I’m really going this time…

It has been years since I have developed a photo. That is sad. I’m hoping to get into the habit of doing 10-20 a month from here on out, and maybe even starting to [drumroll] scrapbook again. The four I have never done a page for deserve it. While I gather my materials for this renewed venture, I’ll be putting the pictures on Picasa, too. Be sure to stop over there from time to time to see what we’re up to.

Goodbye

In four years, I’ve…
– had four children, almost five
– celebrated four anniversaries and one second honeymoon
– mourned the loss of loved ones
– moved
– regularly attended four different churches
– traveled to Virginia, Pennsylvania, and many places in Ohio
– had a children’s book published
– grown vegetables from seed
– seen a house go up ground-breaking to house-painting
– taught kindergarten through third grade
– made some fun crafts
– made some yummy food
– had a ball blogging about it

Thanks for coming along on the ride. Vaya con Dios!

Birth Story, Part 4

All along, my due date was a certainty. Now with these recent issues regarding the pregnancy, the doctors thought it best if I be induced a week, or even two, early. I had a hard time with this at first, not wanting to add any more stress to Micah’s preterm life if possible. Eventually I could see the sense of ‘planning’ her birth- we didn’t know if we’d make it to the hospital if I labored too fast, we didn’t know how the labor and delivery would go with one live baby and one deceased, we didn’t know a whole lot. So, I scheduled D-day for April 27.
Luke had started his time off work the weekend before this, taking the kids out to different places so I could get some rest. Monday the 27th, he took them to the library in the afternoon. I was sitting on the computer, looking at blogs, when I noticed that I was having a contraction. Again. 11 minutes after the last one. To humor myself, I sat and kept track of the next few. Sure enough, 11 minutes apart. Hmmm. Luke came home after I’d been tracking for about an hour, and I then got up to go to the bathroom. I noticed I was walking a little funny; not just stiff from sitting for over an hour, but like I was in labor. I got into the shower, thinking that this would help the contractions go away if they weren’t to amount to anything. Luke was highly suspicious of my mid-day bathing, and of course wanted to know what was going on. I lay down after the shower to see if the contractions would continue, and they did seem to stop, or at least slow down. Now I didn’t know what to do. If it wasn’t the real deal, sitting around wouldn’t be an issue, but if it was, I wouldn’t have much time to debate the best course of action, so Luke had us head for the hospital.
On the way there, things picked up again, making me glad we chose to come on in, even though we were only hours from my induction. But at the hospital, the pains fell into a really sluggish non-pattern, something I normally would have labored at through the night and maybe even the next day. But I couldn’t have known that. Late that night, they put me on pitocin, and I requested an epidural. I’m no fan of these, but since there were so many different ways the labor could go, I thought it best to be prepared pain-wise. It felt silly, though, because I was in no pain. The anesthesiologist asked me what my level of discomfort was on a scale of one to ten, and I just looked at him. Zero, okay? But I didn’t feel like explaining so many times that this was precautionary.
So, Luke and I sat there all evening, watching movies on his laptop, counting away the minutes and hours. Long about midnight, I really thought things had progressed like I was close, but an exam showed me to only be at 4 centimeters dilated. My OB decided that I had a while, and disappeared to some other part of the hospital (maybe his office?). At around one o’clock, the nurse had me lay back on my side, thinking that this would speed things up. It did, but it also caused me to start feeling the pain of the contractions on my left side. Weird. I thought of a lady I used to know who had that happen when she had an epidural- only experiencing half the pain. It was tolerable, but from the feel of it, I was pretty sure I was close.
After a few pushy contractions, I said to Luke, “I think she’s coming out; look and see if you can see her.” The nurse came around and sure enough, Micah was crowning. I pushed her out very easily, good thing, since the OB still hadn’t returned. 🙂 I have to praise our good nurse here- she delivered Micah, with Luke’s assistance, and I was glad to have her expertise in the absence of the doctor.
It took some time before Micaiah’s body was delivered. Seems like once Micah was born, my contractions stopped and everything just shut down. The OB was present by this time, and had to help things along. Luke got to see her first, and asked me if I still wanted to. I said I did, and am so glad. At first, she was tucked into a little ball, like a baby bird, and it was difficult to discern what she looked like. But then I started to be able to recognize her legs, arms, and head for what they were. She really did look similar to her image on the ultrasounds I had had, like the five-month-old fetus she would always remain.
The nurses took her body away to try to clean it up a little. When they brought her back, I was even more pleased with what I could recognize- ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes, beautiful long legs and arms. It appeared that her palms, pads of her feet, and eyelids were some of the last things to form before she died. It was so neat to see and know that she had fingerprints and footprints. Fearfully and wonderfully made.
I had thought I might like to see her again before I was discharged from the hospital, but those moments after birth were just enough for me to say goodbye to the little one who had spent the last months inside of me. As I was discharged from the hospital with Micah, Micaiah was released to the funeral home to be cremated. Luke brought her home to me that next week in a little white box, his other hand holding a bouquet of dogwood blossoms. We think we might plant a that kind of tree in the spot we bury her, but aren’t sure.
It’s been quite an experience- the joy and the sorrow so intertwined. Any time I start to feel bad about losing Micaiah, I have to thank God for gaining Micah. It is hard to watch her grow and change, and know that there was another who would look just like her right now. But that was not to be. Hopefully, our little twin won’t mind double the kisses and hugs that we have to give.

Burton Roundup

Our church had VBS last week- a western theme. The scans didn’t turn out real great, but I thought I would put them up anyway. Can you tell who is a little timid around animals?