Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Miss Annelise Meets the Franklins

Miss Annelise and Papa Froggy

Nana Patti and Her Granddaughters

The Franklin Women
Annelise, Great Grandma Gladys, Hadleigh Claire, Ami, and Aunt Kathy

Aunt Kathy and Annelise

Great Grandma Gladys and Annelise

Aunt Kathy and Hadleigh Claire

Miss Annelise has met a lot of important people in her short life. My mom came to help and visit for two weeks, and during that time my dad was able to visit for 5 days and my Grandma Gladys and Aunt Kathy were able to fly down from NYC to visit for a weekend.

Miss Hadleigh Claire Meets Great-Grandma Gladys Claire

A week or so ago my Hadleigh Claire was able to meet her namesake, Gladys Claire, my grandmother. Great-Grandma Gladys Claire was able to fly down from New York City to visit and meet Hadleigh Claire and Annelise her only great-grand-daughters. It was a special visit.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Not So Generous

I have been a little hesitant to post, but Thursday evening was spent with David Stoddard, and I have felt a little better about my conclusions. Recently I read Brian McLaren’s book A Generous Orthodoxy. To be honest, it has been a difficult read, especially because I do not know anyone else who has read it, so there wasn’t anyone I could talk to about the book.

As I mentioned David S. was over here for dinner on Thursday night, saw the book sitting on the end table and asked me what I thought. I was a little nervous to say anything, and finally my Dave exclaimed “that book angers her.” Yes, it is true…I have thought about throwing it against a wall, so that was a fair assessment. David S. asked me why and I dove head first into my reasons. I was worried because David S. is WAY smarter than I will ever be, has read WAY more than I will ever read, is a seminary grad, a pastor, a missionary, etc. As I finished my explanations I realized he was nodding his head, as if he agreed. Was I ever relieved! Not just because he agreed with me, but because I felt a little validated in my concerns.

So, anyway, this isn’t a book I would recommend…if you want a good non-scary…non-angering book check out Radical Reformission by Mark Driscoll. I am not going to go through all the reasons why I didn’t like McLaren’s book, but I will mention one. I can slightly appreciate why someone would not want to be pigeon holed into a belief system…and stereotyped by it. However, while I can appreciate not necessarily wanting to be called Reformed or Wesleyan, or dispensational, I think there are some non-negotiables and we should not be afraid to say these things. For example, I would say, and believe that scripture is very clear that there is not salvation apart from Christ. Will there be people from other religions in heaven, only if they claim Christ as their salvation. Now, McLaren might believe that, but he doesn’t make that distinction and seems to take pride in the fact that no one can nail him down. To me, there are some things that are too important to play around with.

If there is anyone else who has read the book I would be interested in talking with others and hearing other thoughts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Come On Fred

So, now for the story you have all been waiting for…yea, yea, for all you squeamish folks, you can skip this post. Welcome to my labor story.

I’ll give a little background, so you can see my absolute desperation leading up to Annelise’s arrival. As we approached and passed her due date, and with my family coming, we tried EVERYTHING to put me into labor. Castor oil wasn’t that bad…I was afraid of having a “Dumb and Dumber” experience…ya know when Jim Carey is sitting on the toilet…but fortunately it wasn’t quite that bad. I did have good contractions for about 6 hours after taking it, but no dice. We headed to Scalini’s Italian Restaurant to eat their eggplant parmesan, which is guaranteed to put you into labor within 48 hours…no dice. I did all the “normal” things that everyone tells you to do…long walks up big hills, etc, but again nothing.

When I went to my first post-due-date appt, my midwife commented that it was the first time she had seen me stressed about the situation. She actually redeemed herself as we talked about the options and advised we wait as long as possible before inducing since I had a desire to avoid the epidural. We scheduled the induction for Friday, November 2 at 7.30. She also suggested that I begin taking Evening Primrose Oil in the morning and at night…I was willing to try anything!

As we neared Friday I became more anxious. I had a ton of people praying that labor would just begin on its own, and I also had a lot of folks reassure me that induction isn’t always the devil (though everyone who had taken pitocin had also had an epidural). My friend, Sar, had her baby Jill on October 30th and ended up being induced and had an epidural. It was very reassuring to talk with her and hear that she was happy with the decision (after having a natural labor with her first baby).

So, Wednesday night (Oct 31) I started having contractions, regular and 10 minutes apart. I was able to sleep through some of them, but was up a lot of the night with them. Thursday morning came, and the contractions continued, though they stayed at 10 minutes apart. We had our family fun day and took HC to the park and the contractions continued through lunch and then died. Ugh! Fortunately late afternoon they started up again. I felt like things were progressing, so at 6.30 we started timing the contractions and were 7 minutes apart. And they were REAL labor contractions, like stop what you are doing, don’t talk, etc.

So, during this time I continued to pack my bag, make sure all was set with Hadleigh’s bag as she would be spending the weekend with Bif and Kris, and I started cleaning the house. Jeanie will laugh, yes, I did scrub the kitchen floor, clean the bathroom, etc. I also took 2 baths and 1 shower to help with the pain and to make sure this labor was real. By 10pm I was having irregular, regular contractions that were 4-6 minutes apart and getting stronger. I called Laura and gave her the word that she might need to be ready to come over and stay the night with Hadleigh. At midnight we finally decided we needed to get to the hospital, so Laura came and we headed out.

Wouldn’t you know that as soon as we got to the hospital my contractions started to die…ugh…but they hooked me up to the baby monitor, called my midwife, and started me on fluids…I had hoped to not have an IV, but am Group Beta Strep (GBS) positive, so I needed antibiotics during labor. My midwife checked me and I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Yea! I was sure that the labor would be speedy, as I had gone from 0-10 cm in 4 hours with HC. Finally at 3am all of my monitoring and antibiotics were complete and I was released to walk the halls and sit on the birthing ball and do whatever needed to get the baby out. At 4am I was 6 cm and 90% effaced…at 6am I was 8cm and 100% effaced…and then labor stalled out a bit, so they broke my water which was cool with me. The only problem was that I continued to GUSH water for the next 3 hours…I remember sitting on the birthing ball singing “I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me…”

At 9am I was still 8 cm and 100% effaced, my contractions had slowed to 7 minutes apart and I was exhausted. They suggested pitocin to finish the job and I was READY to get it done. The really hard thing at this point was the midwife said “We’ll start the pitocin and I’ll come back and check on you at noon” (which was 3 hours away). I was so upset at that thought of three more hours, now tied in bed and hooked up to the monitor and IV of pitocin. I began to contemplate just getting the epidural so that I could sleep (instead of laboring) and have energy to push. Fortunately after 20 minutes on the pitocin I had a HUGE contraction and called for the nurses because I was ready to push. Everyone came in, I gave a big push on the next contraction that sent everyone in a tail spin because apparently the baby was "right there" (side note: "right there" to me meant one more push and she would be here...but that is not what it meant to them). After everyone geared up I was able to begin pushing. I swear I pushed for at least 3 hours, but they tell me it was only 20 minutes. I was hooked up to oxygen and instructed not to scream while I pushed…holy crap…it was intense. I will not soon forget that pain. It was WAY bad. But little Annelise Louise was born at 10.18am…funny side note, after she was born they kept saying 10.18, and I thought that was her weight and freaked out a bit...of course there are only 16 oz in a pound, so the 18 part would not have worked. Fortunately she was only 8lbs. 5 oz. but 21.5 inches long. Both of my nurses commented that it was the best natural birth they had ever seen…which meant I did not yell or swear or hit anyone. I do not know about the hitting part, but the only reason I probably did not yell or swear was because the midwife told me not to make noise (so as to use all of my breath and energy on the task at hand…pushing the baby out).

Dave was able to help pull the baby out, cut the cord and then the midwife showed him the placenta, which he touched with his bare hands (something he had been looking forward to for many months).

After she was born and I held her for a while Annelise received a bath and was then whisked off to the nursery where she had blood tests for GBS. Meanwhile I apparently turned green because of blood loss and my blood pressure dropped to something over 39. After some fluids and a little soup and crackers I started feeling better. I really struggled with managing the pain after the birth and even with narcotics had a hard time sleeping, but by Saturday mid-day I was feeling much better.

The crazy thing is that everything with Hadleigh’s birth was easy in comparison. I was in active labor for 8 hours with Hadleigh, and 16 hours with Annelise. I pushed for 20 minutes with both babies, but Hadleigh seemed to pop right out without feeling much of anything, while I felt intense crazy pain with Annelise. After Annelise was born I thought myself a little foolish for having a normal labor instead of getting an epidural, but overall I am happy with the outcome. However, IF there should ever be another baby that comes from this body I will strongly consider kicking back with the epidural…2 normal labors might be enough for this little lady.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Playing and Bath Time

We have had a busy last 10 days and I will write more at some point, but thought these pics were worthy of a post.

Miss Annelise lost her umbilical cord (those things are SO nast) and received her first bath from Dada. She hated it at first and then sat in the warm water and relaxed for a while. We are pretty deprived of sleep these days, but look forward to this stage being over in a few weeks. Why is it that babies sleep better during the day and at night want to stay up?

Miss Hadleigh Claire continues to be a good helper and absolutely hilarious.

Monday, November 05, 2007

More Pictures

Here are some more pictures.

Happy to be in labor!

Happy to be out of labor!

Introducing the Sisters

Baby Annelise

Going Home

Family Fun Day

Here is a picture from our last Family Fun Day as a fam of 3. Since Dave has Fridays off, we generally take the day and do something super fun as a fam. We enjoy going to the zoo, the aquarium, or trying out different parks in the area.

Because my induction was scheduled for Friday morning, Dave decided to take Thursday off so that we could have our last Fam Fun Day with only Hadleigh. We found a SUPER park in the area that is especially designed for 2-5 year olds. She had SO much fun! She was climbing to the top of the slides by herself and was laughing and screaming with joy.

I actually was having contractions the entire time we were out, but they since they were 10 minutes apart and not really going anywhere, we were still under the impression that I would be induced in the morning.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Finally a Baby!

Annelise Louise McNay

We thought she would NEVER get here (OK, I thought she would NEVER get here), but with a flare for the dramatic (wonder where she gets that from), Annelise Louise McNay arrived Friday, November 2 at 1018am. She was 8lb. 5oz. and 21.5 inches long.

We were within hours of being induced when she decided pitocin sounded too scary and that life would be better without it. Labor was long and intense, but we all made it in one piece, and are SO thankful for everyone who was praying for a normal labor, the Lord is so gracious.

Annelise means grace and favor of God, and Louise means valiant warrior. We chose her middle name for our favorite place in the Canadian Rockies- Lake Louise, where we vacationed shortly after we were married.

More pictures and stories will be coming in the future.