Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Charlie Ann's Story of Arrival

Baby Girl Sickler is finally here!  She is darling and wonderful and such a sweet little thing.  Jarod and I both are still in shock that we have a little one of our own... I think the reality has yet to hit either of us.  But, alas, she is here!

Here is her story of entry into the world.

October 31st - Go to the hospital at 10am because I have felt her move very little all weekend.  All checks normal (silly girl was just having a three day r & r, I guess).  My doctor checks me, says I am at 2 cm, and 70% effaced.  He proceeds to "strip my membranes"(that just means 'get things a-goin').  He leaves us thinking we'll be back in the hospital that evening having a baby.  I have my first contractions that day.  We both get excited, but none of those contractions amount to anything.  So we wait.

November 1st - a few more contractions, and still we wait.

November 2nd - less contractions than the days before... and we wait some more.  Meanwhile, I finish packing the hospital bag.

November 3rd - Nothing.  My mom arrives and she is ready to be a grandma.

November 4th - Dr. Appt.  Doctor says I am at 3cm, about 80% effaced and all looks well.  I get a second "stripping of the membranes."  I get a few more unproductive contractions.  So we continue waiting.
on the way to the Dr.'s Appt - big belly!

November 5th - I walk 3 miles trying to get this ball rolling... but all I get are contractions that stop when I stop walking.  And so we wait.

November 6th - My due date!  Hello 40 weeks.  Goodbye 40 weeks.  I am still pregnant.

November 7th - Dad arrives and he is ready to be a grandpa, but still we wait.

November 8th - Here a contraction, there a contraction, everywhere a contraction.. but nothing is really happening.

November 9th - Dr. Appt.  3cm, 80% effaced, he is quite surprised that I still haven't gone into labor.  He lets us decide if would rather wait for Baby Girl or be induced.  Meanwhile, he suggests a fetal heart monitoring test and an ultrasound.  All checks healthy and normal, but the amniotic fluid is approaching a danger level.  We can wait, but I have to get monitored and ultrasound-ed every 2 days to make sure all stays well; or we can induce.  My doctor is on call the next day.  We choose to induce on November 10th.  Jarod and I go on a last date that evening as a family of two.  I cry a lot.  I am nervous and anxious and excited and scared.  Jarod is as cool as a cucumber.

November 10th -
       7am - I shower.  I cry.  I eat cereal.  I have butterflies in my stomach.

       8am - check into the hospital.  Gown up.  Sign my life away on a million forms.  I have a mild panic attack that I cant go through with birthing a child.  I'm tempted to run out of the doors.  But I stay.
All ready.

     10am - Get an I.V., I cry.  The I.V. hurts and I cant bend my left wrist.  The pitocin drip begins.  We watch the Price is Right and decide Bob Barker was a way better host.

     12pm - Mom and Dad bring Jarod lunch from Panera.  I suck on ice chips.

       2pm - My contractions are getting stronger.  The doctor comes in to check me.  Still at 3cm.  90% effaced.  The doctor breaks my water.  I am pretty sure I lose 15 pounds in all that gushing fluid.  Very awkward feeling.  Contractions intensify.
Looking pretty tired already.

       3pm - After 5 hours of contractions, and knowing I still have 7cm to go, I decide I want an epidural. The nurse proceeds to say there is an emergency and the anesthesiologists are unavailable for another several hours.  I tell her I need something, anything.  She gives me analgesics (I.V. drugs).  Within 2 minutes I was whistling Skip to My Lou and seeing double.

       3:15pm - The nurse tells me there is an anesthesiologist available and that if I do want that epidural, now is the time.  I say fabulous, I'll take two.  Jarod proceeds to stabilize my loopy self and watches the epidural procedure.  He is joyously amazed and wants to know if he can tell me how big the needle is.  I reply, "as if.." and flop into a pile on the bed.  The joys of being doubly drugged.
In a few minutes, my blood pressure drops dangerously low and I sway between consciousness and passing out.  The nurse and anesthesiologist give me ephedrine on 10 minute intervals for over an hour to stabilize my blood pressure.  Meanwhile, they stop the pitocin drip due to the complications.

       5pm - Doctor check.  3cm, 90% effaced.  No progress.  They must start the pitocin drip over from the ground again.  This is slow going.  My epidural is working really great on my right side.  My left... eh, not so much.

       7:30pm - nurse changeover.  Our new nurse, Lolli, says it's time to have this baby.  She checks me.  I am still at 3cm.  She stretches me to 5cm, I am sure that would have been painful without an epidural. She cranks up my pitocin every 20 minutes.  Things are rollin' now.

     10:15pm - Jarod is a zombie and asks to take a nap.  I dont mind.  Sure enough, as soon as he falls asleep, I have to change breathing techniques to endure the contractions.

    11:30pm - I wake up Jarod to say that I need some help.  The nurse checks me, 8cm.  I'm really wishing that left side felt as numb as my right side.

    12:30am - I tell Jarod I need the nurse, that the pain is near intolerable.  She comes in, checks me, and asks if I'm ready to push.

     1:15am - I do my first push.  Jarod said it was pretty much worthless (well, he told me that later).  I tell them I'm going to be sick.  I throw up green stomach acid everywhere.  My throat feels burned.  Both the nurse and Jarod say that the heaving was my best push.  I'm dying for a drink.  I can only think about the two bottles of Gatorade I packed and how good they are going to taste.  I thinkI repeated the word 'Gatorade' 400 times in my head during the pushing.

     2:30am - Still pushing.  I'm exhausted.  And I can feel her on my left side.  The pressure is unbelievable.  I throw up again, but at least I get a good push out of it.  The doctor and his entourage of his nurses arrive.  She comes slowly; the doctor is letting me do all the work.  The nurse makes me feel her head during the crowning.  She has so much hair and it's so soft!  I've never been thirstier in my life, oh Gatorade.  The last half hour is the worst. With every push I am sure I am going to throw up.  Waiting between contractions is the hardest, the pressure and pain makes me groan and cry.

     2:55am - One last push and Charlie Ann is here!  They put her immediately on my belly.  She's goopy and soft and wide-eyed.  We look at each other.  She's beautiful.  She nurses immediately.  Everyone leaves and we are a little family of three.

Welcome to the world, Charlie Ann.  We are so thrilled you have joined our family.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Recipe Compilation

I went to Sam's Club.  I bought a package of three, 28 oz cans of Libby's pure pumpkin puree.  (Say that ten times).  I am learning that most recipes do not call for 28 oz of pumpkin; they call for a fraction of the amount.. like 1 cup or at the most, 14 oz.  Needless to say, I have a lot of pumpkin to use.  And for one 28 oz can, I can almost guarantee that I need at least two recipes.   

So, in delight of today being the start of November/the Holiday Season, and because of a lot of pumpkin in my pantry-- I have assembled some of my favorite pumpkin recipes to share, as well as new pumpkin recipes that look very tasty.

Pumpkin Spice Cake - tried and true
I posted this recipe last fall.   But it's completely worth posting again and baking annually!  This is my mom's recipe and I have enjoyed for many fall seasons :)

Pumpkin Crunch Cake - tried and true
1 29. oz can pumpkin
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
3/4 c. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Combine the first 6 ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased 9x13 metal baking dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix all over. Drizzle melted butter all over the cake mix topping. Bake 55-60 minutes. 

Spiced Pumpkin Dip - tried and true
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1/2 orange (half peeled)
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar (or less)
1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 Tbs. brown sugar

Add, in order listed ,to blender, blend 45 sec or until combined.  Serve with fruit, bagels or ginger snaps. 

Pumpkin Smoothie - taste test

Pumpkin Pie Pockets - taste test

Also, I am looking for a good pumpkin cookie recipe... one that is more on the denser/chewier side, as opposed to the softer/fluffier cookies.  Any one have a recipe they're willing to share?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

39 weeks

Well, I will have finished 39 weeks of pregnancy tomorrow.  And I think my body proves I am near the end...  belly is HUGE, face is starting to get puffy/ultra-splotchy and my ankles are the size of my knees.  Surely this little girl is ready to come out and join the party!  Well, this momma is ready for her little girl to come out and join the party, that is.

So these were taken last nite, on our way to Buffalo Wild Wings to cheer on the Cardinals in Game 7 of the World Series.  What a fun evening!  AND, I even managed to squeeze (just barely) into my Cardinals tshirt :)  Yay, me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LegoLand California!

Two weekends ago, my sis-in-law and her family came to visit us and do a few sites of Southern California.  We spent three days down in Carlsbad (near San Diego) enjoying LEGOLAND - CALIFORNIA!  

WHAT A BLAST!  Even though I was 36 weeks pregnant, and Aimee was 24 weeks pregnant, we STILL had a fabulous time walking around the park and watching the boys have a good time.  

Aimee, Lance and the boys: Colby & Kyle.

 Me & Jarod - hello 36 weeks!  Bam, look at that belly!

Fun Lego stuff EVERYWHERE!

 Kyle & Lance versus Jarod & Colby for the race to the top.

Life size Lego Tourist.

 FunTown, USA.  The boys' got their Lego Driver's License and cruised around this city.

Jarod and Lance getting all discombobulated on a fun ride.

 LegoLand Waterpark - gettin' a little sun in October :)  --and lookin' pretty big and tired.  Ha.

Friday, October 7, 2011

35 weeks Pregnant!

We had our 35 week ultrasound.  I know these pictures are always difficult to make out, so I labeled to try and help.  They are pictures of only her face.  We think she's pretty cute.

In this first one, her mouth is open and she is sucking on the back of her hand.

This one just basically shows that her eyes are open!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Summer Slacker - Part 4 {Final Edition!}

Yes.  I am typing a post that has "Summer" in the title in October.  I understand your concerns.  Pregnancy has not warped my brain THAT much.  This is my last summer hoorah, bare with me.

I took a mini, 10 day vacay to the midwest at the end of August.  LOTS of fun was had... visits with all the family, multiple Baby Showers, (not multiple babies, just multiple showers for this one baby), breakfast dates with friends, and a 4 day weekend at the farm.  It was a fabulously relaxing trip.

My sister-in-laws, Aimee & Amy, put together a very fun fondue party with the immediate girl family. And my sweet father-in-law gave us this funny bouquet/centerpiece of "MotherShip beer" {which we all took home to our spouses}, attached to yellow roses and tied with a measuring tape, chilled on ice of course :)

Aimee, Me, Amy - ALL pregnant - ALL due this winter!  How fun is that?!
 Chocolate & Cheese Fondue & Sparkling Pear Cider.  Fun!

Now, to the farm!

 It was SO hot, triple digit heat... which feels like quad digit heat if you're pregnant.  
Time to go down to the river.

Family fun around the fire pit.
Mom, is this "all about changed lives!" Or else?!

 Good shot!

Amy & the dogs and the farmhouse :)


Austin & Amy found out they're having a boy!!  YAY!

Fabulous, Fabulous, Fabulous time in Missouri!  More pictures of the shower to come :)