Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our own nightmare before Christmas

Twas 20 days before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of hockey games danced in their heads.
I in my PJs and Matt with no cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.
When out in the kitchen there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter....

Okay, so it was 3 am, and I ran into the kitchen to discover water spraying out from under the kitchen sink, running all over the floor and rushing out into the hallway. I screamed for Matt to wake up and turn off the water, as I ran downstairs to grab a stack of old towels to soak up the water. When I got down there, I discovered that the water had already made it's way downstairs through the ceiling. Directly beneath the leaking pipe was our PC. I immediately grabbed the CPU and brought it up to our bedroom. It was already wet, but I was hoping that at least we could save our family photos from it. In my sleepy stupor, I still thought that if I just kept the water from sitting on the hardwood floors, then I could save them. We had just installed the hardwood a few months earlier. I hadn't thought about the implications of the 2 inches of water in our furnace room. That meant that the water was running right underneath the hardwood floors and pooling in the middle of the family room. I spent roughly 2 hours emptying out buckets and bowls and drying with every towel we had in the house. Matt checked our water softener and based on how many gallons of water had gone through, he estimated that the water had been spraying out of the burst pipe for about 20 minutes. Finally I came to realize that Matt may be right when he told me that this was beyond us and we would need to call the insurance company. I went to bed for a couple of hours.

I called the insurance company, and within a short time, the disaster relief guys arrived to start cleaning up our flood damage. Within a few hours, all of our floors were ripped out, the ceiling downstairs was taking out and huge industrial fans, and dehumidifiers were set up all over our house. We discovered that there was damage to our computer, our stove, one piece of artwork, and 2 pieces of furniture.

We had already planned to do our upstairs in hardwood, but it wasn't in the budget right now, so instead of letting the insurance company replace our carpet, we took a cash payout and said we would install the floor ourselves, and we will use the savings to pay for the upgrade to hardwood. So now on top of Christmas shopping for 6 kids, we had to shop for flooring, and install it.

I had already decorated the house, except for the Christmas tree. But with the floors in need of replacing, we had to hold off on a Christmas tree until they were finished. We are usually pretty good at making light of situations, but things were getting tense around here!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I've been neglectful of my blog and my friends. Mostly I blame my dial-up connection which disconnects every 5 minutes or so. But life has also taken over.

Without further ado, my pregnancy went overdue, despite all of my attempts with Evening Primrose Oil, Raspberry Leaf Tea,Chiropractic treatments and sitting on the exercise ball for HOURS.

After a biophysical profile on the morning of January 24th, I had sort of resigned myself to the fact that I would need to be induced in the hospital on Monday, January 26th. The tech had estimated baby's weight to be 8 lbs 15 oz and he scored well, so they sent me home. On Saturday afternoon, I took Campbell to his hockey practice and when I was going up and down the stairs to get to the dressing room, I found that I felt a lot of pressure in my pelvis every time the baby moved, but this wasn't new. I let the other parents know that I was feeling uncomfortable and that Damon would be coming in to help Campbell get his skates off and carry his bag to the van.

Hanna was sick and sleeping in our bed, and her tossing and crying woke me
up at about 3 am. I got up to go pee and felt a mild contraction. I lay back
down in the bed and noticed that about 10 minutes later, I had another. They
were getting more intense, so I eventually sat on my labour ball to see if
they were going to amount to anything. They were sporadic at first, 10 min.
then 7, then 13, then 15. Finally at 4 am, I had 3 in a row that were 5 min.
apart. I called the midwife at 4:20 and she said she would come soon. I was
very apologetic and said that I really hoped that I wasn't waking her up for
a false alarm. I could still talk through them. During the time I was
waiting for her, my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and getting much
more intense. I could already feel a lot of pressure.

She arrived at about 4:45. She checked me and said that I was 4-5 cm. She
called the second midwife to come because she didn't think it would be long.
I got into the shower and I felt okay in there, but after a while I felt
like I needed to get out and find a different position. As the second
midwife arrived, I lay on my bed and asked the midwife if she could just
break my water to relieve the pressure. She said that she would like to wait
15 more minutes in hopes that I would be on the other side of 5 cm (I didn't
do the GBS test, so they didn't want my water broken for a long time). The
next contraction I had, my water broke. She checked me and I was fully
dilated. The pressure didn't really let up, but at least with each
contraction I felt like I could squeeze a bit and feel the baby moving down
and this made things more bearable. I stayed on my side, but then I got the
urge to push and was in a panic because I couldn't find a comfortable
position. Finally I got on my knees and held my headboard and after a couple
of pushes the baby's head was out. He began crying before I even pushed his
shoulders out.

After 1 hour and 40 minutes of labour, Griffin Matthew Samuel was born at home on Sunday, January 25th. He weighed 8 lbs 14 oz.


Matt woke the kids up and they all came in to meet him while the second midwife was packing up. The kids are all smitten with him. Especially Patrick and Damon, they would hold him all day if they could.


It took us all day to decide on his name, but finally I didn't want to think
about it any more, so I just wrote down Griffin. lol I hope I don't have

Having a home birth was great. I can't say that it was necessarily a wonderful labour because it was a bit too quick, but because of that it just made so much more sense to stay home. I can't imagine how I would have managed to get ready to go to the hospital (leaving sick children behind), gotten there and stood around waiting to be taken care of when I was feeling such intense pain. I even wonder if I might not have made it there in time anyway. And for me, nothing beats climbing into your own bed with your kids all around you after you've given birth. People have been bringing me food (that I conveniently stocked the fridge full of) and boxes of chocolates! That sure beats hospital food.

So far he is a very easy baby, a good sleeper, a great nurser and he lies
awake for long periods watching us all look at him. We feel very blessed.