Friday, October 29, 2010

Introducing Tatum Grace Dishman!

The skinny: Tatum Grace Dishman, born Oct 18th, 2010. Weight: 7lbs 8oz. Length: 19 3/4 inches.
The Birth Story: A few months ago, I decided I wanted to take a studio lighting class, so I can take Tatum's baby photos myself. I signed up for a class to be held on Oct 17th, 6 days before her Oct 22nd due date. I'd been talking to Tatum, asking her to stay put until after the class. (The class, btw, was AWESOME! I learned a ton and have since been having fun experimenting and learning with Tatum in my "studio" which is really our bedroom). The pictures on this blog post, however, were provided by Ty's mom - thanks Nana! Our little Tatum has already proven obedient - she waited till exactly 8 hours after the class to begin her journey into the world.
Anyway, at 1am on Oct. 18th, my water broke. I actually wasn't sure at first - I thought maybe Tatum had moved in some weird way and maybe I peed? (This has never happened before, fyi ;) About 15 minutes later, more water gushed out, and I knew my water had broken. I wasn't having any contractions though, so just went back to bed. Water kept leaking out over the course of the next hour and after the 4th time, Ty stirred as I went back to bed, so I told him my water had broken. He asked if I was having contractions, and since I wasn't, advised me to go back to sleep. That was easier said than done! I was excited that most likely, today was the day to meet Tatum! Also, knowing that the baby should be born within 24 hours of the water breaking, I started to worry about what would happen if contractions didn't start soon. I also knew that my hospital bag wasn't fully packed and I had yet to get the groceries that the Birthing Center recommended to bring to sustain me for labor (remember we just signed up there a few days prior). I eventually drifted off to sleep around 3am.

At 4:40am, I woke up having contractions. My contractions were ranging from 3-5 minutes apart, but weren't very strong. I woke Ty up at 5am and we both got ready for the day ahead. We called Chez and Cody at 5:30, to come watch the boys. They showed up around 6am - super speedy getting to our house! I continued to labor rather easily (packing and cleaning the house) but was having some mild back pain, so tried to position myself during contractions to turn Tatum if she was posterior (like both boys were). Around 7am, I began to feel myself becoming more focused and serious about the labor, and the contractions were becoming more intense. I needed Ty to put counter pressure on my back because of the back pain. Ty called the Birthing Center, the midwife talked to me to make sure this was the real deal, and we hopped in the truck. The housekeepers showed up as we were getting ready to leave and were giving me sympathetic looks. On the upside, the house would be clean when we got home!

For the second straight time, I experienced the transition stage of labor in the car. Ugh! This is the hardest part of labor; the part where you just want to give up. It hurts SO bad and the end is not in sight. The way I see it, it's somewhat nice to be in the car because I'm somewhat distracted. However, the Bradley method advises that you should try to be relaxed though your contractions to help manage pain and it's pretty much impossible to be relaxed in the car during contractions with all the bumps and braking, etc.
We knew we were going to beat the midwife to the Birthing Center and since I hadn't grocery shopped for the things I was supposed to bring, I suggested that Ty stop by a convenience store and pick up some Sprite and Gatorade for hydration. There is a store right next to the Center. As he was hopping out of the truck, I said, "You better hurry - I feel like I need to push!" He bought those drinks in record time. We pulled into the Birthing Center at 7:40am and were the only ones there. I was about to have another contraction and since I hate laboring in the truck, hopped out to labor on the sidewalk on all 4s. During my first contraction, the midwife assistant (Dana) drove up. She ran to unlock the building and set up! I had one more contraction on the sidewalk, then went inside. (The next day I had some scrapes on my legs and couldn't for the life of me figure out how I got them - but now I'm pretty sure it was from the sidewalk).
I knew that I should try not to push until the midwife (Vicki) got there, but that was really hard! Fortunately, Vicki showed up right then and assured me everything would be ok. I moved to the bed so Vicki could check the dilation, and she gave me the go ahead to start pushing. Vicki, Dana, and another new midwife (can't remember her name) were SO encouraging. They really wanted me to listen to my body and gave me coaching when I needed it. I guess I was pushing pretty well because they kept saying so. With each contraction, I could feel progress being made playdate scheduled that day, so asked Ty to text the hostess and let her know we weren't going to make it.
This is Colt playing with his gift from Baby Tatum. 

Anyway, after a few more pushes, Tatum made her grand entrance! They put her directly onto my chest (which also hadn't happened in my previous two births). I asked them if they were sure they didn't need to take her to examine her. They were very much into letting us bond, so we did! They worked to deliver the placenta and Ty was busy sending posting pictures on Facebook and emailing family. After several minutes, Ty asked, "Are you sure it's a girl?" No body knew because Tatum and I had been cuddling the whole time. Over the course of the pregnancy SEVERAL women (mostly strangers) had commented that they thought the baby was a boy because of how I was carrying. I was worried that after I had washed all the girl clothes and stocked up on bows, etc. that Tatum would come out a boy (hey, it could happen!). We proceeded to unwrap her and our worst fears were put to ease.
After a couple of hours of bonding and nursing, Tatum was weighed, examined thoroughly, and bathed. I also showered before our family showed up (with food, thankfully!). After the family left, Ty and I took a nap, then were discharged home around 2:30pm. It was awesome to be able to go home the same day and sleep in our own bed and not be disturbed by nurses coming into our room all night long, as would have happened if we birthed at the hospital. Overall, this was a quick birth (though you wouldn't know it by how wordy I've been on the blog) and we very much enjoyed our experience at the Austin Area Birthing Center. We wish we would have delivered all our babies here! This birth was an answer to prayer as Tatum was in the proper position to be birthed and I had little back pain compared with the boys. 
Levi is receiving his shape-sorter gift from Tatum. He LOVES it!

We are now home and doing well. Ty's been off work the last 2 weeks, so the real test of 3 kids for me will come next week when I'm parenting solo during the days. Colt seems to be adjusting really well. He loves to say Hi to Tatum and is very sweet to her. Levi, on the other hand, has a love/hate relationship at this point. He loves to hold Tatum and give her kisses. But in the same breath will begin to head butt her and hit her. :( Hopefully this stage will pass quickly! I'm trying to make sure I give him extra attention so he knows he's still loved. Tatum is still in that 2 week window where babies sleep all the time, though today she was alert quite a bit, so that might be ending. Anyway, the journey with 3 kids has begun. We are excited to begin our life as a family of FIVE! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Our little pumpkin

 We took a trip to the Tarrytown United Methodist pumpkin patch over the weekend. The boys had fun looking at the pumpkins, although Levi was not up for getting his picture made.  I had the crazy idea to paint my stomach as a pumpkin to get some fun pictures. However, I couldn't find orange face paint, so I just used orange finger paints we had at home. I haven't had time to photoshop the pumpkin to make it look better, so for the foreseeable future, it will remain as is :)

 I love this time of year! It's such a fun time to celebrate God's provision in our lives. Look at this wonderful family He's blessed me with! 

We've been talking a lot with the boys about what it's going to be like when Tatum arrives. Levi doesn't seem to have a clue whats about to happen. He always looks confused when we point at my stomach and talk about a baby. He will sign baby when we talk about babies or see one out and about.

Colt, on the other hand, seems excited for Tatum to arrive. He knows that he's about to give his bed to her (the convertible crib) and says that she's not going to cry. We definitely had to clear that misconception up! He likes to come to my belly and kiss it or say "Hi, Baby Tatum!" 

 I should mention that Nana took most of these pictures. Thank you! 

Levi's checking out the pumpkins.

Tatum's Baby Shower

So I know you are all wanting an update from Tatum's birth, but in an effort to keep this blog chronological (so I can print it into a book in the future), I'm going to do a few short posts from our pre-Tatum lives. Just hold your horses - plenty of Tatum is soon to come :)

A few weeks ago, several friends threw Tatum and I a baby shower at Chez Zee restaurant. It was a Monday night Girl's Night type event, which I absolutely LOVE. It's always nice to get together with other women to relax and celebrate! I felt absolutely blessed by the friendship and love expressed that evening. Thanks again to everyone for showering us with lots of girly things. Your friendship is so precious to me.

 The hostesses and me
 All the pregnant mamas
The proud Nana-to-be with her two future granddaughters. I am SO excited that Tatum will have a cousin (and a girl at that!) so close in age to play with. Let the good times roll!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A change in plans

Here are some maternity pics that Ty took before church last Sunday. I am 38 weeks pregnant here. 

As far as pregnancy developments... let me share a story. Last week my Obgyn and I went over my birth plan. I desire to have a drug-free vaginal birth and my doctor has been totally on board with that the whole pregnancy. (She delivered Levi that way too). As with both of our boys, I also submitted a letter to refuse the erythromycin eye ointment that is given within 2 hours of birth, since I don't have the diseases the ointment protect's against. My OB informed me that since Levi was born, the hospital has started to enforce the law that says the erythromycin is mandatory. She said if we refused to give this antibiotic to Tatum, the hospital would call Child Protective Services (CPS) on us! I went home and did some research on the law and found others online who had CPS called on them in this situation. It's a sad day when we are forced to receive medication/vaccinations/treatment/etc without our consent, especially if we are making an INFORMED decision! 
Anyway, this week, I received a call from a nurse at the hospital, Seton SW. She said my birth plan and letter of refusal came across her desk. She proceeded to tell me that she was required by law to call CPS on us if we refused the eye ointment. We had a long chat. She said I was wrong - that the ointment doesn't protect the baby against STDs the mother may have. I asked her why the Department of Health website says regarding the medication that it DOES protect against STDs, and since I don't have any, I don't feel it's necessary for the baby to have the medication. She stammered for a while and said, "Well, it does protect against STDs, but also against other bacteria." It made me feel like she was just giving me a line. 
So, Ty and I talked about the choice in front of us. It ticked us both off that our ability to make a choice for our child's wellbeing was unavailable to us. Now, the Austin Area Birthing Center just opened a south location last month. Ty had mentioned a few weeks ago that he thought we should birth there because it is more in line with our childbirth goals and desires than a hospital would be. However, I was 8 months pregnant and didn't want to change care providers at such a late date. Plus, our last hospital experience had been great (due to the nurse who helped deliver Levi acting very much like a doula for us). However, after this incident, we decided to check out the Birthing Center. 8 days before my due date, we toured the facility and talked with a midwife, and decided this was in the best interest for our family. My medical records were faxed over and I had my first appointment that same day! It was a whirlwind of a day for us, but we are super excited about giving birth at the Birthing Center. 
 If all goes according to plan, we will have had one hospital birth resulting in unnecessary C-section, one hospital VBAC drug-free birth, and one birthing center birth. 
 We sure do love our little munchkins and try to make the best decisions we can for them! It's been interesting to be a parent. I feel like I've learned SO much about nutrition, vaccinations, general health, education, discipline, spirituality/faith development, etc - just because I want to give my kids the best possible future (within my control as their mom). At times it can be information overload! But I know God gives me Wisdom when I ask and a Spirit of Discernment to help me along on this journey of parenting that He has tasked Ty and myself to. Thank you for blessing us with kids and providing us a way to navigate the journey, Lord!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Life at our house

 Here are some pictures I snapped over the last week: 
 I thought it was cute how the boys both sat on the ottoman to watch the new season of Sesame Street one day. We've had some sickness around our house, which always increases television viewing. 
We had French doors installed where our sliding glass patio doors were, and the boys were so excited to watch all the action. I finally set up a chair in the yard so they could watch, but not be in the way. 

My little monkeys. 
Colt loves to have his picture taken, then look at it in the LCD screen afterwards. 

I tried again to take Levi's ACU Today picture, but he got his hands on a snack prior to picture time and got food all over his shirt! Plus, the shadows were bad at this time of day. Hopefully the third time will be a charm! 

Besides just monkeying around, I've been dragging the kids to doctor's appointments. Levi had a surprise appt on Monday - we were driving to a playdate when he started coughing and turning blue. I was really close to our pediatrician's office, so swung in there and they gave him a breathing treatment. Kinda scary! I've been going to a chiropractor - Tatum was transverse, but is now head down. However, after having two posterior babies, I'm willing to try anything to get Tatum in the correct delivery position! Also, I'm on weekly OB appointments, so the kids are getting to know waiting rooms and doctors really well these days! 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Day Out with Thomas

Every little boys dream... to spend a day with Thomas the Train. 

We decided to head to Burnet to ride on Thomas the Train this year. Thought it would be a fun activity to do as a family before Tatum makes here arrival in 3 weeks or so. 

 Colt had SO much fun. We arrived a few minutes before our boarding time, and he pulled my hand so hard saying, "Let's GO!" He did NOT want Thomas to leave us behind :)
Levi, while not quite as aware of the significance of our ride, still had fun. 

 The adults actually thought the ride was quite lame. We paid $60 to ride backwards in a train car (decorated with colorful pendant flags - see below) for 12 minutes, then forwards back to The Island of Sodor for another 12 minutes. The conductor came by and tore our tickets and the kids got to hear the whistle blow. 
 Colt was sad to get off the train. Look how little he is!
 After the train ride, Colt got a Thomas tattoo and made a stamp picture. 
Snack break

 Thomas is leaving the station (backwards). Colt was a bit confused by this. 

 Photo op
We went with our friends, Will and Abbey. Afterwards, Colt said, "Thomas didn't talk at all." He also wanted to know where Percy, Gordon and the other trains were. He said he had so much fun and I'm sure he'll be talking about it for months to come. We are planning (with the grandparents) to get Colt a Thomas train table, tracks and cars when Tatum arrives. One of his favorite things to do is go to Barnes and Noble or the kid's barber to play with the train tables there. He will want many other siblings after receiving such a great gift from 'Tatum.' Ha!!