Saturday, July 29, 2006

More pictures of Sophia...

Just minutes old, under the warmer.

All cleaned up and back with Mommy.

Daddy is in love.

One day old. You can see how jaundiced she is. She had to spend an extra day at the hospital under the lights.

Finally home with big sister Bria. (Chloe won't hold her long enough to get a picture.)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Welcome Baby Sophia!!

Sophia Blake Na'auali'i
July 25, 2006
6 lb, 11 oz
20 inches long

The Story of Sophia's birthday:

8:30 am:
I woke up feeling a little damp, like I'd slept in a wet bedding. It's been so hot lately that I thought at first I probably was really sweaty. I started to suspect that my water had broken after changing into dry underwear and feeling damp again several minutes later. I couldn't really tell if there was any fluid leaking, and it was definitely not the huge gush I'd experienced with my other two babies, so I wasn't at all sure what was going on.

9:50 am:
I had a Dr. appointment, so I decided I'd ask while I was there. When she checked me she also did a swab for amniotic fluid. After looking at the microscope slide for several minutes, she determined that there was a small amount of amniotic fluid present, that my bag of waters had indeed been "broken," even though it was just a very slow leak, and sent me to the hospital to have my baby. I was dilated to a 3+ and 70% effaced.

10:30 am:
I called Joel while leaving the Doctor's office to tell him the exciting news. We were both incredibly relieved because he has to be in Cedar City by Monday, July 31st and it didn't look like there was any way he could be present for Sophia's birth if she didn't come before he left, and since my due date isn't until August 10th it seemed unlikely. I also called my parents to let them know we would have a baby later that day. My mom was particularly excited since she's been saying for more than a month that the baby would come on Tuesday, July 25th. What an amazing prediction--perhaps she should start a "when will your baby be born?" website!

11:45 am:
Finally arrive at the hospital after getting the kids taken care of, gassing up the car, and taking care of a few other minor last minute details. I was not in labor in any way, shape or form, but was directly admitted to labor and delivery. Dr. Mourad, one of my favorite doctors from the group I go to, was there to admit me.

12:30 pm:
Dressed in hospital gown and situated in my room. The nurse starts the IV for my antibiotic. This pregnancy I tested positive for Group B Strep. This was very disconcerting to me because it means I have to have IV antibiotics for at least 4 hours of labor. With my previous labor and delivery experiences, I was terrified I wouldn't even make it to the hospital once I was in labor, much less have 4 whole hours there to make sure I received the antibiotics. So it was a huge blessing to have my water break the way it did so that I wasn't actually in labor when I got to the hospital and they could get the antibiotics started. So...the doctor ordered the antibiotics be started right away and then if I wasn't yet in labor to start pitocin 2 hours later.

2:30 pm:
I only had one contraction in the past 2 hours. A new nurse came and started me on pitocin. I was still very comfortable and not having noticable contractions. The pitocin was turned up every 15 or 20 minutes or so.

4:30 pm:
I was finally having a few contractions, but nothing "to brag about" as the nurse liked to put it. She checked me anyway, but I had made no progress...still dilated to a 3, slightly more effaced, but no progress. I asked her how often they would be checking me as labor progressed and she said, "Oh, I won't check you again until you either ask for pain medication or you have to push." This seemed like an absurd policy to me, so I told her that I was hoping not to ask for pain medication (which she already knew, but apparently forgot) and she still said that she probably wouldn't check again unless I felt like I needed to push. Then she left the room. I thought about it for a while, and I realized that if I am going to do this naturally like I want to, I am going to need some sort of gauge of the progress I was making.

6:00 pm:
Shift changes and I get another new nurse. The contractions are still not coming very hard or fast and Joel and I are still calmly watching TV.

7:00 pm:
Finally the contractions are becoming difficult to deal with and we turn off the TV and I start to do my hypnobirthing techniques.

7:45 pm:
I ask the nurse if she will please check me. She doesn't want to. I explain to her that I need to know where I am occasionally so I can decide if I am going to need any sort of pain medication. She finally agrees to check me and I am at a 5+. I decide to continue with hypnobirthing since I am making progress.

8:00 pm:
Dr. Mourad comes in and decides to break the rest of my water. It is obvious to me when he breaks it that I had indeed been leaking because it wasn't nearly the huge amount that it's been with my other two babies. Once it is broken my labor goes up several notches in intensity.

8:15 pm:
I feel like I need to push. Nurse checks me and I am at an 8. She says, "We'll have a baby by midnight, but if you're feeling like pushing now you might want to consider an epidural." I am still not sure why I believed that she knew what on earth she was talking about when I have had such incredibly fast labors in the past once I am in transition (which I clearly was). So she brings the paperwork and has Joel start reading it to me. Meanwhile, I REALLY need to push. I tell Joel to get the nurse now. (Did I mention that this nurse was always kind of slow in everything...didn't seem to have a sense of urgency at all and it really bugged me.) She finally saunters in and asks if I'm ready to sign the papers. I sign them. I NEED to push!!! It's about 8:20 now and she sloooooooooooooooooowly gets on her gloves and checks me.

8:21 pm
I am completely dilated. She doesn't seem to believe me how badly I need to push. I am trying to tell her the baby is coming and coming NOW! She asks how long I pushed with my other babies. I had to wait between contractions and told her I pushed about 3 minutes with my last one and only 15 with my first. AND I NEED TO PUSH NOW!!! She leaves the room to get the doctor at a snail's pace.

8:25 pm
She finally gets the doctor to come in. He walks in, sees that the baby is crowning and calmly says to his colleague who is gowning up..."You're gonna miss this if you don't hurry." The nurse is still dilly-dallying around getting the table ready, and although Dr. Mourad is nice as can be he was obviously annoyed at her. At least he was a very calming influence on me and the whole situation. He only had time to get his gloves on and the baby was there.

8:26 pm
Sophia is officially born. They put her on my belly and Joel cut the cord. I am exhausted, but so happy.

(The picture above is the official hospital pic. I will post more later tonight.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

We interrupt this blog to bring you some very important news...

There are so many things I've been wanting to write about lately: I could write about how Bria decided that my Willow Tree figurines were missing faces and took it upon herself to draw them some...with a permanent marker!! When I discovered their new faces, it was one of those moments where I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry. Thank goodness for the Mr. Clean magic eraser. It took off a bit of the original paint and left them slightly discolored, but at least it's better than the cartoon faces!

I've also been wanting to blog about the way Chloe somehow finds her way into our bed every morning between 3 and 6 a.m. We rarely notice her come in, and I usually only realize she's there when I am trying to shift my very pregnant self into a more comfortable (ha!) position. And then I discover I have a 3 year old between my legs or burrowed under my pillow. She's great about going to sleep in her own bed, but it never fails that she wakes up in ours. I'm wondering if the new baby coming is maybe the root of it.

And speaking of the new baby, I could also write about the fact that she really is coming any day now...and I'm not really sure if I'm ready. I mean, I'm more than ready to not be pregnant, but I honestly haven't prepared very well for her actual arrival what with all the current upheaval in our lives. Case in point: The last time I went grocery shopping I walked past the baby aisle and realized I don't even have things like diapers and wipes!

But, you see, I can't blog extensively about any of that because WE HAVE NEWS!!!! We've actually had it for a week now, but I haven't had a chance to sit down and update. It's quite a long story, so I'll start from the very beginning (a very good place to start)...

Several weeks ago we drove up to Utah to 1) get out of the heat, 2) attend our mission reunion, and 3) spend the 4th of July with family in a state that actually seems to celebrate it. Our second day there, Joel was golfing with his dad and received a phone call from a community college in Alabama. They wanted to interview him the day after we planned on being back in Arizona. So, we purchased a plane ticket for him to leave the morning after we got home. Then, while we were also in Utah, he was invited to interview for a job in Cedar City, Utah to be the orchestra teacher at the high school and middle school there.

Joel's brother and his family live in Cedar City, so we went down there and spent a couple days. Joel interviewed, and then also contacted the Dean of the Department of Fine Arts at the University there. He mentioned he was being considered for this job and asked if there were any adjunct positions open in trumpet, theory or music history...all of which he is qualified to teach. Amazingly, they needed adjunct faculty in all 3 areas, so that also became a possiblity. Finally, he got a hold of Sara, a woman who is very involved with the Orchestra of Southern Utah, also located in Cedar City. Joel guest conducted for them before several years ago and they really liked him. We knew that their assistant conductor had just quit to go get his doctorate so we thought maybe they would offer the position to Joel if we were to live there. Sara was thrilled to see him and not only offered him that job, but said she would pay him to write grants for the orchestra.

Doors were opening left and right in Cedar City, although we didn't know for sure if he would get the high school job, which was important since that would be the main source of income and benefits for us. We left Cedar feeling good about that and drove off to Arizona.

Joel flew to Alabama the next day to find the Community College located in a super tiny town of about 6,000 people. The college campus consisted of 2 buildings on a lot about as big as our Church building here in Arizona. (They did have a WalMart though, so that's something.) His interview was kind of a comedy of errors...they expected him at 11:00 and his flight left to bring him home at 4:00, but it was a 2 hour drive to the airport. They put him in the library while they were interviewing someone else and totally forgot about him. Finally, they realized what they had done and got to him around 12:30!!! (Luckily, he did make it back to the airport in time for his flight.) The interview itself went really well and he knew they were impressed by his resume and credentials. The worry for him was that he would only be teaching music history and theory, conducting a small choir and the musical theater program which is their main focus. He really wouldn't be doing much with orchestra.

Fast forward to Tuesday, one week ago today. It was the day after his interview in Alabama, and they called him first thing in the morning to offer him the job. The offer was more than we could have hoped for: 66,000 dollars. And they wanted to know by the end of the day. A half an hour later, we got a call from Cedar City offering him the high school job, again at a much higher salary than we thought possible for the job, but it was considerably less than what Alabama was offering us.

To make a long story short (or probably longer, since I tend to do that), we stewed and thought and talked and prayed and called family for advice. We finally decided on Cedar City because of the many Orchestra opportunities. We know that we will not be in the most desirable spot financially, but we had to think of Joel's long term career and what was best for our family. Something about Alabama just didn't feel right, and we couldn't feel good about taking that job no matter how hard we tried.

We are excited and will be moving pretty much as soon as the baby comes. Joel will probably move before I do because of that slight complication, but my mom will be here to help me. And now that the stress of actually finding a job is gone, all the stresses that come with it are here...finding a place to live, moving, dealing with school for Bria, leaving friends, packing...lots of stuff going on. But the important thing is we have a future, and we feel at peace about our decision.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm getting fatter and fatter and could drop at any time

This is my "ticker" on a message board I post at. Every week it changes to say something new about the baby..."I weigh 2 pounds now and suck my thumb!" or "I'm growing fingernails and toenails!"

I really had to laugh at this week's description: "I'm getting fatter and fatter and I could drop at any time!"

Are they talking about the baby or me? Because that's definitely how I feel, too!!! Especially since Chloe said to me last month, "Mommy! You're getting to be a big fat girl!"