Welcome to the Scharrer family's real life story! Most of our story is written for, and about, our four kids and the spice they add to our lives. It's our story of happiness, craziness, and sometimes ridiculousness. We've journaled through childbirth, the terrible two's, private school (and our public school experience), an autism diagnosis, medical school, residency, and long-term mission work in Africa.

Now we're following a new adventure, which involves a 45 foot motorcoach, homeschool, and as many ski slopes as we can go down in one year.

For posts from while we were living in Zimbabwe and updates about our future plans in Zimbabwe, please see our mission blog...


28 February 2009

Just Too Tired

January 2009: The ninth month of pregnancy was wearing us all out! Not only did I feel sluggish and tired, but Maida did too. Weekly doctor appointments and the time it took for us to get out the door to go do anything really messed up our napping schedules at times. This is a video that was taken a couple weeks before Skogen was born. I have been meaning to post it and just haven't gotten around to it, but thought today was a good day since I'm feeling a little sleep deprived!

(Note: we don't have a dining room because we moved our bedroom into the dining room, so that Erik could use our old bedroom as his office. So we don't have a table to sit at to eat dinner, we usually just sit on the couch and Maida sits in her chair on the floor! - I can't wait to get a dining room again!)

27 February 2009

American Idol

I love American Idol. I have been a little surprised and disappointed, both, in this year's show, but now looking at the top 12 contestants, I think it will be pretty good from here on out - at least I hope! My ultimate favorite moment from the season so far was from Wednesday night after "Norman" sang, and him and Simon were going back and forth. It was so funny!

I'm not the only one in the house who loves American Idol, Maida does too! She loves to watch the singers and then try to imitate them. Here is a quick video below of Maida singing - we're thinking about having her audition next year... what do you think?! (Oh- I should mention that the toy she is holding is her "my-co-rone".)

24 February 2009

Target runs just aren't the same anymore...

Every time I take the kids out somewhere alone, I vow to myself that I will never ever do it again. Today was one of those days where the urge to go to Target (a.k.a. my Heaven on Earth) was greater than my fear of taking the kids out alone. Well, the car ride to Target went well and finding a dry, warm cart (here in Minnesota, the carts are either cold from sitting outside in the thirty below weather, or wet if it's snowing) went well also. After that I figured we were off to a pretty good start.

Five minutes after being at Target, Skogen was asleep in his car seat in the cart and Maida was walking between me and the cart, "helping" me push. Well, just when I thought everything was going fine, a Target worker came up to me and told me that I was violating some sort of safety liability code. What?! I just stared at her while she explained to me that Maida was in a dangerous position because if I turned a sharp corner, Maida could fly out and get hurt. What?! First of all, I was walking slower than a turtle could run and, second of all, I really just didn't understand what was so dangerous about the whole thing. I was speechless and I just stared at her some more and she said, "Sorry, ma'am, your daughter is going to have to move." Irritated, I talked Maida into walking beside the cart and "helping" me push from there.

Shortly after I turned down the baby isle to buy some pacifiers, my phone rang. It was my mom telling me that she found the car keys of mine that Maida lost at her house when we were there last weekend. While I was on the phone, Maida snuck away from me and was halfway up the second shelf of the bouncer seats and exersaucers! I quick hung up the phone and grabbed Maida before she was too high for me to grab and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the safety code liability lady staring at us. I quickly put Maida into the cart and told her if she sat there the rest of the time, she could have an Icee at the end.

My bribery worked and so before leaving, we stopped to get an Icee. Of course while I was ordering, the cart wasn't moving, so Skogen woke up and wanted to eat. We sat down in a booth so that I could nurse and Maida could drink her Icee. Well, the table was too far away for Maida to reach her Icee, so she stood up to reach it, while also trying to show off to a lovely Chinese lady sitting at the next table, and fell! She landed right on her head, under the table, super hard. I felt so bad! I was sitting there with a baby hanging off my chest, unable to disconnect and rescue my little safety code violator from pain. The lovely Chinese lady jumped up and ran to help Maida. By this time Maida was crying so hard that she was holding her breath and the lovely Chinese lady thought she was choking, so she started pushing on Maida's tummy. I freaked out saying, "She's not choking, stop pushing on her!" just as Maida screamed, "MOOOOMMMMMYYYYYYYY!!!!" I instructed the lovely Chinese lady to put Maida beside me on the bench so that I could check her out. When I finally got Maida calmed down, I realized that not only was the crazy liability code lady watching us again, there was blood coming out of Maida's ear, which I was sure wasn't a good sign. I called Erik at school and after we all got home, Erik took her in to get checked out for a concussion or skull fracture of some sort.

The bad news is that our doctor wasn't in the clinic and our clinic had no openings with any other doctor to fit Maida in today. The good news is that Erik is in medical school and has great resources at school, so he brought her up for Dr. Johns to look at. Dr. Johns thought that she checked out okay and just told us to keep an eye on her. So, at around 4:30 this afternoon, I vowed to myself that I would never ever go anywhere alone with the kids ever ever again... however, I have already promised to take Maida to ECFE in the morning and we're out of milk, so looks like I'll be going to the grocery store tomorrow also. The adventures never end...

22 February 2009

Baby Shower for Skogen

The women from church had a baby shower for me today!!! I have been feeling bad for weeks about this shower because, (1) I already have a lot of baby stuff from when Maida was a baby, and (2) I didn't think that you had baby showers for second babies. Well, the ladies from church all informed me that they give baby showers for third and fourth babies too, and they love to have a reason to get together and celebrate! Well, the shower turned out being a TON of fun and I am so thankful for all the gifts that we got. My camera died before I could even take one picture of the shower, so I'm getting copies of the host's pictures, however I took pictures of all of the gifts for the baby book after I got home and I thought that I'd post them! I will post pictures from the shower whenever I get them... wait until you see the cake that Julie E made - WOW! We are so blessed to be apart of a loving and giving church family.

All of the outfits that Skogen got!
The toys and books for Skogen.

A lot of the ladies from church are talented. There were quite a few gifts that were homemade by them and even some homemade cards! I felt so special when I thought about all the time that was put into working on gifts for Skogen.
The homemade cards.
A quilt from Judy G. I will always think of Lake Superior when we use this quilt because of the boat!
Homemade blanket from the Julie P with a matching burp cloth
Homemade burp clothes (Judy S), two different blankets (Julie E), and some bibs (Judy S).
Homemade CD of "gentle melodies" from Kathy and Skogen's name made by Beth.
Julie P also made Maida some pillow cases for her big girl bed. I think they are just so cute!
Thank you to everyone who came and who gave gifts: Nikki, Christian, Piper, Eileen, Eva, Shirley, Ruth, Acadia, Natalie, Brea, Melissa, Judy S, Julie E, Margaret, Pat, Julie P, Heidi, Marilyn, Judy G, Kathy, Crimsen, Beth, Desi, and Gayle.

21 February 2009

Our Brainstormy Weekend

It seems like this weekend has been spent brainstorming. I am at a loss of ideas on what to do with Maida. She's a great kid and such a sweet little girl, but something has changed since we brought Skogen home, and really, just in the past two or three weeks. She has started to become very testy with us. If we ask her not to do something, she'll do it, and she does it with this look on her face like, "What are you going to do to me now?" She's also started whining and crying a lot. It seems like most days are filled with tears, which is unusual for a normally happy girl. She also started doing things like going potty in her pants and pooping on the floor, right beside her potty chair! I have no idea how to respond anymore. I think she's looking for attention, but what kind of attention do we give her? Do we punish her for these actions, because they are clearly wrong and she needs to know that? Or do we gently redirect her and praise her for the things she is doing right, ignoring the bad for now? I have no idea. I've tried both ways and now I think I've just confused the poor child! (Any advice would be appreciated!) I definitely wasn't prepared for the "terrible twos" to hit quite yet. I also wasn't prepared for how much my relationship would change with Maida when Skogen joined the mix. She's always been my little princess who I've spent, pretty much, every minute of her life with. Now I have to divide my time and it has really changed things between Maid's and I. I think this could be part of the problem, but I have no idea how to fix it. I just keep telling myself to look at the big picture and realize that our little family is just having some growing pains! I'm sure that these will not be the last of them, either!

Maida in Mommy's jacket playing with her babies

Look at how BIG Skogen's belly is getting! Mama makes WHOLE milk! (Mama also has a matching double chin!)

Skogen's new favorite sleeping position. This is how every ultrasound picture that we have of him looked too, with his hands in front of his face!

Skogen has started smiling so much now! This was a poor attempt at trying to finally capture one on camera.

The kids in the bath. Maida is a HUGE help for me since my hands are still numb and numb hands + a wet, slippery baby = disaster

Snuggle time with "the kid" (as Erik calls him)!

Story time with Daddy (BTW: Skogen is wearing a size 6-9 month pair of p.j.'s in this picture!)

20 February 2009

Random Ramblings

Five weeks down.
In one sense it's flown by, but in another it has slowly crept by. I feel like it has taken all of these five weeks to finally settle into a schedule that works for us (which, by the way, still includes us sleeping in until 9:00 every morning - YEAH!). I also feel like I'm finally realizing that Skogen is my baby and I don't have to (nor do I want to!) give him back. That sounds bad, and I don't know if it's the C-sections or what, but it takes a while for me to bond with my babies and realize that they are mine. I will say that this time around was a lot easier than the first, though! I'm looking forward to the next five weeks and hope that along with it comes more energy. I'm usually just drained in the mornings and have a hard time showering and trying to dry my hair or put make up on. I don't even remember when the last time was when I plucked my eyebrows or shaved my legs! I have this longing to be beautiful again, but have no idea how to get to that point. I've just let myself go for so long...

Some people read books, the newspaper, or magazines, but I read blogs. There is something so intriguing about a true life story, unfolding as it's really happening. Lately I've been really inspired and intrigued by Harper's blog because Harper is a little baby who was born two days after Skogen! But unlike Skogen, Harper was not born healthy and her parents spent 20 days in the NICU with her. She came home recently - the Lord did wonders in her little life. Stories like that make me realize just how blessed I have been and remind me how thankful I need to be.

My scar.
I looked at my scar last night for the first time in about two weeks and I was surprised to see how good it looks! Just a month ago I was complaining about how ugly my scar was compared to the first C-section, but turns out that what I was seeing was just the glue that they used to glue me together! Now after all the glue has worn off, it looks great! Today I go to see the OB who did my surgery so that she can make sure the incision looks like it's healing normally. I also plan to ask her about how my uterus looked when she was in there! I know that the more C-sections you have, the more scar tissue builds up, which makes it harder for a future placenta to attach to the uterine wall. I'm not sure if I want more kids, but I don't want to be limited. :)

Dinner date.
Last night Erik, Maida, Skogen, and I went to Perkins for dinner! Thank you to the Esko clan who gave us a gift certificate and coupons there!!! We had a great dinner and it ended up working out well since we didn't have water (again!) so it would have been hard to make dinner. Maida was very well behaved and ate a great dinner! I think that she was just glad to be out of the house. Skogen slept most of the time, which was okay. Erik and I used dinner to discuss our future life plans. I've come to realize that medical school is so stressful - and I'm not just talking about the homework or the amount of material you have to memorize and know - I'm talking about the decisions you have to make, like what kind of doctor to be. This is a hard decision for Erik because I know that he wants to choose a profession that allows him to have some family life too (if that's even possible when you're a doctor!). We've gotten some good advice lately from two different people that I wanted to write down so that we don't forget...
- Erik's advisor told him yesterday that when his kids were young, he didn't only miss out on his children's lives, but his children missed out on having a dad. I think it's easy for us to think about sacrificing our time with our kids, but when we do that, we are also sacrificing their time with us.
- At the movie "Fireproof" the other night, a dad that was there who has grown kids told me to make sure and savor each moment with my kids because the time goes by so fast. He said that he often wishes that he could just close his eyes and go back to when his kids were young, to just remember what it was like for one second. He had tears in his eyes when telling me this, which made what he was saying mean even more.

Maida Raine.
Yesterday I changed Maida's room around while she was playing in the living room. She came in shortly after I had finished and said, "Ohhhh, a new room!" So funny! Lately Maida has had trouble wetting the bed at night. I tried some pull-ups, but she got an awful rash from them. I don't really want to go back to diapers, but I'm sick of washing the bedding! Does anyone know of any pull-up-type-things that are fragrance free that are easily bought at Target or Walmart?

17 February 2009

Valentines Day Weekend

We spent Valentines Day and Valentines Day weekend at Bumpa and Grandma's house. We got to PR just in time to catch dinner with Grandma, Bumpa, Jay, Nancy, and kids. After dinner we attended a showing of "Fireproof" at the church. There was free daycare and free popcorn, so it was just perfect for a Valentines date for Erik and me. The movie was great. I highly recommend the movie to anyone who is married. It really helped Erik and I reflect on our relationship and how we treat each other. The church gave everyone who attended two free copies of "The Love Dare," a book that was highlighted in the movie. Erik and I are very excited to get started on little devotionals every night with our new books!
The rest of the weekend was very laid back. Erik gave me a new computer for Valentines Day, so most of my weekend was spent updating all of our pictures online and catching up on all the emails and blogs that I've been behind on. Erik spent three days at the clinic in town for his preceptor and while he was there on Monday, my mom and dad paid for me to get a massage! I got a full back, arm, neck, and hand massage to see if it would help with the carpal tunnel. It didn't help the carpal tunnel in just one massage, but it did help to get all the knots and kinks out of my back and shoulders that I've been carrying around with me since pregnancy. The massage was a great Valentines present! It was also very nice to get away from the kids for an hour!
Maida got her first haircut on Tuesday! She was very wiggly. It was a good thing that we just trimmed the bottom because making her sit any longer would have been too hard. She's on the go constantly! Skogen enjoyed being spoiled by his Grandma and Bumpa. He was great in the car on the way over and even slept well while we were there, sleeping five hours straight last night!

16 February 2009

One Month Old

To my little Skogie Bear: here are the things you are doing at one month old... You turned one month old on Valentines Day, which was also your first visit to Grandma and Bumpa's house. You did well on your first long car ride, but usually prefer not to be in your car seat. You are happy most of the time, and just started smiling, but get crabby when I get you off of your schedule. You finally have your days and nights straight (which was a lot of work, but well worth it) and you fall asleep in your own bed (unlike your sister who I had to rock to sleep). You love to sleep on your tummy, but I usually lay you on your back. You eat every two of three hours and take a bottle if you have to, but prefer to nurse. You're a hard baby to burp and have to get at least three good burps up or you get a tummy ache. You have gained weight quickly and are 12 pounds and five ounces - today you are wearing an outfit that is size 12 months! You still have short legs, but everyone says that they'll catch up to your body size soon. You love your pacifier, but usually only have it when you sleep. You love to arch your back all the time and have trouble sitting on my lap because of the constant arching, but you can sure hold your head up for long periods of time before doing the "bobble head" as I call it. You are really interested in this crazy thing that we call your "big sister" and can't quite figure out how to keep up with her, but watch her as long as your little eyes can follow her. You really love your mommy and know her voice, but you aren't too sure about your daddy yet as every time you've stayed with him, you have given him a pretty hard time-! It seems funny to think that we've only had you for one month - it seems as if you've always been here.

Pictures from Nana and Papa's visit

As promised, here are a couple pictures from Nana and Papa's visit...

13 February 2009

Do they look alike?

Several have asked whether Skogen looks like Maida did when she was a baby. I don't have too many pictures of Maida when she was a baby on my new computer, but here are some I took off of Facebook that kind of look like Skogen...


12 February 2009

Maida's First Water Park

We were so blessed to have Erik's mom and dad, "Nana" and "Papa," come and visit last week. They did a whole lot of work for me around the house (laundry, cleaning, cooking, taking out the garbage...) and also took us out to eat a whole lot-! We had so much fun showing off our new baby and also all the new things that Maida is doing. Nana and Papa stayed at a water park hotel and Maida and Erik were able to go swimming with them. Maida LOVED it! Here's a quick video that I put together of the water park. (More pictures of their trip to come too!)

Video of Skogen at 3 Weeks & Maida at 21 Months

Today I had Skogen weighed and measured. He's 12 pounds 5 ounces (90th percentile) and 22 1/4 inches (70th percentile). Still short and chubby!

11 February 2009

Thank you!

A special thanks to everyone who brought us meals during the first two weeks we were at home after having Skogen. Erik did a great job trying to cook for us the nights when no meal was provided, however, Maida and I were extra thankful when someone else brought us food!
This was an actual pizza that Erik served us one night! Maida and I ended up making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead. The parts of the pizza missing are actual parts of the pizza that Erik ate. He didn't want any food to go to waste! (I love you, Erik!)

07 February 2009

Skogen's Birth Story

Yesterday I was a guest speaker in the first year medical school class. I was there to talk about my births! It was fun remembering back to Maida's birth and exciting for me to tell about Skogen's birth too. I wrote Skogen's birth story down a few weeks ago, but never posted it on the blog. I thought that after digging it up for yesterday, I should post it here for all of you too. Enjoy (it's rather long-!)...

After nine months of researching repeat C-sections and VBACs (vaginal birth after Cesarean), choosing to have a repeat C-section was never something I considered, especially with the dream of someday being able to deliver naturally. The research always favored a vaginal delivery over a repeat C-section, but gave specific warnings about breech babies, diabetic mothers, big babies, and other situations where a vaginal delivery wouldn't be recommended after a prior C-section. At my 38 week appointment, my family doctor, Dr. Whitworth, expressed her concerns of our baby boy being a bit bigger than our first baby (who got stuck during delivery and after trying the vacuum suction, was delivered by an emergency C-section) and also that he wasn't engaging into my pelvis. We had an ultrasound a couple days later to determine approximate weight and within a few hours of the ultrasound I was on the phone with an obstetrician scheduling a C-section, as our baby was predicted to be over eight pounds. A week later, on January 14th, our scheduled C-section brought us our second child, weighing in at 9 pounds 5.6 ounces! I was initially a bit hesitant about writing my birth story since I was so disappointed that it was another C-section and I didn't feel that my birth story was actually a birth story at all! With the encouragement of Erik and others who have written me requesting all the details, I finally decided to sit down and write about it…

My day started at 7:00 Wednesday morning, after which time I could not have anything to eat or drink until after the scheduled 3:00pm surgery. Being a big breakfast eater, plus being pregnant, it was really hard to do. I actually forgot that I wasn't supposed to eat after 7:00 and when 8:00 rolled around, I hadn't eaten breakfast yet and I was STARVING! Against doctor's orders, I decided to go ahead and eat a few pieces of toast and drink a small glass of juice! There was no way that I would have made it all day without eating!

Erik went to school in the morning and I made last minute preparations at home for Maida, our 20-month-old who would be staying with my parents while we were gone. Erik picked me up at a 10 minutes 'til noon and we took off for the hospital. It was a bit surreal that we were going to have a baby that day - no labor, no water breaking, no speeding to the hospital - and really, it felt no different than any other day. I told Erik that it felt more like we were going to check into a hotel than have baby. We walked into the hospital, carrying our bags, and we were checked into our room at the front desk - making it feel even more like checking into a hotel.

We organized our things and I changed into a hospital gown. I kept reorganizing my things in the room, putting off getting into the hospital bed as long as I could. I just couldn't believe that I was going to let them slice open my body, reorganize my internal organs, and then have to lay in bed for a few weeks before getting even half-way back to feeling normal. It didn't seem like the ideal way to have a baby. My disappointment in having to have another C-section was so great, I could not even think about the baby at that point. I was dreading the needles and most of all, scared to be laying there awake while they sliced away, but knew that actually being present for the birth of this child was important to me after being asleep when Maida was born.

The first thing the nurse did was start an IV with some saline solution. Then I got some blood drawn and there we sat, waiting for an operating room to open up. Our OB, Dr. Boyle, had an emergency come up since she was on call, so we had even more time to wait. As we waited, we sent emails to friends and family to let them know that Skogen was coming, we talked about how different this day was compared to the birth of our daughter, and we talked about whether or not we were making the right decision. I told Erik that if the baby turned out to be less than eight pounds, I was going to request that they take the baby and put him back inside me and then let me try to deliver vaginally. Of course I was kidding, but I wished that I wasn't. Erik told me that I could change my mind and that we didn't have to go through the surgery, but after all the work it was to get this C-section scheduled on Skogen Sprang's birthday (the famous skier we named Skogen after) I didn't feel like we could change our minds. Even with the nagging thoughts of whether or not this was the right decision and the disappointment in myself that I felt, I knew it'd be okay in the end. During this time of discussion about my disappointment, something amazing happened.

The contractions started about an hour before the surgery. At first I couldn't believe what was happening. As the contractions started getting more and more intense, and within a few minutes of each other, I mentioned to Erik that I was having contractions, and then to the nurse who suggested that we check my cervix. Not liking pelvic exams, and knowing that I'd probably have to have a C-section anyway, I decided just to ride out the contractions until we got to the operating room. We thought about asking for a monitor to see how intense they really were, but when we were going to ask the nurse, it was time to go. These contractions were very significant to me and such a blessing, as according to the research I did, the contractions before a baby is born (even before a C-section) are very healthy for the baby, preparing him for life outside the womb. The ideal C-section for me would have been waiting until I went into labor and then going in for a C-section, as opposed to scheduling a C-section… which is what it felt like was happening! However, the doctors don't like to live on the edge more than they have to and didn't want me VBACing what could have been a 10 pound baby! To have my contractions start right before my scheduled C-section was such a "God-thing" and assured me that we were doing this C-section at the right time and in the right place.

At just after 3:00pm they came and got us for pre-op and after Erik changed into a jumpsuit-looking outfit, we were off to the operating room. The nurses that greeted me as they wheeled me into the OR were great! They really made me feel comfortable, despite the bright lights and freezing cold temperature of the room. This experience was so different than being urgently whisked into the OR for the emergency C-section with Maida. This time around, nobody was screaming or scrambling. Everyone was smiling and I wasn't in excruciating pain! I was first introduced to the nurse anesthetist and the anesthesiologist. They assisted the nurses in replacing my leaky IV and then they started preparing me for the spinal. I was moved onto the operating table and a hairnet was placed on my head. I sat up as they washed my back three times with some cold iodine and then they placed a piece of plastic on my back. Erik was able to stay with me during the surgery prep, mostly because he's a medical student, and also because the anesthesiologist was pretty laid back. Up until the needle went in, the contractions were coming closer together and becoming more intense, however I was able to just close my eyes and breathe through them for comfort. As I sat there on the operating table, I grabbed my hardening stomach during a contraction and I remember just staring down at this little (well, big) bump that I had grown to love. I realized at this point that I wasn't only saying goodbye to any chance I had of a vaginal delivery, but I was saying goodbye to my pregnancy. No more little kicks and punches… no more having to run to the bathroom in the middle of the night… no more smiles from total strangers as they stared at my belly… I believe that this is a very bitter-sweet moment for a mother, especially a mother of a scheduled birth, because she doesn't have any of the natural "get this baby out of me" hormones.

As the needle went into my back, what felt like electric shocks went down my legs, and then I started to get numb. I really enjoyed the numbness, not only because I had been so uncomfortable carrying a big baby around for nine months, but also because the contractions were becoming more and more intense as time went on and this relieved me of the pain and the pressure. I was expecting the numbness to feel like when you go to the dentist and get your mouth numb, but this was even better! This felt like I was sitting in a hot tub. I wasn't even bothered at all by not being able to move my legs. After I was numb they inserted the Foley catheter (which I didn't feel either) and started some Pitocin into my IV.

Dr. Whitworth, our family doctor, came to be there for Skogen and it was comforting to have her there for me too, as a friend if not a doctor. Dr. Boyle, along with a family medicine resident, Dr. Eichten, arrived shortly after. The resident was the husband of a girl that I was in prenatal yoga with, who Erik and I got to meet earlier this year. It was fun to see him again and have him be apart of our birth story. (He had just delivered his own son a couple weeks before!) My arms were strapped down to each side of me and oxygen was placed on my nose. The nurse anesthetist told me to tell her if I felt nauseated at any time during the surgery so that they could give me something for it. While the doctors were scrubbing in, I suddenly felt like puking, so I told the nurse and she gave me something through my IV. She said that I was feeling nauseous because my blood pressure was low. This happened two or three other times during the operation, but it didn't bother me too much because the medication she gave me to relieve the nauseous feeling worked very quickly. I hate throwing up and not having to throw up while giving birth to Skogen was a blessing. I remember puking everywhere while trying to push Maida out, which was a horrible feeling!

The only thing I felt during the surgery was pulling and tugging, but nothing painful at all. It actually felt like they were just massaging my belly! Erik stood up and watched the whole thing, even snapped a few pictures! Skogen was out just minutes after cutting my belly open and he came out crying! They lowered the sheet separating my head from the sterile field so that I could see him right away. It was amazing to see my baby like that- still a little bloody and covered with white stuff from being inside. To see my baby this way has always been a dream of mine; holding my new baby on my chest immediately after birth has been another dream of mine, but this wasn't possible because my arms were strapped down to each side of me. I know that I definitely didn't have the same hormone-rush that I hear mothers have after vaginal deliveries, but I did feel a special bond with Skogen immediately and wanted to hold and love him right away. Maybe the Pitocin that I was receiving through the IV to help my uterus contract after the surgery was responsible for the warm-fuzzies that I felt at this point... I believe, though, that God had something to do with this too.

They took Skogen over to a warmer where Dr. Whitworth examined him and made sure that everything was okay. His APGAR scores were both 9's, pretty much the best a baby can get! Everyone kept remarking on how big he was and how strong his lungs were! After they got Skogen wrapped up, they brought him over to me and unstrapped one of my arms so that I could touch him and kiss his face. The instant he heard my voice he stopped crying. You could tell that he recognized my voice. AMAZING. I was even more in love with him now than I had been five minutes before. A few minutes later they took him up to the nursery to warm him, bathe him, and get him ready for me to come up from recovery. Erik was able to go with him and help with all of that. The rest of the surgery was actually relaxing! I laid there while they finished up and I even dozed off a few times with the encouragement of the nurse anesthetist who was so helpful in making me feel proud and happy about this delivery. As they were just finishing up, the nursery called with Skogen's weight and height. All the nurses cheered when they announced 9 pounds 5.6 ounces in the OR. They all knew that if he wasn't a big baby, I was going to be disappointed about the C-section. I just couldn't stop smiling! The OB told me that she had never delivered a baby with thighs that big!

I was moved into recovery, where I requested that Skogen be brought down to me so that I could nurse and snuggle with him. However, the nurses in the recovery were very selfish and rude, telling the nursery that they were "way too backed up and busy to have a baby down there," but in all reality, they were standing around, chatting, and laughed when the nurse on the phone told the nursery that they baby couldn't come down. I took a quick glance around the recovery room and there were only two other patients down there with me and six nurses with nothing to do but watch us all regain feeling. I couldn't have been more disappointed. While there, the nurse massaged my uterus over and over and then turned me on my side, draining as much blood out as she could. It got to be pretty uncomfortable after a while when I started regaining feeling in my belly, but at this point, I just couldn't stop thinking about Skogen and that got me through the disappointment and the pain.

The anesthesiologist came to check on me in recovery and even though I couldn't wiggle my toes yet (the requirement before I could be moved up to my hospital room) he told the recovery nurse that they could move me up there anyway since they weren't going to let me bring the baby down there. After he left, my nurse said to another one, "He thinks she should go up, but she can't move her toes yet, so I'm not going to send her up." About 40 minutes later the anesthesiologist came back and noticed I was still there. He ordered for me to be brought up to the nursery immediately, obviously frustrated with the nurse who decided to overrule him. Finally, after another 20 minutes, I was wheeled up to my baby.

Erik greeted me in our hospital room, worried about why it was taking so long for me to get up to them. After he told me all about how he got to give Skogen a bath and how cute he was, he went and got Skogen out of the nursery. Our nurse that first night, Darla, was so amazing. She helped me move around into the right position to feed Skogen for the first time and was very patient with me when I couldn't quite get in the right position. I was still numb from under my boobs, all the way down to my feet, so it was difficult to move by myself! When Skogen woke up enough and got hungry enough, he latched right on and has fed well ever since. Not being able to breast feed was one of my biggest fears with having a C-section. I was so thankful that it worked out alright. The first few hours with Skogen and Erik alone was magical. We had never experienced this with Maida since she was in the special care nursery the first few days after delivery. I enjoyed every minute of our newborn son and couldn't wait for Maida to arrive to meet him. Her and my parents came up that night before bed. She was a very proud big sister.

Our hospital stay was enjoyable and exhausting both, and I have to admit that I missed Maida whole lot and wish that she could have been with us more. We got home on that Saturday afternoon and ever since it seems as though life has been a blur. Days and nights blend into each other, and if it wasn't for the ladies of the church bringing us dinners and my mom doing all the cleaning, cooking, and managing the household for the first week, I don't think I'd be able to make it. As I expected, recovering from a repeat C-section is a lot more difficult than the recovery the first time around, especially having an almost-two-year-old to keep up with!

As I get to know our new baby more and more, I am very thankful to have him here with us and have a healthy baby on top of that. I often wondered if I would regret my decision to have a repeat C-section, but given the circumstances, I know that I made the right decision. I still long to have that vaginal delivery that I've always dreamed of and I am extremely jealous of those who get that experience. I can't help but feel that I'm missing out on a very special part of life. I hope and pray that when we are ready to have another baby, I will be lucky enough to experience a vaginal delivery. Until then, I plan to enjoy my babes and be thankful for the option that I had to have C-sections, giving me two healthy babies because of it.

05 February 2009

Maida's First Time Skiing

Erik took Maida skiing for the first time last Saturday! She LOVED it and screamed when it was time to go. She kept saying, "More ski! More ski!" Erik was very proud of her as she even skied a little on her own! We're very excited to take her back again soon. Maida got free ski rental, partly because the rentals started at age two and she's only 1 1/2! However, the smallest boot they had was a size 15 and Maida wears a 6. The big boots didn't seem to bother her.
Here's a quick video of her first time down the hill...

The Missing Pacifier

Maida would never take a pacifier, which made life really difficult at times. Since finding out I was pregnant with the second baby, I was determined to make this baby into a pacifier baby. Well, shortly after welcoming Skogen into the world, I was introduced to his feeding schedule, which was every one to two hours, and feeling like all I ever did was have a baby hang from my chest, I decided to ignore the "expert's" advice and give Skogen a pacifier right in the hospital. Well, so far, so good. The pacifier has not caused any latching-on problems or anything like that. He takes his pacifier at nap and bed time and is able to fall asleep on his own. Perfect! Well, this morning something really funny happened and I thought that I should post...
Skogen woke up to eat and as I was lifting him out of his crib, I was searching for the pacifier. I couldn't find it anywhere and was sure that he went to sleep with it. After feeding Skogen on one side, I really was in need of the pacifier, but still couldn't find it anywhere. It wasn't until I switched to feeding him on the other side that I found it. It was stuck under his third chin roll!!! No kidding! He's so fat that he can hide a pacifier under his third chin. Wow. I'll have to start checking there more often - who know's what could be hiding under there!

My sister wants to see some pictures of Skogen's eyes open, so here are some that we've taken this past week...

Reading a new book from Aunt Ranee and Uncle Hugh

Watching mom cook

Watching the Super Bowl with Daddy

Kisses from Big Sister

01 February 2009

I Got Tagged!

Here are the directions:
1. Go to the 4th album in the place you store your pictures on your computer
2. Select the 4th picture in that album (no exceptions)
3. Post it in this post with an explanation and link it back to your tagger (which I don't know how to do so I just linked her blog through her name above)
4. Tag 4 people to do the same thing

Here is my picture:

This is a picture that I took for Maida's baby book. It is a picture of Maida's first bedroom. We were super poor and so I wasn't able to spend much money on buying cute baby things for Maida's room. I ended up just painting some polka-dots on some old white tubs that we had and put them under her crib for storage. Then I painted some polka-dots on some pictures frames and an old light that I spray painted silver. I bought a pink bedsheet and used a green dust ruffle from a friend's baby's crib that she didn't use anymore.

I got tagged by Amy and I tag Hannah, Heidi, Aubrey, and Allison.

We write to taste life twice, once in the moment and in retrospection.”
~Anais Nin