Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our Day at Evergreen

Sorry for the long delay, it's been a wild one.  Our beautiful child is resting quietly and Mama is eating dinner.  I'll try to get a few pictures and videos up so we can introduce Mr. Calvin properly. 

So labor got a little exciting.  Christina was an absolute warrior through out the whole process but we ran into complications as the labor wore on.  Calvin decided he was going to be stubborn and continued to twist as Christina pushed.  Every time we had him facing the right direction, he'd spin around.  It got real touch and go for about a half hour with a vacuum or c-section being the next options.  After an hour and thirty minutes of pushing, the doctors started to worry that Christina would tire and be unable to continue pushing.  The little monkey just didn't want to come out.  The wife's pushing was text book, he just wasn't playing along.  At 1 o'clock we decided to go with the vacuum (think suction cup to the top of the head) to assist.  There's no pulling involved, Christina did the work, it just allowed the doc to guide Calvin's noggin up and out.  At 1:06 our purple cone headed wrinkled bundle of joy exercised his perfect new lungs and let us all know he was here.  I cried more than he did I think.  If I didn't believe in love at first sight, I sure do now.  I love this little man.  I can't wait for you all to meet him.

Bath Time!!!

I got to give my boy his first bath.  Greatest day ever!!!

Our little life just got started

At 1:06 today, Calvin Coe Lindner was born.  8 pounds 7 ounces, 21.25 inches.  Our beautiful baby boy is here!

So close...

9.5 cm, Station +1.  Kids definitely a Lindner.  He's warm, comfy, and doesn't want to move.  Stubborn little fella.... Takes after his Daddy. 

Higher up and Higher in!

C.S. Lewis called.  He wants his title back.  The adventure continues.  Christina and I have both been able to get an hour or two of sleep.  At last check she was at 7 cm, but the RN thinks we may be alot closer and will be checking again soon.  Christina is shaking and naseous and that looks like she may be in transitional labor.  That puts Calvin time somewhere between 10 and 12.  We could be saying hi to our little guy before lunch time!  My wife is an absolute rock star.  The nurses can't stop complimenting her on what a great job she's doing.  I couldn't possibly be prouder of her than I am right now.  She's super hungry but that just means this kid needs to get here so she can eat!

On a lighter note, this kid totally got me out of 7 tests today.  I had 5 tests for my block 3 exam, the State HAZMAT exam and an agility test for Fire Academy.  I will of course get to make those up, but man, if you need an excuse to miss a test, "Sir, my wife's water just broke" pretty much takes the cake.

Hooray for modern medicine!!

I totally respect people's opinions in regards to epidurals.  But if I'm ever in labor I'm getting 3.  The wife was at 6 cm at about 5:30 this morning and pushing through with no drugs.  She wanted to go as long as she could natural before getting the epidural on board.  Her goal was 5 cm.  That's why she's the champ.  We now have drugs on board and she's resting comfortably.  I may try to do the same.  2 sets of the grandparents are here and the third is on the way.  Calvin sure is taking his sweet time.  Were coming up on 9 hours in labor.  The good news though is all indicators show him healthy as an ox.  Strong heart rate, perfect  position.  It's in God's hands to push the button.  Just a waiting game now...

It just continues...

It's 4 am and we're rolling along.  Christina is having contractions every 5-6 minutes and handeling it like a champ.  As a guy you really learn something watching someone go through this.  There's a mentality that comes with pregnancy.  With most medical conditions or injuries there's a starting and stoping point.  Pregnancy is more like a slow enevitability.  There's no start or stop at this point it's just all go, no quit.  And this wife of mine is locked in.  She's focused and controlled and I don't know how she does it.  I'd be a mess if I had to go through it.  It just shows me how strong she really is.  She's going to be one heck of a mama.

It's Go Time!

This is my first shot at blogging so cut me some slack.  Christina has asked me to keep the world up to date through this blog and I will not be found wanting.  The Lady's water broke at 10 o'clock on Tuesday and she made her way to Evergreen Hospital.  I left Bates and drove very politely up I-5 and I-405 to get to my wife.  45 min aint bad.  I'll be posting regular updates and videos and what not for those that want to know.  For know she's 2 cm dialated, her water is busted and she's relaxing.  This could be a long one...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

39 Week Check-Up

I had a great doctor appointment this morning!  I haven't dilated anymore (I'm still at 2cm) but I have progressed to 70% effaced and the baby is at a -1 station.  (This website explains it better than I can:  

I've been having frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions as well!  I'm just waiting for that first painful contraction so that we can get this ball rolling!  As for other fun pregnancy things, I've had some trouble falling asleep and then I'll wake up every 2 hours for no reason.  Usually by 3am I am able to stay asleep until 8am.  I don't feel tired during the day though so it's not really that bad. 

And still no stretch marks--Woohoo! (knock on wood)--but I have had some back pain and the occassional swollen ankles.  It's nothing too bothersome, but I'm ready to have my body back.  My poor feet hurt from all this weight!  I'm looking forward to feeling lighter again.

The heartburn has perhaps been the most annoying thing, especially at bed time.  Imagine trying to sleep, but you can't because you keep burping!  lol 

So what does our life look like right now as we wait for Baby Calvin?   Since I'm not working, I'm trying to keep busy at home.  I would have liked to get some scrapbooking done over the last two weeks, but with my hard drive crashing and having to wait for another one in the mail, I'm resigned to reading for hours a day.  Luckily, I have a really good book -- and it's over 800 pages!  I also go for walks, run errands, keep the house tidy, have an afternoon nap, and go to class (although Monday night was the last time we meet for the semester).  Yup, pretty boring. 

Adam spends Sunday afternoons through Friday evenings down in Tacoma at the Fire Academy.  He is having a blast!  Last week were midterms, which he rocked, and he learned all about "forceable entry." Basically, he was getting paid to saw holes in buildings.  Awesome.  :) 

When he comes home on the weekends, we go out for dinner either Friday or Saturday night so that we have a designated time to catch up, since we only get to talk about 3-5 minutes a night during the week.  During the rest of the weekend I'll iron his coveralls and make all the dinners for the following week (they don't provide dinners down at Academy) while he studies.  Poor guy doesn't get much of a weekend because of the homework, but for some reason, just having him home makes it all better.   Sunday afternoon he's off to Tacoma again, and I start counting down the days until Friday!  I miss him during the week, but I'm not rendered helpless when he's gone. Mostly, I'm just bored.  I can't wait for Calvin to get here so I have something to do!  :) 

Well, that's all for now!  I'm crossing my fingers that I go into labor tonight!  That way Calvin's birthday will be April 27th, mine is May 28th, and Adam's is June 29th.  Cute, right? 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

School, Home, and Baby Update

Today, I am dancin' a jig.  I sent in the final revisions for my thesis, and my professor just let me know that I am FINISHED!  I started the paper in September and it somehow grew to 40 pages in length.  I am only slightly disappointed that I won't be participating in the graduation ceremony in May (it's one week after Calvin's due date, and if he's late, I just might go into labor while walking across the stage!), but overall, I'm happy to not sit through 3 hours of speeches, awards, etc.  Been there, done that! 

I really don't mean to sound pretentious, but I'm kind of proud of my achievements! This is simply because I used to be the kind of person who would become complacent when faced with the prospect of planning for the future.  I remember thinking, "Four years of college? Forget that! What can I do that is cheap and quick?" While I am pleased with my education, I am more proud of myself for overcoming the need for immediate gratification and doing something a little more challenging.  I never would have thought it would result in an Associates, a Bachelors, and a Masters Degree!   So where do we go from here?  Even though I graduate with my Masters in May, I still have one semester left.  Basically, I needed to fast-track through the program because of Calvin, so I finished my paper in April, instead of July.  However, I still need to give my end-of-the-program presentation in July. 

Now that I've finished my paper, I can also spend this time before Calvin is born to pick up where we left off in our house hunt.  We have to be out of our current sardine can by July 31st.  We found a home we really liked in Puyallup, but it's been snatched up by another buyer.  We were bummed, but we know the timing just wasn't right, and there's a better option out there for us.  We're continuing to look in Puyallup and Bonney Lake.  Yes, we've looked in Kent. Yes, we've looked in Auburn.  Yes, we've looked in Tacoma.  While we appreciate our friends and family letting us know how much they want us to live near them, we are going to live where we can get more house/lot size for our price range, and Puyallup/Bonney Lake area is treating us right.  I wish we could just pick a house and magically live wherever people want us to live, but unfortunately it doesn't work like that. 

So let's see...  I've finished school, we're continuing the house hunt and will hopefully be homeowners before July 31st...  what else?  Oh yes.  Baby.

I had my 38 week (or was it 39?) appointment yesterday and I am now 2 centimeters dilated!  I experienced some Braxton Hicks contractions last week, and I think a few times this week, but nothing that has sent me to my stop watch. And, according to Adam, I've apparently "nested" (I put this term in quotes because I usually do that for things I don't believe in, but am resigned to calling it by its name for lack of a better term) because I cleaned the house last week.  I'm being slightly facetious in saying this, but telling a pregnant woman she's nesting just because she cleaned the house is completely patronizing to me.  In my opinion, it's equivalent to saying, "Oh, you're in a bad mood? You must be starting your period..."  lol  In reality, I came to the realization that I was going to have an onslaught of visitors once Calvin arrived, and I really didn't want people to see our piles of crap.  I guess I'm just not seeing the connection between cleaning the house and the arrival of a baby.  I've been cleaning houses since I was a kid.  Apparently when you have a life in your uterus it's called something different.   ;)

Well, that's all for now.  Any bets on the day Calvin will make his grand appearance? 

Monday, April 11, 2011

37 Week Checkup Appointment

My doctor was pleasantly surprised this morning to find that I am 1 centimeter dilated and that Calvin has taken up residence in my pelvis (I believe she used the phrase "fully engaged.")  As she was doing her exam, she started out by saying, "Sorry, this is probably uncomfort--  OH.  Wow. Yup, he's right there."  She was surprised because I'm only 37 weeks and haven't experienced any contractions.  That doesn't mean much yet, except that my body is letting me know it's almost go time, because some women will stay at 1-2 cm for weeks.  But still! Kind of exciting!

So I'm healthy, Calvin is healthy, Adam is kicking butt at Academy...  we're doing awesome!  The only thing I have left to do in preparation for Calvin's arrival is take this fancy pants car seat to the Safety Restraint office at the police station and have them install it, and get a few more items packed for the overnight hospital bag.  I wish I could also have a clean, clutter-free house so that Calvin's visitors don't have to play human pong when they come over, but you can only move stuff into so many corners.  We need a bigger place so badly.  Someday...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Feeling Good!

20 Days!  20 Days!!!!   For some reason that number seems much more imminent than "3 Weeks."  

Since I'm due in 20 days, lots of people have asked me "how I'm doing."  I think they're expecting me to list off all the aches and pains I'm experiencing, but I have to admit, I think I've been pretty blessed this pregnancy.  I feel great!  

The first four months were awful (I'll spare you the details), but I haven't experienced any of the typical discomforts or ailments, with the exception of morning sickness: Back pains, stretch marks, sleep deprivation, skin changes, or swollen ankles (well, I did once, but I didn't notice until I glanced at my feet and noticed they were bigger than normal so I didn't even feel it).  I haven't experienced any Braxton-Hicks contractions or food cravings either.  Is it strange that I'm a little disappointed by this?  :) 

A couple of things I'm going to miss about being pregnant: 
1.  Not having clumps of hair finding its way into the shower drain.  My hair has actually stayed in my head the last 37 weeks. 
2. No acne! 
3. No migraines!  Although I'm hoping pregnancy will be like a "reset" button, and that I will no longer have them even after delivery.
4.  A good excuse to have gained 50 pounds.  Whatev.
5. A baby who sleeps when I sleep.  I haven't been awakened at all by a kicking baby.  I'm sure that will change once Calvin is told he can't stay in the swimming pool. 

I'm crossing my fingers now that I've posted this update that I don't get bombarded with every symptom listed above.   :)  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Yeah, that Adam is okay I suppose...

Uh-oh, two blogs in one day.  I better tak'er easy before I go getting all addicted to this talking to myself nonsense. 

I was listening to the radio the other day, and the question being asked was, "How do you keep the romance alive?"  I chuckled to myself because Adam and I both know that "romantic" is SO not a word we use to describe our marriage.  What I mean is that the stereotypical, "mushy" romantic stuff is not what keeps us going.  I fell in love with him because he didn't buy me flowers all the time, write me poetry, take me to fancy dinners, etc.  In fact, I don't think he knows how strategic he was while we were dating.  Bear with me as I explain.  From the gobs of psychology classes I've taken, I've picked up on something called "variable reinforcement." Reinforcement is a term that refers to the process of increasing a desired behavior using some type of stimulus.  Adam's desired behavior: To keep me around.  Stimulus:  Flowers.  He reinforced my desire to stick around by buying me flowers.  However, there's a Goldilocks element to it.  You don't want to apply the stimulus too much, and you don't want to apply the stimulus too little.  Scientists have found, for example, if you reinforce a rat with food every 15 minutes, the rat will only come around every 15 minutes. This continuous reinforcement would make me bored; I'd have a lot of flowers, and I'd come to expect it.  Or if the stimulus is only set to be delivered in limited quantities, I'd be like, "Wow, this guy NEVER buys flowers... I'm outta here." (Not that I would ever say that...)  But it has been shown that the highest results come from the stimulus being delivered at random times, at just the right amount.  Think of it like a slot machine.  You never know if you're gonna win, so it's a surprise regardless of the amount!  I'm pretty sure this is what Adam did. 

Anyway, the point of that was to show that we are not the typical "romantic" married couple (and apparently to simultaneously review my psych 101 class), but I think most people would say that about their marriages as well.  I would say our's is based on the pleasure of just being in each other's company.  So when I heard the question on the radio, "How do you keep the romance alive?" I honestly wasn't sure what we "do."  And then I got kind of sad.  I don't really "do" anything!  Some wife I am... 

So I thought back to when we were dating, when our version of "romance" was just getting started. I remember one evening I drove from Federal Way to Port Orchard in a huge storm, just to see him for a few hours.  It was totally ridiculous because the roads were flooded, I heard warnings that there were 3 hour back-ups, I had to get up at 5:00 the next morning, and couldn't afford gas, etc.  There were so many practical reasons that I should have just stayed home and talked to him on the phone instead.  But I wanted to see him darn it.  And I didn't care if I only got 4 hours of sleep, had to drive in the pouring down rain, and had to spend my hard earned money on fuel.  I was in love. 

I did this many, many times during the two years that we dated.  And he did the same for me.  We just liked being around each other, even if it would have been smarter just to stay home and wait until the weekend.  Now that we've been married for almost five years, reality has set in and we're not as impulsive as we used to be.  Gas costs money, I have a house to clean, I'll just see you in two days anyway...  You know, the typical excuses. 

Today, Adam's plan was to get his car packed and ready to go so that he could drive from Academy in Tacoma in the morning to his all-day training in Kent.  That way he could just leave from Kent at 5:00pm instead of Tacoma, and get home sooner to see me.  Unfortunately, the parking lot in Tacoma was locked when he went to leave this morning.  He and a few other people had to carpool to Kent.  So much for him getting home early!  That meant he had to drive all the way back to Tacoma in rush-hour, and then all the way up to Kirkland.  Lame, lame, lamety-lame.

This morning he joked that I could come get him in Kent and we could drive down to Tacoma together so we could ride together.  Well, of course, the old married woman in me said, "Traffic is going to SUCK." I thought of every reason NOT to follow through with this plan.  I'd have to drive in rush-hour down to Kent, then we'd have to drive all the way back in separate cars from Tacoma to Kirkland, I hate driving, I hate gas, I need to shower, I need to clean the house, blah blah blah.   

Then I thought of the question, "How do you keep the romance alive?"  I knew the answer.  By doing the silly things I used to do when we were dating... Because I'm in love.

Even though there are all these reasons NOT to drive all over the world tonight, I am choosing to spend time in the car with my husband.  And that's the way we do it.  We just like to be in each others' company.   And I'm guessing I might get some Menchie's out of it.  Which, BTW, I don't get very often, but when I do, it's a great reinforcement.  I guess he's still using his clever strategy to keep me around...   :) 

The Unknown... is kinda fun :)

Now that I'm 37 weeks pregnant, and Calvin is considered "full-term," the realities of giving birth and becoming a mom are staring me in the face.  How will I know it's time?  What does a contraction feel like?  What happens if my water breaks in public?  I heard a story of a woman who carried around a jar of pickles once she hit 37 weeks so that she could pretend she just spilled pickle juice on her lap.  Genius.  I think I'll make sure my water bottle is on me at all times. Just in case.

My friend had her baby yesterday and she said that nobody can prepare you for the pain you will experience.  I've heard people say that it's like an out-of-body experience.  I've heard people say you don't even really know what's going on.  One friend said that she doesn't even remember her husband being there for the birth. (Seriously, with these testimonies, who needs Planned Parenthood?  We should get these women into the public high schools! Sounds like good birth control to me!) 

One of the things I never thought I'd be considering is the method of delivery.  I've had a lot of people ask me what our birth plan is. I think this question is equivalent to asking your astrological sign, as if the answer reveals something about the kind of person you are.  Basically they are asking, “Are you in the ‘natural’ camp or are you in the ‘epidural’ camp?  It reminds me of the part in the movie “Baby Mama” where the birthing instructor asks “How many of you are planning on doing natural childbirth? That's a good show of hands. That's so great, you're all so great. And how many of you are planning on using toxic Western medications to drug your baby for your own selfish comfort? Anyone?”    Hahah!  Makes me laugh every dang time. But it’s SO TRUE!  That’s really what people want to ask!  What I’m finding is that women who go “natural” feel very proud of doing all that work, and while there's nothing wrong with that, that’s not the experience I want to have.  I want to be aware of what’s going on and I want to remember the joyous occasion free of pain, with the company of my husband.  So to answer the loaded question – I fully intend to take advantage of Jesus’ blessing in drug form.  :) Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it has to hurt!  (For those of you who have seen “Baby Mama”, I’m picturing myself bouncing on the birthing ball, pointing to myself with a “woot woot!”)  

Another question that pregnancy has brought to my mind is “What kind of parent will I be?”  Will I be critical or will I be supportive?  Will I be a germa-phobe or will I be laid-back? Will I be distant or will I be warm? Will I be calm or panicky? I think about the kind of person I am now, relatively unafraid of the world, and I wonder how that will change once I have Calvin.  I don’t want to be that mom that constantly cleans surfaces with sanitizing wipes or doesn’t let my child step outside without wearing protective gear, or makes everybody and their mom wash their hands before passing him around like a white elephant gift, but I wonder what my opinion will be once he gets here.  I don’t want to be like Merlin, Nemo’s dad, who is so afraid that something bad will happen to his son that he doesn’t let him do anything, thus leading to a life lacking experiences.  But because this was my childhood, I will have to be careful not to overcompensate by letting Calvin do anything he wants.  I worry about how much affection Calvin will sense from me, since I’m not a very coddling, sentimental person.  Will I turn into a cuddly-lovey-dovey woman all of a sudden?  These are the things I think about.  These are the unknowns that I look forward to discovering about myself when I take on the title of “Mommy.”

(I also wonder if I'll ever see my calf muscles again)