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Cooper George

June 29th, 2008

Cooper George

10:05 am.

8 lbs. 3 oz!

Hallelujah! Pictures to come!

All healthy! All well!

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Writing From Labor and Delivery

June 29th, 2008

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Updating via blackberry

We are on today for a 10:15am! Kristajana looks cute in her little smock. ūüôā

No Room At the Inn

June 28th, 2008

By Casey

Kristjana was up most of the night with contractions.   Not only was I certain that the baby would be born today, Saturday, we were both pretty sure she was going into full blown labor (not the partial stuff she has been dealing with for 6 weeks).   The way my wife was breathing and by her crazy contortions Kristjana looked like a pretzel playing  twister  trying to get in a comfortable position last night.  

Not succeeding, Kristjana walked the downstairs for 3 hours from 3 till 6am.   I did the only thing I could think of; sleep with Dudley in our bed.   I needed to be wide awake to take care of the family today.

Contractions stopped about 6 am.

This morning at 8:45 we checked in with the OB ward.   They said they were wall to wall with women in labor (woa!) and our wonderful doc told us to call back at Noon.

We decided to be very 2005 and went to the mall to attempt to “walk the baby out.” ¬† At 11:30 we received word from our doc that the OB ward had gotten busier. ¬† “Call tomorrow at 7:30am.” ¬† Ugh!

Krisjtana had not been allowed to eat or drink all day so that call unleashed her to do so.   It also unleashed some pent up emotions. After lunch and even more contractions we tried the walkAMall thing again.   No go.   Kenny and Kristjana were breaking down physically (and possibly mentally) after  all the false starts.

So we are back home. ¬† It is nap time ¬†and we’ll try this again at 7:30am tomorrow. ¬† Through this mild disappointment I can’t help think about a teenage girl and her young husband 2000 years ago, with literally no place to go. ¬†

  • They had a cold barn without any help. ¬†
  • We have a cool air-conditioned house with ultra modern medicine and staff awaiting us. ¬†
  • Their baby still rules the universe. ¬†He is the King.
  • Our baby is still in his Momma’s womb, fearfully and wonderfully made by the King himself.
  • Their baby is all loving and powerful.
  • Our baby is helpless and ¬†tomorrow ¬†as we hold him/her for the first time. ¬†

K and K are upstairs reading Green Eggs and Ham.   A classic.

God is good.

Casey

A Turn of Events

June 27th, 2008

First off, thanks to my sweet and gracious hubby for the guest posts over the last few days.   I needed a break!

So. ¬†I’m having a c-section after all.

You see, on my birthday Wednesday, Casey found the detailed journaling he did of the night Kenny was born, and printed it out, thinking that we’d have fun reading it together as we prepare for the birth of this little Baboo. ¬† Oh my, I am so glad he did! ¬† It turns out that what I had remembered about my labor leading up to the unplanned c-section was not entirely accurate: I actually got to 4 centimeters after about 18 hours of labor, and was given the epidural (I thought I had never progressed beyond 2!). ¬† At that point, the doctor on call also broke my water. ¬† Another 2 and and a half hours passed, and I was only at 5. ¬† After four more hours, I was still at 5, running a fever, and my cervix was swollen. ¬† The doctor offered to give me pitocin, saying that in my case it may not work, and offered the alternative of a c-section. ¬† I apparently asked her what she would do if she were me, and she said, “section,” so we did! ¬† A little different story than the simpler one I’d remembered in my drugged up state!

Thursday I called my OB and told him what we found. ¬† He said, “Hm. ¬† This changes things.” ¬† Then said that my success ratio was going to be more like 50/50, as opposed to 75% or so… and asked if I wanted to go ahead and schedule surgery.

Yes.

Unfortunately, there are NO c-section spots left for the next week. ¬† So, this incredible man has offered to deliver the baby either tomorrow, when he’s on call at the hospital, or Sunday, on his day off. ¬† Wow. ¬† I have to call at 9 am tomorrow and see how full the Labor&Delivery ward is, and then will either go in right away, or wait until Sunday morning at 9. ¬† Crazy.

I’ll keep you all posted!

Guest Blogging, Kristjana’s husband, Part II

June 26th, 2008

Hello all. ¬† If you haven’t visited in a couple of days, I am giving Kristjana a little rest, and recapping the days just prior to Kenny’s birth. ¬† When I last left you yesterday, I had gone to bed on Thursday evening September 2nd 2005, feeling awful, 24 hours after stepping on a nail in Nabbs Creek. ¬† I expected the medication the doc had given me would make me feel better. ¬† We also expected a boy or girl to be born ¬†any hour. ¬† A few hours later…

A rescuing light – through the darkness

(Posted early September 2005)  

“This is going to be nasty!” I told my sleepy headed wife at 2:55am on Friday morning. Just 2 days from the due date, Kristjana’s body needed sleep. Our baby needed sleep. And her husband needed to go to the hospital.

“It is going to be nasty, watching me try to get from the bed to the car. It really hurts. Are you ready for it?”

Only God knows what was running through Kristjana’s mind as she bravely said yes and went off into the dark house to get dressed, get me some jeans, and to calm down Dudley.

All joking aside, it was nasty. I hadn’t crawled off a bed, down a flight of stairs, outside up our hill to our garage in the middle of the night…… in, I don’t know, days, maybe even weeks. Dudley spied me half way down the stairs, and my head first pooch walk did not register well with him. He did his best to tear my head off. That was his best attempt to ask for an explanation and to comfort me.

This entire lovely scene took 15 minutes. When Kristjana got in the driver’s seat and started the car, I didn’t know what made me feel worse, my nausea or my concern for my wife. She brilliantly got us through the dark night to the hospital formerly known as North Arundel. I’ll spare you all of the sordid details, but from 2:55 am till 4am was what I thought at the time one of the darkest hours I have ever experienced. I kept trying to pray through it, to thank God for the pain, to try to hear the message he was trying to get me to hear.

Looking back, I feel I have gotten that message.

At 4am, we had been through triage, and were waiting “comfortably” sitting in a wheel chair (me), and Kristjana on a hard bench next to me. The concern in her eyes for me was overwhelming. She was being so strong at one of the most vulnerable times of her life. She never looked more beautiful to me. I was transfixed by her smile and perfect skin and eyes during the 45 minutes when we waited for a “room” for me. But even more I was touched by a combination of that beauty and an unyielding fortitude, a combination no man could ever hold. Those 45 minutes could have lasted for days.

I think back to the book of Genesis. “It is not good for a man to be alone. I shall make a helper suitable for him” Gen 2:18. There have been debates for thousands of years regarding Eve’s place in the world. Eve as a “helper” doesn’t go over too well around the modern dinner table. But to steal from John Eldredge, the words used to describe Eve are “ezer kenegdo”, the word ezer being used only 20 other times in the entire old testament. And every other time the word is used to describe God himself, and each time when humans need him desperately. Better translated as a “lifesaver.” “It is not good for a man to be alone. I shall make a suitable life saving woman for him!” (Please see Eldredge’s Wild at Heart for more details on this!).

Thus, there are two ways to look back at this night:

I could look back and say that I was in horrible pain, vomiting, feverish, sweating, with no medical help, and it felt like hell.

Or….

I can remember the time sitting in the wheel chair, staring at my captivating, life saving wife, amazed that God had given me such a woman, and revealed a side of Himself that evening, that I never truly knew. I can remember service and the desire to serve; only thinking God take care of my wife and child tonight, and Kristjana praying the same for me. Concern only for each other. When I think of the night like this, I see the truth. I see heaven.

—- ———–

Back to the future…. ¬†

Guest Post by Kristjana’s husband Casey

June 25th, 2008

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Kristjana is 34!

¬†Good evening Kristjana’s readers. ¬† My wife and I had ¬†a wonderful dinner out tonight in downtown Annapolis. ¬† She is the most gorgeous pregnant woman on the earth (biased I am but it is the truth!).

She is also exhausted, so I asked permission if I insert a couple of blog entrants from my Dad blog (yes I was country before country was even cool!) from the days just prior to when Kenny was born nearly 3 years ago.  

On a side note, the traffic to this blog is booming. ¬† Thank you to all of you who have communicated with Kristjana with love, prayers and encouragement. ¬† Your concern has been a showing of God’s grace to us during this pregnancy and during the miscarriages of last year.

So one more time, today and tomorrow I am posting guest posts. ¬† If the baby comes, we’ll be sure to update you all! ¬† Walk back in time with me to September 2005. ¬† The week prior to Kenny’s delivery I found myself quite stupidly in the hospital. ¬† Kristjana was 39 ¬†weeks and counting and we were about to enter into 3 of the strangest days of our lives….. ¬† ¬†

Absolute Madness, Part 1 – Monday 9/6/2005

I wanted to inform all of you that the delay in the growth of my blog, was due to some unexpected stupidity.

On ¬†Thursday September 1st we went to the obstetrician for a baby check up. ¬†Kristjana and I were driving together in our car. ¬† We both felt it would be wise to drop off the passenger, to relax in the lobby, while the driver drove several blocks to park the car, and walk the quarter mile in the 85 degree heat.. I also thought it was wise that the sore little patient lean on the driver while walking to and from the Dr’s office. Admittedly, I thought it would be normal, with Kristjana in her 40th week.

However, the driver was Kristjana, and the passenger/patient was me. All 210 pounds was leaning on my tiny wife as we walked, nearly 40 weeks pregnant. She dropped me off. She catered to me. All this because my foot decided to make friends with a rusty nail in the Nabbs Creek.

On Wednesday evening August 31st, ¬†Dudley (our 1 year old Weimerainer) and I were out for our almost nightly training session (I’m getting pretty obedient). Stay, come, down, sit, and my favorite, the “50 yard heel” were all part of tonight’s agenda. It makes me feel like quite the man subduing creation. Towards the end of this man/buddy time together, Duds started barking towards the water. I noticed our hammock pillow had blown into the water. The wind has picked up. Krisjtana saw me running for the boiling ocean. She yelled out, “Hang on. I’ll get you your shoes (referring to my water shoes — the √Ę‚ā¨ňúmake sure you don’t cut your feet’ shoes’)”!

However the water was pulling the poor pillow out to sea. I’ll be careful I thought. What could possibly happen? On step 3 I learned much about the pain that can result from such stupid questions. All at once I mused by trying to save 30 seconds I have lost days, how Kristjana needs me, and that as a Dad I will have to be more disciplined, more wise. I also saw that Dudley had turned into a psycho at the exact same time my screams pierced the 8pm calm. He was barking and jumping side to side, begging his master to come home! He was showing his wild concern by coming within inches of the water, even growling at the waves. ¬† He wanted to help me, to come to me ¬†“FIFTY YARD HEEL!!!!!” I screamed. Nothing.

I pulled myself out of the water, and like a scared 4 year old girl, I ran past my 40 week pregnant wife (holding my shoes) and upstairs to the shower to wash my foot and drown in steam and self pity, and drown much blood down the drain.

I now needed to be taken care of. Kristjana cleaned and dressed my physical wound. We had no idea what was to come next.

Absolute Madness, Part 2, Tuesday 9/7/2005

So back to our OB appointment ¬†on Thursday. ¬† It ¬†was at 9:30 am. Kristjana, as I mentioned, dropped my hobbling pitying self off at the Wayson pavilion and then drove 6000 miles to find a parking spot and then walked/waddled back to the Dr.’s office.

They brought Kristjana right back. The nurse whispered to me that she would come and get me after they had Kristjana “in a room.” I’m not sure why she whispered or what exactly what I was supposed to say back, so I whispered “hotdog” and sat down in a “chair.” ¬† My foot hurts.

The doctor was one of our favorites. Because we have 10 doctors to choose from I don’t remember his name. But he is excellent. He took his time, was gentle with Kristjana and was patient answering all of our questions. He is one of those doctors that loved bringing life into the world, and seemed privileged to be part of our story.

“Why do we have 2 due dates?” I asked him?

“Sometimes that happens” said Dr. X.

“Can we have the first one” asked Kristjana?

“Let’s go with the 2nd one. The baby seems to be doing fine. We’ll see if he/she makes it to the 9th. If we get delayed through the 9th, we’ll induce on the 12th.”

We? How did he become part of the we? I wonder to myself.

Kristjana seems somber, but accepting at the same time.

“Any other questions,” smiles Dr. X? Kristjana shakes her head. She looks gorgeous. My foot really hurts.

We (not including the Dr.) leave the office after making a stop at the appointment desk. Today was supposed to be our last stop before “go time.” We get an appointment for Tuesday the 6th, and then head off to Dr. Canan, my general practitioner. I know his name. He is always the same person. It’s quite simple.

He cleans my cut, or uhum, “irrigates my wound,” gives me a tetanus shot, a couple of prescriptions, and an appointment for an x-ray. I like Dr. Canan. He is thorough and friendly and never says “we.”

The x-ray is negative. The drugs are expensive. I take my first load and drive off to work. Kristjana is now on her way home. I talk to her on the phone. She sounds fantastic. Her wonderful cheerful outlook amazes me always. I already miss her terribly.

As the day progresses at work I realize that something is wrong. I can barely walk and people keep pointing out that I am sweating a lot. Usually, even when I am sweating, I don’t sweat. After a 4pm conference call, I tell everyone I need to go home. You look awful. Do you need help? Stop sweating on me. I hear as I leave.

On the way to our house I call Kristjana and tell her that I don’t think I am doing too well. As usual she had prepared a feast. When we have dinner guests and Kristjana puts on 5 course meal, they usually joke with an elbow, “I bet you eat like this all the time, don’t you Casey.” Yes I do, I smile back.

I skipped the gourmet quesadilla appetizer, and opted for the prescription that actually said, “for break through pain only.” I hopped upstairs into bed hoping that sleep would solve my problems. I wish it did…. ¬†

——

Back to the future.   Come back tomorrow for the finale!

Average Joe

June 24th, 2008

Well, my ultrasound was today. ¬† And I’m still pregnant.

Not that I was expecting to be un-pregnant by the end of today, but I guess that since for 34 of my 39 weeks I’ve thought of JUNE 24th as the baby’s birthday, it’s been a rough day emotionally to accept that I’m probably going to be pregnant for another week (or more).

The baby looks great (Hurray!), and is currently measuring with a “normal” size cranium – the 50th percentile (Kenny was over the 100th percentile) – and a estimated weight of 7 pounds, 15 ounces, possibly a little smaller. ¬† SO all is well to “wait it out” and pursue a natural birth. ¬† Which is what I wanted. ¬† And I am relieved and grateful!

But I’m still pregnant.

(Someone call Casey and tell him to schedule me a pedicure…)

Surf & Turf

June 23rd, 2008

Though we have been pretty casual about crabbing the last four summers of living here, this summer, Casey has decided that we are going to feast on the bounty of the Bay. ¬† He has been diligently manning the traps, feeding the daily catches and transferring them to a holding tank, and driving far out of the way for the best bait. ¬† And we are reaping the rewards! ¬† In fact, we have been letting anything go that’s not a large or a jumbo ¬†(for those of you reading who ¬†don’t live in Maryland, that’s really big!!), and we finally had so many in the holding tank (a little over 3 dozen), we decided that we couldn’t keep up. ¬† So last night we invited my sister and her family and some other good friends of our over and we ate steamed crabs until we could eat no more.

Here are the kids in front of the bucket of soon-to-be steamed blue crabs…

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… and a close-up of dinner! june-22-003.jpg

Kenny was in heaven with his cousins, and our friends’ three daughters presence almost pushed him over the edge of happiness. ¬† They swam:

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they danced… ¬† ¬† ¬† june-22-019.jpg

Even Casey got into the party-mode…

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Now all we need is to have this baby! ¬† My ultra-sound is tomorrow, so I am hoping to find out a little more then about the baby’s size, whether or not a c-section is in the cards, and when in the world this little bean might make an appearance!

Stay tuned…

Patience

June 20th, 2008

As I sat down to write a post tonight, I had in my hand a partially eaten Good Humor ice cream bar. ¬† Dudley, ever hopeful, ever patient, sat to my left with his head resting on my left arm, gazing wistfully at the frosty dark chocolate and slowly melting ice cream. ¬† I spoke softly, “No, Duds. ¬† This is mine.” and gave my arm a little shove, hoping to send him across the room to lie down. ¬† Instead the movement and my ill-timed bite broke the hard chocolate shell and half the ice cream bar skittered down my shirt and onto the floor, where a gleeful Dudley inhaled it in one gulp.

Patience rewarded.

Ah, a good metaphor for the last week of this pregnancy. ¬† I will get a baby at the end of it. ¬† It might come tomorrow, it might be ten days (or more!) from now, but eventually that shell is going to crack and a baby is going to come tumbling out. ¬† One way or another, I will get to hold my little one in my arms! ¬† And it doesn’t matter if it’s early or late, c-section or natural, painful or easy, it’s really going to happen.

Thanks, Dudley.

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(Dudley,  8 weeks old, June, 2004)

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Tricky Times

June 18th, 2008

I have 11 days before my official due date… 5 if I had kept my scheduled c-section. ¬† Now is the time that every cramp, every dizzy spell, every twinge brings on the question… is this it??

Two nights ago while making dinner, I started seeing spots in my vision. ¬† Then my whole right eye started looking like the snow on the old TVs before everything was digital. ¬† Then I got dizzy and short of breath. ¬† I talked to my doctor on the phone and he said, “Eat some dinner, get someone to watch your son and come on over to the hospital.” ¬† I was tested, of course, for pre-eclampsia… something that would have been a real shocker considering that I have chronically low blood pressure (pre-pregnancy it was about 90 over 50, and since I’ve been prego it’s been about 100 over 55).

Anyway, after two hours of tests and monitors, I was sent home, and Casey and I collected a very wired Kenny from my parents, who had been hanging out with him at the mall next door to the hospital. ¬† Other than that one weird episode, I’ve actually felt better the last four days than I have in the last month. ¬†

Until today, that is. ¬† Kenny and I drove over to the pool mid-morning, and I tripped and fell in the parking lot. ¬† I hit the ground hard – fortunately on my hands and knees, and other than a few scrapes, I didn’t hurt myself. ¬† BUT I’ve been having waves of awful cramps ever since. ¬† There have been a few contractions thrown in for good measure, but nothing “regular” or even strong enough to call the doctor about. ¬† They were really bad for about an hour before dinner, but have eased up since eating. ¬† Anyway, we’re kind of on alert over here, wondering if tonight’s the night… wondering if I can hold out for my scheduled appointment at 9 tomorrow morning. ¬† The last thing I want to do is make another post-Kenny-bedtime trip to the hospital half an hour away, only to turn around and end up at home again and in bed too late for any of us to get a good night’s sleep.

The biggest complaint I have is that it hurts like crazy to walk! ¬† I think I must be pretty close to 100% effaced, because everytime I take a step, I have shooting pains through my pelvic bone, as if there is something in there wrenching it apart. ¬† Nice. ¬† I can’t help but waddle… it’s all I can do not to crawl.

Suffice all that to say I’m pretty ready to have this baby. ¬† I’m DONE. ¬† Enough with the irregular contractions, the sciatic nerve twinges, the cramps, the false alarms… get this baby out of me!!!!!

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