Saturday, February 28, 2009

Birth Day In Pictures

I journalled the whole experience here, but here is the fun part- the pictures!

This is me at six am, on the dot, in the L&D triage waiting room. Little do I know that it'll be seven more hours before I deliver!

Here is Nick, in the OR get-up they make the dad's wear. We just realized that we hadn't got any shots of Nick in any of our deliveries, so we took one real quick.

I heard them call out his weight before I got a really good look at him, and I was so groggy that I actually remember thinking 'why are they weighing another woman's baby in my OR?' I REALLY thought he was going to be tiny!!!

Here is our very first family photo!

The next three are Warren in the OBS nursery- he was a "well baby" who would not ordinarily go to the nursery as our hospital is strictly "family centered care" but for some reason they won't set up baby warmers in the PACU, where you recover from a section, so they have to be in the nursery. It's lonely in the PACU, with your big empty belly, knowing that your baby is literally only a few yards away! But, I knew that Nick was there with him, so I didn't cry too too much.

And at long last, here I am with my chubby little baby!

Here's the first shot I got of Nick with the baby, but he actually got to feed him in the nursery. Even though Warren mapped out as 'average for gestational age', I was worried about how big he was and the fact that the last time I had eaten (and the last time he'd gotten any sugar from me) was like eighteen hours before, so I made Nick promise to feed him for me!
And here's my final picture of the day. Trust me, there will be MANY MANY more soon!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Blogging from the Hospital on my Phone

Well, I thought I could post pics from my phone, but try as I might, I just cannot figure it out! But since I use this blog for my own records, to fill in the journaling on my scrapbooks, I'm just gonna go ahead and write now, and I'll do a picture post when we get home.

After getting bumped by TWO other girls, they finally decided it was my turn and Nick got all dressed up in his bunny suit and I walked to the OR with Misty, the circulating nurse, and Dr. Geiger, the anesthesiologist. The one good thing about having to wait was that one of the docs I got to know from working there, Dr. Querry, saw my chart and agreed to be the resident! So that was awesome.

Once back in the OR, sitting on the table getting ready for my spinal, I had a mild panic attack. I don't know what exactly I was scared of, but it probably has something to do with the fact that while working on L and D, I saw dozens of sections from the other end. And they are NOT pretty. But I sat for the spinal and once they laid me back I started getting sleepy and dozed off while they prepped me and got the drapes up. Blame it on the fact that I was too excited to sleep on Tues night and I hadn't eaten in almost twenty hours. Then Nick was at my head, Dr. Querry poked her head over the drape and asked if I was ready, and off we went!

She made the first incision at 12:54, and I heard the blessed statement nine minutes later 'baby's out, thirteen oh three, it's a boy!'. Anesthesia actually encouraged Nick to stand up, which they didn't let him do with Scott, and he actually got to watch them deliver our son, Warren Ray Engelbrecht! He says it was beautiful, but come on. We all know it musta been more than a little gruesome!

Shortly after that, Dr. Querry held little (not so little!) Warren up over the drape for me to see, at which point he promptly spit a glob of amniotic fluid into MY EYES!!! What a booger!
Then it was off to the baby warmer, where Nick joined him and the peds staff while they rubbed him down and weighed him. When they called out 'eight pounds, one point six ounces' I was in shock! All these weeks, I SWORE he was so much smaller than Scott. They wrapped him up and Nick brought him back to my side of the drape for a few minutes of kissing before they both left for the nursery. Then Dr. Querry stitched me up and I was off to the PACU for two long hours of trying to get my legs working. Nick spent that time bouncing back between me and the nursery. I finally got my hands on my little chubby man at around four in the afternoon!

My stay has been great, this experience is actually the best of the three. Everyone has been super nice, Warren is a great eater, he loves to cuddle, and he's been sleeping great thus far. Mmmm, he's on my shoulder right now and he smells perfect! Thanks for all your prayers, we have been blessed yet again with a perfectly healthy baby!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Still Still Here

Well, at least I figured out how to blog on my Blackberry! We are at the hospital, we got here right at six, but apparently there is some girl who's failed to progress all night, so she gets to go first. This is life.
Best part? All the night shift nurses were still here, the ones I used to work with, so one of them called over to the post partum unit and got them to reserve me one of the three super big rooms! Yea! Anyway. Hoping for a delivery around nine thirty or ten o'clock. Until then, we're just bored and hungry. Sweet Nick doesn't want to eat in front of me :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Still Here

I'm still here, and still pregnant. I don't mind that much, I'm just getting sort of bored. I need to see what this baby looks like, how he smells, his personality, how he fits into our little family! I'm ready already! Sheesh. I have to admit, I sort of thought that when Michelle stepped off the plane on Saturday, I would go into labor right there, progress on the car ride home, drop her and the kids off at home and then go to the hospital and deliver Warren early Saturday night. Not so much.

But it is GREAT having Michelle here, obviously. I know that moms are supposed to love bath time, right? I mean, you wash your kids and then sit back while they play, nice and easy. I, however, HATE bathtime, I have no idea why. I hate the whole thing. And last night Michelle took my place! All I had to do was lotion 'em up, wrestle them into jammies, and read a story! HOORAY!! And tonight, she's babysitting and Nick and I are going to PF Chang's sans kids! AND, I finally got my P&G coupon book with over a hundred twenty dollars worth of coupons! Yea! All you had to do was spend fifty bucks on P&G products (hello, that's like, a box of diapers and a candy bar) and mail them your receipt So that'll give me something to do tomorrow.

Unless, of course, I go into labor. Right.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Best Day Ever

So, why does Wednesday, February 18th go down as the best day ever? Because that's the day Nick looked over at me and said, "You know, I never really thought about it, but since it'll be summer, I can just take a day every week to work at home." For those of you who don't know, he's an ROTC instructor at Hampton University, so most of the students are gone during the summer and he'll just be teaching some sailing classes. So...


It's only one day a week, but hey, that's better than nothing! I mean, if nothing else, it'll keep my basic skills up. Every day you get the potential to either start IVs or access ports on six to eight patients, so there's that, plus it'll keep me in the loop as far as any new chemo regimens. I feel as if a HUGE weight has been lifted off my shoulders!

So, I am on my way to the hospital to talk to my boss and tell her my great news! I'm even going to wear real clothes, as opposed to Nick's flannel pants and an Auburn teeshirt, which is all I've worn for the past few weeks. What a day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Large Families

I was just thumbing thru some of my favorite blogs (see why I love this job so much?) and I found this article about large families these days that I thought was sorta neat.

Now, I do worry about the environmental impact of all my kids. And I did take a teensy bit of offense when someone at work (who was TOTALLY kidding, by the way) made a comment about me having my ninth baby. In his defense, we've worked together for all these last four years, so he's literally only seen me in non-maternity clothes for like, two days. But still. I really want a big family! And, not to sound like a total brat, but with Nick, I can afford to have big family. Here are a few of my fave quotes from the article above.

"Parents of large families counter that they have an economy of scale: a light bulb lights a room whether there are 4 people or 14. Their children learn not to take long showers, to share space, to appreciate hand-me-down toys, clothes and books.

How can you afford so many? “Lifestyles are expensive, not kids.”

Don’t you know what causes that? “Oh, yes, I now wash my husband’s underwear separately.” "

So. That's a little glimpse at my busy last day of work.

Last Day of Work

Ever. I shudder at the thought. I still have it in the back of my mind that maybe I can find someone perfect who wants to come over twice a week and watch my terrors for six or seven hours so I can still work part time. My boss said she'll keep me on the payroll book until Sept, when she knows I'm headed for CT, so hopefully things will just magically happen. I mean, come on, things just happen for no reason, right :)

Anyway, I've started having those hormonal dreams, you moms know what I'm talking about. I had one the other night that I delivered and we headed home, never mind that we had a puppy instead of a baby. Sill named him Warren, and Ava and Scott were just as excited, and me and Nick didn't mind at all. Which is odd because I sort of HATE dogs. But whatever. Then I had another one where I had him, but it was Ava, and it was my first again, but instead of being a train wreck, total disaster like it really was, it was smooth sailing. So that was a nice one.

Which got me thinking about how different both of my experiences were, and wondering what this one would be like. With Ava, I (obviously) didn't expect the section, but I think I recovered super fast, and so that wasn't as issue at all. I spiked a temp the second day, buying me a total of five days in the hospital, which was horrible at the time, but great in retrospect. Those first five days are a killer on your body!!! Then when we got home, I just cried for twelve weeks. I burst into tears one night at a res truant because no one told me how cute she was. I sobbed once when I put her in her crib because I thought that she was too small for it. Same thing with the swing. I cried on the way to Wal-Mart for no reason. Poor Nick! And, naturally, Ava cried all this time too! I mean, come on! Every time I got upset, so did she. And I never noticed the connection, until Nick finally sat down with me one night and said "Jennifer. You have got to calm down." And then I did. And so did she. And that very night, she slept thru the night! WHEW!!!

Then with Scott, it couldn't have been any different. Had him early on a Wed morning, bounced out of my bed that night, left the hospital early Friday, still hadn't shed a tear! He only cried when he was hungry, literally. He slept four hours at a stretch from day one, and he started sleeping thru (we're talking twelve and thirteen hours here) right around six weeks. Don't believe me, that's your choice, but my lips to God's ear, this is the truth. And I just fell right into a great routine of having two kids, like it was nothing. All those women who say it's so much harder going from one to two than it is to go from none to one, you're crazy!

But what will happen on Feb 25th? Will I be an emotional nightmare? Will I finally get one of those babies everyone else gets that doesn't sleep and cries a lot? Will it be harder to recover from this section? Will Nick finally get fed up with me and just throw in the towel (my worst nightmare?) Will Ava hate me for having ANOTHER baby? It's not even a question with Scott, he already hates me for even getting pregnant. How will we all fit in our house?

So yeah. It's my last day of work, I have all four chairs full, and I'm crying because I'm so scared. Thank God, I know all four of my patients and three of them are mothers and being very sympathetic. At least there's that. Pray for me, everyone, please. I need it.

Going to Overwhelm You With Brody Pics

All right, so here are a tiny fraction of the pics that I wanted to post. And Arika, if you want me to take out this first one of the doc holding him up as soon as he was born, just let me know. I never got to see my babies that soon, so I think it's sort of beautiful. Anyway, here's Brody!!!Here is my favorite shot (I think all mother's will agree with me here) of Arika and her new son.
Here is my mom and her latest grandson. And here's Arika looking a little more like herself. Getting ready to leave the hospital.
And Brody in his carseat. Isn't it crazy how small they are in those things?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Terribe Mother

I don't think I can be a mother of three. I'm just too tired! I know (at least, I hope) that most of this exhaustion is pregnancy related, but still! I mean, I can barely get off of the couch. I just lay there while the dishes stack up in the sink, the laundry piles up in our bedrooms, and Ava and Scott try to kill each other. How can I add another kid to this mix?!?! I am in a COMPLETE PANIC.

And then there's the work situation. I know that a lot of women feel called to stay at home and take care of their little kids. I do not feel this calling! I love my job, I'm seeing people thru the toughest period of their lives! And nursing is non-traditional, it's not like I'm working five days a week and only see my babies for two hours a night before I put them to bed. I see them all the time. It's just not logistically possible to tweak both mine and Nick's schedules to keep me at the hospital a few days a week. So I'll be staying at home. Where I'm too out of control to do any good!!! AUGH!!!!

What am I going to do? I am literally panicking! And sooner or later (SOONER!!!) Nick is going to be back out to sea and I'm going to be a SINGLE MOTHER OF THREE! PROBABLY OF FOUR!!! How am I going to do it? What was I thinking?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brody Mathew Zandee

My baby sister had a baby! Here is the ONLY picture I can get my hands on of little Brody Mathew Zandee, six pounds, ten ounces, nineteen inches tall. Arika called me Monday night, saying that she was sorta crampy and she thought her water broke. Being a former L&D nurse, I was a little skeptical, but after she described why she thought her water broke, I told her to go ahead and go get checked out, and she was right! It's actually pretty rare for that to happen spontaneously these days. I'm so glad she didn't have to be induced!

Her water broke around five, and she delivered that little bugger around twelve fifty on Tuesday, February 10, 2009! That is AWESOME work for a first time mama! I can't believe I'm not down there with them, but my mom is staying in the hospital with her, and then she's going to my mom's house in Biloxi for a few weeks to get settled before she heads back to Hattiesburg with her son. How exciting to say, her son! We are looking at the most reasonable time to go visit, but I might just have to throw reason to the wind so I can get my hands on my nephew!
Arika is doing very well, she's very glad she didn't end up with a C-Section (and her big sister is so jealous- I want to experience it too!!!) and my mom is super excited to be such a hands on Grandma. I know it's hard for her to be so far from my kids and from Mia, so I'm glad this is happening for her now. We continue to appreciate all your prayers!

Monday, February 9, 2009

We Caught the Crud

I've always been pretty impressed that Ava and Scott never get sick. Ava had an ear infection once when she was six months old, but other than that, I've barely ever taken them to the pediatrician other than the well babies. They get runny noses and fevers, but never sick, you know? Until now!

Ava threw up yesterday morning, but I kinda had it in the back of my mind that she'd done it on purpose. I know, I know, what kind of mother thinks that way? But she had woken up at five (a regular occurance these days) and Nick went in there and told her to get back in bed until the lights came on outside her windows. Then we start hearing coughing and gagging, then she's throwing up. So that's why I thought she was doing it on purpose. And she was acting fine all day, happy and playing and totally fine.

Then we had Ryan and Melissa and Real Live Nathan over for dinner, and still Ava was acting totally fine, just getting tired around seven, which is her bedtime. And out of nowhere, she gets sick all over poor Melissa! So we cut the visit short, got the kids in the shower and went to bed.

Which brings us to this morning, where Nick gets up to get ready for work at six and finds Ava sleeping on the floor of their bedroom, right by the gate! ON THE FLOOR! So he gets ready two feet from her face (their room is right across from the bathroom) and then he heads out, and I don't really wake up till seven thirty, and it's Scott making noise, not Ava. So I open the gate, two inches from her face, and step over her to get to the crib. All the while Scott is talking to me and her, and she's not moving. I did pause to make sure she was breathing, by the way.

She slept on that floor until eight fifteen, when I finally got freaked out and woke her up. It was crazy, but she was acting fine, and Scott was having his own tummy issues, just not the throwing up kind :) I've used almost an entire tube of Balmex on him today.

So then while I was taking a shower and they were playing in their room, all hell broke loose. Ava is getting sick ALL OVER THE PLACE, she's crying because it's icky, Scott's crying because he's scared of her and everything, I'm crying because I'm so fat that I can't bend over to help was a nightmare.

Isn't there a bible verse about God laughing at the plans of men? I planned on taking these kids to school so I could get a hair cut and a pedicure today. I'm laughing with you Lord, on the inside.

So we're spending the day watching Dora and eating cheerios in the living room- which we normally are not allowed to do. Hope their brains don't get too rotten, but I'm starting to feel it too, and I just don't have the energy to do anything else. I did manage to snap a pic of Ava, I think it sums up how she feels pretty well.

What Do You Do When It's Seventy-Five Degrees In February?

You take your winter-cabin-fever-kids outside to play! Duh! Ava and Scott and Daddy played hookey from church since the kiddos had runny noses and Ava woke us up by getting sick all over her bed-more on that later- so when I got home (I had to work in the nursery or I woulda bailed too) we took them out back to play. It was literally mid seventies! After staying in the twenties all day Thur and Fri! Isn't that crazy?

Here's Ava working with her tool bench...
Here's Scott sneaking Nathan into Nick's office fridge (he brought it home to defrost it) when Ava ran inside for a second...

And a few action shots of my kids playing baseball, which I was so so very horrible at, by the way...

Scott trying to figure out why the soccer ball won't fit in the little tiny compartment under the seat in the wagon...

Ava practicing catch with Nick...

Look how excited she gets!
What a great way to spend a Sunday, right?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More Bargain Shopping

I just got back from Harris Teeter- which I drove to with the windows down, by the way, because it's SIXTY DEGREES OUTSIDE! They were doing triple coupons all weekend so I took advantage of some amazing deals. I got three boxes of cereal, and the big ones, not those little baby boxes that will get me thru a day and a half, for eighty five cents a box. Two Cinnamon Toast Crunch and one Honey Nut Cheerios. We go thru some serious Honey Nut Cheerios, but I couldn't find any more dang coupons to stock up! I got a normal sized bottle of Palmolive, which is what we use, for a dollar fourteen. I got two cans of diced tomatoes for sixty five cents each, a pack of Hillshire Farms turkey lunch meat for a dollar eighty five, four tubes of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, which weren't on sale, but I had coupons for and I need for this new recipe I'm dying to try tomorrow, for a dollar thirty four each (not sure if this is actually better than the commissary, but I wasn't about to drive over there for four things). And then, my proudest moment, two tubes of the Colgate toothpaste that we always use for...drumroll please...TWENTY FIVE CENTS A PIECE!!!

So that was pretty fun. I've noticed on the blogs I use that some people get all excited about the teeny tiny stuff that they get for super cheap, or they get stuff that I don't see how they're going to use it all, or they get weird was just cool to get so much stuff, normal sized stuff, in the brands that we prefer anyway. And the drive was so nice because, if I didn't mention it before, it's sixty degrees outside!!!

One mistake I think I made was the carrots. I was going to buy a bag of shredded carrots for the dinner we're having on Monday, but it was two fifty. So I bought five real carrots instead, which was triple the weight, for a dollar fifteen. But I just know that on Monday, when it comes time to shred those friggin carrots, I'm gonna say to myself, this was stupid, I shoulda just spent the money and let someone else shred them for me. But alas. I did not, and I'm not going back again.


Well my baby sister Arika is going to have her baby this week! Her doctor said she would induce Arika at thirty nine weeks on Wednesday, so hopefully we'll meet little Brody by Thursday morning! My hospital doesn't do inductions unless it's for diabetes, post dates, or hypertension, so I never did it while I worked on L&D, but I'm sure her doctor knows what she's doing, right? I'm a little nervous for her, so I appreciate all prayers, mostly for her, but a few for me to put my mind at ease. I know God has plans for Brody! Here is Arika at thirty eight weeks, two weeks ahead of me, and monumentally smaller.

I have recently discovered how to combine blogging with my absolute favorite hobby in the whole world- SCRAPBOOKING! If only I was a little more computer savvy...I've recently got it in my head that, if only I had a Mac, I could do more. But I have no real reason to think that, I just like Mac commercials. I can barely function on any computer anyway. I will try to keep jazzing up this ole blog as best I can, but I think my main passion is still going to be regular paper scrapbooks. Good thing, since I just spent a small fortune at Michael's on accessories for Warren's baby book and a whole new book and some papers for our family book. But hey, I got the book half off with a coupon!

I am now so big that I can't even wear maternity jeans anymore. It's not even my belly, which is smaller than it was with Scott, it's my bottom and my thighs. And I can't convince myself that Warren is somehow magically responsible for that, so it must be all those whoppers that I ate. I officially weigh more than Nick, and I weigh more than all my regular cancer patients and most of the RA patients too. It's quite depressing, especially considering how much I worked out at the beginning, even up until the middle of January!!! But alas. Nick said to me the other morning "I think you got bigger overnight" so I decided to take a belly pic now before I get so disgusted with myself that I would just burn it. Look at your own risk.

Trying to figure this out...bear with me please

Friday, February 6, 2009

Work Party

Today the clinic/center where I work had a breakfast party for me and Warren! My last day is next Friday, but I'm getting the impression that either they don't want me to stay that long (I might be a little moody these days) or they don't think I'll make it that long. Either way, it was really nice, I know you don't usually get gifts for your third baby, so I really appreciated everything. And hey, nurses love to munch on junk food at work, right? Ohhh, and as I was typing this instead of working, my boss came in and gave me a card full of cash!!! How exciting! On the off chance that anyone from work reads this, I'm literally crying! Thanks so much everyone!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Special Scott

So you all know that Scott's favorite thing ever is vacuum cleaners. He loves all of them, he loves pictures of them, he loves going down that aisle at Home Depot. So this afternoon, we noticed him walking around sort of cradling his vacuum, no big deal. Then he gently lays the vacuum down on the floor and proceeds to try to PUT A DIAPER ON HIS VACUUM CLEANER. Just like a baby!!! Now, he knows where the baby dolls are, he and Ava play with them all the time, he just chose to take care of his VACUUM CLEANER instead!!! And then, a little later, he had it standing in the dining room and he was using a tissue and telling it to blow its nose!!! Oh my goodness. I was blown away when I discovered that Ava was using her imagination, but this takes the cake! So, here is my beloved son, caring for his vacuum cleaner.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Nursery

We've been busy putting the finishing touches on the nursery (Scott's old room.) This is the third nursery I've put together in three and a half years! Nick took on the project of letting the 'big kids' help paint the room a pale barely-there green.
I couldn't really get the right angle to see the room, but trust me, it's cute. This is from the doorway. This is full on in front of the crib. Now, it's a mini crib, not a bassinet! They're really cool, they're marketed more towards people who live in cities and only have one bedroom, but our house is pretty small, and when we bought it, we were planning on keeping Scott in our room permanently. Needless to say, that didn't pan out, but I still really love the crib. And it's safe for up to fifty pounds, so it's really a real crib, just shorter. And it's not like I'm bringing up any NBA stars, right?
This is the corner, the star posts are mounted on the closet door. I just wanted to show off the little monkey.
And this is the twelve month frame (Ava and Scott have them too, Ava's is red and Scott's is blue.) This one will be the same green as the shelves. But, more importantly, when we went to Michael's to get the wooden letters to spell out his name, the didn't have any R's for like, three trips in a row, so Nick was finally like, 'wait a minute, I can make those.' And he did! I don't know what he used to cut the wood, but they're literally flawless, he could sell them thru Pottery Barn Kids. Isn't that awesome?Now we just need a baby to put in this stylish and decorated with love room...