Friday, November 28, 2008

Two years ago today...

Charles Joaquin was born at 9:15 am on November 28, 2006 at Sharp Mary
Birch Hospital in San Diego, CA. He weighed in at 8 pounds and 4 ounces and 20 and half inches long. It was really an amazing birthing experience considering it was at a hospital, and I'm so thankful to have had it go the way it did.

Two weeks prior to his birth date, I started feeling signs of pre-labor. I was having Braxton-Hicks more and more often along with menstrual type of cramping. I had lost what I thought was my mucous plug and I was sure that labor would come any day. Each time I went in for my weekly appointment I had dilated a little bit more and my Doctor stripped my membranes. I was walking as much as I could to get labor going and each morning that I woke up still not in labor was a disappointment.

Finally on Sunday night, November 26th, his actual due date I started getting contractions that felt quite different and were much more regular. There was a bit of pain with each contraction that I openly welcomed because it was a sign that these were possibly "real" as opposed to all of my pre-labor. I tried to go to sleep and they kept coming at about seven minutes apart. I knew that was still quite a bit apart, but I also knew that this was something real. I couldn't sleep anymore and I was kind of in a dazed state. I pulled out my ipod with my Hypnobabies (self- hypnosis) and tried lying down on the couch. Finally at 1am I called my doula and told her what I was feeling. She told me that they were still far apart and to try and rest as much as possible. I just couldn't lie down anymore so I started on my birth day projects. I made some cookies and got some snacks ready for Dan for the hospital. While I was working in the kitchen I noticed they were coming much closer together, but were not that much more intense.

Finally at about 4 am I decided to take a bath. I brought in my Hypnobabies and lied down in the warm water. That was when they pretty much completely stopped! While my body was enjoying the break, I was so utterly frustrated, I had no idea what was going on and I wanted to be in real labor already!! I got out eventually and fell asleep on the couch, with still no regular contractions.

The next day,Dan went to work and I went about my day totally disappointed with the fact that I wasn't in fact in labor. I had a Doctors appointment later that day so Dan came home early and drove me since I was still getting contractions, just not very regularly. They also still felt like they did the night before, some pain, but nothing I couldn't handle without concentrating through. The doctor told me I was about 3 cm and 50% effaced. She told me she was on call on at the hospital Wednesday and if I wanted to I could come and they could try inducing. I had no intention of taking her up on her offer, but thanked her. By the time we got home I was exhausted so we decided to take a nap and see what happens. I woke up at about 5 pm and the contractions were back and regular and getting more and more intense. I was so excited!!! But at the same time I didn't want to set myself up for more disappointment.

I used my birth ball and hypnobabies for the next few hours while Dan timed my contractions. They went from about 7 minutes apart to about 5 by 11 pm that night. He started to doze so we pulled out the sleeping bags and camped out on the couch. I had notified my doula that I think it was coming soon and kept going on the birth ball and with my ipod. I took a bath and did my best to relax and focus on my hypnosis. I don’t remember how long I was in there, but it was hard because I could barely fit and it was difficult to stay warm. At about one or two I thought I was ready as the contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart. I called my doula and she encouraged me to rest at home a little longer. I was so glad I did. While listening to my hypnobabies I managed to nap on the couch for about an hour. I remember kind of dreaming my way through the contractions it was almost surreal. When I woke up, they were much closer and stronger. I stood up to go the bathroom and I felt a sort of pop, I assumed it was my water breaking, but there wasn’t a huge gush like I had heard it described. The contractions were then definitely getting stronger and were about 2 minutes apart. I called my doula and we were on our way to the hospital and arrived at about 4:45 am.

When I arrived at triage, I kept myself in hypnosis, but I was still able to hold conversations and was obviously fully conscious. They didn’t seem to believe I was in labor and took their time with me. Finally when the nurse checked me she seemed surprised to report that I was 6 cm and in active labor. She made a call to the Dr on duty and I heard her trying to explain that I was using hypnosis that that I was in fact in active labor and that I really was calm and collected. Finally they sent me on my way to the delivery room.

Once there, things got way more intense. I had to moan my way through the end of each contraction. I can’t say it was pain free, but it was manageable. I paced and rocked around for a couple of hours. They kept trying to put the stupid belt around me to time my contractions and keep track of the heart rate. It kept sliding off and the nurse would have to come in and fix it, very distracting. I was going to try and use a squat bar, but I just didn’t want it. I wanted to be on my side. I finally made my way to the bed where I landed on my side and didn’t get up from then on. I felt him coming down the birth canal and I felt like I was ready to go, but they kept telling my I wasn’t dilated enough. I remember a primal groan coming out of me with each contraction. I pleaded to let me push as my body started bearing down without my permission. Finally I remember my doula asking rather firmly if they could check me again. Sure enough I was ready. I felt me body take a little break and they within minutes the contractions were back again.

The nurses told me to wait, that the room wasn’t ready yet. Yeah right. I was ready and this baby was coming out now, if the room is ready or not! The on call Dr came in and asked me to get on my back. I refused. I knew I just couldn’t. I was afraid it would slow me down and I was ready and comfortable in the position I was in. I heard him say he was worried I would kick him in the head. My doula promised him she would hold my leg if he let me stay on my back. He sounded peeved, but obliged. I should have still kicked him. They set up a mirror and I saw my baby Joaquin join the world at 9:15 am. Pushing wasn’t so bad; I don’t remember much pain after I got into bed. It was more just very intense pressure.

Joaquin was placed in my arms and started nursing right away. After I delivered the placenta the rest of my family arrived. I recovered quickly so we only stayed at the hospital over night. By the next morning I was tired of being stuck in a bed and was ready to get out and about. Like I said, the birth was actually pretty great considering I was at a hospital. Of course there are things that I wish would have gone differently, but I had a wonderful, drug & intervention free birth and an awesome kid to show for it!

Happy Birthday Joaquin!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Puke

Joaquin is turning two tomorrow and we had a rockin little party all planned out and ready to go. Unfortunately he woke up this morning at 3:30 am puking his little brain out. It continued every 15 to 60 minutes all day. He nursed, he drank water, he even asked for some bread, but it all came right back up.

sad & sick

I knew I had to cancel the party, but I was in tears about it. It was going to be his 2nd birthday and no festivities. I didn't even think to postpone because every weekend in December is already full of obligations. Luckily I managed to g-chat with a sane and helpful mama that reminded me there were other days left in this weekend, and Sunday was suggested. So Sunday it is. Now I'm just freaking out that a handful of people don't check their email and show up to an empty house tomorrow morning.

We still managed to go to my mom's house for dinner. When we got there he was totally lethargic and super sad and pitiful looking. He hadn't puked in a few hours, but about 15 minutes after some nursing it happened again. I had him in my lap while I attempted to eat dinner and he just burrowed his head in my armpits. He still must have somehow gotten a whiff of the food because he started asking for some, I gave him little bits at a time and within 15 minutes he was a new kid. He ate off and on for the rest of the evening and was back to his old shenanigans of tearing apart my mom's house. Thank goodness.

I'm prepared for another puke or two tonight, but I'm glad to see it's moving along. It's too bad we had to postpone the party, but the last thing we need is 20 little people all puking in unison. That would not be pretty.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's going.

I know I haven't updated about my work situation in quite a while. The truth is, things were really sucking and I didn't want to spread my negativity to all of you great folk.

Things have been getting better and better lately. I'm actually smiling through much of the day and not on the brink of tears. My toughest class can still drive me right to the edge, but they can also make me laugh. I can handle a room full of the teenage worst of the worst and believe it or not, they're not the "worst" for me. They can actually be pretty cool.

I tried to resign from department co-chair twice and each time I got the run around. I'm glad they did that. I can handle things now and it's not so bad actually. Leading department meetings are actually kind of fun in a challenging sort of way.

I guess I'm being forced to really push myself this year and kind of see what I can really do...and I'm finding out I can do more than I thought I could...and that's kind of cool.

I'm still really looking forward to next week off though!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Choo choo trains!

Like many boys, Joaquin loves him some choo choo trains. Any time we're driving on the 8 freeway he is on the lookout for trolleys and spots them with screams and squeals of "CHOOOO CHOOOO DAIN"!!!!!!!!!!

So yesterday I did what I should have done months ago and my mom and I finally took him to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. This boy was in train heaven.

looking at the trains

Waiting for the train

looking with lita

By far the coolest room was the Toy Train Gallery. They had the most awesome little displays and models. Joaquin just wanted to watch the trains go by, but I wanted to sit and stare at all the amazing little details everywhere!

Coolest train display ever

It was six bucks to get in and 30 for a 12 month family pass. With how much Joaquin loved it and knowing that some possibly not so nice weather is up ahead, I went ahead and paid for the family pass. What's cool is that Grandparents can use it, so my mom or the In-laws can take them shall they feel so inclined.

After the success of this little adventure, how could we stop there? Off we went to the Miniature Railroad. As we arrived the train was just about full and it had to leave with out us. Just like at the pumpkin patch, the heartbreak began. The poor guy just didn't understand it was going to come back, luckily the gate prevented him from chasing it down.

Not looking so happy

Lita giggling

There's a tunnel up ahead!

So if your little person is obsessed with trains, go check out these two spots, I promise you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Earthquake. Fire. Disaster.

We are having our annual disaster drill today. The past three years that I've been here, I wasn't teaching in the classroom. So, this will be my first time with a class full of kids all by my lonesome. We will have to first duck and cover. Yeah... right, that's going to go over well. Have you ever seen a group of 17 & 18 year olds willingly duck and cover? On the floor? Under a table? That is just so not cool. Then we all get to tromp out to the football field and hang out for an hour. Hm, maybe I'll use the time to have a little talky talk with my feuding drama queens? Fingers crossed it's not a total "disaster".

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I *heart* Costco

We had to give up our Costco membership a couple of years ago. Every time we went, we spent a boatload of money and left with a boatload of junk. Plus, we really don't have the storage for boatloads. So we never renewed and now my Costco fixes are few and far between. Thankfully I have my mom to hook me up.

Yesterday we went to buy Joaquin's Christmas present. Yeah yeah, I know it's early. But we got him this super adorable kitchen and my mom was worried they would run out if we waited too long.

Good thing she dragged me over there kicking and screaming, because they had taken an additional 30 bucks off. So we got this cute thing for less than $100! When we walked up to it, I pointed it out to Joaquin, he looked up and said "I want that" "Good thing" I replied, "because you're getting it for Christmas!" That didn't really seem to register for him and I'm sure he's forgotten all about it by now.

Anyway, Costco is awesome and I'm so glad I don't have a membership because I would go bulk-wild on a regular basis if I could. Seriously, the bags of pears made me giddy and the toys are straight up awesome. There was also a very cute wooden toy garage that I have my eye on for possibly another Christmas present. I know I shouldn't, especially since I'm already obsessing over all the cute wooden food and kitchen accessories out there that will surely find their way under the tree.

And I wonder why I don't buy myself stuff anymore. Mama things are so boring compared to fun toys...I can't wait to play!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat!!!

What a great Halloween!

In the morning we celebrated with our friends at our Friday playgroup. I really miss hanging with this group every Friday, but am glad I was able to join them yesterday. All the kiddos were adorable all decked out and who can beat the company?

Unfortunately Joaquin wouldn't have anything to do with his beard. He eventually took a dive in some mud and ended up in just his diaper and boots.


climbing the tree

bobbing for apples

uh oh

eating his cupcake

Joaquin & Lucca

In the evening we Trick or Treated at a few houses in the neighborhood. We were going to go to Sea World, but Joaquin wasn't interested in leaving the house. Amazingly, after I showed him how cool his beard was, he kept his costume on almost the whole time. On the way home he did tear off the beard though and even attempted to take off his shirt, I guess he got hot!

mama gnome!

On our way to Trick or Treat

Trick or Treating Gnome!

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!!