Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hot off the press

I guess we are going to answer the question: Can there be TOO many pictures of the kids in one month's worth of posts? I don't expect I'll keep this sort of pace, but I have some new pics and thought I'd share.

Another attempt at taking a picture of Teagan and Cael. Teagan likes holding him -for about 2 minutes at a time :)

Today we went on our 5th Most Excellent Race benefitting Achievement Centers for Children
Keith, Gavin and Grammy joined us. It was a lovely morning as usual for our 5K walk.

Cael's first Most Excellent Race

Our family of four, plus a balloon octopus :)

Teagan watched a show about making puppets yesterday.
Today she decided to put on a show with her socks as puppets :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Birth Story- Long , Unedited Version

I should be working on reports, but this has also been lingering so here goes:

The Birth of Cael Rowan McFarland

Baby Moon's pregnancy was fairly uneventful other than a little spill down the last few stairs at the end of February which left me with lingering sacral pain that I managed with stretching, a warm water exercise class and visits to a chiropractor. Starting somewhere around week 23 or so Colleen (my midwife) said I was measuring 5 weeks ahead. That is to say my fundal measurement was larger than my actual gestational age. However, we felt confident about the due date based on last menstrual period and fairly regular pregnancy testing back in the fall. Plus the ultrasounds at 6, 9 and 20 weeks all matched the gestational age. What this did mean is that by the time I was 35 weeks I looked like I was 40 weeks and everyone assumed I'd be having the baby any day. Little did we know this was true. Coincidence or not.

The date was June 2, 2008. One month and 2 days before the due date. The last week of school. My mom came over on her way to the airport (picking up my Dad who was returning from his biomedical conference in Amsterdam) to get Teagan. They were all going to the Brew Kettle for dinner, but I wanted to go to my warm water class. I had missed the week and a half between Wednesday dinner dates with Matt, Memorial Day and being sick and overworked with the influx of end of school meetings, evaluations, etc. Anyway, class was uneventful and pleasant. It's always nice to be in the warm water pool and I hung around after class chatting with a few ladies and having some "tummy time". The pool is the only place I've been able to lay on my belly for many, many months. I was concerned that Moon might be transverse. I had mom and Keith feel before they left and spoke with Liz who said that when she thought Gavin was transverse, it was actually just the shape of her uterus. Either way, I figured I was getting down to the last month and should be spending time on hands-and-knees and prone in the water to help his positioning. Plus it's just relaxing! :)

After class, I got dressed and went the bathroom as usual. Only when I thought I was done I had a strange sensation: warm fluid exiting my body without any sense of control. Either I just experienced urinary incontinence or I was leaking amniotic fluid. I stood up to leave, but more "water" came out so I sat down. It was clear with a slight pink tinge to it. I tried this maneuver a couple more times with the same result. Stand up, leak, sit down. I knew my "water had broke" and my reaction "You are kidding, right?! 35 1/2 weeks!" I decided I'd better get a hold of Matt, only I wasn't sure where he was. He was supposed to come to the gym to walk on the treadmill, but having only been in the water class and the locker room myself, I didn't know if he was there or home or what. Plus, you aren't supposed to use your cell phone in the locker room (though I suspected this would be an acceptable exception). At 8:30pm I texted Matt: "Where are you?" to which he replied "Home". I texted "In locker room. My water broke. No joke" and he called. We decided he ought to call Colleen. Since he was on his cell phone, he called her on the landline while I waited. She asked where I was and when he explained she told him to have me call her when I got home. I called Rae (our doula) who just happened to be with Colleen in the delivery room. We were supposed to meet Rae that evening for our 2nd prenatal appointment, but she had to cancel because another one of her women had gone into labor around noon. I spoke with Colleen briefly who said that I could come in and labor or go home and labor and come in when I was ready. I decided I definitely wanted to labor at home. I called my mom to let her know what was going on as she was the other person scheduled to be there during my labor/delivery. They were just arriving home from dinner. Matt walked over to Lifeworks to bring me a pad so I didn't soak my pants on the way out. We opted for one of Teagan's cloth diaper inserts to use as a pad. :)

When the manager came into the bathroom she asked if she should call 911. I kind of laughed. I wasn't having contractions, just leaking. :) So we went home and packed for the hospital. I wandered around the house collecting things on the list that we had from Rae's packet. Matt helped by getting the carseat out and trying to get it cleaned up. I'm sure I had him do other things but I can't remember what now. I was a bit scattered. I remember there was a lot of debate about whether he was going to go to the grocery store for snacks and pads, but ultimately I didn't want him to leave and anything we would need they would have at the hospital. The next couple of hours were mostly me wandering around the house collecting things on the list, Matt making phone calls to various people (his mom who went to pick up Teagan from my parents and his gamers to cancel for Tuesday) and both of us trying to get some rest figuring we had a long night ahead of us. I called Lynne (my "boss" for the school contract) and emailed the teacher and family for the Tuesday morning IEP meeting I wasn't going to be attending. The light cramps turned into heavier cramps and then into contractions that were 8 minutes and then 4 minutes apart. I couldn't rest. I just kept going back to sit on the toilet and eventually I went outside to walk.

I'd been reading "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" in which the first 125 pages are birth stories from The Farm. Most of these women were told to go for a hike with their partner. It was a nice cool clear evening. It felt good to be outside even if I just wandered up and down the driveway breathing. The other thing I took from the book is the importance of staying relaxed. I went to a sort of open, relaxed jaw meditative breathing pattern for the evening. When the contractions were about 4 minutes apart and I continued to feel restless, I decided it was time to go to the hospital. Matt had been playing video games to rest and relax so when he got to a good stopping point we packed up the car and headed up to Lakewood Hospital. It was 11:22pm. We called Rae, Colleen and my mom on our way. Contractions were 3 minutes apart in the car. I was uncomfortable but still able to help direct Matt on how to get to the hospital and where to find parking.

At this time of the night, you have to enter the hospital through the emergency department. I was managing alright as long as we stopped for contractions as we walked in. The 2nd shift nurses were leaving and I thought about all the laboring women they must see come in. Once in the waiting room Matt filled out the half sheet with reason for visit: LABOR!. A nice lady directed us to the phone that could be used to get a hold of someone sooner. We were directed to the end cubicle for registration. Two young girls (probably 20-years old each) were working the desk. One training the other. They asked for my social security number and date of birth. Several times as they were having computer problems. Labor continued to progress while they tried to sort out the problem. I wasn't able to sit anymore. I had to move. I wandered around the area. A baby in the waiting room was crying which just exacerbated the contractions. Then I was starting to get shaky. (Rae had asked if I was shaky or nauseated when we were in transit, but I hadn't been). Matt asked if we could skip this and get me to the floor, but they said "no, they can't do anything until we get you in the system". Grr. Finally I signed the paper and we got going. They offered a wheelchair, but I didn't want to sit down so I said I'd walk. And we did. The receptionists walked with us all the way up to the labor and delivery floor. (we found out later that they should have called a nurse escort). I was still focused on breathing and moaning with the pains now and slowing my gait when the contractions came. At one point they asked if I wanted to take the stairs or elevator. "Elevator! Elevator!" I exclaimed. I don't think they realized how far into labor I was; I'm sure of it.

Once we got to the labor and delivery floor, they took us into the triage room. (also something, in hindsight, that was unnecessary) They took me the bathroom and asked me to pee into a cup. Yeah, right! I'd been on and off the toilet all night and right now it was all about the contractions. I tried, but when I told them (between contractions) that it wasn't going to happen they helped get me out of my street clothes and into a gown. I was assisted up onto a gurney (after having to point out I'd need a step stool which they borrowed from the lady in the next bed over). The triage room, by the way, is only big enough for two gurneys with fetal monitors between them. It's a very bright, very small room. Once on the gurney they attempted to put fetal monitor straps on my abdomen (not a comfortable procedure at this point) to get a reading of the contractions. I then promptly threw up all over the monitor, floor, nurse and gurney. I got changed into a clean gown. Then the nurse checked my dilation. Apparently I went from 8cm to complete (10cm) during the examination. The contractions were really strong at this point. I was starting to feel out of control and I suddenly was having what the nurses liked to refer to as "butt pressure". I needed to push. I didn't care where I was. They called Dr. Miller, the house doctor. I remember making eye contact with Matt at one point and that helped. I remember hearing that Rae was there. (turns out she wasn't allowed in triage due to space issues). After they came to the realization I wasn't going to be getting to a chair to transfer to the room and that I was going to have this baby SOON they moved me on the gurney to a labor suite. I remember Rae was there by my head as I left the triage room. She smelled SO good (vanilla) and her voice was calming and reassuring. She ran her fingers through my hair and I felt so much better. It really helped me get collected. Once in the room they had to wait through one contraction on the gurney before sliding me over to the bed. With the next contraction I was pushing Moon out. Rae told me I could lay on my side or sit up. I tried laying on my side, but that wasn't comfortable at all so I sat up and he was out! I didn't even really have to push, the contraction was enough to move him out. Cael was born at 12:26am on June 3, 2008. He weighed 6 lbs, 3.8 oz and was 20 inches long.

Matt said Dr Miller was sort of just getting acquainted and situated when Matt had to direct his attention to the baby's head that was crowning! :) Dr. Miller has a very good energy about him. He put Cael up on my chest for several minutes before clamping the umbilical cord. Matt was allowed to cut the cord this time. They took Cael for a couple minutes to clean him up and suction his airways so he could breathe a little easier. Meanwhile I delivered the placenta. Colleen showed up then (having been paged 3 minutes before Cael was born) and got me cleaned up. My parents arrived. Rae made some coffee in her french press pot, had fresh fruit which she fed me and got me some cranberry juice. She gave me a foot massage, a back massage and recommended I take some yarrow for the moderate blood loss I was having. The nurses kept checking my blood pressure, my abdomen (which apparently was a little squishier than they wanted for a while) and the blood loss. I got to experience some rather unpleasant abdominal massages (almost worse than the contractions, really). Cael got to nurse for the first time shortly after birth. He took to it right away. Keith and Liz arrived not too long after too. We were all able to hang around the room and share in the joy of our newborn son.

At around 3:30am everyone left. I stayed up and visited with the nurses. I was still on a natural high from the birthing experience. I breastfed Cael a few more times and then tried to get some sleep. Mom and Dad came back at 10am. Matt brought Teagan up Wednesday morning to meet her new little brother. "He's so cute!" she'd say. Teagan got a "big sister present from Cael" - a puppy that makes all sorts of sounds, responds to being fed by a bottle and pet. She and Grammy went down to the gift shop where she picked out a little stuffed giraffe for Cael. It's almost as long as him. Keith and Liz came back and brought Gavin and their infant carseat for us to borrow. It was terrific to be surrounded by my loving family. We'd have to stay through til Wednesday so the staff could keep an eye on Cael for any signs of infection since I hadn't had the Strep B test yet. Everything would be fine and Cael would come home with us on Wednesday afternoon....our beautiful, healthy preemie son!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Baby Doll and More Newborn Fluff

It's really hard to get a good picture of Teagan AND Cael at the same time.
Here he is looking like her baby doll. I promise you she's not trying to choke him; she just thinks having her hand on his chest keeps him safe or something ;)

And then there's more newborn fluff (aka more cloth diaper shots because they are awesome and someday I will sell them and it's nice to have pics on the baby)

Above: The shark diaper my sis-in-law Morgan found. She sent me the link
and how could I refuse? It's a nice fitted with a velour inner. So soft.

Below: The sock monkey diaper (ok, it's a small and we aren't out of newborn yet, but I just got it in the mail. It looks big, but fits at the waist and legs and contained the mess he promptly unloaded into it) :) Oh and did I mention I bought a sundress for Teagan in matching fabric? Pictures when it's warm enough for her to wear. Props to Summer at Sumbuns.

And a couple of pics of the nephew, Gavin with Grandpa and Dad on Father's Day at the zoo.

What a cutie, eh?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Someone stop me!

I can't help but take lots of pictures of my new little love. He's just so precious. :)

Cael in his new onesie from Andrea. I says "I'm new here" :)
His strange yin-yang-esque pattern in his baby forehead fuzz
Above and below: Cael shows off his wool diaper covers. LOVE them! They seem to breathe well and stay dry to the touch even with with a wet diaper underneath.

And I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't include a pic of BigSis Teagan who was modeling her new head wrap (her jammie shirt...she's starting to get herself undressed and dressed in the morning now all by herself) :) Such a big girl! My little ham. ;)

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

new favorite pic

Courtesy of being "forced" to sit on the couch for hours a day..another pic of the kids

Sunday, June 8, 2008

B&W Photos

Over Memorial Day weekend we visited our friend Heather Cornelius to have some belly photos taken.
Check out her site:
Here are some highlights from the photo shoot. :) Thanks, Squish!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

GrammyCam June 3 08

Just a few highlights from "GrammyCam"
June 3, 2008

Mama & BabyMoon

My Girl

Teagan supervises the pediatrician's work
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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Love this photo

I love this photo!

Cael Rowan McFarland
June 3, 2008

Misc photos: Cael

More random photos. Sorry I'm not feeling very chronological right now. Just want to share. no particular order.... please disregard the little boxes, there are only 4 photos on this page....I'm trying to correct the problem with the original photos that didn't "take".

Cael Rowan McFarland, day 1

Grandpa Carl, Grammy and their 3 grandkids
Left to Right: Cael (1 day), Gavin (9 1/2 months), Teagan (3 1/2 years)

Big Sister Teagan holding Baby Cael. She loves him so much!

Daddy checking internets with Cael before we head home Wednesday June 4, 2008

Misc photos: Teagan

Random pics from my camera. Above. Matt graduated May 10th. This photo is from outside Brio where we went for dinner after.
I know Mom's photo had the full length so you could see I was very pregnant, but I digress. Happy family!

Teagan on the carousel at Parmatown mall. Matt is standing next to her and each time they'd come around she'd say hello to me. :)

Teagan's best friend, "Annie" (Andrea) at MarCon over Memorial Day weekend. Thanks to Andrea for always being so helpful with Teagan. Andrea has become and adopted "auntie" in our family and Teagan adores her. Like her new "Little Monster" baby cathulu t-shirt? heha Had to get some ConGear. They didn't have onesies or we'd have one for Cael too.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Just as a's Teagan at 1 week old. Remember she was born a week earlier than Cael.

Family resemblance? You decide.

My brother asked how I was doing after all's my response

I feel exceptionally good. :) 4 hours of labor was efficient and natural and I came through it with flying colors. No stitches required. Natural high. Rae gave me a foot massage and a back massage after so other than the fact that I've been hanging out in this hospital bed for the last 36 hours and starting to get a bit sore from that, I'm feeling good.

It's still pretty amazing to have this little guy here. He's such a calm little boy and has taken well to nursing (better than I have...still working on technique to reduce the soreness). When he's awake he's quiet and reposed, just taking everything in with his dark little eyes and he's already exercising all sorts of facial muscles in some of the cutest expressions. :)

I'm a little nervous, but anxious to be home. I know it's going to be an adjustment and I'm going to do what I always do and just roll with it and see where it takes me. Not really sure what to expect....we're in a different place than we were 3 1/2 years ago when Teagan came home and it seems so far away in time anyway to recall.

Teagan, btw, is doing phenomenally with Baby Cael. She's excited to see him, stops over to check him and comment "He's so cute" and has asked to hold him a couple of times, but does not like it when he starts to fuss. She says "You take him now. Until he feels better" She wants to know what he is saying with every little coo or baby noise or facial expression. She got a little doggie that makes sounds for feeding and drinking from a bottle and when you press it's paw or rub it's belly from Cael as a Big Sister gift. She loves it! (I've been holding onto it for months now in the trunk of my car after she picked it out when she thought it might be just what she needed to sleep in her room....and then changed her mind). She went to the gift store with Grammy and got Cael a little stuffed giraffe that's almost as long as him. And yes I said a little stuffed giraffe. :) So very sweet.

Mom and Dad were here from just after his birth until 3:30am Monday, came back Tuesday 10am-8pm and took Teagan home with them for the night. I suspect at least Teagan and Mom will be back today. Keith and Liz came up just after the birth, stayed til 3:30 and were here for several hours yesterday as well, so it's been nice to be surrounded by the family. Some of our friends are coming up from Columbus this weekend to help clean the house and make us food. :)

So, yes, all is well. I think I'm going to repost this response in my blog for ease of sharing the info. :) And I suppose I'm due to write the birth story as well. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Welcome BabyMoon

4 weeks early, 4 hours of labor (no more than 45 minutes of that at the hospital)

Welcome Cael Rowan McFarland
born June 3, 2008 12:26am
6 lbs, 4 oz 20" long

Healthy and all natural :)

I don't have the camera cord here at the hospital (but I do have wi-fi and Matt's computer) so here's a photo taken a couple minutes ago from my cell phone :)

Welcome to the world, Baby Moon!

More to come. :)