Friday, September 24, 2010

Just Dance

Remember the casual high school dance...jr high dances...stake dances? You get all dolled up in your cutest top, most stylish jeans (does this make my butt look big?) bring a little extra makeup to school so that as soon as the bell rings you run to the bathroom and check out the goods. Add a little blush here and a mascara there, splash on some victoria secret lotion (Lovespell, ooo-la-la) then gather round your friends and wait in nervous anticipation as the dance gets ready to start. "OMG, do you, like, think that Henry cutesty-face will ask me to dance?"

"Heck yes, he was like TOTALLY staring at you during lunch,"

"Really? When?!?"

"You know, when you were eating pizza."

"OMG! How embarrassing, he saw me EATING!" SHREEK!

Then the moment arrives and the sweaty adolescent student body is herded into the gym to be met with low hanging white Christmas lights and rainbow crepe paper banners. The girls stay in crusted groups chatting and eyeing the guys with little fits of giggling while the macho guys stand around nodding heads with hands in pockets. Suddenly the music starts...beginning with a low base beat and picking up...picking up more. Now everyone is starting the head bob and even getting a little groovy to C+C Music Factory's classic hit, "Gonna Make You Sweat." is where my point arrives. Before you know it, kids are hopping, bobbing, grooving and moving. Some people get a little creative and start incorporating dance moves like the sprinkler or the shopping cart. My friends and I used to do this model walk across the dance floor... we were like so hip!

But the question comes...we may all think we look so good when we're strutting our stuff on the dance floor but what really constitutes good dancing? I mean we can't all be Julia Styles from Save the Last Dance. So when I was perusing some local news on the internet this morning I was thrilled to stumble upon an article about a new scientific breakthrough conducted by Northumbria University’s School of Life Sciences. Apparently a team of psychologists used advanced 3-D motion capture technology to analyze the movements of nineteen male dancers, creating computer generated ‘avatars’ so that all the dancers had identical features. Sounds interesting...or something...right? Well, then they asked a group of women to rate the attractiveness of each of the dancers based on their movements.

The results: Scientific evidence that can adequately assert what moves men around the world can throw down to attract women. we know...folks do you understand this? Now we have scientific evidence that will show us the best way to move and groove and yes, attract those cutesy guys and girly girls! Move over Austin Powers, John Travolta and Olivia Newton John...feast your eyes on the following. Proof...these are moves that groove!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Nitty Gritty

Alright so things are beginning to settle--kind of. But I do actually have a spare minute or two right now so I thought I would tell the story of our little Abby's arrival.

A week and a half ago (Sunday, 12th), I woke in the morning at about 1:30 because I was leaking A LOT of fluid. water never broke with Andrew (until I was at the hospital) but I figured that this must be it. So...I geared up. I cleaned off, tried going back to sleep but I couldn't, my mind was too wired and I started to feel contractions. So I got up and started watching Big Bang Theory re-runs while the contractions got closer together and more and more intense. I eventually took a hot bath and that's when Mike come in to ask if everything was alright. I told him that the baby was coming today and he got very excited and started to get things ready and eat breakfast. Finally, around 5 am we called my dear friend, Rachel, who so kindly offered to leave her little family of three kids to come stay over here with Andrew until he woke up and then take him to her house. So, Mike called her and as soon as she got here we were off. By then my contractions were coming about every 3 minutes and the pain was pretty intense.

When we made it to the maternity ward they were ready for us and ushered Mike and I into a nice birthing room to check things out. Turns out I was dilated to a 5 and firmly in established labor. HURRAY! My worst fear was that I feeling all this pain and I would only be dilated to a one or something. Anyway, the first thing I asked for was an epidural...of course, I had no intention of suffering more than I had to (hey, I believe I was born in this wonderful medical age for a reason!) Anyway, much to my dismay the midwife told me that the one anesthesiologist on call had just gone into theater (i.e. surgery) and they weren't sure when he would be able to see me. Yes, needless to say I was VERY distraught by this news. So, in the meantime they gave me a TENS machine and some gas and air (TENS=machine that gives soothing electric shocks to muscles, gas & air=laughing gas...oh yeah!) This helped dull my senses a little but the pain was getting A LOT worse! Thankfully, because I had already been through labor once I was much more mentally prepared and I was getting through the contractions pretty good. Well, about an hour later they told me that the they still weren't sure when I could get an epidrual and I was progressing quickly so they gave me another option to use a new drug called Remifentinol (I think)Basically, they give you an IV line and a button that, when pushed, gives a dose of fast-acting, REALLY strong pain relief. The good thing about this option is that it acts as soon as I pushed the button, lasted for about a minute and then goes away. So, while it didn't take all the pain away, it was very dulled and I still had complete control over everything going on down there. The only real problem was that it made me really loopy and drowsy and I was only really semi-conscious until I had to push.

Well...there were a few little obstacles (my contractions really slowed down at one point so they gave me some petocin and just as that was making the contractions pick up again my pain med button broke for about 20 minutes. So I was completely awake and in pain for those horrible 20 minutes) However, soon after that I felt that unbelievably strong urge to push. So, we (me, Mike and the Midwife)got ready and I started pushing. Now...for any of you moms to be out there who might get the chance to do the Remifentinol option here is a very important piece of advise: when you begin to push make sure your husband pushes the button as well! Naturally, I was very focused on pushing a baby out that I neglected the button, Mike noticed this and sweetly asked if I wanted him to keep pushing it, however at that moment I was in an agonizing frenzy of pushing and could only manage to blurt out, "NEED. TO. FOCUS." He naturally took that to mean that I wanted a clear head so no more med and he put that blessed button down. Now, remember how I told you that medicine is really fast-acting? Well, since there were no more buttons being pushed, it was only a matter of a couple minutes before my mind was fully aware and I could feel EVERY bit of birthing pain imaginable. Ahem...not my favorite moment, nope. NOT.

Well, after pushing for about 10 minutes, our sweet little Abby finally arrived, all covered in blood and guts, but still so darn cute. The relief I felt as she came out is pretty indescribable and now that I am a week removed from the whole drama of it, I can honestly say that I am glad I got to experience it. Would I do it that way again? Don't know about that...but still glad I know what it's like.

Well, there were a few things I was expecting that happened with Andrew, that didn't happen with Abby. One was that after Mike cut the umbilical cord I expected the Midwife to take her away, clean her up and then bring her back. NOPE. I just sat there holding her while I delivered the placenta (sorry if any of this stuff is really don't need to read) and then the nurse wheeled it out.

As soon as she left I started the major shakes and could hardly hold poor Abby, nor did I want to at that moment because I was suddenly very, very nauseous. Apparently they had given me some medicine to help the placenta come out and it makes you very sick. So...while the nurse was gone, I suddenly had a horrible fit of vomiting while holding sweet little Abby. Poor Mike quickly grabbed a bowl and helped the best he could until I finally stopped and then he got the nurse. When they came back she took little Abby and then I got the opportunity to go take a shower. BLISS! I will say that after that, things got a hundred percent better. I was feeling much more settled physically and I greatly appreciated being clean. Now I was ready to REALLY meet our daughter.

Well, I stayed there for another hour or so and then they moved me into a recovery room I shared with a couple other women who had had C-Sections. Can I just say I was so glad that I didn't have to have one of women who have, I commend you! That recovery does not look pleasant!

Well, I waited in the recovery room for another few hours while they checked Abby and checked me and made sure everything was good. Finally around 7pm they told us that we could go if we wanted and I really did! So, off we went. Mike, Abby and I strapped ourselves into the car and went to pick up Andrew. Crazy how fast it all went, and some people think it's crazy, but to be honest it worked really well! I was able to get a lot of rest (with help) at home and it's been a really smooth recovery so far, without the hassle of hospital noises, etc.

When we went to pick up Andrew he pretty much threw a royal fit...welcomed us back to earth and reality. In fact, his first words when he looked at Abby were, "DON'T WANT IT!". great. So, this last week has been an adjustment for all and there have already been some monumental sleepless nights but we are getting there. Slowly, but surely. Mike has been an angel. AN ANGEL! He has taken fantastic care of me and taken on the burden of our tantruming 2-year old. But Andrew is beginning to get used to things and its starting to even out.

I need to just say how grateful I am for the help that we've had. It's been such a blessing! My in-laws have come and stayed, taking us shopping, looked after Andrew while I got some sleep, cuddled with Abby, made meals and have just been so wonderful! They left today and I am so grateful for the help they gave!

Two friends in particular have been also been majorly life-saving. Rachel, you have taken time out of your busy day to take Andrew off our hands for a couple hours, giving us time to sleep and Andrew some fun time! The meals you made were delicious and I can't thank you enough for ALL you've done (and continue to do)
Camille, same to you, helping to take care of Andrew, bringing us delicious meals and surprising us with that Moses Basket and adorable outfit! I feel like you are my family and I am so grateful for your help! Thanks isn't enough, but I sure am grateful! We feel so blessed!!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baby Abigail

Hello! So...perhaps you have heard but just in case not, on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 wee Abigail Cynthia West was born weighing a healthy 7lb 1oz.

She is wonderful and everyone is doing well. There is much to say and I will post the details soon, but in the meantime here is a picture.