Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Life Changes...A Liz Update

Last week I wrote Benjamin's Birth Story and thank you to my amazing pals on Facebook who apparently all read it and loved it. Today I figured I'd do a real update on our recent life. I haven't posted much of anything on Facebook...mainly because I don't really use Facebook for the stressful stuff. (Seriously I hate FB posts that bemoan how terrible a person's life is....I am all about action.)
So what's happened you ask??

-Avery left active duty at the end of September. 
(He wrote a lovely FB post himself about it. He's not a big Facebooker, but it was a nice post and thanked the Navy for helping him to meet me & start our family etc. Good husband right there....it was a nice surprise to read it.)

-But we didn't leave the Navy entirely....
Avery signed an Active Reserves contract. So it makes us part-time Navy people. We still get some priviledges & IDs (well we'll get the IDs some year....long story.)

-Matthew started school
My little dude...okay he's hardly little at age 3.5....but still....
Yeah that kiddo started preschool 2 days at week at the Catholic School. We love it! His teachers are amazing and he's learning & having fun. Julia also adores dropping him off. Thank goodness she can go next year or I'd have mutiny on my hands.
(Note to self...hurry & get a job at said school so I can send all 3 kids there forever.)
[One kid brought cupcakes for her birthday today...they were from my favorite cupcake place...seriously way to up the ante on birthday treats. It's on...Matthew will bring truffles...kidding!!]

-We moved off the base (for obvious reasons) at the end of September.
We had really desired to buy a home and we tried, but it just didn't work out. So for now we're renting a really nice house in a fabulous neighborhood. No we're not buying the rental. It's very nice, but it's not quite what we'd like to own. Seriously the garage is way too small, which you'd think is a small issue, but I HATE it. However, I'd buy in this neighborhood. It's in a great spot.

-Avery started a new job.
He's working for the DOD. A huge amount of our stress was when this job would finally begin...as DOD jobs can be finicky. Thankfully our prayer warriors rallied and all is well.

-I began training my replacement
When your sailor leaves a command, you resign as the Ombudsman. My Command was a bit slow on getting a replacement so I'm still doing the job as my replacement gets into the job.

-I agreed to join the Reserve Ombudsman Team & remain a COT
Yeah....like anyone thought I'd really leave....hahaha!! I start as a co-ombudsman with the reserve team in January.  Oh and I still am an Ombudsman Trainer (COT), so I am here to stay forever. Haha!!

Oops....gotta go. The littlest child is crying for his Mommy. I better go snuggle his sweet face. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Welcoming Benjamin

Oh where to start....first let's acknowledge that I haven't blogged in months again. My super awesome planner buddy (Hi Pamela!) is the one who encouraged this attempt. 

So let's get a quick birth story in!
My entire pregnancy with this little guy was misery in terms of my asthma. It just kept getting worse and no medication, specialist etc could fix it. So at 36/37 weeks the MFM doctors at the Army Hospital (they advise the Navy docs) said he needed to come out at 39 weeks, which was inline with what the pulmonary doctors were also saying. So on August 24th, we hiked it up from the house to the Naval Hospital to be induced. I felt calm, my make-up & hair were awesome if I do say so myself and thought alright he'll be here by evening. After Julia's induction had gone so well I couldn't imagine this birth going any differently. Surely it wouldn't be like my first induction with Matthew. Naive...yes, I was naive!
They got started and the first indication in my mind that things were not going to go my way was 3 blown IVs and then 2 more sticks before the 5th IV site was good, not burning etc.  It may sound crazy, but after the first 3 blew and I was feeling dizzy, I just got a bad feeling. I even messaged my 3 gal pals (Hi Sam, Farrin & Julie) and told them I was worried this wasn't going to end well. For the moment though, I ignored any bad feelings. They placed the cervical ripening agent and I chilled out. I think Avery even went to work for a bit there (I told him to go ahead...there was no point in sitting there bored together) and had my doula come hang out with me. The day progressed and nothing was happening. I've been in labor before, I knew we weren't progressing much. I texted my doula and some friends and read a magazine. The evening came and I opted to have them place a foley bulb cath. At which point, I did ask for IV pain meds. With Matthew I remember that cath being exceedingly painful. I had no desire to feel it again. They gave me the drugs and I went to sleep for the night. Yep...no baby on the 24th. The next morning, the 25th of August, they started the day bright & early with Pitocin. The foley cath came out and finally with the pitocin I started to feel like I was getting somewhere. I had always wanted to labor in a tub and this hospital was my chance to do so. So I decided to try it. Yeah...the tub is a great idea in theory, but it did nothing for me. I couldn't wait to get out. They kept coming in & I told them to keep upping the pitocin. I wanted him out! My doula came and I had our birth photographer come too. (Last baby, I wanted everything documented.) Things seemed to be going well. They asked if I wanted my water broken at 7cm and I agreed. Finally I was at a 10cm and ready to start pushing. I was ecstatic. I started thinking about what I'd want to eat after I gave birth.
And then the shit hit the fan.
They kept thinking his head was stuck, until finally they realized that wasn't his head they were feeling, it was his bottom. Somewhere during labor he'd flipped breech. When we don't know for sure. The attending doctor (my doctor for the pregnancy was a resident) said it was too late to try & flip him. I'd need a c-section. I remember feeling a bit dismayed, but more so like "okay, let's get this done....I'm hungry and these contractions hurt like a b*tch." They did give me a medicine that was supposed to stop the contractions, but it didn't even touch them. I was screaming for them to hurry up, b/c trying not to push as I was instructed was horrible.
Finally we get to the operating room and they had to attempt a spinal block. All the while a corpsman is yelling at me to NOT PUSH. I held onto my nurse (best nurse on Earth, sent from Heaven) and cried while my body naturally pushed. I don't know how you don't push at that point...the contractions were coming so fast & strong. After 2 failed attempts to put the spinal in, I begged for them to just put me under and after a 3rd failed attempt they agreed! [I had 2 spinal fusions as a child & they decided scar tissue and the metal rods in my back did not allow for the spinal to be placed.]
Benjamin Thomas was born August 25th at 1:53pm PST. I don't remember when I first saw him. My first memory was waking up in excruciating pain in the recovery room and shaking badly. Once my pain was under control they brought him to me and even helped me nurse in the recovery room.
He then hung out with me until I got to go to my room.
So there you have it! His birth. It was crazy, but I am so glad he is here. He's the best surprise ever! I can't stop kissing him & snuggling him.
On a side note: Military Treatment Facilities get a bad rap often, but I can't tell you how amazing Naval Hospital was for me. They did pretty much whatever I asked and didn't bat an eye at anything I wanted in regards to birth or baby care.

Meeting him for the 1st time in the recovery room.

His name was kept a secret, so our photographer introduced him for us.