Emily Aileen Riddle

April 22, 2010

12:41 p.m.

9 lbs. 12 oz.

21" long

Allen said they put a ring inside of my tummy to keep it open while they pulled her out. 

Big girl!

Lexi, Nana, Emily and Addie
Cuddling with a newborn = best sleep evah!
Suited up and ready to go home. The first time we've ever left the hospital and didn't have to leave our baby in the NICU! Happy day.

(The "story" will follow. 'Cause you know we had to have at least a little drama while we were there.)


Hell Week - Wednesday

This was supposed to be "the big day". Now, I've never labored for less than 30 hours so I really didn't expect to push out a kid on this exact day per-se, but I did expect to have a kid by the weekend. I DID NOT expect to come home with the kid still in the baggage department. No, that I was not prepared for.

We went in around 9 a.m. and filled out the necessary paperwork and met with the on-call midwife. She, honestly, was a little confused as to why we were even there. I explained the baby size issue, the ketones issue, the dehydration issue, blah, blah, blah. She then asked me why I hadn't been re-tested for gestational diabetes. From looking at my chart, it was clear I had been "spilling" glucose and had protein in my urine at every visit for the last while. I had no idea. No one even bothered to mention it to me. Considering gestational diabetes can be a pretty bad thing for mom and baby, I was shocked. She said she would have tested me again. And, if I were to ever be pregnant again, she would test me 3 different times over the course of the pregnancy. She wanted to draw blood to run a more in-depth test to see if I did have gestational diabetes. She explained that the pitocin would take 6-8 hours to work and that I should see some results by evening time. She checked me and I was dilated to 1.5 cm but the baby was still pretty high.

At noon, they got me on the IV and started the drip. Shortly after, the nurse comes in and asks me if I've ever been out of the country. Um, yeah, but it was 15 years ago. Had I recently gone to Florida? I wish. Turns out, the lab was seeing a marker for some kind of parasite in my blood. Um, whaaa? Para what? I told her if I had a worm or something I was going to come un-done and that I wanted to shower right then and there. She assured me all would be fine and left. About an hour later, the other midwife on-call came back. They need more blood. The marker they see is malaria and then need to run a complete pathology report. Again, whaaaa? Malaria? She explained that it was causing quite the stir on the floor and it had become somewhat of an emergent situation, but not to worry since the baby wouldn't contract the disease from me during the birthing process. Besides, she adds, people in Africa have malaria and they have tons of babies. Um, isn't their mortality rate, like, 50% or something, too? Please. Let's not make that comparison. Just take my blood and let's move on.

So, these two lab rats come in and start drawing my blood. They are like fiends yelling out, "Thick! Thin! We need another thick! Get more, we need 5 more thin!" I was told they would do about 5 slides.

I think that was a gross under-estimation of what was going to actually take place.

At no point did I ever think I really had malaria. Let me just make that totally clear. Allen and I were far more concerned about the diabetes results. We kept asking, but everyone was so worked up about this malaria thing that they kept saying they didn't know. The contractions had started and were about 5 minutes apart, but not too strong. At around 7 p.m., the midwife came back in and checked me. No change. They decided to stop the pit, encouraged me to eat a very light dinner, to shower or walk around and then we would start up again at 9 p.m. Apparently, my receptors might have been saturated at this point and a little break sometimes helped them get on board and get something done. Allen left to get dinner. While Allen was gone and I had some freedom, I called home to see how things were going and to give an update. The news was grim. The kids had just gotten out of the tub - an hour later than usual. Uh oh. What happened? Well, Lexi had been horrible, had a major meltdown, freaked out, refused the special dinner Nana had made so was going hungry (this did not aid in the attitude department, either), spent a good chunk of time in her room screaming, had finally agreed to take a bath and then Addie pooped in the tub. That's the kind of day that could put a veteran mother over the edge, let alone the poor Nana who is trying to help out.

The midwife then re-appeared while Allen was gone. "Um, turns out the blood was mixed up and you really don't have malaria. Someone else does, but it isn't you. I'm so sorry." I chuckled to myself. I mean, really, what else could I do? I'd been in an uncomfortable bed all day, on an IV, having annoying contractions, worried about the medical care I had received only to find out the people downstairs were also a bunch of idiots, and had news that things at home were not good. I could have either jerked the IV right out of my arm and walked out or let it go. I chose to let it go. I then asked about the diabetes. No, that was fine, too. Well, good. I didn't have an African disease that will kill me nor did I have an issue with my blood sugar. 

They put me back on the pitocin at 9 (and a whole new crew of nurses, doctors, and midwives were on at this point) and I started having contractions right away. They were about 3-4 minutes apart, but again, not very strong. I continued reading my Percy Jackson series (which, by the way, is a fun little read if you are looking for something new to pick up) and tried to stay comfortable while the pitocin did it's job. 

Around midnight, the midwife came back in to check me. No change. But, they did have an option that sometimes worked for people "like me". They would insert a balloon catheter into my cervix (yeah, it's going to be a gross story. What did you expect? We were trying to birth a kid after all.) Then, they would use 160 cc of water to blow it up. This would force my cervix to open to 4 cm. At that point, they can then break my water and we can try to move things along. She told me to think it over for a few hours and they would check me again in the morning (right before shift change, no less) and we could decide what we wanted to do. 

Allen was passed out on the couch totally unaware of the whole situation. I decided to try and get some sleep and tackle issue when the team arrived later in the morning. 

Our next installment: "You can't make me! Ne ner ne ner nee ner!" says the cervix.

We Interrupt Our Current Programming for the Following Announcement

39 weeks, 1 day

Well, tomorrow is the big day. I know, I said that last week, too. But this time I really mean it. Allen says if we don't have a baby, you'll see him on the cover of the local paper for murder. I'm sure I'd be an accessory.

We did see my doctor on Monday to schedule the c-section for tomorrow. When he saw me, he said, "I thought you delivered! Who ordered you for induction anyways? It wasn't me." As he reviewed my chart, he mockingly laughs and says, "OH! I did order that! Ha!" Allen and I voiced our frustration and concerns and he clarified a few things but then said we would likely be facing a long labor, again, if we waited for things to kick in on their own. Then, he asked if I wanted my tubes tied while he was "in there". I said no. He gave me a disapproving look. Again, I said no. "Why not?", he asked. Resoundingly, I said, NO! At this point, Allen and I were both about to come off the table and reach out and touch the guy.

I've gained a total of 3 pounds according to the scale. We did not measure in cm, but he did feel the baby from the outside and guesses 8-9 pounds. I'd say that's probably accurate. Although now that there has been such a stink about her size, she'll come out weighing, like, 6 or something and I'll look even more like the fool.

After my stay at the hospital last week, my feet have been oh-so swollen. They were doing pretty well but after being on an IV for 30 hours, they went over the edge. If you press down on them, the indentation stays for about 15-20 seconds. When I ask Allen to rub the "fat parts" to help relieve the pressure he exclaims, "The whole thing is fat! What do you mean?" Sadly, I have to agree.

I'm very excited to meet this little one, but not at all excited about the newborn phase. It's rough. I know, people (even me) have survived it before. But that is exactly what it is: surviving. It's a short time in the grand scheme of things and I work really hard to keep that perspective when it gets really rocky. As soon as we get to meet her, we'll send out the word and make sure to post pictures just as soon as we can. Thanks for all of the support!!


Hell Week - Tuesday

In light of my impending induction, I had arranged for a babysitter for Tuesday morning. Lexi would be at preschool. Nana and I were going to spoil ourselves with pedicures and then a few last minute items from the grocery store. Or so we thought.

With the death of the fridge, the grocery list tripled in size. But, without a child in tow, it seemed possible to still get our toes rubbed and manage the store while Lexi was at school. We put on our happy faces and prepared to pile into the Mama Mobile to head off to preschool.

I went for my keys only to discover they were no where to be found. I looked in my purse. On the key rack. On the dresser. In Allen's shorts from yesterday. In his pants from yesterday. In the pants that were on the floor, from the day before yesterday. I looked in the dirty clothes. Nothing.

You see, Allen had been the last to drive the vehicle when he unhooked the trailer after unloading the fridge. Typically, he puts the keys on his side of the dresser. I wondered if perhaps they had fallen into the dresser. So, I looked there. Nope. At this point, Lexi is asking if we're going to school at all. I assure her we are going to school and we'll be leaving in just a few minutes.

Thinking Allen might know where the keys are at (since he used them last and all), I give him a call at work.

"Dude, where are my keys?"

"Um, I don't know. Aren't they in your purse?"

"Nooooo. You used them last. You seriously don't know?"

"Well, did you look on the dresser?"


"Did you look..."

"I looked everywhere you usually leave them, including on the floor with all of your other crap. And, no, I haven't found them. My mother is out in the garage looking through your tools and in the boxes from yesterday and out in the yard. She can't find them either. Do you even care about my life? Of course not! You'd be so @#!*% if I did this to you. But, you know what? I would never, ever do something like this to you. I'm just a little stay at home who can go without? Right? RIGHT!?!"


"Whatever, Allen. I'm going."

Now, Lexi is near tears. "Mom, Mrs. Kinghorn is watiing. Who is going to take snack? Where are Allen's keys?" I assure her once again that we will make it to preschool.

The babysitter is witnessing the beginning of WWIII, but trying to pretend everything is fine as she quietly colors with Addie. Mom and I continue to look for these keys. And, yah, we only have one set so don't even bring it up. I look at mom and voice the dreary thought I've been having: they accidentally got swept into the trash with all of the rotten food late last night when we were delirious and cleaning the kitchen.

And so, my poor mom and I head out to dig in the trash. The trash that is filled with smelly, thawed, rotting meats and all of our wasted perishable items. Now, preschool has long since started, Lexi is frantic, I'm beyond irritated and Mom is kicking around lettuce and bacon on the driveway.

Then, our neighbor begins to make his way over. Now, I'm totally humiliated. He asks us if there is anything he can do to help. We both (with much animation and hand gesturing and raised voices) explain that we've lost our key, Lexi has school (he sees her in tears watching us dig through garbage), we have no groceries and we have no replacement key. And then, he offers us the use of his car. Lexi jumps for joy and we accept his offer.

We put the trash back in the can, get Lexi's gear, wave goodbye to the sitter and make haste to the vehicle. He tells us it needs a little gas ( @#!*% , at this point, I'll pay the bill for a year I so danged grateful to have a ride), but we can use it all day if we need it. We'll be home by 11:30, at the latest, but thank you so much and we'll see you later!

We're 20 minutes late for school and pedicures are out the window at this point, but at least we'll be able to get the food we need.

Now, the vehicle we've been loaned is a nice one. It's a few years old, but it's a nice family sedan. Rides smooth. Comfy seats. The kind that are so comfy it's almost like you're laying down as you drive. Plus, the driver seat is a little broken so it lays even farther back. Let's not forget, I'm a little impaired when it comes to flexibility at this point. So, to sit down in said vehicle, I have to lay almost flat, slide in, roll over and then sit up. Not the most flattering pose I've ever assumed.

We drop off Lexi and head to the gas station to fill it up and take it through the wash as a thank you gesture for our neighbor's thoughtfulness. We can't figure out what side the tank is on and then when we do, I pull up to the wrong side. Twice. Mom is standing outside the vehicle madly gesturing and yelling so I'll get a clue but I still manage to pull up to the wrong side - again. I finally get it right and roll out to fill it up and then roll back in again.

This may not seem utterly and totally hilarious to you, but we were in hysterics. After Monday's events, the crying preschooler, the babysitter's attempt to ignore our family feud, the huffing and puffing of a grandma and pregnant lady digging through trash, the visual of me rolling around in the front seat and the simple fact that we were either going to cry from the stress of it all or pee our pants laughing, we chose the latter and laughed our way through the car wash.

We managed the grocery store and picked Lexi up on time. We returned the car with a full tank and a clean exterior. And, Allen had even come home from work to find the keys. Now, he didn't stay for my arrival. No, he's much smarter than that, but he didn't leave me high and dry (we couldn't even have made a copy the same day since now the keys that can actually start the car have an electronic chip in them so we would have had to order a key and that would really suck since my poor mother would have been stranded at home with my kids while I was in the hospital pushing out a baby - and yes - the threat of that alone was enough for Allen to ditch out on work and find the friggin' keys).

I'm sure you're all dying to know where the keys were, huh.

The anticipation is probably killing you.

He found them in his shorts. Not the ones tossed on the floor. Not the ones tossed on the bed. Not the ones left on the closet floor. Nor in the ones in the hamper. Nope. They keys were tucked ever-so-gently into the pocket of the only shorts that he actually folded and put back in the dresser drawer. Where they belong.

Lessons learned from this experience: 1) have an extra set of keys around. 2) don't put your crap away. It just screws up your thinking.

Again, stay tuned for the next installment of our series. @#!*% Week: Wednesday. Or better known as: "Come on in and have a baby. Oooops! Just kidding!"


Hell Week - Monday

Yeah, we faced a few hurdles last week. And, I'm going to run them down day-by-day so you can feel totally sorry for us get all of the details. If nothing else, at least you'll feel better about your life when you get done reading. So, you're welcome.

As you all know from reading this post, we were scheduled to be induced on Wednesday, the 14th. In preparation I made a menu and Nana, Allen and Lexi went grocery shopping on Saturday, the 10th. They bought all of the food we could possibly need for the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, we were getting some ice cream out of the freezer and it seemed a little soft. But, we had filled it quite full and the ice cream was in the door so we didn't think too much of it.

Monday morning, I reached in the freezer to grab Lexi a waffle. And, it came out soggy and thawed and totally gross. I looked around and noticed that the meat was thawed (including all of the bacon from the pig we processed), the OJ concentrate was liquid, and the ice was beginning to make it's own lake at the bottom of the freezer.

Nana happened to walk in as I was calling Allen with the news. She drug in the coolers and ran to get ice. When she got back, we chucked what was already bad and tried to salvage the rest.The fridge was warming, but we figured we had a few hours before everything in there was bad so we vowed to keep the door shut for as long as possible and set out to fix the situation.

I called a repair guy just in case it was something simple. But, alas, it was not. The compressor was gone. And, the cost to fix it was more than a new fridge would cost. Allen and I agreed we would buy the fridge we really wanted rather than just getting whatever since this one will likely be in our kitchen until it dies, too. I started calling every place in town that sold refrigerators. I asked for recommendations from the repair guy and all of the appliance folks I talked to. All of them said to stay away from LG and Kitchen Aid and go with Maytag. I then asked those who were selling said fridges if they had any Maytags in stock. Of course not! The order time was 10-12 days. Every. place. I. called.

So, here I am two days away from going into the hospital to have a kid with my mom here to try and help out and watch my two existing kids and I have no food for her and no place to even put any food if we did have some because no one stocks the good fridges at their stores anymore. And, Allen's up against a wall at work seeing as he is juggling two full time jobs and only has 2 days left in the office to do tons of stuff since we're supposed to be popping a baby out so like he has any time to deal with this crap either.

I finally got a hold of a place that had what we wanted in a price range we could stomach. They had exactly ONE left. Allen made it work and came home and we took off to Albuquerque to get said appliance.

Now, anyone who has ever installed a new appliance under duress knows that there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth associated with the process. Everyone who is a witness to the effort must put in their two cents and usually does so while screaming at the person who is actually doing the installation work. Lest we forget that the only able bodied person around here is Allen, too. So, we're trying to "assist" him but really, folks, he's on his own.

As we approach the front door, it becomes very clear that the fridge isn't even going to fit inside. Of course, I'm irritated, the kids are whining, Nana is trying to wrangle the kids and cook dinner, Allen is sweating, and the stupid thing isn't even going to be in the house because the handles stick out about 2 inches too far.

At this point, I walk away to help with the kids and Nana steps in to try and help Allen. As I come back down the hallway, I see them trying to wrestle the beast into the doorway. I start yelling at them, "You'll never fit it in because the handles are too wide! THE HANDLES ARE TOO WIDE! YOU'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE IT!" Suddenly, the fridge is in the house. With the handles off. Yeah, Allen had read the instructions and it specifically mentioned removing the handles to get it into the house and he had already done that. Yeah. Open mouth. Insert foot.

We took a break for dinner, baths, and the bedtime routine and got back at it so we could try and put some food inside before we went to bed. Finally, somewhere near midnight, we had done all we could do and we called it quits. When I came out the next morning, I was greeted by this:

 Not too shabby. I went through the coolers to find that all of our freezer goods were ruined. All of the foods we had bought not two days before, trying so hard to be prepared for the upcoming weeks, were gone. Thankfully, though, we had Tuesday to go to the grocery store and re-stock before we went in to have our baby on Wednesday. And, that my friends, is what brought about Day 2 of Hell Week with the Riddles.


D Day

Today I had my 37 week appointment with my midwife. As we were walking back to the office, the nurse looks at me and says, "Girl, are you feeling all right?" And I was like, "Um, do I look that bad 'cause I thought I looked ok when I left the house?" Turns out, again, I was severely dehydrated. My keytones were +4 and that is the highest they can be.

The midwife came in and asked me about my diet and my liquid intake. I told her I had chugged down close to 30 oz. of water just before my appointment and had done the same right before bed the night before. I had a very balanced dinner, a banana right before bed and breakfast this morning. I did tell her I had noticed some things that were a little unusual and she agreed that all didn't seem just right. She pondered the findings while she measured the baby.

The baby is now measuring 46 cm. In one week's time, the baby is 3 cm bigger! She is supposed to be growing 1 cm per week. And, I lost 2 pounds in that same week. We then discussed the ultrasound findings. I didn't try to persuade her one way or the other. When she asked how I felt, I did share with her my concerns: 1) I hemorrhaged with Addie and lost a lot of blood and was pretty close to needing additional medical support, but ended up being ok 2) I also prolapsed after having Addie (yes, that is TMI, but it does factor into my worry this time around) and 3) I have had some terrible round ligament pains that feel like running cramps except they go up from my groin clear to my ribs on both sides and really do impact my ability to be a mom when they are hurting - and that is most days now. If the baby is growing so fast each week, how am I going to keep up with my kids since the pain gets worse as the baby gets bigger and hangs more and more on my muscles and ligaments? Delivering a large baby will not help with the blood loss or the prolapse either.

She factored the weight loss, deyhdration, baby growth, previous history and my current physical state and decided it was worth asking the doctor about what to do. She did warn that they usually don't induce due to baby size because if your body isn't ready, induction doesn't usually work and the patient ends up c-section. (Been there, done that, thank you very much Lexi.) But, she was concerned enough to go ask anyways. She came back about 30 seconds later.

"Get that baby out!" was my doctor's response when she told him. So, we scheduled induction for the 14th. She did warn me that a big baby combined with induction may result in a c-section. They are more common when you mix those two things than when mom goes on her own. I knew all of this and told her I wouldn't hold her responsible. She also brought up the idea that I might have gestational diabetes. Even though I passed the 7 month test with flying colors and haven't had the typical weight gain seen with gestational diabetes, she's wondering if it developed after the test was done. With my difficulties staying hydrated and the baby growing so fast, it could be a possibility. One of the risks with that is that the baby may be really big, but have under-developed lungs. And don't I know about that, too? Both girls stayed in the hospital with lungs problems - even Addie who was full term.
She then told me I couldn't go home until I had my hydration issues under control. What?!? I'd kind of forgotten about that with the good news about kicking this kid out. She told me I'd need to go over to L&D and get on an IV and they would have to keep checking the numbers until I was all better. Of course, I had the car with the car seats and Lexi was at preschool that gets out in 35 minutes and I'm in Albuquerque which is 25 minutes away from preschool but that really didn't matter since her car seat was with me so even if someone did show up, they couldn't even get her home. I called Allen who met me at the hospital and he sped off to pick up the child while I went over for my torture session. Thank goodness after one bag of saline, some juice, a light snack and some reading, my numbers were all better and they sent me on my way.

So, the 14th it is. I'm really, really hoping we'll make it to a VBAC, but I am realistic about what we're doing. I've never had a set date to try and have a baby and I kind of like knowing I have the next few days to sleep as much as possible prepare for the big day.

I guess this means we better pick a name, huh?

p.s. Allen leaves on the 19th for California, too. Isn't that AWESOME! Thank goodness Nana is here to help.


Time's Up!

They did an ultrasound yesterday to try and guesstimate the size of our little turkey. I'm at 37 weeks and she is measuring 8 lbs. 1 oz. Of course, the margin of error is + or - 1 pound. So, the baby could really be closer to 7 lbs. or 9 lbs.

During the last month, the baby gains close to 1 pound a week. If the baby does weigh 7 lbs., she will likely be 10 lbs. at full term. If she is 8 lbs., 11 lbs. at full term and if she is already 9 lbs., she will be close to 12 lbs. at full term.

I had the ultrasound done at another office so I didn't' see my midwife or doctor on the same day. My appointment with them is Thursday. I'm really, really, really hoping that since I'm at 37 weeks and the baby is clearly big enough to be ok in the real world, that they'll have pity on my poor, uncomfortable soul and take some measures to speed up the process.

So, we're crossing our fingers and uncrossing our legs in the hope of meeting this little urchin sooner rather than later.


Easter Fun

The morning started nice and early as the Easter bunny dropped by with a few treats. Nana and Opa were here for the celebration, too.

The weather was perfect for an Easter egg hunt. 
We wrapped up the day by relaxing outside and had a great BBQ dinner. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter day!

Happy Easter

"We believe in Christ as we believe in the sun at noonday; not that we can see it, but that by it we can see everything else."
- C. S. Lewis


36 Weeks, 1 Day

Made another trip up to the ol' midwife today.

The numbers look like this:

Total weight gain: - 1
Baby measuring: 43 cm

Many of you probably know, but the number of centimeters your baby measures corresponds to the number of weeks you are pregnant. They say plus or minus 2 cm is normal. But, when you're only 36 weeks by the calendar and you measure 43 cm, the midwife's eyes get big and she measures again. and again. and again. And then she says you need to get an ultrasound because "it must be extra water or something, but we should check because that is crazy huge." And then they don't have any appointments, but they tell you not to worry because it's probably nothing, but they're going to refer you to the specialist's office because they will probably have an opening in the next day or so and we really should just be sure that everything is all right in there. So I guess size matters after all.

I'll tell you that I really don't think anything is wrong. Baby girl has been measuring about 2 cm bigger than my calendar due date the whole time. I think she was laying in a weird position and it made her seem a lot bigger than she really is. I'm not happy about having to make a special trip, with my two kids in tow, to have them look in there and say, "Yup. She's a big one, but everything is fine."  I am secretly hoping she'll look really, really scary big and they'll say, "Oh my! We better have you deliver because she is measuring really, really, scary big!" Then I'll jump off the table and do the happy dance. That will definitely be worth the inconvenience of driving into town and waiting for the appointment and having two kids with me writhing and wriggling and saying, "Mooooom, can I have a sucker? Mooom, she's touching me! Moooom, what is that?  Mom, why are they doing that? I'm thirsty. What is that, mom? Mooom, is that the baby why is that the baby is there a baby in there are we going home?" and "WAAAAH!" (that's Addie speak for "let me the heck out of here" for those of you who aren't bilingual) while they take a look at my innards.

In other exciting news, we went in to L & D last week because I had 7 hours of consistent contractions. Turns out I had key-tones in my pee which means I was dehydrated which can cause early and false labor. So, I drank 3 gallons (I'm not kidding) of juice and water and three hours later they told me to go home. I did dilate, but only to a 1. But, with Addie my contractions never got closer than 5 minutes apart, even on pitocin. So, who's not to say that I wasn't making progress after having consistent contractions for that long, even if they weren't super close together? As my good friend says, "It's the walk of shame." Indeed, folks, it is.

We're no closer on the name than we were two weeks ago, either. But, we'll keep you posted on the "size matters" issue as we get more information.

About Me

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.