanting to see it for months and months now and it was everything I was hoping it would be. The births in the film were absolutely beautiful (I couldn’t help but laugh and smile and sigh with joy everytime a woman birthed her baby) and the audience seemed visibly moved. And what a diverse audience it was; med students and regular students and midwives and doulas.

The best part of the night was that I left with the desire to learn more, to really get the ball rolling faster on my doula training, and to finally attend births. I’ll be having my chiro/doula-mentor (Dr. Jess) over soon for dinner and to pick her brain about all things doula, and to hopefully come up with a timeline of when I can/will start attending births.

I also came away with a better realization of how each of my two births have affected me both physically and emotionally. I’ve now experienced almost every kind of birth a woman can have: ob/gyn-attended, induced, cesarean, midwife-attended, stalled labor, vaginal, VBAC, failed epidural, hospital. I am really looking forward to experiencing birth again; this time it will be at home, a waterbirth, attended by a midwife and doula (Dr. Jess). I feel that all of these experiences that I’ve lived through are supposed to be part of my life path towards helping other women experience the miracle and joy of birth. I can attend births and truly feel empathy for the women who have to undergo a cesarean, who are induced, whose labor has stalled, who think they can’t do it. I will be able to take all of my personal experience and apply it to my work. The cesarean was traumatic for both Emma and I but it has given me greater perspective on the different ways a woman becomes a mother. The VBAC was intensely empowering, and I will fight for any mother who wishes to try (and be successful at!) a VBAC. I have fought through 2 severe boughts of postpartum depression and I know the warning signs and ways to cope. I have battled terrible breastfeeding problems only to push through and develop long-lasting and truly wonderful breastfeeding relationships with both my girls. I have a wealth of knowledge and resources that I can use to hopefully be a positive influence in the lives of the mothers and babies I will come in contact with.

I am so excited to begin this new chapter in my life!

Posted by Kier at 6:44 PM | 0 comments
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
I'm sitting on the couch watching Savannah chatter away and suck on a magnadoodle pen (don't worry, it's quite large and not choke-y) while Emma is practically on top of the t.v. watching Clifford. And I'm half-thinking "Why am I not caring that these girls are doing 2 things I don't usually let them?". And I'm other-half-thinking "Because that little beast woke me up every.stinkin'.half.hour, that's why".

This child neeeeeeeeeeeeeeds to sleep better. It's getting to the point where I no longer feel really bad for her when she's rubbing her ears and her mouth from teething pain; now I just sort of feel mildly concerned but mostly annoyed. And when I get broken 30-minute-at-a-time sleep I'm reduced to a crappy, grumpy, boring mom.

Like right at this moment, Sav is crying for me to come and play with her. But holy crow, child, I just wanted 10 minutes to myself and isn't your sister good enough to play with???

Apparently not. Apparently the apocalypse is happening right now. But only to my youngest child, who is screaming bloody murder.

It's gonna be a loooooooooong day.

Posted by Kier at 7:35 AM | 1 comments