Friday, February 27, 2009

Update from Sam (via an email I got)

Here is an update I got from Sam with pictures. Just a glimpse of what he is doing. I think it sounds cool. Very jealous for him!

I hope you enjoy the pictures. When we were walking back to our vehicles abunch of Albanians wanted to take a picture with us (we know they weren'tSerbs, they respect us and appreciate our presence, but are still a littlesour we bombed them in 99). I didn't get a copy of me in the picture; thatwas on one of their cameras. It was weird; I am not a celebrity or thatimportant. It is just they love Americans and KFOR for what we did forthem. There are about as many American flags as there were Kosovo flags.On their independence day on 17FEB (which only 55 countries recognize),there was a bunch of rappers performing in front of a huge crowd. On theleft was an Albanian flag, on the right was an American flag. They evensewed Kosovo and American flags together. A few days ago, all the kids wesaw (I think even Serbian kids) were saying "hi" (in American) to us andwanting to shake our hands. It was WEIRD for me; it felt unnatural.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Are they wired to do these things?

I think Nathaniel must get weekly memos from someone telling him the things that he is "supposed" to be doing as a 2 and a half year old. Like the potty training thing. It wasn't working or going anywhere, but all of a sudden he is very interested in peeing in the toilet, and has been fairly successful as well.

However, I only wish that all of the "new" things were positive. Here is a short list of Nathaniel's "new" things.

1. Whining: Ever since Aaron came home from the hospital Nathaniel has been in "super whine" mode. Everything he doesn't like results in instant meltdown, complete with smacks on the forehead and wails of "I don't like (or want) _____." In fact, right now he is currently throwing a fit because I took the dice away from him from his Cootie game because he was putting it in his mouth (yes, I realize that the singular of dice is die, but I don't care).

2. Asking "Why?": This morning I was awoken to Nathaniel standing next to my bed saying, "Why mom?" and I hadn't even said anything!! A minute ago (right before the fit started) he tapped me on my knee and said, "Why?" With the cute hands up in the questioning pose.

3. Rebelling against naps: For the most part I can get Nathaniel to go down for his nap, but the last couple of days he has completely balked and spends his entire nap time talking loudly and yelling for me saying he wants to get up. He is exhausted, yet refuses to nap. I don't care if he sleeps (I do, but I don't make it an issue), but I do want him to rest for at least an hour and a half. Ugh.

So, that is the new things Nathaniel has been up to. Another one is tapping me incessantly until I give him my attention. That is what he is doing right now. *sigh*.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Slideshow of Aaron's birth.

Here is the pictures from Aaron's birth. Warning, there is one really graphic one (Aaron being pulled from my body), plus a lot of these pictures I look like crap, but what can I say?
Things are going okay. Rough night tonigh, Nathaniel was being 2 and a half and I think Aaron has acid reflux because his spit up smelled strongly of stomach acid and he screamed for a couple of hours arching his back in pain. Ugh.
So, enjoy the pics!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Aaron's birth.

I went in to the hospital on February 12th in order to induce my pregnancy. This isn’t something I normally would have done but since my best friend had already left and my mom was scheduled to leave on the 16th I figured that things needed to happen. Besides, I was already 5 days overdue and at this rate the baby wasn’t getting any smaller.

I arrived at the hospital at 6:30am and was hooked up to the Oxytocin by 7:30. I hadn’t been feeling well that morning (bad headache) and as they hooked me up to the I.V. I felt clammy and nauseous. That went away after I sat up though, so I think it was a combination of nerves, needles and my breakfast.

My friend Lori came in around 9am and we all just hung out in the labor room. We played cards and had some girl talk. I had to keep reminding Lori and my mom not to make me laugh while I had a contraction because it hurt when that happened. At some point the doctor came in to check me and noted that I was still at 1 cm. Mind you, I had been at 1 cm on Tuesday without any drugs so I was really disappointed.

During this time I had the most annoying nurse in the world. She was very “traditional” (that’s what she said) so the only time I was allowed out of bed was to go to the bathroom (my doctor told me I could get up for ten minutes at a time). She also had a really hard time keeping Aaron on the monitor so she was coming in every fifteen minutes or so to scold me for moving. There were times I hadn’t moved a muscle (even though I was so uncomfortable in my bed and my back was killing me from some of the positions she had me in) and she would come in frustrated. I kept telling her that the baby was moving, but she wouldn’t believe me until finally she witnessed it for herself. She got the heartbeat on the screen and immediately watched my belly shift as Aaron moved to the other side of my stomach. She kept making comments about how we were trying her patience. My mom and Lori kept muttering comments under their breath about how she was trying our patience. J

When my doctor came back around 3 to check me I was still 1 cm (sad face for Carrie) and the nurse got out internal monitors to keep track of Aaron. My doctor took one look at my nurse and said, “No, we don’t do that for convenience’s sake.” At that point I could have hugged my doctor. Since nothing was happening they upped my pitocen and I went on my merry little labor way. None of my contractions really hurt that bad at this point. I could feel them, but could easily breathe my way through them. I was feeling pretty good about myself, thinking that I had trained much better this time around, I just wished that things were going quicker. My doctor said that if nothing was happening when she came back we had to make a decision what to do (i.e., call the whole thing off and go home or something else).

At 8:30 (after I had called my sitter to let her know that I was still in labor and nothing was going on) my doctor came back in and checked my progress. At this point I was 2 cm (woot, 12 hours to get one whole cm!) and she was able to break my water.

Holy Crap! I won’t go into gory detail about my anatomy or anything, but my cervix is not easily accessible and it was really difficult to break my water. At one point she had her elbow digging into my ankle which really hurt too. Lori was holding my hand, my mom was holding my head and I was yelling. It took 15 minutes of tugging and pulling to finally break my water.

After my water was broken I started feeling the contractions fully. I couldn’t breathe through them. I couldn’t relax through them. I couldn’t do anything but curl up in a ball and cry. About 45 minutes into that I begged for an epidural. So much for natural birth.

When I had Nathaniel my contractions hurt so bad that I didn’t feel the epidural at all. This time, however, I think the technician used a rusty spoon and a soda straw to put that thing in. First of all, she wasn’t able to get the catheter to thread so she had to move the spot (jab numbers one and two). After she moved the spot she hit a nerve which made me scream out in pain. I thought my mom was going to come across the room and stab the technician! The technician kept asking me if it was pain or pressure, you know, because pressure usually makes me scream, “Ouch!! It hurts it hurts it hurts!!” Finally, after four tries they were able to get the epidural placed right and I was able to finally relax a little bit.

I was able to get little bits of sleep here and there but finally around 7:30am (24 hours into labor) I was at 10cm and ready to push. By the way, Sam had been sitting by the computer for the entire time getting updates from Lori via text messaging and feeling sad that he couldn’t talk to me. At this point he kept trying to call my phone, but that was on silent in my mom’s purse so I couldn’t hear it vibrate (not that I was focusing on my phone).

As I began to push the doctor came in and noticed that Aaron was turned face up instead of face down. She warned me that it meant I was going to have to push harder to get him out because his head wasn’t going to give the way it normally would. I was up for the challenge though and pushed as hard as I could for three hours, thinking that I was actually making headway. Yet, when the doctor came back three hours later she noted that Aaron wasn’t getting any further down the birth canal. He would get to the same spot and stop. Then he would travel back up the canal. So she asked me how long I wanted to push. When I told her “Until this baby comes out.” she looked at me and told me that I needed a c-section because the baby was stuck, but that it was up to me (she wanted me to have control but she also knew that pushing for five hours was just going to exhaust me and I would still have the same outcome).

I started crying. I was so tired and wanted Sam with me so badly and knew that my mom was leaving on Monday and that with a c-section I wouldn’t even get out of the hospital until Monday. I was overwhelmed and sad and felt like I had brought this on myself by inducing labor. At that point Sam called my phone and got through and talked with me and told me how proud he was of me and how much he loved me. I made the decision to go through with the c-section (what choice did I have?) and the next thing I knew they gave my mom some scrubs, put my hair in a hair net, injected a whole bunch of drugs into my epidural and wheeled me off to the O.R.

I started shaking really badly and noticed that it took a really long to get things started because they couldn’t find a latex free catheter for me (and the nurses complained loudly about that too).

Finally, after a few minutes things got started and I heard them talking about how cute my baby was with my mom exclaiming how he looked just like Nathaniel. They showed him to me quick and started cleaning him up and started closing me up (I assume, I couldn’t see anything beyond my chin and I was perfectly okay with that). After cleaning up Aaron they put him on my face (literally, my mom has a picture of the anesthesiologist shoving Aaron’s face into mine) and then finished closing me up and moved me back into my room.

At this point things are a little fuzzy. My mom and Lori went home to get some sleep (bless them for staying with me for so long without complaining at all) and I slept on and off for five hours. I would wake up to feed Aaron and then go right back to sleep (combination of pain meds and not sleeping much at all the night before). My pastor came to visit, which was nice but awkward because I felt like I had been run over by the dirty bus (no shower, hair all over and just dirty feeling from giving birth). But, he brought me chocolate so it was all great.

Recovery wasn’t so bad. I was up and walking by 11:45 that night, about 12 hours after surgery. They made me switch rooms so I made the decision to walk instead of ride in the wheelchair. I figured that I would have to get up eventually so why put it off?

Now (four days after beginning to write this) I am pretty much recovered. I have minimal pain and only take my pain meds once a day (in the morning). I have to remind myself that I had surgery and that I can’t do the things I normally would do. I can’t lift Nathaniel (or anything at all, really) and I can’t drive for another week (which is driving me crazy!). I have some numbness in my low back at the base of my spine which I think might be from the botched epidural. It’s not painful, it just feels like my butt is asleep. It’s disappointing though.

As I look back and process everything that happened I am disappointed. I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so sad about the c-section. It’s not like I could have avoided it because we didn’t know that Aaron was face up and the boy wouldn’t turn at all. I think I am disappointed because I really wanted a natural (and shorter) delivery and because I was unable to do that. I always reach my goals in life and don’t fail very often. I think it’s because this situation was truly out of my hands that it’s so unsettling. Plus, when I have another baby it means another c-section (since I have giant children and almost no doctor will allow a VBAC anymore and with two complicated deliveries under my belt I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to try a home delivery).

But, I don’t feel like I didn’t bond to Aaron at all. I got to recover in my room and Aaron was brought to me right away to eat. I had already made the choice before even going into labor that I wasn’t going to room him in because I wanted my sleep (he came in every 2-3 hours to nurse and then went back to the nursery). So, overall, I’m not unhappy with the delivery. I just wish Sam could have been there. I am so thankful that my mom was there.

So…I know this is super long, but I have a lot to say. Sam has been able to call a lot because his roommate has Skype (woot!!) and it’s been hard for him to be away. He keeps asking what his new son is like, which is so hard. By the time he gets home on leave Aaron will be months old and no longer a newborn (although, this kid is the anti-newborn who was bright eyed and alert and picking his head up from day one). The fact that Sam is gone right now for all of this breaks my heart. I don’t feel sorry for myself that Sam isn’t around, it’s a fact of the military (a very sucky fact, but a fact), but my heart breaks for his sons who don’t have their daddy around and it aches for Sam who is missing out on his sons’ lives and milestones (like potty training).

So, that’s my marathon update. I can’t figure out how to upload the pics from the c.d. so no pictures to go along with this update.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Working on an update.

We are alive and doing well. I am working on a long update outlining my labor and delivery and how things are going but since my mom is still here and I'm still working on balancing two kids and recovering from a c-section it's taking awhile. Once things calm own I will post it. Of course I need to post a picture of my boys.

Nathaniel loves his baby brother and calls his "Baby Aaron!" or "My Baby Aaron". He loves holding him and kissing him and wants him to do all of the other things he can do (like swing high and play Wii). Also, as an added bonus, my mom has been helping with potty training, and Nathaniel went four times today. Score!

Hope all is well with people. I promise a long update is coming!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Waiting for my new boy from far away

This is Sam posting from Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, right outside the city of UROSEVAC/FERIZAJ (the first name is Serbian, the second is Albanian). Instead of being with my wife today as she gives birth to our second son, I am sitting at a computer waiting for text messages to give me updates. As I type, she is going in for a C-section. I got to talk to her once for about 5 minutes during the entire delivery. I don't get to greet my boy into the world for another couple of months (time unknown). It's a great time to be a soldier.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Going in for induction.

Please pray all goes well and everything that is supposed to stay put does.

Also, please pray that my splitting headache goes away. I seriously feel like I'm going to throw up because of my headache.

Will update when we are home and settled.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The U.S. Army is cold and heartless.

Forget my previous post. Sam was all set to come home and then as he checked some final stuff with his Colonel they realized that he doesn't get to come home because no one died. So, he could come home if he could find a ride from his base in Hohenfels to Munich and then find a ride from wherever in Kosovo to wherever his base is in Kosovo. Not to mention he has one hour to do all of that, use his own money and burn up leave time. And he's sick and hasn't slept in 24 hours (and is about to work another 8 hour shift). So, he can't make it because it is impossible.

Who knows when he will be home now.

I have no words...:(

Sometimes I wonder why I put God in a box.

God is amazing. I mean it! Seriously amazing. I kick myself because I often put limitations on Him where there shouldn't be. I mean, shouldn't the Creator of the Universe be able to do anything and yet here I sit believing that even God can't work around the U.S. Army. However, I am blessed to have some serious prayer warriors around me who believe without a shadow of a doubt that God can do anything, and so they pray for what I believe is the impossible.

I'm still pregnant, which really isn't that big of a deal in the whole scheme of things. If I were in a "normal" situation I would simply be uncomfortable and frustrated, yet because my mom and best friend are (were, since Bethany leaves today) only in town for a small window I was bummed because I'm still preggers and afraid that I wasn't going to give birth before my mom left so my doctor set me up for an induction tomorrow morning.

With a definite date of induction I was able to call the Red Cross to get things moving for Sam to get home. I remembered how long it took Sam to get back from Iraq last time (something like four days) and so I was sure that it would take that long this time as well. Yet, after a few phone calls to the Red Cross (because the Army is stupid and doesn't keep good records) Sam got the message within 30 minutes and as of this morning has a plane ticket to fly him into LAX tomorrow early afternoon.

That means that if I can convince the nurses to keep the pitocen drip slow (oh please oh please, I hate pitocen with all of my being) then we can hold off on delivery until Sam gets there!

Cross your fingers with me.

I am so happy I could weep (and those aren't just pregnancy hormones talking). I am excited for Nathaniel too who will get a big surprise tomorrow when he comes to the hospital to meet his new brother AND gets to see his daddy (I'm not telling him yet just in case something happens).

Next time I update I will have pics and a name for you for little baby boy Grummons #2.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Enjoying my family time.

Well, I'm still pregnant, so I took the pregnancy counter down. Especially since it started going up in days after my due date passed. Grrrr... (grrr about still being pregnant, not about the counter).

I am really enjoying having my best friend and mom here. We have had a lot of fun and they have been such a great big help. My floors are vacuumed, my dishes done, and Nathaniel has played Candy Land to his heart's content. We have cooked for each other and stayed up late every night playing Wii. It's good company, now if only this baby would come out!

Seriously, I just played three rounds of Wii boxing in hopes that it will put me in labor. I will let you all know how that goes.

As for pictures, I will post some soon. I just haven't taken the time to upload recent pics of me. I have to get some from Bethany's camera because she got some great ones of us at the park today and some hilarious ones of me boxing.

Gotta go, I think my mom is going to accidentally punch my t.v. Seriously!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Still here and still pregnant.

For some reason my computer freezes every time I try to update my status on Facebook, so I thought I would post on here really quickly that I'm still pregnant. I'm due tomorrow but after a few days of contractions NOTHING is happening. It's kind of disappointing, but my team is here and we are all ready to go, just hanging out until the big event happens.

Hope people are doing well. I have my mommy here and my Bethany here so I'm super busy having a good time visiting. Will update when I have news to report.


Monday, February 2, 2009

I bought a van!

At long last I finally bought a mini-van. I feel like I should be inducted into some sort of "soccer mom" society or something. But, whatever, at least it's taken care of!

Today was another one of those days where it felt like it was me against the world. First of all, the people at the car dealership were totally trying to take advantage of me, thinking that pregnant woman waddling in to buy a van knew nothing. They tried to jack up the price and my APR for a loan. They picked the wrong woman to try and screw over. I had my friend on the phone and basically repeated everything he said out loud so the salesman and finance guy could hear me. I said things like:
"What! You found the same exact van for 18,500 right down the street?!"
"Yeah, I know they are trying to screw me over here."
"Oh no, I don't feel uncomfortable walking out of here without buying something, it's not like I'm that desperate for a car right this second."

At one point the finance guy wanted to talk to my friend. Hee hee. I got them to drop the price by nearly $1K, drop my percent on my loan (which will drop even lower once I turn in Sam's paperwork which states that deployed soldiers get a certain APR while deployed) and I got them to take my Buick for more than they offered me. I felt pretty good. I'm sure it also didn't hurt that I mentioned to my friend on the phone that it would look bad for a business in this economy to try and screw over the pregnant wife of a deployed soldier. I'm terrible, but I needed to be shrewd.

Here are some pics of my new van!

Nathaniel enjoying the new ride.
I just realized that Nathaniel is picking his nose in this picture. Hmmm...well, it's his normal position these days, so what can I do?
I also had to call the post office to have them redeliver a box of books for my Sunday small group study. I don't know if anyone here has tried to deal with calling the post office lately but it was maddening! It was one of those voice activated messages so I had to say and spell everything and it misheard nearly everything.
"Please spell your first name for me"
"I have your name as Barrie, B-A-R-R-I-E, is that correct?"
Trying to get my apartment right was also bad. The computer got it wrong twice and then had to transfer me to customer service because it couldn't figure it out. Ugh! I felt like a commercial I saw once where the guy was trying to get through to the computer and it kept getting his info wrong until he screamed into the phone and that was when it was right.
That's about it here. Still pregnant. I need to drink some water and relax, Nathaniel had a rough afternoon and threw about four tantrums. I haven't felt the baby move much so I should just relax and focus and make sure all is well (I know all is well, I just need to relax because I've been running around instead of feeling for the baby).