Friday, May 22, 2009

She's Here!

Last Saturday we went to the park for a picnic lunch. That's when I overheard a lady say, "Oh geez, I'd hate to be her right now." After seeing this picture, I see why.

Dominic is a calming influence on me. I felt less nervous when we checked into the hospital than I felt a few days ago. The staff here was also very good. For instance, the anesthesiologist really listened to me, and this was my least painful experience. The nursing staff was good at including me in their conversations instead of just working around me.

Rachel arrived at 12:10 pm, weighing in at 8 lbs 11 oz and measuring 21 inches. She's long and skinny with very chubby cheeks. Can you believe that hair? We finally got a brunette! I wonder if she'll have brown eyes, too. Anything is possible now.

Apparently my body handles surgery very well. The nurses said I'm acting more like a mom who went through regular labor and delivery. Even the doctor thinks I could go home a day early, but I'd rather take advantage of the peace and quiet here.

Dominic's mom arrived Wednesday night, and she is watching the kids. The kids like visiting me and their little sister here at the hospital, but they act a little wild. Benjamin is taking my absence the hardest; he keeps saying, "I miss my Mommy." So they want me home early.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Degu tragedy

2-year-old Sammy with one of his birthday presents, a degu named Yami.

We have only 1 degu (pronounced day-goo) left. Yesterday Dominic went to check on them, and 2 had died but 1 escaped from his cage and lived. It was a sad day for all of us. Samuel has decided to name this last degu Yugi. I hope he survives.

When Sammy turned 2, we gave him 2 degus (they were mostly for Dominic). At the time Dominic and Sammy were big into Yu-gi-oh!, both the cartoon (Sammy) and trading card game (Dominic), so they named the brothers Yami and Kuriboh.

About 9 months later Kuriboh died. Degus are very social and can die of loneliness. However, if you pair two males that were not litter mates, then they'll fight to death. So we bought a female degu and named her Taia, to keep with the yugioh theme. In due time there were 7 babies. 3 weeks later Taia got sick and died. We were actually grateful, because she was a bit crazy and half wild. Unfortunately, it was too soon for the babies to be weaned, and we worried for them. Yami was a great Dad, and all the babies survived. We didn't name the babies, because they all looked exactly the same.

During the adolescent stage we separated the 3 girls from the boys. 2 of the boys kept fighting (teenage rage?), and one of them died from his injuries. So now we had 7 degus in 2 cages. The situation remained unchanged for a year and a half until we moved.

Since we didn't know what we were moving into, we decided to give up some of our pets. PetCo has an adoption program, so we dropped off the girl degus and hoped they got adopted. Honestly we weren't too concerned, because all the employees were delighted with them.

These last 4 degus had to endure a week in our moving van in November until we found a house and moved in. They seemed to do just fine for several months. Until one of them decided to get out. We had several adventures and misadventures due to the one we dubbed Houdini. His brothers and dad followed suit. The amazing thing was that the cat never ate them! She actually seemed to get along with the occasionally free-roaming rodents.

We successfully sealed all escape routes. A few weeks ago Houdini chewed a new hole in the cage, escaped, and never returned. The others stayed put. And then yesterday Dominic found the tragic scene, with the 1 degu still alive. We really do not want more degu babies, so we're trying it with just one and hope he will be ok. The saddest part was when Dominic explained the situation to Samuel, who said, "But they were my birthday presents."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Anxieties abound

With only days to go, I'm feeling very nervous. You see, although it's very exciting to have a baby, surgery is the only way out of this.

Of course there are some great things about a scheduled cesarean section: we have an exact day and time (May 21st at 1 pm MST), and no big surprises. Modern medicine is wonderful - I can have babies without dying in childbirth! However, this is major surgery, and the risk of complications increases with each subsequent pregnancy and delivery. I'm so grateful that they make me stay in the hospital for 4 days, because I need it.

It doesn't help that I told the kids about what happens in the operating room. They thought it was interesting and a bit exciting. Then they went to bed. For the rest of the night, I kept thinking about it and feeling more concerned.

As a matter of fact, in the OR I usually feel so nervous that I talk incessantly to keep my mind off of what's happening. Dominic tells me afterward what I say, and I'm always embarrassed. I can't remember any of it now. But when I brought it up the other day, he couldn't stop smiling at the memories. So I guess it really is that bad.

And then there's the fact that Dominic lost his job. On the one hand, he can really help out getting the baby gear ready, and he doesn't have to take off any time from work. But on the other hand, the lack of income is a bit nerve racking. I'm focusing on the baby and not thinking about it too much at this point, though.

We still don't have a name! Oh, I know we'll come up with something eventually. But just like with Elisa, she'll be Baby for a little while.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day, the Good and the Bad

Good: I didn't have to do any cooking! Dominic did it all, and the food was delicious.

Bad: Mealtime conversations were replaced with choruses of coughing from all the sickies.

Good: I slept a lot and wore my bathrobe all day.

Bad: I woke up from my nap to the sound of Lisy crunching on cough drops. She ate almost an entire bag! She was very happy, sticky and red, but I was coughing.

Good: Because it was Mother's day, I didn't have to prepare a Relief Society lesson.

Bad: We were too sick to go to church, and I missed the encouraging, heart-warming messages about moms and women in general.

Good: The newspaper was filled with the heart-warming stuff, which inspired me to call my sisters and sisters-in-law.

Bad: I couldn't call them all in one day (I have a big family).

Good: Dominic said nice things to the kids about me all day that helped me feel loved and appreciated.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Doctors and Star Trek

Funny story from the doctor's office today. My family has come down with a cold, and the doctor was obviously concerned that I might have the flu, which I don't. She asked if I had a fever or felt really hot lately. Well, I haven't taken my temperature, but I'm 9 months pregnant so of course I'm feeling hot (remember Father of the Bride 2?). Then she asked if I was feeling achy. Again, I'm 9 months pregnant and thus ache everywhere. So she gave up and told me to call the office if my symptoms worsen. She knows medicine better than I do, but sometimes you have to consider your audience before asking certain questions.

Star Trek opened up today! Yes, we saw it, and it was excellent. I appreciated how they kept true to the characters' personalities, and the inside jokes were a lot of fun. We dragged the kids along - didn't want to bring a babysitter into our sick house. Lisy kept trying to escape or get into the diaper bag. Benjamin almost fell asleep several times. Samuel repeatedly asked to go home. However, the end was exciting enough that they all gave it a good review.