Thursday, December 16, 2010

Introducing Jake

Well, Three finally decided to make an appearance last week. After having inconsistent contractions in the morning, I went to doctor on Thursday the 9th (4 days past my due date) for an appointment and told my doctor that I thought maybe I was leaking amniotic fluid. She checked it out and confirmed that I was, and that I needed to head to the hospital to get started on the pitocin. I may have mentioned before that after being induced with both Zach and Drew, I really did not want to be induced this time or to be on pitocin at all. So much for that plan. I called Mike as I left the doctor's office and told him to finish up with the patient he was seeing and meet me at home so we could head downtown. I then stopped at Panera for a bagel, as I knew it might be a while before I ate again.

We got checked into the hospital around 4:30, and the doctor examined me and confirmed that my water had broken and that since it had been that way for what we suspected was at least 24 hours, we needed to get the pitocin going. Late in this pregnancy I read a book called Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block. It was a very informative book that opened my eyes and educated me about what is the optimal childbirthing experience. Based on what I had read in the book, I had decided that I did not want pitocin, I did not want to be hooked to a monitor continually, I wanted to be able to get up and walk around, I wanted to try to not have an epidural, and a few other things. Right away I had 3 strikes against my birth plan- 1. I had to be on pitocin because my water had been broken for a while and there was an increased risk of infection, 2. When on pitocin, you have to be hooked to a fetal monitor continuously, and 3. Being hooked to a fetal monitor continuously means you can't get up and walk around. So I was feeling kind of disappointed in how things were going. However, I knew going in that my birth plan was just that- a plan, and plans don't always go the way you want. So I adjusted and figured I'd just deal with what was going on.

After a terribly painful I.V. from my first nurse (who had to try 2 times and wiggled that darn needle around so much!) we started the pitocin around 6 p.m. and the contractions started small and got bigger and more frequent, but they weren't terrible. I was able to sleep from about 10:30-1:00, and then the nurse told me that though my contractions were frequent, they weren't strong enough, so we were going to cut the pitocin in half and start over, trying to sort of trick my body into making them more forceful. The new nurse (shift change at 9:00 p.m., thankfully), a sweet young gal named Danae, knew what she was doing, because once we did that, the sleeping was over. Soon the contractions started getting much more intense and they were still between 1 and 3 minutes apart. I breathed through them for as long as possible, and around 3:30/3:45 in the morning, when I was exhausted from not sleeping and from dealing with the constant barrage of contractions, I decided I'd go ahead and get the epidural. I didn't want to, but I figured that since I couldn't be up and moving around I might as well. I was worried that the epidural might slow things down, and it already felt like things were taking forever (much longer than I expected for my third delivery). So by the time the anesthesiologist got up there and got me the epidural, it was 4:00 a.m. It was a good epidural because I could still feel the contractions and some discomfort, but the drugs took the edge off. That was perfectly fine with me. It wasn't long after receiving the epidural that I quickly got to 10 cm. I started pushing around 4:45, I think, and Jake was finally born at 6:17 a.m. on Dec. 10.
Here is the first time I got to hold Jake. Even though the labor wasn't fun, looking at this picture reminds me that I'd do it all over again for a moment like this.

Jake was tuckered out from his long night, too.

The nurses got Jake cleaned up and weighed. They asked me to guess his weight, and I guessed 7 pounds 8 oz., because Zach was 7 pounds 10 ounces and Drew was 7 pounds 6 ounces. I was completely blown away when they told me he was 8 pounds 6 ounces!!! Later we found out he was 21 inches long, also, which is a couple of inches longer than Zach and Drew were.

Mike was happy to hold his newest son for the first time.

Jake was a good little baby and nursed right away before going down to the nursery for another check, a glucose screen, some ointment in his eyes, etc.

When he came back up to my room, we took a snooze together.

My friend/neighbor Molly was on bedrest down the hall, so she came down to meet Jake once she woke up for the day.

Once Zach was done with school for the day, Mike's mom brought the boys down to meet their new brother. Drew had already decided that he'd call Jake "Baby Red," after Red, the fire engine from the Cars movie. He was pretty interested in Jake right away, whereas Zach was less interested.

This was our first (and so far only) family photo as a new family of five.

After a bit Zach did decide he wanted to hold Jake.

Then Drew wanted to hold him, too.

Of course Grandma Linda wanted to hold her newest grandson as well.

Later Mike and Jake got a little nap in.

That night Grandpa Kevin and Grandma Cynthia came to meet Jake, and they brought us dinner, which was much appreciated. I could only eat so much hospital food.

Then my girlfriends came down to meet Jake. This picture shows Paige, Tyra, Sara (holding Jake), and Erin (Paige's mom).

Of course I had to get some other pictures of Jake.

In this one it looks like Jake has the same hairline as Drew.

On Saturday we had bad weather- blizzard-like conditions, icy roads, etc., but Grandpa Curt and Grandma Linda were still able to bring the boys by that afternoon for a bit. I was missing Zach and Drew a lot, so it was great to see them.

Then Brad, Molly, and their son Cooper came by. Cooper took one look at Jake and did the sign for baby, which was very cute.

Some more pictures from the hospital.

I love this one.

Finally we were ready to be discharged. I got Jake all cozy in his new hat and mittens from Grandma Cynthia and Grandpa Kevin, and I just had to take this picture.

We got home Sunday afternoon in time for the boys' naps. But first Zach wanted to hold Jake. He did not care that Jake was unhappy.

Mike left for his basketball game and I got to jump right in to making dinner and being in charge of 3 kids on my own. Not for long, though, because my mom arrived from Colorado just in time for dinner. She'd be driving all day.

The boys were excited to see Grandma Ruth and to get these super cool capes/masks she made them. I call them their Super Big Brother capes.

On Monday it was pretty much back to life as usual, only there was one more kid involved and Grandma was here. Mike went to work, Zach went to school, and my mom, Drew, Jake, and I did some other stuff.

So far the boys are doing well with Jake being here. Drew doesn't seem to have any issues with Jake himself, though he does seem to be having some control issues lately and maybe some extra whining. I think a big part of that is that he's having to deal with Grandma helping him and not always me, and Drew is a pretty big Mama's boy, so that's tough for him. Plus, he's 2 going on 3, so it's hard to tell what's because of the change in his life and what is a result of being an almost 3 year-old. Drew likes to "pet the baby" as he says, and he talks to him in a sweet voice now and then. Otherwise he's kind of indifferent toward him.

Zach has adjusted well. He had some sadness the first day, probably because I had a short temper because I was totally exhausted and feeling that guilt of not being able to give Zach and Drew the attention they were used to because of Jake. Zach and I had a talk, shared some tears, and since then things seem pretty good. At least once a day Zach wants to hold Jake, and he talks to him, rubs his head, and shows him lots of love. It is very sweet to watch.

Despite a couple of not great nights, for the most part Jake is a good little sleeper and a good baby overall. He's doing better at night than Zach and Drew did initially, but I keep reminding myself that he's only a week old, and anything can change! However, I've been saying since I found out I was pregnant that this baby was going to be a good sleeper (you know- if you believe it, you can achieve it, right?), so I think that's just coming true.

I have more pictures to upload but not much time to get blog posts done, so hopefully I'll get to it soon!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bigger Than a Bowling Ball

Tomorrow (Dec. 5) is the official due date for Three, but I have a feeling he/she will not make an appearance for a few more days. At least I'm feeling good, so I'm not upset about not having had the baby yet. Maybe I said this in a recent post, but about my only complaint right now is that it's pretty tough to tie my shoes. It's just uncomfortable.

Anyway, we took the boys bowling this morning, and we decided to see which was bigger- my belly or a bowling ball. Turns out it's my belly. So if you're wondering what it's like for a woman who is 40 weeks pregnant to tie her shoes, put a bowling ball in your lap and try to lean over it to get your shoes on. You'll see it's not so easy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Decorating the Tree

Today I put up our Christmas tree, and as I was getting all the branches separated and set up, I thought that I'd rather be sweeping pine needles from a real tree. But, once it was done, I decided it wasn't so terrible, just time-consuming. The tree looks pretty good, though, if I do say so myself.

The boys were super excited to get the ornaments put on the tree. I could barely get them all unwrapped quickly enough.

Unfortunately, Mike's hand was in front of the flash when he took these pictures, so there's a bit of a shadow.

Of course, the one picture without much of a shadow is this cheesy one of me. Mike wanted me to stick my belly out. At this point I'm just 3 days from my due date. Now that I've cleaned my house and gotten the Christmas decorations up, I'm fine with going into labor whenever. Oh, that and I wanted to be sure to get to my hair appointment today, so now I'm good to go!

The boys seemed to focus on one section of the tree for their ornaments. I'd say about 80% of the ornaments went in that one section, no higher than Zach's head.

I later moved some of the ornaments and spread them out a little while still trying to keep the boys' favorites down around their level. And after telling Zach about 3 times that he couldn't put the glass ball ornaments on because I was worried he'd drop them and break them, of course I knocked about 4 off the table and they shattered all over the floor. I'll blame the clumsiness on being pregnant- an excuse I can only use for a few more days.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post about our debate over a tree with colored lights vs. just white lights, and ultimately the authentic look of the tree determined which kind of lights we got (because it's a pre-lit tree), and that meant we got all white. I do like colored lights, but I think the tree still looks pretty with just the white lights on it. So here is the final tree in all its glory. It really looks a lot prettier in person- I haven't figured out how to take a good picture in the dark, so the first picture is with the flash (and maybe the lights on), and the second picture is with no flash and no lights on in the house. Really doesn't do the tree justice, though

Now for something totally unrelated. I feel like a kid again, what with all the pictures I'm taking of my dogs lately. As a child, about 20 of the 24 pictures on a roll of film taken from my camera would be of my dogs, Ginger and Molly. I just couldn't resist their cuteness. Tonight Foudy joined Drew and me for bedtime reading, and she couldn't resist some snuggling. She laid right on Drew's legs, and I couldn't believe he let her without getting all claustrophobic or anything. It was pretty darn sweet.

What Is With These Dogs?

I don't know why they suddenly think the laundry basket is their bed, but today Foudy did just what Maggie did last week- she climbed right into the basket full of clean (folded, this time) laundry and made herself comfortable. I let her stay long enough to get a quick picture, and then I made her move. In Foudy's defense, the basket was right where she likes to lie down.

I had to get this close-up of Foudy, too, so you could see the grass sticking out of her mouth. Once again, she had grass stuck in her teeth from eating it while she was outside. It's a good thing her feet weren't muddy, or I would have been pretty mad about her being on the clean laundry.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Son, Lightning McQueen

Have I mentioned that Drew likes Lightning McQueen? Lately he more of less insists we call him Lightning. If you try to talk to him and call him Drew, he corrects you by saying, "No, I Lightning." He refers to me as Mater (the tow truck from the movie Cars) more often than he calls me Mom, and I'm sure strangers out there wonder in what language does Mater mean mom or mother. Zach is Chick, and until tonight Mike has been Doc, but it seems maybe he changed to Guido tonight. Earlier this afternoon Drew told me he wanted to start calling me Ramone, but I don't know if he'll actually make the change or not. And, honestly, I'm not sure what I'd rather have people out there hearing my 2 year-old call me- Mater or Ramone. There's something a little comical about Ramone, since it's a regular (though unique) name, as compared to Mater, which seems to be just something the Disney people made up.

Drew likes to take his fantasy world to the next level quite often. Some examples:
-If someone (like a kid at the library or something) is bothering, he revs his engine at them (which sounds much like a growl).
-He calls his shoes his racing tires more often than he calls them shoes.
-He tells me race cars don't go potty, and instead he'll say, "Mater- I need to change my oil!" to let me know he needs to potty. I'm just waiting for him to tell me he backfired after he toots sometime.
-He calls his bed his "traveling truck named Mack," and he says, "Now I going to sleep in my traveling truck named Mack," when he naps and goes to bed.
-Anytime we are walking somewhere, take the dogs for a walk, walking in a store, etc., we have to stop frequently so he can say, "On your marks, get set, go!" and then we race. On the rare occasion that I'm The King (Mater doesn't race, so if it's Zach, Drew, and me out for a walk, we've got Chick, Lightning, and I'm The King), the boys bonk me into the infield and then Drew recreates one of the last scenes in the movie, where Lightning pushes The King across the finish line. I imagine this scene to be quite hilarious to onlookers, because basically Drew puts his hands on my butt and attempts to lift/push me forward. Frankly, sometimes he gets a little more personal than I'm comfortable with.

Oh, this kid keeps us laughing. He really loves anything pretend, and now he's gotten to where he pretends to be something other than Lightning, but his name is still Lightning. For example, during dinner tonight, I was eating some spinach salad. Drew suddenly wanted to pretend he was a giraffe and have me feed him a piece of lettuce like we've done at the zoo before. So he was "Lightning Giraffe" and I was "Mater Person" since I was playing the role of the person feeding the giraffe.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Boy and His Dogs

There's something about reading with the boys before naps/bedtime that the dogs just cannot resist. Lately it seems the minute I sit on one of the boys' beds, the dogs are there just waiting to be invited up. Foudy especially likes to sit close so she can get lots of loving. Well, that or she just really loves storytime. It's pretty sweet how she seems to enjoy snuggling with Zach, though.

Here are a few pictures from the past few days, just before Zach's quiet time.

Seeing these pictures reminds me of this picture of Foudy and Drew when he was about 6 or 7 months old. Don't worry- she only got in the crib that one time, because I invited her in. We're not in the habit of letting our dogs get into our children's cribs. And, really, the dogs mainly want to be wherever I am, so Foudy would never stay in the kids bed without me right nearby anyway.

I am so thankful to have two sweet, loving, and tolerant dogs. I don't know what I'd do without them!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


We had a nice Thanksgiving weekend here. On Thursday morning we had the typical Zinn family holiday breakfast. Drew was not into the souffle, which I think makes him the first person in the family to not like it. We'll see if he grows into it. If he doesn't, he's got many years of holiday breakfasts that he doesn't love ahead of him, because the rest of us love it. I guess he'll just eat caramel rolls and grapefruit on holiday mornings.

After breakfast, we headed over to Mike's mom and step-dad's house for the day. Mike's grandpa, Pa, drove in from eastern Iowa for the day. We always celebrate Christmas on Thanksgiving with Curt, Linda, and Pa, so the boys were immediately interested in all the presents they saw. Grandma and Grandpa had set up a little Christmas stocking-stuffer hunt for the boys, so they grabbed their stockings and started searching the house for their various little things.

Soon our friend Melody arrived. Melody and I have been friends for a few years now- we play soccer together, work out together, and she coached Zach's soccer for a while. Mel is from Canada and doesn't have any family around here, so we wanted to make sure she had someone to spend the holiday with. The boys and Mike's family were all excited to have Mel join us for the day. Zach, who has always LOVED Melody, immediately talked her into going into the basement to play.

At mealtime I made sure to get a picture of Zach with the place cards he and I made the day before. I just sort of came up with this turkey idea on my own, and we used some dried leaves we'd picked last fall that we hadn't used on any other crafts. I did all the cutting, and Zach did a lot of the gluing and he wrote everybody's name on their own turkey. We had fun, and the turkeys turned out pretty cute.

After a delicious and fulfilling meal, we headed to the living room to open presents. Zach and Drew had been quite patient all morning, but they were definitely excited to get to this part of the day!

Here you can see me helping Drew with something while Foudy snuggles on Mel.

Maggie loves presents, so she was right in the action.

One of the presents the boys got from Grandma and Grandpa were these huge remote-control blow-up trucks. They may have to go back to Grandma and Grandpa's house. :-)

Unfortunately, those are the only pictures we took all weekend. Every Thanksgiving we take a family picture at Curt and Linda's that we often use on our Christmas card. I purposely took our camera to their house with the idea that we would do that this year, and then I totally forgot. This picture wouldn't have been for our Christmas card this year (because I would like the baby in the picture), but I would have liked one last family picture before the baby was born. Oops.

Anyway, after more playing, I got Drew settled for his nap and Mike, Mel, and I left the grandparents in charge to go see the newest Harry Potter movie, which was excellent.

On Friday Mike and I braved the Black Friday crowds. We didn't get up early or anything crazy; we got to the mall around 9:30, and it wasn't that bad. We found a few good deals, ate some lunch, hit up Target, and picked the boys up in time for naps. Friday evening we went over to Mike's dad and step-mom's house to celebrate Thanksgiving with them and to get a chance to see Mike's sister Katherine, who was home from college for the weekend. Sadly, I left the camera at home that time, so we have no pictures. There was lots of Mario Cart playing, delicious food for dinner, and good times.

Saturday we decided to hunt for a Christmas tree. Mike suggested getting a fake tree this year, even though we both love real trees. It was something that I had reluctantly been thinking about as well, so I wasn't totally opposed to it. I love real trees, and I've always said I'd never get a fake tree. It just seems wrong to get a fake tree. I hate the clean-up associated with real trees, but I love the smell and the ambiance created by a real tree. But, I decided we needed to check it out, so we went to Earl May, then Menards, then Lowe's, then Home Depot, and finally a different Earl May, with the boys in tow the whole day. They actually did a great job, thankfully. None of the trees were really grabbing me- they all just looked too fake, we thought, until we got to Lowe's. There was one good one there, but we wanted to check the last couple of stores before making a decision. The whole day we were still unsure we were actually going to bite the bullet and go fake, but then at the last stop, we found one we liked quite well. I said something to the saleslady about struggling with the decision to go fake vs. stay real, and she said how every few years she gets a real tree, and then uses her fake one the next few years. It was funny how it had never occurred to me that buying the artificial tree didn't mean we were stuck with it for life. That helped, knowing we could get a real one any time we wanted. Duh. So there was one tree that we liked there that was a fair amount more expensive than the one at Lowe's. The one at Lowe's had multi-colored lights (which we kind of wanted); the one at Earl May had only white lights but seemed to look more real. It was a tough call, but we went with the Earl May one with white lights. I hope we don't regret the decision! The tree is not up yet because I am getting my house professionally deep cleaned on Wednesday of this week (my own little end of pregnancy gift to myself), so I'm not doing any Christmas decorating until after that.

The one other thing that was supposed to get done this weekend that didn't was that Mike and I were supposed to pack our bags for the hospital. My due date is one week from today, and we've got nothing packed still. At least I've got a list of things, so I don't feel too worried. Maybe tomorrow I'll pack that bag...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Clean Towels or a Happy Dog?

I washed a bunch of towels today, and instead of folding them right away tonight, I sat down to check email and waste time on the computer. All of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I could see Maggie start to take a step onto the laundry basket full of clean towels. I quickly nudged Mike, grabbed the camera, and we watched as Maggie proceeded to make herself very comfortable. Probably many people would think, "Oh, no, not the clean laundry- yuck!" but we were dying laughing as she tromped around, making it just right, and spilling the clean towels onto the floor. What can I say? I've always had a weak spot for my dogs.