Thursday, July 28, 2011

The one where Lu has a baby and Sean wrecks a car...

Yes, all at the same time. That's so not the phone call you want to get from one child when you're in the delivery room with the other child. But let's start from the beginning.

On Sunday, the 17th of July, Luke and I painted the master bedroom blue w/brown polka dots to match the nursery stuff they'd got for baby Dylan. Lu kind of helped, but mostly just watched. I know we were late getting to it, but if you read this blog regularly- you know things have been crazy busy. We were moving into Lu's old room so they could have the larger room w/space for the crib. (It also has an attached bathroom which enables them to stay in their room at night when the baby wakes up- thus creating less noise and more sleep for grandma & grandpa). It turned out beautifully!

About four o'clock Lu started having contractions. She'd had some off and on for the last week but they never got regular. Well, these ones didn't either. Some were 3 minutes apart, some 10, and so on. So we decided just to go to bed. I told her if it was real labor, they'd wake her up and told her to wake me up if she needed anything in the night. We got up Monday and she said they'd kept her awake most of the night, but they still weren't regular. So we started moving stuff into their room and Luke put the crib and changing table together (let me just say here that the rest of my house looked like a hoarder's paradise because we'd moved our things out, but not into Lu's old room because I wanted to shampoo our disgustingly old carpets. So we had no less than three dressers in the living room along with a king size mattress). At 11am Lu's contractions started coming every 3 minutes. So she took a shower. And then I did. And then she refused to go to the hospital until the room was finished. That's my Lu!

We finally got to the hospital around 3:15 Monday afternoon. She was dilated to a 4 and 75% effaced. They told us that first time mothers have to thin all the way before the dilating really gets going. They hooked her up to monitors, she filled out a million pieces of paperwork and at 5 the doctor came in to break her water. As anyone who's ever had a baby will tell you- that's when the contractions get more painful. Lu had decided she wanted a drug free birth, no painkillers, no epidural. She was getting more and more uncomfortable and having a load of back labor. The nurse showed us a more comfortable position and how I could press on her back to offer some relief. I was in charge of back pain relief while Luke held her hand and tried to help her stay strong and calm.

Breathing through a contraction

About 7pm she got to get into a whirlpool tub (where the hell was that when I was in labor??). It helped with the pain alot and she stayed in there for an hour. By this time, contractions were much stronger and she debated on a painkiller shot. Luke and I both told her it was her decision. The nurse checked again and 8pm she had completely thinned out and dilated to a 6. Things were moving rapidly. Back in bed, the pain was worse, much worse and I called the nurse back in at 8:30. She had dilated to an 8! 2 centimeters in half an hour! The nurse explained that that was why the contractions were so strong and close together, because she was having a lot of rapid movement in the cervix. We asked for a shot of Nubain (a mild painkiller). Lu had debated on an epidural but decided against it and by then it was too late anyway. The next hour and a half were filled with more strong contractions, but thankfully the tiny shot had helped take the edge off. The nurse came in at 10:45 and asked Lu if she was beginning to push during contractions. Lu told her she couldn't help it. The nurse checked and she was dilated to 10 and completely thinned! Time to push! The nurse called the doctor who didn't believe Lu was already ready to push. She thought the pushing would take longer.

Luke decided he'd stay by Lu's head and I'd be the one holding her leg and seeing the birth. And what a sight to see. The doctor barely arrived in time. Lu only pushed for 18 minutes and part of that time was the nurses telling her not to push because we had to wait for the doctor and them trying to keep the baby's head in the canal! Lu was a trooper and baby Dylan was born at 11:16pm on July 18, 2011. He weighed 7lbs 10 oz and was 19 inches long. Lu had no ripping or tearing or bruising. Unbelievable.


Baby Dylan♥

I've never been on that end of the birthing before and it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Luke and I both cried at the absolute awesomeness of the miracle of birth. And I'm so proud of Lu for sticking to her guns and pushing through the pain to have the birth she wanted. The nurses were amazed too and kept praising her.

The very next morning she was up and about, showering and even wearing makeup. That's my Lu!

The very next morning!

Both mother and baby are doing great a week and a half later. In fact Dylan has already surpassed his birth weight and is up to 7lbs 14 oz. He's thriving. And he's a super chill baby that doesn't cry or fuss much at all. He doesn't enjoy diaper changes or being really hungry, but other than that he's a quiet happy baby who seems to really take in his surroundings. He loves to be talked and sung too. And yes, I am a very proud grandma!

Sleepy baby & sleepy mommy

What a cutie, frowny face and all!

Now for the other child...

Sean has been working for Camp Callahan again this year and feels his responsibilities keenly. He knew Lu was in labor but couldn't get away until he'd gotten his campers to bed. So he was headed to the hospital at 10pm that night. We'd told him to drive Lu's car because he had a taillight out on his truck and we didn't want him to get a ticket. He called me at 10:45pm to tell me he'd had an accident and was pretty sure he'd totaled Lu's car. He tried to give me details but he was shaken up and hard to understand and Lu was starting to push! So I told him to call his Dad (who was in the waiting room, not in the thick of things!). It seems he was going way to fast on the little blacktop road that runs from our gravel to the highway. He was trying to make it to the hospital in time. Apparently Lu's headlights aren't that great and it was a dark night. Somehow, he managed to miss the stop sign that is where the blacktop meets the highway. He ended up flying across the highway and up a 5ft embankment, coming to rest in the yard of the house that sits there. 6 inches to the left and he would have hit a tree. Another foot and he'd have hit the water meter. I have no idea how he did it.

In typical Sean fashion though, he knocked on the door and told the girl who answered he'd parked his car in their yard and could he borrow her cell phone? Apparently his was dead. After he called us, he sat on the porch with the girl (the house owner's girlfriend. the house owner wasn't home). He had a first aid kit in his bag which he used to bandage his hand- it had gotten bruised and burned by the airbag. (Thankfully that was his only injury) He also had oatmeal cookies and Gatorade which he shared with her. He ended up getting a ticket for "failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident". He could have ended up with three tickets and a suspended license. We are still waiting to see if the insurance company totals Lu's car or fixes it again. Sean's insurance just went way up, I have no doubt.

Lucky for Sean, we all had something to distract us, so he didn't get in to too much trouble.

Uncle Sean
What a night! Here's a few more of my favorite pictures:

Happy Family♥

Could they be more beautiful?!

Grandpa & Dylan
Isn't life grand?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The one where we grieve...

I was going to blog about the baby's birth, and I still will, but this post is what's on my mind right now. If you are not an animal lover, don't have pets or don't understand how people get so attached to their animals- you should probably stop reading right now and come back another day. This was a sad sad weekend for our furry kids.

On Friday, our old black lab, Maggie, passed quietly in her sleep. We'd known it was coming for awhile, she was sixteen years old, mostly blind and mostly deaf, but she'd still trek off with Sean around camp. She was definitely slower and couldn't go as far, but she was still a trooper. She came to our family when she was seven, she'd been one of Mike's grandpa's duck dogs. She was trained to retrieve and loved to swim. And she loved the kids, especially Sean. She followed them on all of their adventures and I always knew that she'd protect them from any harm that came their way. I remember one time, she even went down the hill on a sled with them! We are sad to see her go, but thankful for a peaceful end.

Some of you already know that Lu's cat, Sparkplug, had been having colon issues and had been in and out of the kitty hospital several times. The last time they told her that the only thing left to try was surgery. The surgery would remove part of his colon and hopefully take care of the problem. It was risky and dangerous but they had no choice. Lu had scheduled the surgery for this Wednesday. On Thursday morning Sparkplug was once again having trouble and the vet said to bring him in, they would give him meds, keep him overnight and she could pick him up on Friday. So we did. Friday they said they were going to have to keep him another night and they were moving the surgery up to Tuesday. An hour later the vet called back and said that his colon wasn't filtering the toxins from his system and it was going to start affecting his liver. And that they were already seeing neurological issues. They had to do the surgery right then, it was an emergency and his last hope. They were rushing him in right away so we didn't even get to see him one last time. They called a couple hours later- he'd made it through surgery and was resting on a heating pad and recovering from the anesthesia. They'd be keeping him the rest of the weekend.

We didn't hear from them Saturday, but I told Lu that no news is good news, they would call if there was a problem. They called Sunday. Sparkplug had passed. Lu was devastated. I honestly think if she didn't have baby Dylan, she'd still be in bed crying. I have never seen a cat and it's owner as close as she was to him. She'd had him since he was tiny and they were inseparable. He often stole items of her clothing and carried them off and hid them; socks, swimsuit tops, jewelry. He was also fond of plastic hangars. Once, he stole Sean's cell phone and hid it beneath the couch. True story- pinky swear. That cat had more personality than any cat I've ever known. And he loved his girl more than anything. He had a super loud purr that you could hear a room away. He loved to chew on her hair and he slept wrapped up in her arms at night.

He was the father of two of our other cats and he was the only male cat I've ever seen be a good daddy. He stayed with the mama cat and babies, he kept them herded in one room and taught them to use the litterbox. After they were older, he still slept with them sometimes. He had more quirky character traits than I can possibly list. But he will be missed greatly. And I'm bawling as I write this- both because I will miss him, and because Lu is still in so much pain at his loss and there's nothing I can do to ease it.

All kitties go to heaven, right?

RIP Maggie & Sparkplug- may you remain friends wherever you are.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The one where I catch you guys up...

It has been a crazy busy week and it's only Wednesday! Sunday I spent the day with my Dad. We went shopping at the new Scheels store in Springfield. That store is amazing! There is a ferris wheel in the store. We were shopping for the rest of Sean's gear for his trips to West Virginia and New Mexico. Poor kid is working so much that he hasn't had time. He has one more half day off before he heads out and we are going to try to celebrate his upcoming birthday on that day. That evening I picked up CJ and brought him home for a quick visit.

Monday, I hung out with CJ all day. We rode along with Mike on a trip to town, but only because there was McDonald's involved. Lol. Then CJ, Lu & I went swimming. We had supper and did some golf cart riding before a trip to DQ for ice cream. It was a perfect summer day!

Yesterday Lu & I both started the day with dr. appts. Hers went great. She's doing well. Dilated to a 2 and 50% effaced. She started her maternity leave so she can get some rest before the big event! My appt got me a steroid shot in my shoulder and strict directions for icing and motrin. If it's no better, then its on to MRIs.

Then we headed to Springfield, took CJ to his house and met up with my Mom & Dad. We did some shopping for CJ, he needed new clothes, and picked up the last few things on Lu's list of baby items. Then dinner at Lonestar. Yum! Lu had contractions the whole two hour drive home. Unfortunately they eased up and we went to bed instead of the hospital. But I'm pretty sure it won't be long now!

I posted updates on what's going on in my life work wise over at The Author Spot if you want to check up on that. Today, I am doing another guest post! I'm over at the wonderful Tyr Kieran's blog. There's another short story. Again, shouldn't be too scary for the faint of heart. It's a tale of revenge. If you want to check it out, I'd be all sorts of appreciative!

Happy Middle of the Week,

Monday, July 11, 2011

The one where I do a guest post!

Hey all! Just wanted to let you know that I am guest posting at my friend Jason's blog today!

If you would like to stop by and read my story that would be awesome. It is suitable for all I think (even you MM!). It's pretty PG and more humor than real horror.

I guess it's a good thing I'm guest posting *looks around*. It's been looking a little empty all up in here lately. My stats are good, so someone is reading this blog, but don't forget how much bloggers love comments, mmmk? Thanks!

Happy Monday,

Friday, July 8, 2011

The one where I try to explain things to Mike...

So it's a rare occasion that Mike and I get to spend time together in the summer. His job is super busy and he usually leaves the house before I get up (don't get all judge-y, 8 am is not that late to sleep) and he returns after dark, showers and generally falls asleep long before me. So if I can sneak a little bit of couple time in there, I take advantage. Last week advantage took the form of dragging him to town for an appointment we had to keep. But we did lunch first.

We went to a local pizza parlor for their buffet lunch. It was packed and there was this guy with, I kid you not, a Mohawk mullet. For real. Mohawk in the front, mullet in the back. Two hairstyles that never looked good to begin with combined to make something frightful. I wanted to tap him on the shoulder and be all "Dude. The 80's called...they want their hairstyles back." but he was a lot bigger than me so I didn't. If a mullet said, business in the front and party in the back, what did his haircut say? My mom cuts my hair?? Oh, and did I mention that she still wears that snakeskin mini skirt and listens to old Whitesnake tapes?

Aside from the awesome scenery, we discussed other things; the kids and if they were ever going to move out, his work, our upcoming appointment, his work, plans for the 4th, our trip to the ER the night before, his work and oh yeah, my work.

Me: I'm so busy, I feel like I'm never going to get everything done. And now this arm thing. How am I supposed to paint?

Mike: So when are you going to be rich and famous?

Me: I'm already famous. Duh.

Mike: Really...?

Me: Yeah. You have no idea. I got asked to do two guest blog posts this week.

Mike: What does that mean?

Me: It means I write something for someone else's blog.

Mike: Why? So your followers will go to their blogs?

Me: Well, kind of. But also their followers will get to know me. It's mutually beneficial and very nice of them. I'm flattered. Also, I got quoted.

Mike: Quoted?

Me: Yes, we had a discussion on Masters of Horror about this old horror movie The Changeling. And then the guy who started the discussion did a review of it on his blog and he quoted me. Because I'm an expert on horror movies and stuff.

Mike: Really? Like he said "Stacey Turner says..."

Me: No. He said, "My new friend Stacey Turner says..." (Read the review here)

Mike: Well that's kind of cool.

Me: Don't look so surprised. I got fans, yo!

Mike: *nearly chokes laughing at me*

Me: It's not like I have my own Wikipedia page like The Bloggess or anything. But someday..."

Mike: So about the rich part...

Me: I'm working on it baby. Don't worry. I got this...

As soon as I know what day I'm doing my guest posting, I'll be sure to share. And it would be very awesome if some of you would stop by those blogs and have a look-see. Some of you (those squeamish types) are totally excused. A friend of mine told me last week that she can't read my work. She tried to read "The Lamp" but had to stop. I scared someone. Those of you who've been here from the beginning know that my main goal was to scare at least one person. Looks like it's goal accomplished! Whew! That's a load off.

Also, I have a poem being considered for an upcoming poetry magazine issue. Its about as far from my usual writing as you can get. I'll let you know if it pans out.

Happy Friday y'all,

PS for those of you not squeamish...please check out today's Flash Friday post at The Author Spot.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The one where we celebrate America's Birthday...

That's right. 4th of July. In honor of this auspicious holiday I've made a list.

Things You Don't Want to Hear on the 4th of July:

1. I may have started a small fire.

2. Run! That one's headed towards you!

3. Just put all the duds in a paper sack and light it on fire. Then run like hell!

4. We didn't need that tree anyway. It gets in the way of my golf swing.

5. Damn that fuse was a lot shorter than I thought!

True story. Never mix a retired ammunition's expert with a boy genius. It's frightening.

Hope you all had fun and stayed safe. I mean, someone should.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The one where I give further proof that the universe is out to get me...

If you've read this blog at all then you know that the universe is conspiring against me. For real. And that the manufacturer of my body used faulty parts. I mean, how else do I end up with knees that look like they belong to an 80 year old? And now, I apparently have spontaneously rupturing muscles. At least with the torn meniscus I had a great story and could call it a "sports injury". This latest thing? Yeah, I got nothing with a capital "N".

It started Wednesday. I drug Mike to town (yeah, seriously drug him. It's boy scout camp time and he's busier than a cranberry farmer at bogging time. And the way it works is once he steps foot off camp property at least one thing breaks.) But we had an appointment we had to keep, we'd already rescheduled three times. And I had to go have some ridiculous ABI test done for my doctor. It was like musical blood pressure cuffs. Arms, legs, all at once, one at a time. Not too bad except I'm not sure why they feel the need to blow those cuffs up all the way when I have relatively low blood pressure. Anywho, we got all that done and we even snuck in lunch beforehand. But of course, on the way home, he gets calls and texts and apparently all hell broke loose at camp while he was gone.

So we get home and he rushes back down into camp. No one else is home so I go to the computer and start working. As I'm working, I notice that its beginning to hurt when I move my right arm a certain way. I really didn't think much about it til I got up at 7 to see about something to eat. Then I noticed that it really hurt to move my arm. It got increasingly worse and when Lu got home from work, I showed her how it hurt to move it certain ways. Her expert advice? "So don't move it like that". Seriously, that girl could be a doctor.

So Mike asks if I want to go to the ER. Who wants to go to the ER at ten o'clock at night? So I say "no". And he goes to his workshop to work on some stuff. But by 11? I can't move my arm without bringing tears to my eyes. And let me just remind you that I am not a wuss when it comes to pain. Walk around on a torn meniscus for 6 months? No prob. Birth a 10lb breech baby with no drugs? Been there, done that. So if I'm in tears, it's serious. So Mike and I proceed to the ER at 11pm.

Cue Twilight Zone music because really? Those people who are at the ER at that time of night? Born in a Walmart if you ask me. There was the pregnant meth head (no lie) who was both scary and pathetic. There was the old lady that they took back immediately even though she appeared in no distress. There was the guy I thought was going to pass out on the floor in front of me. And the whiny chick (who again did not look sick). And the triage nurse from hell. Mike suggested that we bring food some night and just hang out there and people watch. He said it might be fun if I wasn't in so much pain.

But I was in pain. And after sitting in the waiting room for an hour I was highly tempted to take the security guard's firearm and blaze a trail back to a treatment room. And when I heard the meth head say that she should be next, I believe the words that came out of my mouth (quietly so only Mike heard me) were "she better back that crap up because I will cut a b**ch!" Have I explained that extreme pain makes me cranky??

Then the guy comes and gets me for an xray of my shoulder. He informs me I have to remove my shirt and bra and put on a gown. Well, I managed painfully to remove my things and get the gown on but I had to have him tie it. He does the xrays, also painful and then tells me I can get dressed.

Me: Dude, that is so not happening. There's no way I can get that stuff back on by myself.

Him: *mouth open. crickets chirping*

Me: Can I borrow this gown? I'll go out and get my husband to come with me to the restroom and help."

Him: oh yeah, that's fine. (Seriously? Did he really think I was going to ask him to help??)

So I grab my clothes and go get Mike. We go to the ladies restroom and I go in to be sure it's empty. He comes to the handicapped stall with me and I shut the door.

Mike: I'm so going to get arrested. And then I'll be branded a sex offender and lose my job and have to register on a list and...

Me: Um. It's pretty obvious I can't use my arm. I think the security guard will understand.

Finally we see a doctor. And for the third time that night I get the "What did you do to it?" NOTHING! I wasn't skydiving, playing tennis, doing chin-ups or falling down stairs. I was typing when it started. Every time I say this, I am greeted with dubious looks. I'm halfway tempted to tell everyone Sean beats me. I mean, he tells people I beat him so it's only fair, right? The xrays look fine. The doctor has no idea what's wrong. So they give me a shot of dilaudid and a Valium and send me home with a vial of narcotics and instructions to see my doctor the next day. So I'm higher than a kite, but it hasn't even touched the pain. And I have to stay awake on the drive home so I can keep poking Mike, who's falling asleep at the wheel. Because it's now 2 am.

Nothing helped the pain so I went and saw the doctor who was covering for my doctor on Thursday. After moving my arm and watching me tear up he determined that it was my bicep and it's likely ruptured. He gave me a shot of Toradol, which is an anti-inflammatory and a regimen of high dose Motrin round the clock. He also put me in a sling. If it's better by next week, then it's only strained. If it's not, it's likely I separated the tendon from the muscle and will need surgery. You all know how much I love surgery. Like a fat guy loves diet food. So far, it's helped. Whether it's the immobilization or the Motrin, I don't know. I hate the sling with a passion, but if I don't wear it, I forget and use my arm and then it hurts again. Fingers crossed for the strain. I don't have time for anything else.

And this whole episode is the exact reason why I love Mystery Diagnosis so much. It makes me and my medical issues seem normal in comparison!

Have a great forth y'all!