Thursday, March 29, 2012

Samuel's birth story

I originally posted this on 3/29/08. Today is Samuel's 12th birthday & it felt like a good time to re-run this. Happy birthday, sweet boy!


In late July 1999, I found out I was expecting our 2nd child. We had prayed for another baby and were so thrilled to learn that we were going to have a baby in March of 2000!

Our insurance had changed since baby #1 and we lived in a new town, so I had to find a new OB/Gyn. I wasn't too thrilled that my only choices were men, but I figured other people had survived giving birth with male doctors, so I knew I'd be fine. Throughout the pregnancy, my OB & I butted heads. He was determined that I needed to sign up for an epidural (or any other variety of pain medicine) in the 3rd month of pregnancy. He basically assured me that no matter what I thought I could do, I would need to get drugs because every delivery is different. (I didn't use pain medication when I had Savannah & was perfectly content to do without this time, but he was "sure" that I would change my mind in labor. :::sigh:::) I adamently denied his pushy behavior & comments all throughout the pregnancy. Even when he was an all-out pain in the neck, I did my best to maintain a pleasant attitude & kindly tell him to SHUT THE HECK UP! ha ha

Anyway, late in my pregnancy, I began to dilate. This was no great surprise. I was content to let the baby & my body do its thing til whenever baby was ready to arrive. My OB was determined to convince me to let him induce me, however. No thanks. I'm good.

Larry jokes that I'd make a good pioneer woman because I really do love being pregnant & love the birth process. I have a really high threshold for pain and (he says) could give birth in the potato field & keep on going. (I love this guy!)

I could make this a really longggggggg story, but I'll try to sum it up. I was due March 23, 2000 but Samuel had not yet arrived by then. Dr. F asked me to come in twice that week for non-stress tests to make sure Samuel was alright. Geez....come on! I went along with it, though. Larry was getting nervous about me going past my due date and was made more nervous by a pushy, intervention-happy doctor. At 40 weeks & 5 days, I was dilated to 6. Larry was panicked that I'd sneeze or something & have the baby in our kitchen floor while he was out on patrol (he was a cop at the time), so I finally agreed that if the baby hadn't come by morning, I would agree to checking intothe hospital. I made it very clear that I didn't want pitocin, though. The doctor finally admitted that he loved watching natural labors progress because he sees so few of them. He said that he would agree to just needle-pricking my bag of water & letting me "leak" instead of actually all out breaking my water like they usually do. That was something I could agree to. So we went in on the morning of March 29, 2000 & he did that. I walked the floors of the OB unit for a couple of hours, slowly leaking amniotic fluid. At some point, I needed to go potty, so I went back to the room. The nurses were cheering for me the whole time---most of them saying that I was the FIRST patient that they'd seen do "this" (meaning walking to make my labor progress instead of doing it the usual drug-induced way). When I made it back to the room, the nurse suggested that I let her hook me up to the monitor for a minute to make sure everything was ok. I went to the potty & layed down for some quick monitoring. It only took a minute before the nurse got all panicky & had me turn over, put an oxygen mask on me & was calling for help.

What? Why do you need help? What's going on?? Apparently, Samuel's heartrate was dangerously low all the sudden. Yikes! How did that happen? After some monitoring & oxygen, his heartrate "recovered" and everything went back to normal. I got back up, but decided that due to our little 'scare', I'd just stay in the room. I walked around for another hour or so, just sort of roaming the room looking at everything. I was kind of bored, but Larry told me jokes & family members visited, so I wasn't all alone. After about an hour, I layed back down for some more monitoring. I was starting to have some pretty serious contractions by that point & knew I was getting close, so I figured it would be best to let them monitor me for a bit. Once again, the nurse freaked out, threw an oxygen mask on me & called for another nurse to come help her interpret the heartrate on the monitor.

The same thing had happened again. Good grief. What on earth is up with that?? By this point, my contractions were getting pretty strong & I was not really feeling like walking, so I decided to stay on the bed for a while & just try to breathe through the contractions. Istayed there until I was ready to push.

The OB was called & I started pushing. Unfortunately, with every push, Samuel's heartrate drastically dropped. It wasn't just low, it was very very low...like in the 20s. The doc did a very OUCHY exam to see if the cord was presenting (which can be a very dangerous thing). Then he checked (OUCH again!!!) to see if the cord was wrapped around Samuel's neck. This was quite painful because Samuel never made it past zero station, so he was up really high still. I don't think I've ever experienced an exam quite like that one......and pray I never do again! Once it was determined that his cord was not in the way, the doc suggested to me that we might have to think about a Csection since Samuel didn't appear to be tolerating labor & pushing too well. He told me he'd give me an hour to attempt to push him out, but in the next breath, he was handing Larry a pair of scrubs to put on, calling for anesthesia & setting up the OR across the hall. Hmm...I don't think he was ever confident that I'd get Samuel out the regular way. (& of course, I have always thought that he was probably secretly giggling after the fights we'd had about me needing drugs in labor the whole pregnancy!)

After an hour of pushing, I could TELL that Samuel wasn't moving an inch. His heartrate continued to dip dangerously low with every push and I felt like I was pushing him against a brick wall. Nothing was working. When I had Savannah, the pushing stage was slow, but I could tell she was moving each time. That was not the case with Samuel. Larry finally layed his head down on the bed beside me & said "Honey, I'm really getting worried about Samuel....let's get him out of there, ok?". I nodded my head between contractions & did my best to breathe (ok, pant....and nearly hyperventilated) through the very strong urge to push while the doctors & nurses & anesthesiologist very QUICKLY prepped me for an emergency Csection. This was NOT the birth I had wanted, but I desperately wanted to see my baby delivered safe & sound, so I consented to it.

I was rolled across the hall to a waiting operating room & within minutes, Samuel David Reeves was born. It was all at once very exciting & very scary. What we found out when the doctor pulled him out was that there were several things impeding his delivery.

First, his head was @#!*% to the side. He was coming out ear first. He had a scalp electrode heart monitor during labor & the scab from it was just behind his temple (above his ear). With that being the case, he would've never made it out vaginally.

Second, his cord was up over his shoulder like a lady carries a purse & he was wedged into my pelvis. Therefore, each time I was upright and each time I pushed, it was compressing the cord, cutting off his oxygen supply (& lowering his heartrate). Yikes. It was scary to realize just how close we came to having a much more serious outcome!

One of my funniest memories of laying on the table during the Csection was asking Larry if they had started the surgery yet (I was numb from the bottom of my ribcage down). He laughed & said "Umm, yeah...your guts are all on the table beside you now." Silly goose! Moments later, the OB was telling me "this boy is huge...I can't get my hand all the way around him to pick him up!".

We knew all along that Samuel was a big boy. Larry was actually 9 1/2 lbs at birth and Samuel had measured large throughout the pregnancy. When he was born, he weighed in at 8 lbs 15 1/2 oz, but we've always called him 9lbs because in all honesty, if he'd wiggled on the scale, it would've tipped the 9lb mark I'm sure.

And so, at 2:21pm on March 29, 2000, Samuel David Reeves entered the world & our lives. I can't imagine our lives without this crazy little ball of joy we call our son. He is such a precious child, truely a gift from God. I am so honored to be his mother.

Here he is on the day he was born. I was still in the OR getting sewn up when Larry brought him to this window to show our families who were anxiously waiting to meet him.

a couple of pics of his younger years.......

He was 8 months old in this picture.

riding a pony at a church carnival when he was about 18 months old:

and being a typical little boy when he was about 2 1/2:

and here he is tonight......

Happy Birthday baby boy! I know it's not officially 3/29 yet......but it's close enough! I love you!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Brackets & Wires, oh boy!

I picked Samuel up from school at 12:00 & we drove through McDonald's for lunch on the way to his orthodontist appointment. Today was the big day....braces! I allowed Sam to pick out any lunch from any place (within reason of course). He wanted a chocolate milkshake, cheeseburger & fries from McDonald's. We ate in the van on the way. He admitted that he was a little excited, but nervous about his mouth hurting afterward. I gave him Ibuprofen before we left the school, however, to try to dull the pain a little bit.

Here are his teeth before we went into the doctor's office. As you can see, his bottom teeth are all jacked up. At he has an upper tooth on the side that hasn't come in right because it has no place to go. Plus his midline is all screwed up. (See how his upper & lower center line don't match up?) Braces for this kiddo weren't just cosmetic, but really necessary to make his mouth work right.

I'm really not a mean mom like this next picture seems. I have a picture that my mother took of me getting braces, laying in a chair with the cheek spreader thing in my mouth. I took one of Savannah when she got braces, too. And now we have one of Samuel. So you see, it's sort of a family tradition if you get braces to have this nice, embarassing picture. Hee hee!

And once it was all said & done, he looked like this. Quite the cutie, don't you think?

Fortunately, his mouth didn't hurt for several hours after getting his braces. Unfortunately, that hit right about dinnertime. We went to the store this afternoon & stocked up on pudding, jello & yogurt, so supper was pudding & mashed potatoes tonight. I'm hoping that by Sunday or Monday, his mouth will feel better. 'Til then, I see a lot of soft, pureed meals in his future.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

To my email subscribers

For those of you who get my blog posts by email, this post is for you. I need you to do me a favor. Read on & I'll explain.

When I created this blog, I added the feedburner "gadget" on the right side of the page where you signed up with your email address. This allows you to be emailed every time I post something. It is a very useful tool that prevents you from having to come back & look at the site every day to see if I've posted or not. However, here's where things get tricky.

The email you get showing my new post is connected to the gmail account I had to create to have this blogspot website. I don't use that email address. At all. It is only once in a blue moon that I think about it & go check it. It is usually not any more often than once every few months. Inevitably every time I do, I find tons of emails from you, the readers of this blog. I try to always reply to those emails & let you know my correct email address, but I'm afraid that I may miss one of you from time to time.

Here's where that favor comes in.

When you get those feedburner emails of each new post, replying to comment is fine. (In fact, I LOVEEEEEEEEE getting comments by email or here on the blog site!!) But here's the trick. Please save my (correct) email address to your address book. When replying to those emails, change the address where the email is sent so that it comes to my correct email address. That way I'll actually SEE your reply & it won't sit in my Gmail inbox for months with you wondering why I haven't responded to your question or comment.

My email address is: Lizreeves2@aol.com

If you forget to write it down or copy it to your address book now, it's always on the blog site at the top right on a graphic that says "Email me".

Thank you a million bazillion!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Break 2012---days 4 & 5


Oops. I didn't remeber to post the last couple days. Sorry about that.

On Thursday, Larry took Sam to Six Flags for his special birthday trip. I'll blog more about that later, with pictures.

Savannah babysat for a friend in the morning, so Sarah and I took care of the pets we're watching this week and then came home to hang out.

Last night, we visited with my mom and dad to help out with my nieces & nephews who were in town visiting while my sister and brother in law went out to celebrate their anniversary. It was a blast!

The last couple of days, the kids have said we haven't "done anything" for spring break. I suppose they are comparing our time at home, just hanging out and relaxing, to their friends' trips to Disneyworld & Hawaii and all sorts of other fun (and pricey!) places for the break. Since they were convinced that we haven't "done anything", I told them we'd make today special. I wasn't sure HOW I'd pull that off since I obviously couldn't get on a plane with them & go do something BIG.

This morning, we slept later than usual. I cooked them a big breakfast of eggs & bacon. Then we all got ready and went to take care of the pets we're watching for friends this week. When we left the last place I surprised them with a trip to TCBY. I had a coupon that made our sweet treat just under $4!! I can do that!!! Tonight we took dinner to friends and then grabbed Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner (again, with a coupon!!!).

Tonight I was told that I had maybe made up for all the bummer days. ha ha! Good to know that I can buy my kids' love with pizza & frozen yogurt. ha ha!

Tomorrow is Leaf Party Day! (It rained & Larry got called in to work the last time we tried.)

I am sad that Spring Break is nearly over, but I am downright GIDDY about something else. Summer is nearly here!!! The produce section at the grocery store is full of summer fruits & veggies already....the weather is beautiful & warming up to the point of feeling downright summery some days. Things are starting to grow & bloom. And we are down to just about 2 months of school left until summer. It's right around the corner, y'all! WooHoo!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Break 2012---day 3

Today was great!

Before lunchtime today, I went to the gym & got that out of the way.

I came home & showered & got everyone fed lunch.

My mom picked up Samuel & took him (early) birthday shopping. When he wasn't allowed to buy the gigantic foot long knife that he'd like, they came home. While they were gone, the girls & I went to the snowcone stand. I got a red velvet cake with cream. So yummy!

When Sam got home, we went on a pet-feeding run. We're watching some friends' pets over Spring Break while they are out of town.

When we left the last house, we stopped at their neighborhood playground for a few minutes. The kids are really too old (and too big) for playground equipment, but it's fun once in a while. Fortunately, this playground has a pretty little stream that runs through it. I think they kids were much more excited about that.

Larry got off work & came to the playground to meet us and we decided that we wanted pizza for supper. We drove to a local pizza buffet & all got seated to start eating before we found ants crawling around in Larry's pizza! Yikes. No thanks, we're done. We got a refund and went elsewhere. We ended up sitting in the local KFC & playing a silly game that we play when we go out to eat. You take the napkins or a piece of paper & one person at the table starts a story with 1 sentence. After writing their sentence, they fold the paper over (to cover up their sentence) & pass the paper to the next person. That person adds a sentence (without knowing what the first person wrote) and passes it to the next person. It goes all the way around the table until it makes it back to the story starter. He/she unfolds the paper & reads the story to the table at that point. Our stories usually always end up having some gross part to them because well....we have 2 boys at the table. But it's hilarious to see how their pooping, burping, farting and scratching works its way into the story each time. ha ha!

What a great day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Break 2012---day 2


Today was not quite as productive as yesterday.

All three kids had an appointment this morning at the pediatrician's office. Sam & Sarah had annual check ups and Savannah had a lab appointment to check her Vitamin D level. All three kids did fine & got good check ups. After we left, I asked the kids what they'd like for lunch. All three said Applebee's. We fed a friend's cat afterward and then headed home.

Later this afternoon we went to get the key to another friend's house whose kitty we will also feed & babysit for the next few days. We picked up some fruit & stuff at the store & got a movie to watch tonight afterward.

Dinner was a "figure it out yourself" night. The kids always cheer on those nights --- and then eat cereal or a sandwich or whatever they can grab.

I am loving these lazy days!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Break 2012---day 1


The kids & I are out of work/school for the week. Sadly, the state doesn't follow our school schedules, so Larry is still working this week.

The kids and I were productive today, and had fun just hanging out, too.

When Larry got up at 6-something this morning, I had convinced myself I'd sleep right through it. After all, he & I both layed in bed reading until about 1:30am last night! But alas, it did not happen. When he got up, it woke me up. I was able to still lay in bed & doze a little bit but by 7:30, I was wide awake. So much for sleeping late.

I got up & made homemade pancakes for breakfast. It's funny. The kids routinely have frozen pancakes from a box & when they eat them, they usually eat a stack of 3. When I make homemade pancakes, they will keep eating until I cut them off. I made 3 per kid today and then started refilling their plates 1 pancake at a time. I used up my whole batch of batter & had to make a little more so that I could eat! ha ha!

After breakfast, we all got dressed & ready for the day and headed out. I had a couple of errands to run and we needed to go feed a friend's kitty who is out of town this week.

For lunch, I filled plates with baby carrots, baby tomatoes, ranch dip for the veggies and chicken nuggets.

And then we started something crazy. That is, Savannah started her parent taught driver's education program! Eeeek! Wasn't she just watching Sesame Street last week? She had to do 2 hours worth of work today, so while she worked online I hung out nearby to answer questions while I folded laundry. I guess I was exhausted by all that because I konked out laying in the living room floor watching Tom & Jerry with the kids afterward!

About 4:00, it hit me. Supper was in the crockpot, the kids were all occupied doing one thing or another. There was really NO reason I could use to get out of going to the gym to work out. I texted my friend who lives 5 minutes away & told her to meet me at the gym in 10 minutes. We got in a workout before the 5:00 after-work crowd showed up. I knew if I didn't jump on that momentary spurt of energy while it lasted, I might not ever go to the gym this week! Trust me, I'll look for any excuse to get out of it. ha!

When I got home, I showered & then served up supper. Yummy pork roast with carrots, potatoes, onions & celery and Parker House rolls. Oh my gracious. Tasty stuff!

After watching the news & House Hunters on HGTV, Larry got home from work and we all watched an episode of Love it or List it.

Day one of Spring Break 2012 is complete. It was great!

(Ok, so technically the first day was Saturday, but I think of this week as our 'actual' Spring Break since I don't have to go to work or drive kids to school.)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Five Question Friday


1. Are you looking forward to the time change this weekend?
Not just no but.....
Losing sleep is never something I look forward to!

2. Are you getting the new iPad/would you want an iPad?
I am not getting one, but I would love to have one!

3. If money was not a problem, what is the one thing you would splurge on?
That's just mean. I am a girl who lives paycheck to paycheck & just barely pays the bills. Asking me to name "just one thing" I'd splurge on if money was no object is like asking a starving man to choose from his 10 favorite foods. I want a little of this & a little of that. Pay off debts, new (bigger) house, new furniture, new clothes, give to a lot of organizations that I want to support but can't now, a tummy tuck & a few other nips & tucks for me.....the list goes on.

4. How did you and the Mr. (or Mrs.) meet?
We worked together at a pizza place. He walked in to get his schedule for the upcoming week wearing a denim jacket & acid washed jeans, a ball cap & a lei...and I was hooked. (Oh yeah, it was 1992.)

5. Summer is right around the corner. Bikini or one-piece?
Neither. I don't feel comfortable wearing any type of bathing suit in public. And it's not just because of the tummy tuck that I mentioned in #3. It's a modesty thing for me. If you really care to hear that whole schpeal, just ask me privately & I'll share. Now...if we had a privacy fence surrounding the backyard & had our own private pool, I wouldn't be so hesitant to wear a bathing suit (1 piece), but I swim in a Tshirt & cotton shorts. (Speaking of that, I need to get a new swim outfit this summer!)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I lied.

I gave up doing the Five Question Friday posts a while back. I told you I wasn't going to do it anymore.
But I'm going to do it again. It's fun and I love doing it. So if you don't like it, feel free to skip these posts. :)

1. Where is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Somewhere peaceful. Wherever that is, it's my favorite. Sometimes that means camping (although I am soooo not a camping girl, I really do love the woods, so hanging out there is peaceful to me), sometimes that's a beach, sometimes it's the mountains, sometimes it's a drive to the lake.

2. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
Dr. Pepper, bubble baths & People magazine

3. What is your favorite fashion trend right now?
Hmm....I have no idea. To be honest, I don't even know what fashion trends are out there right now. I try to avoid the mall & the only fashionable people I hang around are between the ages of 17 & 20, and I don't exactly take my fashion cues from students. So, maybe I should just pick jeans & Tshirts....it's my favorite style after all!

4. What are your spring break plans?
First we're going to rent a limo & go to the casino. Then we'll dine on lobster & champagne room service. And then Tuesday......

Wait. Yeah, forget all that. Not gonna happen. We'll probably just hang out & wish away the days while listening to the kids argue. And then by Friday I'll be saying Where did the week go?? I'm going to miss the kids next week! Trust me, I know me.

5. What baby names do you hate?
I can't do that. Almost every name that I hate has ended up being a friend's child's name. And I've ended up changing my mind about the name because I love the kid so darn much. So I'm not even gonna go there!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Product Review: Downy Wrinkle Releaser

I know, I know. I'm late to the party on this one. My friends have been talking about Downy Wrinkle Releaser for a couple of years and I have been reluctant to try their magic wrinkle fighting liquid because I thought it would be a waste of money. I love shortcuts, though, so I have been curious about it.

Well guess what? I was right. It IS a waste of money!

Last week when I was grocery shopping, I walked down the aisle of 'travel sized' items in search of another product & stumbled onto a teeny bottle of Downy Wrinkle Releaser. One of my issues about buying this product before was with the price. However, for about $1.69, I figured I would finally give it a shot. I really had high hopes that all my girlfriends who have raved about this stuff would be right. (After all, what girl wouldn't like to find a bottle of magic water that will keep her from ever having to iron again? One can dream!)

But here's the thing. I iron every single day. I know what I want my IRONED clothes to look like. I have standards for my clothes and when one of the kids or my husband leave the house without letting me iron a very wrinkled shirt or pair of pants, it drives me crazy. I want to tie a sign around their neck that says "My mother/wife tried to iron my clothes but I wouldn't let her. Don't blame her! It's all my fault." My ironing board stays set up in my bedroom half the time because I use it so often. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be able to skip ironing altogether, but I don't necessarily hate it. It's just a tad time consuming if I'm running late & need to hurry and get my clothes ready.

In the past week, I have used the Downy Wrinkle Releaser on several different shirts, each time hoping that I'd see different results.

I will admit that when I used the product on a Tshirt which was only slightly wrinkled looking, it did reduce the look of wrinkles, but it didn't completely flatten them. The other shirts I have used it on produced less than stellar results. With each one, I sprayed the shirt & followed the bottle directions to stretch, smooth & straighten out areas that looked most troublesome. After allowing the shirts to hang for 10-15 minutes, I would return to find that they didn't look any better. With each one, I thought that perhaps I had not used enough of the product, so I tried re-spraying them with more of the product. Ultimately each time, I ended up having to toss the shirt in the dryer to dry the dampness from the product & still had a semi-wrinkled shirt. I determined on Sunday morning that I spent roughly the same length of time hanging, spraying, stretching & smoothing the shirt as I would have spent if I'd just ironed it.

Bottom line:
If you iron things regularly, just keep ironing & save your money. You'll get much better results. If you only wear stretchy cotton-knit type fabrics (like Tshirts), you might benefit from using Downy Wrinkle Releaser. Trust me folks, this stuff will never replace an iron at my house. (And I bet I spent less on my iron than you will spend on bottles & bottles of Wrinkle Releaser over time!)