Saturday, January 30, 2010


Reasor Tak-Sing Wong

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Birth Story

Well, it wasn't easy, but he's here. Reasor Tak-Sing Wong was born Saturday January 23, 2010 at 7:23 PM. And here, for those of you who would like to know and so that I can feel like I've processed a bit by telling someone, "The Birth Story."

My water broke at 2:00 PM on Friday, but I was stubborn and didn't run straight to the hospital. There will have to be some major shifts in obstetric policy toward natural childbirth and major changes in lawsuit policy before I will just do anything the hospital tells me to do over the phone. Anyway, I stayed home and waited for labor to start and progress. It started about midnight, almost exactly as we turned out the lights to go to sleep. I know, I should have gone to bed earlier. I didn't. Neither Kevin nor I slept very well Friday night. I did get a couple of hours in, and Kevin must have slept at some point as he turned on the light and started telling me nonsense about house listings at about 2 AM. By morning the contractions had slowed down considerably and were no longer regular. We had french toast and then Kevin took Alena to Home Depot to get some things to make our house sell worthy. When they got home Alena came to ask me how I was doing, because if I was doing OK Daddy said she could ride her tricycle. I ended up going out too and started washing some windows as Kevin started working on repainting the garage doors. Apparently that did the trick and labor started up again.

I took Alena inside to make some lunch, and she just couldn't understand why I would stop and bend over a counter and refuse to speak to her every few minutes so I called in Kevin for reinforcements. He finished making the lunch and entertained Alena when "Mommy was sleeping," as she called it. During this time the neighbor stopped over to return a tool and I got a phone call or two. It just proved that the mind controls the body, because when I was hiding labor from people, my body would skip a contraction. Then when they left or hung up I would have a double long contraction. Good thing they didn't stay through more than one contraction! I had to hide labor because people get bossy when they find out you're in labor and tell you you have to go to the hospital. Please understand I wasn't just being stupid this whole time. Because my water had broken I was monitoring the baby's heartbeat and his movement and taking my temperature from time to time. That's what they would have done at the hospital, only they would have also been bossing me to take drugs, giving internal exams, and withholding nourishment. Not to mention they wouldn't have had my bed there. I was also praying that I would know when it was time to go to the hospital and got a blessing from Kevin.

Alena went down for a nap like an angel and I had some really awful contractions, during which instead of counting and breathing and visualizing I couldn't help but think the entire time, "I'll never make it through this one. It's just not possible." So I asked for another blessing and it said that I would be able to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit to make wise choices. After the blessing I told Kevin it was time to go. He had already packed up the car so he just went and made arrangements for Alena and we were off. I told him as he started the car that if we got there and I wasn't really close to done I was going to need something for pain. He asked if he was supposed to talk me out of that. I told him he was supposed to just believe me and then tried not to cry for the 17 minutes in the car on the way.

I must have put on a better show than last time because upon walking into registration they said that Kevin could fill out the paper and I could go straight to a room. No waiting in triage for me! They asked me if I was planning on an epidural. I told them it depended on how far along I was. As I walked away I heard Kevin say that I wasn't planning on an epidural, and it sort of knocked some sense into me. It took me 3 contractions to put the hospital gown on, after which they hooked me up to all the junk. The junk confirmed to me that the contractions really were worse than last time. Reasor's heartbeat was on the wrong side for him to be face down. That explained the back labor. I must have seen 4 nurses before my assigned nurse came in. One tested for amniotic fluid (I never heard the results of that test), one told me that I was a six, and I decided that was close enough to continue with the natural birth, one was showing some student nurses how to set up for a delivery.

Then came my nurse. She said that these student nurses would really like to see someone that had the stamina to do a natural birth, and could they stay? I said they could as long as they were quiet. Those girls never made a sound the rest of the time. My nurse on the other hand never closed her mouth from that moment on. It's funny to think about now, but her high pitched, loud voice talking to me through contractions as if I cared at all what she was saying during contractions was quite grating. It's especially funny that after she had asked me all of my medical history questions, (which Kevin was answering but she kept directing to me as if I weren't busy) she said to the student nurses that women like me just liked to be left alone now. I wish she had followed her own instructions.

The good news is they let me take a bath even though my water had broken. (Apparently hospital policy does eventually catch up to medical research.) As far as I'm concerned natural childbirth is impossible without a tub full of warm water. They taught the nurses how to check the heartbeat while I was in the tub, which was fine except the nurse kept talking the whole time. Then she spilled my ice chips on the floor, cleaned up a bit and then left. Kevin went to get me something I had asked for, I forget what, and I turned onto my side hoping that would get the baby off of my back. No sooner had I done so but my body started pushing. It was a terrifying experience. I never had an urge to push with Alena. They just told me it was time and then told me when to push and counted for me. There I was in the tub all alone and pushing with all of my might. It was only one contraction before Kevin was back and I sent him to get help and I tried to get out of the tub. No such luck. When everyone got back they moved me in a wheel chair the 10 feet from the tub to the bed because I couldn't have made it.

When they checked they said I wasn't quite ready to push, which was OK because I hate pushing and when I was not on my side I didn't really have the urge anymore. I tried a couple of contractions on my hands and knees with that woman blabbering on the whole time. It didn't feel any better, but it was worth it because Reasor took the opportunity to turn over. Thank you, Reasor. I had one contraction where the nurse tried rubbing my back. I made it clear to her that her efforts were not welcome by grunting something nondistinct. Kevin tried gently touching my shoulder with Alena but all I had to do for him was feebly wave my hand. At some point this time I wanted to hold Kevin's hand, and once again he could take subtle hints. Good job, Kevin.

A few more contractions and I was ready to push. The Doctor took the opportunity between contractions to ask how long I had pushed with my first. I told her, and she said that this one would probably be faster. Then a contraction started so she immediately stopped talking to let me work. Not to worry, the void was filled by the nurse having a monologue about what half of 30 minutes would be. I shushed her. I don't think she realized what a drastic measure it was for a girl like me to shush her so forcefully. Probably equal to a more expressive person using an expletive. Nonetheless, she was quiet for the next 30 seconds or so.

So I pushed and pushed and tried to ignore the nurse shouting instructions at me. When I followed her instructions, the pushes were more effective, but more effective = more painful so I wasn't terribly obedient. She did instruct me to grunt instead of shouting, which I tried. I almost laughed when I heard the cow noise that came out. Toward the end I said in my very best whiny voice, "I want it to be done." Reasor apparently wanted it to be done too. He told us by slowing down his heart. They put an oxygen mask on me and then delivered him pretty quickly with the help of a pair of scissors.

They gave me that little boy and they didn't even ask to take him away to measure him and such until more than an hour later. In fact we called to tell Alena about her brother's arrival before we knew how much he weighed. She said, "Hi, Reasor. I'm having a sleep-over."

The Doctor told us that it was great that those nurses had been able to see such a textbook-perfect natural delivery. It was a Doctor we had never met, but I liked her quite a bit. She was approximately 100 times faster at doing stitches than the Doctor who delivered Alena, and she didn't talk to me like a baby.

Since he was born just after 7, the nurse's shift was over and she left us with another nurse. Kevin and I were mentioning how much and how loudly the other nurse had talked. The new nurse laughed and knew who we were talking about.

They were a bit worried about Reasor as his temperature was low as was his blood sugar, but all of that was eventually taken care of. We are so happy to have him and so grateful to all of the people who watched Alena for us. Now we're enjoying being a brand new family of 4.

I promise to put some pictures up soon, but right now I think I'll feed the baby and then take a nap.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Your votes

Who thinks this baby has grown enough to come out? Yeah. Me too. :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Culture Shock

About the time Kevin and I got engaged, people started asking us where we wanted to end up eventually. Neither of us come from the kind of families that all settle in the same city again, and we weren't really sure our parents would remain where they were after they retired, so the world was open to us. Unlike some people who go to BYU, we aren't Utah haters, but we never really figured we'd end up here. We started to answer with where we wouldn't end up rather than where we would. We would tell people we didn't want to go to the South, or anyplace more desert than Utah.

The desert requirement was nothing more than a preference in climate. I'm not good with dry and I'm not good with hot. Although I'm not good with wet hot either, my prejudice against the South was more of a cultural thing. (Warning!: Stereotypes and Generalizations to follow.) Although my family are transplants to the Midwest, I communicate with more than my share of "Midwestern nice." In my limited experience, there are no two groups of English-speaking people on this continent who communicate more differently than Midwesterners and Southerners. I had a few Southern roommates who were forever surprising and amazing me by saying exactly what they meant. I'm sure I frustrated them by veiling my meaning in layers and layers of Midwestern Nice. Also it intimidates me a little how well a Southern Bell minds her manners. I'm sure I haven't even heard of three quarters of the behaviors a true Southern Bell lives on a daily basis. I mean, really all I know is not to put my elbows on the table or lick my fingers, and I can't say I follow those rules religiously. I excluded the South from my possible settling places I guess mostly because I'm afraid I can't possibly fit in.

It's a good thing I know that the Lord knows better than I do what I need, because we're moving to Georgia next month. We found out a few days ago that Kevin will be working in Atlanta starting March 1st. I must admit I was pretty terrified at first, but as the news has actually settled in, it turns out I'm pretty excited. Although, after watching "Blind Side" last night (a film I highly recommend), I'm once again wary of impending culture shock. How will I survive in a world of Mrs. Tuohys who can say what they mean? (Time out for a quick Alena quote. The evening I found out, I had put on Alena's pajamas and was picking her up to go brush her teeth in the bathroom when I just had to give her a big hug and tell her how happy I was that where ever we go, she's going with us. She looked at me, smiled and said, "Yeah. And we're going to the bathroom!")

Anyway, if you have connections to Atlanta you'd like to share, we'd love to hear about them, especially if it's a really fabulous OB/GYN or pediatrician. We'll be needing each of those about 20 minutes after we arrive in Atlanta. (We finally found a dentist we like here if you want to swap recommendations.) Also if you want to rent our house here or buy it for more than its current market value, we may be able to accommodate you. Or if you want to clean this house after the movers come while I sit around and nurse on the floor in corners due to a complete lack of furniture, feel free. It seems to me I sat around in corners in this house nursing due to a complete lack of furniture not too long ago. Major life-changing events never come one at a time, do they? Happily, thinking about both the move and the baby boy's imminent arrival make me smile when I think about them. Miraculous isn't it, for a girl who wouldn't mind settling anywhere other than the South or someplace more desert than Utah?