Thursday, February 21, 2008

Yeah for contests!!

Michelle, over at My Semblance Of Sanity, has decided to have a contest. Anyone can enter, IF you have a birth/adoption story to tell. (I would imagine it would need to be your OWN story, not your cousin's sister's daughter's story). Michelle doesn't exactly have a prize picked out yet, but I have seen some of the prizes she's given away for other contests, and they are pretty COOL!

Here's the rules:
Post your birth/adoption stories on YOUR blog, and post a link to Michelle's blog. If you do not have your own blog, but would still like to participate, you may post your birth story in the comments section of Michelle's blog here. Don't forget to post a link in the comments on Michelle's blog, or else she won't know you posted a story...

Michelle will pick ONE story each day to be "showcased" the next day on her blog. At the end of the contest (which runs until 2/26). On 2/27, we will get to vote on the showcased stories, and on 2/28, Michelle will announce the winner on her Gabbin' Mama blog.

Invite all of your blogger friends to participate - the more, the merrier! Plus, you know how us Mamas L~O~V~E to tell our birth/adoption stories. Daddies are invited to tell their stories, too. Although, Nate, over at CFHusband should not be allowed to participate, since anyone who reads HIS story would just HAVE to vote for him!! He'd win by a landslide! LOL (Just kidding, Nate, if you happen to read this)

I will be posting my stories in 4 separate posts...I'll start with Bubber, since he's the oldest. Most of my stories will contain stuff that some may consider TMI, but since they are MY stories, I'll tell them the way I remember!!!

So as not to confuse anyone - Bubber and Bug have the same dad (my ex husband Dan). I don't have a birth story about Nans, because she is not mine biologically. Puckey and The Jib have the same dad (my husband Ande).

The Story of Bubber

I had just turned 20. Literally, 3 days prior I had my 20th birthday. My due date was October 20, which had come and gone 2 days before. I tried walking, eating spicy food, driving down bumpy roads, etc. None of those things worked. I even went BOWLING the day AFTER I was due. Imagine the looks I got when people asked "When are you due?" And I said "Yesterday". Most people took a large step backwards, as if they thought my water was going to break at that moment. My (then) boyfriend Dan and I had rented a couple of movies and I just couldn't even stay awake to watch the first one, much less the second. I joked that I would most certainly go into labor the next day because I didn't get to watch the movie I actually WANTED to watch (I don't even remember what movie it was anymore...). So, I went to bed. It must have been midnight.

At 5:15am, I woke up to this weird "pop" feeling in my belly. I laid there for a minute, then started nudging Dan to try to wake him up. After several attempts, I finally just yelled his name and he said, "WHAT?" (He had only been asleep for a short time, so he was pretty mad to be getting woken up already) I told him that I thought my water had broken. He laid there quietly for a few seconds until what I said had registered with him. Then he literally JUMPED out of bed and started running around asking what he was supposed to do. (Think chicken running with it's head cut off)

I got up and did the "shuffle" to the bathroom (those of you who have had your water break on it's own at home or elsewhere may know what I mean) to confirm if it was indeed the case. Yep. So I told Dan to call the doctor and our parents, while I packed my suitcase. Okay, so I am a procrastinator. What can I say?!?

As we were getting ready to leave, Dan grabbed a stack of towels for me to sit on while he drove me to the hospital in his baby Iroc Z-28. WHATEVER. I guess he was afraid I'd get amniotic fluid on his seat. So he drove about 90 miles an hour to the hospital because he was afraid I'd have the baby IN the car. I wasn't even having contractions yet...

We got to the hospital by about 6:00am. I was feeling pretty good, and the doctor told me to walk around because I wasn't dilated very far (about a 1). I walked for what seemed like FOREVER, and came back to be told I was still at a 1. Sigh. More walking. It was cool, because at the time the hospital I was in allowed people in the maternity ward to walk the NICU. I was just amazed at those tiny little babies. After about 6 hours of nothing much happening, my back started to hurt. REALLY, REALLY bad. I threw up a couple of times in a bedpan. Okay, this was about the time I started to realize that this was not going to be easy. The doctor put me on a pitocin drip because I wasn't progressing very fast. (So slow, in fact, that at one point my family saw my doctor walking by eating a bag of popcorn.)

It was pretty cool, because not only were my parents and Dan's parents at the hospital, but my sister, her husband, and his little brother from Big Brothers/Big Sisters drove up from Detroit (they had been there for a Lions game that afternoon). I think my mom was the first one there. She nearly beat us to the hospital. (Bubber was her first grandchild, so she was pretty excited)

For those of you who are all about natural birth and all that - good for you! I, however, am a HUGE wimp when it comes to pain. Pretty much immediately after they started the drip, I started asking for drugs. They didn't want to give me an epidural because I still had a long way to go, so I got a shot of Demerol (sp?) instead. That didn't even touch what I was feeling, so they gave me something else (I can't remember the name of it). Still, did not really help too much. Fortunately, I had finally progressed in my labor enough to where they felt comfortable giving me the epidural. Instantly I felt relief!! What a strange feeling, however, to watch something touch my legs and not be able to feel it.

Because I was on the pitocin, I was also hooked up to the monitors so the nurses could keep an eye on my contractions. At one point, my doctor told Dan to read off the numbers to me when there was a contraction. Our families were in the hall, and they kept hearing Dan yelling out numbers. They asked the doctor what Dan was doing, and he said, "He looked a little bored, so I gave him something to do. It's gonna be a while". I really liked Dr. Rinehart, he had a great sense of humor!!

Finally, at about 7:30PM, the doctor told me I could start pushing. I told the nurses that I had to go to the bathroom. They insisted that it was just the baby. I told them I REALLY needed to go. They said it was the baby, and to go ahead and push. I pushed, and much to my horror, had a bowel movement. (I have a hard time peeing in public restrooms, so you can imagine my embarassment) I REALLY wanted to tell the nurses "I told you so" but thought better of it.

After nearly 2 hours of pushing, at 9:23PM my son was born. All 8lbs, 6oz and 22 inches of him. I thought Dan was going to throw up or pass out (or both!?!). I looked at my precious newborn son and thought "I've given birth to a CONEHEAD!" Poor little Bubber's head was pretty pointy when he was born. Fortunately it rounded out in a few days...then he started to look a little like Charlie Brown (which is not a bad thing, I LIKE Charlie Brown)

Monday, February 18, 2008

God's timing is never off...

Well, so I think most people who read my blog know that Ande was laid off from his full time job back in August. That was such a huge hit to us - not only to Ande's self-esteem, but of course to our budget and pretty much our way of life. Fortunately he has been able to receive unemployment for the last 6 months, and has been able to pick up extra hours occasionally at the homeless shelter where he works on Saturdays and Sundays. Of course, our budget was still very stretched, and it was only because of Ande's parents that we have been able to keep our house payments paid on time and be able to pay our other bills, too. (Thanks Mom & Dad!)

Over the last 6 months, we have not ceased to be amazed by the kindness and generosity of our friends, family, neighbors, as well as virtual strangers. Any time we've had a need arise, it has been provided for, sometimes without that need having ever been spoken aloud. I have written a few posts about such times, but almost feel like I'm bragging because the amount of times that we have been blessed by others is SO many, and the things we have been blessed with, be it money, time, physical work, or items we were in need of, has been so much. And yet here I sit, just bursting with excitement over yet another occasion where God is supplying our needs.

Part of Ande's old job (the one he was laid off from) was to go to places of business that used his company's service to do maintenance and repair work, plus training and in some cases sales. He had a customer that was local to where we live, and since Ande was the only technician who lived in this part of our state, he was the natural choice when it came to "who to send" to this particular customer. This customer, whom I'll call FAA for short, contacted Ande's former employer about something a few weeks ago, and asked for Ande. They were told he didn't work there anymore. Several of the employees from FAA know Ande's uncle though business dealings with him. So one of the employees contacted Ande's uncle to see what the story was. She then asked Ande's uncle to have Ande contact FAA for a possible job opening. Ande went and interviewed last Friday, and got the call today that they would like him to come in tomorrow to fill out some paperwork and then they want him to actually start work on Thursday!

Did I mention that Ande only has 2 weeks of unemployment left?

Yeah, so God's timing is still perfect, and HOW COOL IS IT THAT THIS JOB "FOUND" HIM - HE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO LOOK! Sure, this job won't pay a lot, and it's not going to be a glamorous job - but it's work and it's close to home! Before, Ande was usually driving AT LEAST an hour or more ONE WAY to work EVERY DAY!

The other cool thing is that we received our income tax refund, and I was able to pay several of our bills (house, phone, sewer, electric/gas) ahead a little so that we can relax a little about our finances (and give my in-laws a bit of a break!). Plus, now that I know Ande will have income, I can hopefully continue to pay our bills ahead and have a little "cushion" in case of emergency.

More good news is that Ande has been invited to the New York Amp Show in May. This will be a great opportunity to get Kirby Custom Amplification amps into the public's hands. The NAMM show was pretty cool, but Ande said he really felt like a little fish in a big pond. And since the general public could not attend the show, he didn't really think his amp made the kind of impact it could make at a smaller scale show that IS open to the public. He's still glad he went, and I am, too. Otherwise he may not have received the personal invitation to the amp show. The host of the show actually CALLED OUR HOUSE to invite him!

So...if things are going well at home financially in May, we might get to take a weekend trip to this amp show as a family...but we'll wait and see about that. Right now I'm just looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us next....

Speaking of what God has in store....if you haven't been in a while, check out Nate and Tricia's story. I am still amazed at what God is doing in this family!