Watermelon Roses

A collection of random thoughts, commentaries, and journaling. There is a lot to explore here, including links to other sites of mine. These are mostly for my own benefit, but guests are welcome to browse and explore as much or as little as they like.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pictures of Zayd

Ok, we did it! We finally made it to the baby photo kiosk in the middle of the night when there was no line, in clothes that actually fit!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm definitely hurting today. I'm not sure I would have had so many children if I had to go through a C-section each time!

I asked my doctor about the abdominal support band. She said it works for some and not for others, but I was welcome to try it. When I got to the mother and baby wing, I asked my nurses about it, and they practically insisted that I was confused, that those were for pregnancy, not postpartum. They said I should ask my doctor (again.) Of course, when she came in to do the circumcision today, I wasn't thinking about it and forgot to ask. I can sure see the benefits, though, and plan to ask tonight's nurse and the doctor tomorrow.

For those asking about bringing food (and I'll answer private e-mails, too,) with my in-laws being here (and keeping in mind their strict halal diet - halal being similar to kosher) I think it would be too hard to please everyone. Besides, there are plenty of extra hands to take care of food right now, and I'll be healed (God willing) by the time they leave in December. I so appreciate the offers, though!

As for baby pictures, there's a nifty baby photo kiosk here where we can take our own baby pictures and give out a link to the website for viewing. Our first attempt involved trying to squeeze a 10-pound baby into the preemie-sized going home outfit we brought. That didn't work so well, so K brought bigger clothes. Our second attempt found us waiting in line so long that Zayd was getting too fussy and we had to go back to our room to feed him. We haven't tried a third time, but I know everyone is anxious - we'll get there! He hasn't stopped frowning since he was born, and rarely opens his eyes more than to squint at us, though, so be warned. :-)

Baby Love

I'm officially in baby love. These soft, sweet cuddles more than make up for anything I had to go through to get him here. :-)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Baby Zayd

10:45pm Zayd is pronounced just as it looks, and rhymes with "jade." It is Arabic for "abundance," which is fitting considering the number of beautiful, perfect children we've been blessed with. I also thought it was fitting that it was a "Z" name, with "Z" signifying the last. We wanted an "ay" name to fit the theme we inadvertantly had going - Layla, Layth, Maya, Rayan, Zayd. I never even realized they all had an "ay" until my mom pointed it out after Rayan was born, except for Mina, who was technically Yasmin, and the "ya" was close enough. :-)

1:45pm Baby Zayd is here! Baby Zayd made his entrance kicking and screaming at 12:48pm via C-section, weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds even and measuring 21 1/2 inches long. We think he's beautiful, of course. He has the same coloring as most of our other children and the same brown hair. I'm a little dopey on morphine at the moment, so more later. Thank you all for your love and support!!


12pm K here, baby sideways, people bustling in and out. Anxious. Next post will be after baby.

11am IV in after two more attempts. Stuck on my side in a last ditch effort to get baby to turn. Hoping K gets here soon.

10am No IV yet, and contractions fading away, but the nurse came with the release for me to sign, acknowledging that I understand all manner of horrible things could go wrong up to and including death. I asked her to walk me through what was going to happen to me, and she was very patient and thorough. Still, I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I imagine is very similar to how I would feel waiting for my walk to the gallows or guillotine.

9am I've been IV free for a couple of days, which has been great, but it's time for a new one. One failed attempt so far, but the nurse was kind enough to call in anesthesia to make the second attempt. They should be here soon. In the meantime, I've had about 4 good contractions that seem wasted on a sideways baby. If I get another, I may walk a couple of laps to see whether the contractions keep coming or fade away like they usually do.

8am Baby was a complete breech this morning, but soon went back to his sideways position. I've been having mood swings this morning, alternately weepy and cranky. My first priority is a healthy baby, of course, but I can't imagine my life for the next weeks, not being able to pick up my children for cuddles or diaper changes, not being able to pick up the mess in the house, not being able to get up and down stairs easily, not being able to drive Layth to and from school, not being able to protect my children from the sugar diet and disrupted sleep schedules going on in my absence. I'm dreading even going home, knowing full well the frustration ahead when my OCD personality is faced with the total disruption and disorganization of my household. I'm sad that I've been here for most of a week, with no one else willing to take the children to cub scout meetings, halloween parties, and halloween zoo events, making them miss all those fun things in a vain attempt to avoid a C-section that I could have just done days ago and gotten over with.

I find myself getting annoyed with the sympathizers accusing the baby of being stubborn and with the cheerleaders urging me to keep walking, changing positions, and to try standing on my head. I've lost my sense of humor and am at risk of alienating everyone who's just trying to help.

As I reread what I've written, I realize how petty I sound, and how insignificant all of my worries and complaints are considering the losses I've suffered in the past and the fact that I'm going to be compensated for 6 weeks of strife with a lifetime of the joy and love that a beautiful new baby will bring, God willing. I'm going to think about that for a bit, then watch "Pirates of the Caribbean" for the umpteenth time since it always makes me happy.

Monday, October 27, 2008

More of the Same

7pm Nothing new to report. Layth was here playing cards with us for a while until K finished work and took him home. It was nice having him here! He left me a flower he made to brighten my room. Hoping and praying for a miracle to save me from a C-section and make this long hospital stay worthwhile. If you're the praying type, please add your prayers to ours!

10:30am Rocking in recommended positions while Mom naps. Doctor has ordered immediate induction with pitocin if baby does turn any time before noon tomorrow. C-section is scheduled for 12:30pm tomorrow afternoon. Beginning to resign myself to it, though still not giving up completely.

8am Baby still sideways, of course. The doctor said if we had been anyone else, she'd have done a C-section last Friday. For us, she'll give us one more day to try to avoid the section, but expressed concern at how outrageously expensive our hospital bill is going to be. I had a great nurse yesterday who was very encouraging and made a couple of suggestions for positions that might help baby turn. I'll try those today. The doctor said Tuesday night or Wednesday morning is our deadline. K went back to work today, but my mom's bus arrived from Texas this morning, so I have her for company now!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Frustration Sets In

9:45pm Great nurses today, at least. No change in baby's position. Must stop consoling myself with snacks! Watched "Persepolis" today. Second movie in a row I let K pick that has put me to sleep. ("American Grafitti" had the same effect.) Sticking to my choices for a while. :-) Dozing periodically, pretty sure it will be an early night tonight. Crossing fingers for better luck tomorrow.

3pm Baby still sideways, of course. Losing hope that he'll turn in time for me to avoid a C-section later this week. Wondering how outrageously high my hospital bill is going to be. Can't wait for my regular doctor (who actually seems to care) to be back tomorrow. Can't wait for my mom to arrive tomorrow!

9am I woke up this morning and could tell that baby was no longer sideways. Since this seems to happen every morning, only to have him go sideways when I get up, I called the nurse right away and asked her to find the doctor on call. No doctors here. This particular doctor didn't check on me even once when she was on call on Friday, either. A midwife came in and did an ultrasound, and found baby like he was yesterday morning when we made a plan - not quite head-down but almost. She and the nurse tried to tell me to just be patient, go for a walk, it would happen, no rush, etc. I just wanted to cry, because no matter how often I repeated yesterday's plan, they just kept saying the same things. I finally just said ok, they left with instructions to grab the doctor if they saw her, and I just laid there, refusing to move. I finally sat up a little to sip some orange juice and sure enough, the baby popped right into his sideways position, where based on the past few days, he'll stay all day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Take Three

8:15pm I've walked, napped on my side, rocked, danced, poked at baby's head - nothing will budge him from that sideways position. K has gone to get Layth for a visit. I'm pretty resigned to nothing happening tonight. I'd like to see the doctor again and ask that everything we need be on hand so that we can act as soon as we find baby head-down, since he always moves while we're waiting for things.

12:15pm The nurse heplocked my IV and said I could get dressed and go to lunch with K. Thank you so much to those of you who have offered to come by and/or bring entertainment! If things get as lonely as they did yesterday, I may take you up on it. At the moment, the plan is lunch, then try to catch baby head down and bind him!

10:45am Everything on hold - baby turned again before they could get here with the binder.

9:30am The doctor on call just did the re-assessment and found that though the baby is not completely head down, he's closer than he has been. The new plan is to put an abdominal binder on to hold the baby in place and encourage him to finish going head down (although I feel him moving as I type, so we'll see,) then administer Cytotec to start labor, then rupture the membranes, then have the baby one way or another. The plans have changed so often now that I'll believe it when I see it. Still waiting for the binder at this point and hoping baby is just dancing and not flipping.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yet Another Change of Plans

9:45pm K brought Maya for a surprise visit around 7:30pm, which made my night. Absolutely nothing new happening with the baby, but his tracings look good, which is the most important thing. On-call doctor should check in the morning to see if there's been any progress. I can't help but hope! Going to try to get some sleep now.

4pm It's looking like there's too much going on at home for anyone to come visit tonight, so had a little pity party with my new nurse, who was quite tolerant of me and just sorry she didn't really have any answers. Watched Across the Universe for the umpteenth time and had a shower. Back to reading now.

2pm K had to assist with a surgery this morning and is now headed home to shower, check on the children, and pick Layth up from school. The nurses have been leaving me alone for the most part, so I'm fighting boredom now!

10am Doctor's partners all thought she would be crazy to let me go home, so she consulted with the maternal-fetal medicine specialist, who said that although things may very well be fine now, being unmonitored in my condition would pose a slight risk to baby, and none of us could live with ourselves if anything happened, so I'm staying in the hospital until we have the baby, and trying not to think of the state of my house or the children's diet in my absence.

This is harder on Maya than we thought it would be. I'm hoping to see the children later today.

The new plan is to apply the cervical gel and re-assess the situation in 24 hours, with monitoring of the baby every 2-3 hours.

Still Waiting

8:30am Baby somersaulting so much that it's been decided that my uterus is just too worn out after 7 babies to hold him in position. I'm going home (again!) in a last ditch effort to avoid a C-section, since K and doctor feel chances of baby going head-down and dropping are much better if I go about my daily routine than if I sit in bed with no food or drink, attached to monitors. The plan is that I'll come in to labor and delivery both Saturday and Sunday for non-stress tests after one more application of cervical gel today. Assuming all is well, I'll go to the maternal-fetal medicine specialists on Monday for a non-stress test and possible biophysical profile. Assuming we pass those, too, we'll wait to check in on Tuesday, with plans to deliver one way or another, depending on baby's position. (I know, we've heard that before.) Here's hoping for a cooperative baby and no C-section! By the way, thank you so much to those of you who have posted well wishes (and to Jeanne for always making me smile) and kind thoughts. You've all cheered me immeasurably! xoxoxo

4am Baby is still sideways. The amniotic fluid was so low that everyone was surprised he could move in the first place. I'm afraid that NOW he's decided it's too hard to move and won't go back. He's wiggling a lot and seems content. K is afraid the doctor is going to want to section me in the morning. He's hoping to talk her into waiting it out for a couple of days, keeping an eye on the baby here in the hospital. I woke up an hour ago to find that my IV had stopped working and had to get a new IV. I'm hungry, thirsty, concerned about trying to recover from a C-section with all the little ones at home, sad about not getting to hold him right away if I'm sectioned, and worried about being away from Maya for too long.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Take Two

10:30pm Doctor has advised us to sleep. Planning to snack on peanut butter crackers, finish watching American Grafitti, check baby's position again, then try to sleep. Maya is missing me - I miss her, too!!

9pm Baby taking the long way around, almost complete breech now. Doctor willing to wait it out, so I get to eat dinner, and they brought an ultrasound machine in for K so he can check position periodically. We'll let the doctor know if baby goes head down, then we'll start pitocin again while I hold baby in place. May rupture the membranes at that time.

7:30pm Contractions were coming along, doctor came to check, found baby sideways. Pitocin was stopped, and now I'm up wandering around and hoping baby will turn again so we don't have to do a C-section.

4:30pm At my appointment this morning, I was told we were planning to induce on the 28th, then I was sent for a non-stress test and biophysical profile to be sure the baby is still happy. The baby is happy enough, but the amniotic fluid is low and they're predicting a 9-9 1/2 pound baby, so they decided to induce today. I'm looking forward to meeting the baby, but I feel anxious today for some reason. After Tuesday, I kinda feel like I need to be at home with my children!

They just started the pitocin, so we have quite a while to go. My prediction is sometime between 4:30am and 6:30am tomorrow, based on my past history. I'll keep my readers posted, though!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Current Events

11:38pm: I'm more stressed by the situation at home than by the cancelled induction! I got home around 7:30pm to find K gone back to work, only one child fed, no one anywhere near ready for bed, the house mysteriously filled with cookies and doughnuts, "clean" dishes that weren't clean enough for me, slimy Rayan footprints on our freshly cleaned carpet indicating that he had been allowed to go down the steps outside that lead to the toxic slimepool that our landlady refuses to clean up or cover up, the smell of burnt popcorn, popcorn kernels in various places NOT in the kitchen, Rayan playing in the litterbox with a piece of poop, an argument between Layth and Maya over which one of them had been playing with their grandfather's needles for his diabetes injections, dried-on remnants of poop causing a great rash on Maya, and when I finally finished helping Layth with his homework, putting all the children to bed, and sat down to eat some dinner, someone's cooking set off the smoke alarms, waking Layth and igniting panicked tears. Re-settle Layth, finish dinner, marvel at K's inability to see the need for someone to be here to help his parents with the children while we're at the hospital, dishes, laundry, tidying ... I don't have TIME to have a baby!!

3:10pm: Labor has been called off and pitocin turned off. Dr feels baby is way too high and puts me at higher risk with pitocin. A gel will be applied to the cervix to hopefully cause some kind of progress, then I'll be sent home. Gel could possibly start natural labor, but the current plan is to be rechecked in the doctor's office on Thursday morning, then decide what to do.

1:15pm: Not only did I get a room, I got the biggest corner room! I like my nurse, and she got the IV in on the first attempt (no lidocaine though - ouch,) so we're getting along just fine. I watched my soaps and waited for my doctor's partner to come do an ultrasound to confirm the head-down position. Pitocin was started on the lowest level a little before 1pm and has since been cranked up a notch. Nothing regular happening yet (and K isn't here yet,) but we knew it could be a while. I do feel a few irregular little contractions - warm-up exercises, I think. :-)

10am: The doctor called early this morning to let us know there was still a bed available but that labor and delivery had been filling up fast (apparently October is a busy month for babies.) She wanted K to check on the baby and give her a call.

After hasty preparations and arranging a ride for Layth to school, we rushed to his office for an ultrasound and confirmed that the baby was head down. The doctor told him to have me check in at 11am, so I'm currently sitting in the car in the hospital's parking garage, hoping no one claims the last bed and hoping that all this wiggling the baby is doing is just his excitement and not his attempt to thwart an induction by flipping around again! I'll try to update here periodically, with plans to move this post to 40 Weeks in a few days.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Happy Birthday, Layla!

At 1, in Michigan

Thinking of Layla a lot today, on what would have been her 10th birthday. Our neighbors have a girl in fourth grade and a boy in first grade (one of Layth's best friends,) and it just occurred to me today that Layla would have been in fourth grade too, and might have been good friends with our neighbors' daughter. I know I'll be looking at her differently now, wondering how much like her Layla would have been.

Nearly 3, in England before her uncle's wedding

I've been thinking about Layla crawling out of my bathroom closet in her last days, saying, "Mama, look who's in your closet," as she pretended to be Nut, the cat.

Nearly 4, playing with ponies at home in Texas

We went to Chuck E Cheese, as usual, to celebrate her birthday, and Layth picked out a cake for her at the store. It's hard not being able to visit the cemetery on her birthday, but my mom went and left flowers, which helps.

At 4, in Texas.

I'm thinking a lot of the new baby, too, and wondering if this birth will have anything in common with Layla's birth other than the time of year. Wondering if we'll have one more dark-haired baby or not. Wondering if it's going to start tomorrow when I go to my appointment with the doctor!

In other news, I got a call from Rayan's pediatrician's office this morning informing me that their vaccination auditor (I never knew such a thing existed, but I'm glad of it) discovered that Rayan was missing a polio vaccination, and since the children needed their flu shots anyway, we went this afternoon. Flu shots for Layth and Maya, flu and polio for Rayan, and not one tear, howl, or whimper from the lot of them. I can't even tell you how proud I was of them! Of course, that called for a trip to the chocolate shop next door (downstairs from the new dentist's office - I don't think I mentioned that Layth has two small cavities that will be filled Wednesday if I'm not in the hospital) and getting to pick TWO chocolates per person, as well as sharing some yummy Mexican hot chocolate.

Since I keep dozing off here, I'm off to bed, perhaps to enjoy my last peaceful night's sleep for a while. I'm hoping for Layla dreams.

At 4, on a K and Layla only trip to England

Happy birthday, Layla ... I love you! xoxoxoxo

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Yes and No

Baby wasn't very cooperative this morning, and was completely sideways. This was just as well, because even though I did manage to get my hospital bag packed, I still felt like there were too many things left undone. I came home, did enough laundry to get the children and K through most of the week, did the dishes the way I like them done, dug the baby's car seat and bassinet out of the garage (you'd think I'd have done that weeks ago, but no,) and found the breast pump on a shelf in the back of the garage. Washed the car seat cover and bassinet sheet, vacuumed the unwashable, just slightly dusty edges and ruffles of the bassinet, and carted things upstairs. Cleared off my dresser (unrelated to the baby, but has been on my to-do list for ages and made me feel better) and set up the bassinet. We still haven't done much baby shopping (though I can at least get by on what we have now,) but we did manage to get a going-home outfit.

K wanted to check me one more time this afternoon after I did all that, just in case, and lo and behold, baby was head down, the cervix was favorable, and we were good to go. K called the doctor (and the doctor said, "no more monkeys ..." Oh, wait, wrong story ...) who was very pleased with my progress but regretful that labor and delivery were completely full, and no beds were available for our induction. She said she might call us later, but since we haven't heard from her and she's not working tomorrow, we're just planning to wait until my appointment Tuesday morning and hope baby either stays in or goes back to his head-down position by then.

We're planning to celebrate Layla's birthday tomorrow by going to Chuck E. Cheese, as usual, and Layth wants to pick a cake for her (us) after school. I'll plan on posting an update on Tuesday unless I'm admitted to the hospital, so no news will be good news! If I'm admitted, I'll ask my mom to post updates as comments to this post so no one has to wait on pins and needles to hear from me. :-)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Waiting Game

As expected, but not without some measure of anxiety, we made it through the last-minute 6-course meal with K's partner and his family (for the curious, we started with homemade samosas (mine,) moved on to a special basmati rice dish (mine,) zeera aloo (a potato dish, mine,) chicken korma (K's,) lamb karahi (K's,) tandoori chicken (K's - almost a disaster when the propane grill ran out of propane halfway through cooking, until I reminded him of the hugely expensive Green Egg - a smoker grill he bought at an auction last year - sitting on our patio,) and naan bread (the only thing not homemade, only because I didn't know we were supposed to be having it - silly me,) and finished with seviya (a traditional, creamy pudding, mine.) Since the guests were almost four hours late, we were finished in plenty of time, and I even had time for a shower!

Other than one little meltdown on my part when he informed me that he was going to go jogging and maybe for a massage while I worked (he had gotten up extra early to do most of his cooking, after all,) we made it through the day without much incident. For the record, I did manage to persuade him that going jogging and getting a massage while I worked were a really bad idea. To his credit, he cancelled both, was a great help with the children, and even offered to let me go for the massage. Of course, there was no time for any such thing.

My favorite quote of the evening came from K's partner, K2.

Addressing his mother while replacing her oxygen tank: "Well, Mom, the good news is that you've been out of oxygen for the past two hours and you didn't die."

Yeah, that might have ruined the evening, you think?

We also made it through the dinner I hosted for MY friends, and though the attendance dropped from 8 to 4 due to a virus going around, it was a very pleasant and relaxed evening. K took the children to Chuck E Cheese, and while it got a little hectic between their return home and bedtime, there was hardly a break in the conversation that somehow managed to go past midnight. We didn't even realize how late it was! I made my grandmother's wonderful 4-layer carrot cake, which kept me happy for several days afterward, too.

K's parents arrived last night, exhausted at the end of a 24-hour journey. They flew through Paris to avoid changing planes in the US (changing planes in the US for an international flight requires collecting your bags mid-trip, hauling them through customs, and re-checking them,) but their Paris flight was delayed. They missed the flight to Seattle, and ended up having to fly through Chicago and do the baggage thing anyway, arriving 8 1/2 hours later than originally planned. Although I can't help thinking 'better them than us' with our party of five, I do feel sympathetic toward them!

My nesting instincts have led to various tidying and cleaning projects, though most are misplaced and have nothing to do with the new baby. I spent the last two days cleaning and polishing the inside of my car, then rearranging seats for company. We'll have to rearrange one more time for the baby. I'm glad I insisted on the 8th seat for the minivan!

Now we're just waiting on the baby, hoping conditions will be favorable for an induction tomorrow, and trying to get last minute shopping and tidying done.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Sooo ... I was informed yesterday that K's parents are coming - next week - for 8 weeks.

I was informed today that K's partner and his family are coming - tomorrow - for a 6-course home-cooked Indian meal, half of which I need to prepare.

Tonight's family night? Cancelled, due to heavy workload.

I need a hug!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Layth and Maya were told to bring baby pictures of them with their siblings to the sibling class tonight, and since for some unknowable reason it never even occurred to me to take pictures of them diapering and swaddling the "newborn" dolls in the class, these nostalgic baby pictures will have to do.

Mina, Justin, and Layla with baby Layth in 2002.

Justin, Layth, and baby Maya in 2005.

The children showed their pictures, learned how to touch their babies (lifelike, anatomically correct baby dolls) gently, made attempts at diapering and swaddling as they listened to a 9-minute recording of a crying baby and tried to figure out what the baby might be trying to say, carried the babies around labor and delivery on a tour of the maternity ward, saw a real newborn in a bassinet, made decorations for the baby, were given projects to work on at home for their moms to brighten their hospital rooms with, and were brought teddy bears by a big, burly security guard as a special gift for being the first class ever in the new classrooms of the hospital. Maya rejected hers for being too un-bunnylike, and decided she would give it to Rayan. The idea of a baby coming home soon is beginning to become a reality for all of us!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


We toured the hospital's maternity ward last night, followed by a lovely (and rare) dinner for two since we already had a sitter. I've been very spoiled by Medical City in Dallas, so I can't say I was overly impressed, but it is certainly satisfactory enough and gave us little butterflies of excitement for the impending arrival. It's amazing to see the tiny diapers and t-shirts and to remember that our big boys and girl at home used to be that small! Baby Rayan is going to seem like a giant next to the new little one. The neatest thing they had at this hospital is a baby photo machine thing. We can roll the hospital bassinet under the camera and take as many pictures as we like instead of having a photographer come to the room. We can post all the pictures to the virtual nursery for family and friends to look at, and print a few for ourselves, all at no charge. We can also use cell phones in the delivery room to keep our parents posted. It's about time technology advanced far enough for that! I'm not thrilled that they're going to kick me out after 24 hours (with Mina I left after 6 hours, and with Layla begged to be released after 12 hours, but have since learned my lesson and enjoyed every peaceful toddler-free moment in the hospital I could get!) but I'll manage. I suspect Baby will need phototherapy like his jaundiced brother and sister anyway, in which case I'll be staying a little longer.

I had my 38-week checkup today, details of which have been posted at 40 Weeks, and I'm taking Layth and Maya to a class tomorrow evening that prepares children 3 1/2 and over to welcome a new baby into the house. I'm just now starting to try to prepare Rayan for the baby, but I don't really expect him to get it until we bring the baby home.