Monday, September 19, 2011

Drew Solon :: A Birth Story {Part 1}

Let me remind you of what I looked like at the end of my pregnancy:

This is me at 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant (according to dating ... when baby came out, they figured he was about a week early).  I actually crawled out of my hospital bed to take one last belly shot before they induced me, so this was literally taken at the very end of my pregnancy.

This is also me at 184 lbs (which is 59 lbs above what I started at) and with a blood pressure that slightly elevated. And by slightly elevated I mean that I always have excellent blood pressure (seriously. almost every nurse comments on how great my blood pressure is) and on this day my blood pressure was low when it was in the 140s. So, that was probably not good. 

I actually was at the doctor for the second time that week. I went in for my regular 39 week check-up on Monday, where we talked about all my options. I really really didn't want to be induced because of all the horror stories I had heard, and my doctor respected that. However, he was leaving on Saturday for a week long vacation and he was worried about me, so he wanted to check me one last time before he left. It was his hope that I would come in on Thursday and he would check me and I would be dilated and ready to go with a little pitocin.

(a little foreshadowing ...that wasn't how it was at all)

When Thursday rolled around I dragged myself out of bed to get ready to go the doctor. I woke up with a sore throat and just felt crappy. I hemmed and hawed about packing my hospital bag (it was somewhat packed, but not really. the energy simply wasn't there!) and finally decided that even though I was most likely coming home, I should still take it with. So I halfheartedly packed (I packed facewash, but not my toothbrush) and headed into town. Unfortunately it was a super busy day in the ER and my doctor kept getting called away. My 11:30 appointment turned into 1:15, which turned into 3:30. 

At that point, I had been in town since 12:00 and I was ready to go home. Actually, I was ready to go to Mitchell with my husband for one last fun date night.

So, we got in to see the doctor and he was slightly concerned. After all, my blood pressure was in the 140s, I had gained 3 pounds since Monday (so basically I was packing on a pound a day ... even though I was supposed to be off of all sugar, and I mostly was), and I looked/felt like crap. However, I wasn't having any contractions and was not dilated/effaced in the slightest. 

All those things added up to a non-stress test. So I waddled my way up to the hospital and got hooked up. By this time it was about 4:30 and I was told I was supposed to stay connected for 1/2 hr, which put us at 5:00. We needed to get to Mitchell by 7:00, so we were watching the clock, commenting on how this was probably just a waste of time and how much we wanted to get out of there. 

Well, the time slowly ticked by, and 1/2 hr turned into an hour, which turned into an hour and a half. Obviously by this point we weren't going to make it to Mitchell, so we settled down disappointingly and waited on the doctor. He finally came in (like I said, it was a crazy busy ER day) and looked at the data. 

To say he wasn't ecstatic about my stats would be putting it mildly. In fact, he was so concerned that within just a couple of minutes he let me know we weren't going to be leaving that hospital without a baby. 

And that started our fun adventure with induction .....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Book Review: Wonders Never Cease

I have a bit of a shameful confession ... this book has been on my shelf for a year, waiting to be reviewed. You see, I get free books from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review. And last year, while we were living in Alaska, I got Wonders Never Cease and you know what? I read it. I read it right away. But I never took the time to sit down and review it.

Then I started working, and going to school full time, and then I got pregnant. And then we moved. And then I was doing more school. And then I had a baby. And then we moved again (by the way, we sort of kind of are living in North Dakota part time now ... don't worry, I'll write a blogpost about it soon! But knowing me, soon will probably be in the next 2 months or so).

So here we are. A year later. 2 reads of the book later. And I am finally ready to share with you all of my thoughts!

Wonders Never Cease, a novel by Tim Downs, is the story of an opportunistic trio out to make money off of a has-been movie star, a girl who can see angels and the hospital that ties them all together.

The movie star, Olivia Hayden, is in a medically induced coma after totaling her car. The nurse in charge of her care, Kemp McAvoy, is opportunistic and greedy, which leads him to the idea of bringing her out of her coma every night in order to give her a message from the "beyond". He approaches her agent and a book publisher with the idea, and they all plot together to produce a message they want to tell her. Then once she is awake her publisher can press her about her "dreams" and they'll make millions off the story she will write.

While those three are busy conjuring a pretend "angel", a little girl named Leah is seeing actual angels. Her mom is also a nurse, who happens to be dating Kemp. While Kemp is busy with his business plan, he keeps blowing off the needs of his live-in girlfriend Natalie and her six year old daughter Leah. Leah keeps getting in trouble in school because of the angels, which leads to stress on Natalie.

Downs is a good writer. His story is engaging and he does a great job with the dialogue. However, I cannot give it my full stamp of approval because he does too good of a job writing an annoying protagonist - Kemp McAvoy. While Leah is supposedly the narrator, her voice gets lost in the story of McAvoy's arrogance, greed and narcissism. I would have liked to hear more from Leah's perspective, instead of just an prologue and epilogue that tells us she is the one telling the story. Instead we are stuck with having to follow McAvoy around as he becomes more and more of an entitled jerk.  To be honest, he just flat out annoyed me and it slightly soured me on the book. But the story is engaging, the idea is humorous (and not too hard to believe!), and Downs has talent with words.

If I were to give a star rating, I would have to say 2.5. Definitely one that I was able to re-read, but not one that I couldn't put down or raved about.