Monday, November 28, 2005

One week later...

Well, not much to report! We are enjoying our time here. So far it has been pretty laid back. Everyone is either at work or school during the weekdays so the kids and I just hang out at home. But it's really nice not to have any of the usual household responsibilites. I don't mind pitching in with cooking, laundry, etc., but it's different than having to do it all!

The Christmas season has begun. My brother Tyler is Mr. Christmas himself and he has already gotten some of the decorations put out around the house and some of the lights up. Saturday he took the kids and I downtown to hear some of the music at the 69th Empty Stocking Fund production. It's always neat to listen to the children's choirs. Simeon and Esther both got in the spotlight and had close-ups on TV! I guess they were just too cute! That night we went to the Santa Claus parade. Sim loved that! Then back to my dad's house for hot chocolate and goodies. Church was great on Sunday and we had a delicious potluck afterwards. What a smorgasboard of food! So, that's all we've been up to. Haven't done much visiting, other than at church and my grandparents have come over to see us. But knowing how things are here, I'm sure my schedule will get busy soon enough! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Exhaustion and Turbulence

We're here! Esther and I arrived in warm, windy, wet Saint John this afternoon. Esther was an excellent traveller, and basically slept the entire time, waking up briefly to eat 2x. She didn't seem to have any problems with her ears. She even slept through the worst turbulence I've ever experienced! The last half of the flight between Montreal and SJ was AWFUL! I was sitting next to someone who had a cat with her. The poor cat was not enjoying the flight and eventually pooped in his little carry bag. It was a horrible smell. Then the guy across the aisle from us was puking because of the ups and downs. I was trying to nurse but it was very difficult to keep Essie latched on when I was barely able to hold on to the seat myself! Crazy! Anyways, glad to be here. Simeon wasn't as excited to see me as I'd thought, but I could tell he was definitely relieved that I was here! He was happy to see his "baby" again too. Will write more once I've had some sleep. Did I mention that I have only had a few hours in the last couple of days? Good night! :)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Safe Travels

Please pray for Simeon and Courtney tomorrow morning as they travel to Saint John! It will be exciting for Sim, I'm sure. We have been preparing him for the trip, often talking about how he will be going on the airplane with Auntie Courtney to go visit Nana and the rest of the family. He seems happy, but I'm sure it will be a shock to him when neither Deyan or I get on the plane with him! I'm not even going to go to the airport - probably more for my benefit than his! He's never gone anywhere overnight without me before! Thankfully, Esther and I will be arriving the following afternoon! I will miss him, but I'm sure he'll be okay. I'll let you know how it went! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Courtney Gracious

Auntie Courtney

Joyska and the kiddies!

Chicho Mitcho

My sister is here! Courtney arrived on Saturday to meet her new niece and help me out for a few days. She actually took a week off school...her graduating year to do this! What a servant, eh? It is great to have her here, and not just for her help! ;) Simeon is enjoying playing with his Auntie. I hope they get really well reacquainted since he will be flying alone with her to Saint John on Monday. I will be flying the next day with Esther. Sim is pretty smart and I think he has finally figured out what "airplanes" mean - people come and go on them and you don't see them for a really long time. He cried the last time his Baba left on the airplane. I just hope he doesn't think that when he gets on the plane he will be leaving us for a long time! So pray for him! He will be excited to see his Nana, Grandpa, and all the Aunties and Uncles. He has never gone overnight some where without me, though, although I've left him at home with Deyan a few times for births and stuff. Anyways, I just hope he is peaceful! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

More Pics of the Prould Big Brother!

Simeon is really enjoying his sister so far. He is excellent with her, although a bit rough with his affections sometimes! I am feeling pretty good, though I still have my tough moments. I guess I should expect it since I am only on my 5th day postpartum! Still planning to write the story behind the story - it really is quite fascinating. Including all the details about the number 8! :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Story

Well, for those of you who are is Esther's birth story as I remember it...

On my way home from church on Saturday night (where I happened to do a little bit of dancing - more on that later), I noticed I was having contractions. They weren't really strong, but were regular. I was hoping it meant something, but as you've heard, I was feeling pretty discouraged by then that this baby didn't want to come too soon, so I didn't get very excited. We came home and I nursed Simeon, hoping that would help things along! Dey and I sat down to watch a movie. Throughout the entire movie I had contractions every 4 minutes that lasted at least 60 seconds. They felt like a lot of pressure, but I was able to cope really well without too much effort. I had an incling that this might be it, but was afraid to say so. After the movie finished, we decided to set up our birth pool, just in case. By the time all that was done it was almost 2am so we went to bed.

My contractions continued all night and I dozed off a couple of times, but didn't really get any sleep. Deyan got a couple of hours though. Simeon woke up unexpectedly at 4:15am to say that he had pooped! This was very unusual. Deyan was changing him in the bathroom and I stood outside the door because I needed to pee! I noticed a bit of fluid leaking and wondered if maybe my water was breaking. But like all things with this labour/pregnancy, nothing was very obvious. The leaking stopped and I waited for a few stronger contractions before deciding to call my midwife. She said she would come over. Simeon went right back to sleep. I still was wondering if this was "it" or not, so I didn't call my doulas right away. But after a few more contractions, I though, what the heck. So I called Ang and Tara first and told both of them they didn't need to rush or anything. Then I asked Tara to call Sonia and Julia. Yes, I had a great support team! I also called my mom to let her know and get her and my Saint John friends and family praying.

Cara (my midwife) arrived at 5:15am. I think by then I was pretty sure it was labour. Within a few minutes my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and I definitely needed to breathe through them! I also called Yvonne, Joyska and Violet to get some Winnipeg prayer support! :) Ang arrived and her and Deyan took turns putting pressure on my back/hips during contractions. Dey was also filling the pool at this time and I was anxious to get in! It was finally ready by ~ 6:15am and it felt wonderful! Tara and Julia arrived at some point and everyone found things to do. After an hour in the pool, I decided to get up to the bathroom. The contractions were very strong by now and I was needing to vocalize through each one. I had 3 really tough ones in the bathroom and was beginning to wonder if I would be able to get out of there! I was feeling lots of pressure so I asked Cara to check my progress. I was nervous and told her not to tell me if I would be discouraged! She said I was doing great, 6cm, 100% and that the cervix was nice very soft and strechy. I was okay with this, but was also remembering Simeon's labour when things took a really long time after 6cm! I really hoped things would be different this time because these contractions were getting very unbearable! I stayed on my bed for a bit longer, barely holding on. I felt hot and nauseous and in hindsight would have to say that was transition. I had Julia massaging my feet, Ang putting pressure on my back and a cool cloth on my head, Tara bringing me water to drink, and Deyan holding my hand! Could I ask for better support, eh? We feel so blessed! I'm not sure how anyone can do it on their own!
I decided to get back in the pool to see if things would feel better. I had one contraction on the way and felt alot of pressure! Then I had another one just as I got into the pool, but before I could get down into the water. Again, the pressure was really strong and I said so. I was finally able to kneel down into the water and the next contraction I felt my body pushing. I felt some burning at first and wondered if maybe it was too soon so I held back a bit. But the next contraction came and my body did the pushing. I said, "the baby's coming" as I felt her head move down right away! By the way, this was at about 7:55am. Simeon had just woken up (a miracle in itself that he had slept through all the commotion to that point!) and Dey was in the bedroom with him getting him dressed. He brought him out and sat in a chair in the living room. I heard him tell Sim that mommy was having a baby. I felt so peaceful, knowing he was with Dey and he sounded so calm and relaxed. I continued vocalizing as I felt this baby's head come out, turn, each shoulder release, and then her body emerge into the water at 8:04am! I stood up and turned around so I could take her and sit back down with her. Deyan brought Simeon right over to meet her and he was very excited! Actually, he may have been more excited about seeing a pool in our living room, but oh well! He started telling the baby about his favorite Veggie Tales. So cute. I looked down to confirm what he knew already, that we had a little girl baby! Poor Sonia missed the birth, but she arrived a few minutes later and was really helpful when I was having all the afterpains!

Anyways, there is much more to tell, but all I'll say for now is how grateful we are to God. We feel that everything was perfect and we couldn't have asked for better timing. And we are so thankful for all the support we have, both at the birth and from our community here in Winnipeg. Not having family close can be tough, but we feel so loved and cared for!

Well, Esther just woke up so I should go. I will tell more about the story behind the story when I get a chance...which may not be for awhile yet! :)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

It's a girl!!!

We proudly welcome Esther Iova into our family, born at home at 8:04 this morning. She is beautiful! She weighs 8lbs 8oz (3800g) and is 21 1/4" long (54cm). Mom and babe are doing great. Dad is a bit tired, but thrilled, and big brother Simeon is absolutely enamored with his little sister! More details to follow soon, I'm sure, but for now, here a couple of pictures! :)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Sweeping and Hoping!

So, today my midwife came over and did a "stretch and sweep". She said my body is definitely ready, it's just a matter of labour starting! I'm hoping that she "stirred the pot" enough to get things moving along a bit. I feel very ready. In fact, last night I had alot of contractions and even had the "nesting urge"! Some people get an incredible burst of energy before labour begins and want to do funny things, usually related to house cleaning. I never had this with Simeon. But sure enough, even though I was having regular contractions, I had a sudden desire to sweep all the floors in my house, at 11:30pm! I had a hard time going to sleep, so I took a hot bath and had a pretty restless night. But woke up yet again not in labour, unfortunately. Oh well, at least my floors are nice and clean! I may still get down on my hands and knees and scrub them. That might do it! It also might get this baby to be in a more forward position, which would be great. My doulas helped with that by doing a technique called the "diaphramatic release" this afternoon. So, I think I've done everything possible and now I just have to let go and let God! This baby will come when he/she is good and ready. Maybe I'll be posting again later as labour begins, or maybe not. Well, at least I get to participate in the first event of our church's 10th anniversary this weekend. Tonight is a "meet and greet" coffee time where we get to see some of our former pastoral staff. It will be fun, I'm sure, and since I may miss the rest of the weekend, I'm looking forward to it.

So, keep praying! :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Potty Breakthrough!

This morning, while I was doing my dishes, Simeon was playing on the floor and gave me a funny look. I asked him what was up and he said, "potty?" I was a bit skeptical, but decided to take him to the potty.

To give you some background, he has been peeing on the potty or toilet, off and on, since he was 6 months old. I'm not super consistent, but he definitely knows how to release his bladder when I ask him to. More recently, we can sometimes go all day with a dry diaper if I keep on top of him and take him to the potty every hour or so. He does not tell me when he needs to go, so I figure that's the next step. As for pooping, well, he used to go no problem on the pot, but lately he much prefers to go in his diaper. If I notice it happening and invite him to the bathroom, he just says no and/or holds it in. So I'm not pushing it. Yesterday he started to go in his diaper so I took him quickly to the potty. He sat there for over 1/2 an hour, singing and talking, but never did finish the job.

So, back to this morning. I stripped him down and sat beside him on the bathroom floor. He proceeded to talk and sing to me for at least 1/2 an hour. I was really trying to be patient since it was his initiation to go. I asked him a few times if he was all done, but he kept saying, "poop, potty". So I waited. He peed but still didn't want to get up. I was beginning to get concerned he would get cold, being naked and all, but again, decided to just be patient. After all, maybe he just really wanted some one-on-one attention. At one point I left him for a few minutes to go finsh a couple of things in the kitchen. I thought maybe if he had some privacy he could go. But he called me back, so back I went.

FINALLY, he stopped talking and singing, put his concentration into it and pooped! He was so proud of himself as he stood up and said, "Treat! Treat!" You see, he knows there is a connection with potty success and treats, but is a bit confused at what a treat is. He kept pointing to his poop and saying "treat!" Anyways, I gave him a chocolate and we did the whole flushing ritual. It was very exciting.

So, I know he's only 22 months and I don't have huge expectations, but it was encouraging none the less! He hasn't asked to use the potty since, and I've been too busy blogging to take him there! ;) Oh well, we'll start fresh again after lunch.