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Lessons From A Toddler With A Cast

We did it! 
We survived! 

This morning, the cast came off and is now a distant memory with only a slight limp (and a smelly cast in a bag) to remember it by. 

When the Little Man broke his leg 4 weeks ago, I honestly thought my world was coming to an end. 

I can clearly remember sitting in the ER with my husband laughing almost uncontrollably as my eyes filled with tears. I knew I needed a lesson in “letting go, and letting God,” but had never expected for it to happen at 34 weeks pregnant. 

Trying to regain control of my world and my sanity when the unthinkable (almost unbelievable) happens, through no fault of his own, my son breaks his leg, and we end up with a cast for 4 weeks. 

Well, we’ve reached the end, and I can only say I came out the other side alive and a happier person for it. 

If you ever find yourself going through the same experience, I have a few pointers and tips on how to help you make it through. Little facts I learned along the way that you might never have thought of until you’re in the situation, but pointers I wish I knew. 

When it goes on. . .
If you find yourself with a child getting a cast, the typical application visit will look something like this:
1) An orthopedist will examine the ER x-rays and perform a brief physical to confirm the break, severity, and discuss a plan of action. (This will last 10-15 minutes)
2) The cast goes on by a cast technician and assistant. They’ll usually have a parent hold onto the child at the table or in your lap while they do the wrap. Most children’s hospitals will allow you to select a cast color or pattern. 

If you’re a fun parent and know a cast is inevitable, think ahead about your color and order a cast tattoo! It’s a fun way to make it more exciting for your child and can probably even arrive around the time your cast goes on!

The whole process should only take about 15 minutes. They’re fast and comforting if they specialize in pediatrics!

3) You’ll go in for another x-ray to confirm the cast was set in place correctly. 
4) If the doctor approves the x-ray, you go on your way! They almost never have to reset the cast due to the x-ray results. 

Check for the rough spots! 
If you find your child in a cast, make sure the moment they put it on they apply moleskin padding or gauze to any rough parts that come in contact with the skin; especially if it’s a part that will have a lot of friction. For example, the upper part of the cast that comes in contact with the thigh or bottom, or the part that comes in contact with the elbow or under arm.

Within 4 days, we were back at the hospital because this worried mom already saw signs of skin irritation and redness. If I’d known to ask for the gauze first, we would have avoided an unnecessary traumatizing trip back for this simple fix! 

Wetness Happens 
Although they tell you to avoid getting the cast wet like it’s the plague, it’s going to happen! We limited the number of sponge baths we gave him down to 1 a week, used a plastic bag as protection, and he’d still wind up with cast dampness. There’s no way to avoid it. 

You can try a blow drier on the cool setting (if your child will allow you to get it near them!). But we found that air drying was the best method. We simply left his pants off and let him run around in a diaper until we felt most of the moisture had gone away. Whatever you do, DON’T use baby or talcum powder in or near the cast! It doesn’t soak up the moisture; it’ll only cause irritation and make it more itchy. 

Smells Happen
Another unpleasant result from the leg cast was the smelliness due to sweat and urination. We never thought a cast “symptom” would be bed-wetting, but it was! 

Because the cast went up to his upper thigh, we often found with his nighttime movement, the cast would pull his diaper away from his skin and cause leaking. Almost every other night he’d wake up in a puddle or we’d discover he’d leaked through his pants the next morning. 

We slowly learned to check his bed before we went to bed and change his diaper if it was slightly full or even just lay a towel down if we noticed dampness. This would help with his nighttime wakings, but often there wasn’t anything we could do. 

If his cast was wet the next morning, again, we simply let it air dry, but no matter how hard we tried, the cast was going to end up smelling like urine (and the doctor confirmed it was common.). 

A lovely bonus to add to all the other “fun” aspects of having a cast! 

A New Weapon  
If you end up with a leg cast, don’t be surprised if your toddler begins to realize it can be a fun toy to swing or hit with.

Banging sounds coming from his bed railing or wall was a frequent noise at bedtime, and small dents and paint scraps began to appear where he’d swing his leg before falling asleep. 

Never underestimate the power of a toddler in a cast! They quickly realize they feel no pain and find it to be a new and exciting toy! 

Over the last 4 weeks, my husband and I have had several almost broken noses, bruising, and I personally had a busted, bloody lip for 3 days as our son learned that swinging his 6 pound cast around was a new feeling! Eventually we learned to start covering our faces and using our strength to keep his leg down if we had to lay near him while he innocently experimented with the feeling. 

When it comes off. . .
This appointment is very similar to the first appointment only everything happens backwards. 
1)  The cast technician removes the cast using a cast saw. Don’t panic at the thought of a power tool near your child’s skin like I did! 

They place ear muffs on the child to help protect from the noise; although it’s not very loud if you’re not wearing them. 

The cast saw has a plastic safety that prevents the tech from cutting too deep, and they only cut the hard part of the cast which stops about 1/4″ away from the top and bottom. 

Then they use gauze scissors to cut the remaining pieces off, and then, in two sections it simply pops off! 

This is where I thought my son would flip out, but he was so fascinated by what they were doing, he barely moved once the sound of the saw started. Afterwards I realized he didn’t even have the ear muffs over his ears! (But I hear this isn’t typical! Don’t be surprised if you’re having to hold your child down as they’re freaking out. Sorry if this is you!) 

Again, this took maybe 5-8 minutes. 

2) The tech will look for any irregularities on the skin. 

In our case, she found a redness and borderline blistering on his heel, so she asked us to not let him walk until he’d been seen by the doctor.

3) You’ll have 1 more x-ray to determine if the break has healed. 

4) The doctor will examine the x-rays, followed by a 
visual exam to see any irregularities or skin issues. 

We were warned to avoid the urge to scrub his legs with a loofa or brush to get off the dead skin. The skin is extra sensitive and will only cause more irritation that way. Any type of lotion or moisturizer would be fine to use and helpful as itching is expected. 

The doctor will also try to get the child moving the limb to help them begin the process of reusing the muscles, and discuss what’s expected going forward. 

As long as everything healed properly, and there are no follow-up concerns. . .you’re done! 

With our morning appointment, we were in and out within 45 minutes! 

After Effects of a Leg Cast

We were told it would take about 5 weeks for him to back to 100% normalcy. There’d be a 2 week period where he might walk as if he were still in a cast and adjusting to using his muscles again. 

Knee-buckling, frequent falls, not bending his knee, throwing his leg around are all normal. 

After a few weeks, he’d probably still slightly walk with a limp as he’s trying to rebuild his hip muscles. 

But overall, toddlers are pretty resilient! He was almost walking on his own as we left the hospital, and only held our hand to help keep his balance.

And by the time we reached our car, it was like the whole thing never happened . . .

38 Weeks, But 9 Days To Go!

It’s coming to an end! 

We have our C-Section scheduled for a week from Monday on January 14th which means there’s only 9 days left (unless this baby decides to come sooner!)

I’ve been seeing my doctor each week for the last 2 weeks, and both times no progress has been made, so the odds of him coming sooner is probably very low. 

His head is in the down position, and although he’s technically dropped lower, his head is still sitting pretty high. No dilation, no softening. . .he’s happy and content just like his brother was. 

There have been no signs of labor at home either. Over the last few nights I’ve experienced what WebMD calls an irritable uterus that wakes me up out of my sleep; however, water and a little walking helps the pain go away. Some back pain has also started, but based on his position and size it’s expected! 

I’m honestly starting to wonder if my body knows how to be really awesome at getting pregnant, but has no idea what to do with the baby when he’s done cooking! 

We’ll go in on Thursday for one last exam and a final sonogram. I’m measuring a little small for his last recorded size, so just to make sure there’s not a low fluid level, we’ll take a peek 1 more time at this little guy before his birth! 

I have a feeling this is going to be the SLOWEST week I’ve ever had. I’ve been making booking myself up to try and help the time fly. 

Sunday I’m attending a meeting with the Children’s Ministry Leadership Team to help kick off the 2013 year, then we’ll be headed to our Lifegroup that evening. 

Monday marks D-Day for the Little Man’s cast, and I’ll probably take him out to celebrate afterwards (and avoid separation anxiety as we’re a little nervous he’s grown to love it!)

Tuesday I made one last hair appointment since it’ll be some time before I can easily get out for a cut & color again. 

Thursday is our final doctor appointment and my January Book Club meeting. 

Friday I’m starting back at MOPS for the Spring, and it will likely be my last meeting for a month or so. 

We’re in the process of trying to decide how we’ll spend our last weekend as a family of 3. Since we go in bright and early Monday morning for the delivery, I’ve decided the Little Man will be spending the night with my parents on Sunday evening. 

I’m not sure how I’m feeling about this. . . 

Although I know it makes the most sense, part of me doesn’t want to let him go since it’ll be the last time he’ll be my “only little boy.” I also won’t be able to be with him for long periods of time until we’ve come home, and it makes it that much harder to not already start missing him! 

I have a feeling next weekend is going to be a very emotional weekend for me! 

Any advice for me my last week as a mom of 1? 

Cooper’s Story, The Tide Turns?

Wednesday, December 28

We’re on our way to the specialist clinic to discuss what happens next. We were convinced we would have to put Cooper down, when it occurs to me to call my cousin who happens to be a veterinarian in Richardson, Dr. Becky Bourque

As we’re driving along George Bush, I reach her on her cell phone and explain what’s going on. I quickly describe in what we’ve been experiencing with Cooper and the symptoms he’s been having. I tell her we’re pretty sure we’re going to have to put Cooper down because we can’t afford the MRI this other office is pushing us to get. 

In that 10 minute phone conversation, she lays out a treatment plan that doesn’t spending thousands of dollars and doesn’t involve putting him down. We pull a U-turn at the next exit, and begin driving towards her clinic. When we arrive, she evaluates his situation and confirms everything the specialists have been telling us, but explains to us our more practical options.

If it’s an inner ear infection or bacterial meningitis, antibiotics and steroids will cure it 
and he’ll quickly begin to get better. 

If it’s a tumor or stroke, the antibiotics won’t do any harm, 
but the steroids will help with the swelling in the brain and could also relieve his symptoms. 

Either way, we’ll start ruling out the possibilities without the cost of an MRI.

Once again, we left feeling elated. Our worst fear was having to put our dog down knowing we weren’t able to do everything we could to the best of our ability. Being unable to afford the MRI felt like we were giving up, and we’d never have known if we could have done more. Now, at least we had a plan, and if he still didn’t recover, we would have felt confident we did all we could! She reassured us he wasn’t in any pain, just dizzy; so we could take it one week at a time and see what happens. 
. . . 
This Thursday will have mark a month of caring for Cooper. 

Since visiting with Becky, we’ve finished his dose of antibiotics and steroids. 
The first week, he laid in the dark for most days to help with the motion sickness and the spinning. It appeared that the episodes had stopped. Now all we were living with was the after effects. Although he still had an appetite, we were having to water down and hand feed his food to him. His water was being drunk through a large syringe. He didn’t move unless we moved him. His bedding was being changed several times a day. 

Right before his one week check up, we started to notice small improvements. He began to whine and bark softly when he was hungry, thirsty, or needed to use the bathroom. We noticed his eyes would stop moving for small amounts of time. His personality was slowly coming back; a tail wag or perky ears. I was starting a little bit of therapy by forcing him to eat out of his bowl. Although he could eat most of it with his head at a tilt, he’d need help with the last few bites. He could even slightly stand as long as he was leaning against a wall and didn’t try to move. 

At his check-up, Becky wasn’t as confident as she was the week before. If he was going to make a dramatic recovery with the antibiotics, it would have happened by now. Although he’d improved some, she wasn’t as optimistic. But we were willing to take it one week at a time, and as long as he was showing improvements, we would continue to try and nurse him back to health. 

January 13, 2012 
To date, Cooper’s now able to sit on the couch with us and sleep for most of the day. He’s eating food and water from his bowl with a little help from us holding it for him. He barks at the tv, people coming to the door, and when he’s hungry. He even let’s us know when he’s ready to go to the bathroom, and we’ll take him outside. He’ll gently walk along the fence as a support before using the bathroom on his own. We’re trying our own form of physical therapy by forcing him to walk on his own, and using a towel to help support his weight. His eyes have basically stopped darting back and forth; although, it starts up again if he gets too excited. I try to keep him in various rooms with me so he doesn’t feel lonely. 

And this is where we are. 
We don’t know what the next week will bring. 

He might stay the way he is, which isn’t okay for us. 
We don’t want his quality of life to suffer, 
and his constant care isn’t fair to the Little Man or Bailey. 

He also might get worse, and have more episodes that will lead him back to the beginning.

But. . .We’re hoping over the next few weeks he’ll continue to improve. We want him to begin to walk on his own, so he can once again move about the house freely, be able to eat and drink on his own, and of course, be able to go outside on his own.

As his future is unknown, we’re saying lots of prayers for him and for us. 
The roller coaster of emotions we’ve felt over the last few weeks has left a huge impact on our lives. Special moments like the Little Man’s first Christmas was dominated by feelings of sadness as we were watching our dog lay lifeless on the couch. Mavericks games and dinners out seem trivial when our sweet puppy is at home alone. We lay awake most nights wondering what the next day will bring, and if we’ll ever have our Cooper back again. 
We’re praying for a miracle, and each morning hope we’ll walk in to see our puppy once again looking up at us, wagging his tail, ready to bounce out of his kennel. 

Cooper’s Story, Part 4

I wish I could tell you this story has had a happy ending,
but based on my first post, you’ve probably guessed otherwise. 

A day after leaving the doctor, we thought we were in the clear when I looked down at dinner to see Cooper looking at me sideways. 
As he got up to walk away, he fell over and stuggled to get up. 

He had two more episodes over Christmas weekend, and we watched as his eyes began to twitch constantly and he was no longer able to stand on his own. 

Monday morning we made another emergency visit to the clinic, 
and he spent another day in observation. 

That night we spoke with the doctor, and she gave us several scenarios of what could be going on:

Worst case, he had a tumor that’d been growing in his brain; 
however, based on the fact that he had no prior symptoms, 
she felt this was unlikely, but possible. 

Another cause, would be a stroke. 
If it were a stroke, there was no cure. 
We could move forward from this by figuring out the cause 
(which would be difficult since all his blood work came back normal.)
And either he’d recover . . . or he wouldn’t. 

He could also have viral or bacterial meningitis. 
This often plays with the inner ear causing stroke-like symptoms.
Meningitis could be treated, but dogs are often left needing life-long care.

Best case, he could have an inner ear infection, 
and simple antibiotics would clear all his problems right up!

How would we know which of these Cooper is suffering from?
The only way to know. . .an MRI. 

Of course my first reaction was “Do the MRI!”
. . .then we heard the cost. 

To determine what’s causing our dog to suffer, we’d have to fork out an estimated $3,000;
with no reassurances that the knowledge gained would cure him. 

Had this been a person, money would be no object. Questioning whether to go forward with an MRI would be ridiculous. You go forward. But for a dog who’d already lived half his life, spending a minimum of $3,000 on top of what we’d already spent going in and out of clinics plus aftercare and treatment (if there was treatment). 
Well, we’re not millionaires. 

After some long discussions and a lot of tears, we decided to we wouldn’t do the MRI. We’d pick Cooper up from the clinic and let him live out his life with us. If he continued to have episodes, we’d have to make some more final decisions, but with only a 30% chance the MRI would provide a happy ending, we just couldn’t justify the cost. 

Unfortunately, the episodes did continued. 
They were now lasting hours and over half the day. 

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to provide the care Cooper needed.  With Tim traveling, I was having to leave the Little Man in his pack-n-play while I tried to help Cooper regain control. We realized Wednesday morning as another attack began that this wasn’t going to work. With the MRI out of the question, we called the specialist office letting them know we were bring him in to discuss our options knowing this would probably be our last morning with him.  
. . The Final Post. . .

Cooper’s Story, Part 3

I told you this was a complicated story! 
If you need to be caught up, make sure you go back to the beginning

I arrived to the Center for Vet Specialty Care a little over an hour after I’d left my home that morning.

By the time I arrived, Cooper had calmed down and had somewhat “righted” himself. He was now able to sit in my lap without spinning in circles. He had difficulty standing, but it seemed to due more to exhaustion than confusion.  

As an emergency referral, I was being fitted in to the neurologist’s schedule, so I was told I was going to have to wait a little while for the doctor. In an effort to help make Cooper and me (remember puffy eyes!) more comfortable, they took us to a private room with a couch. 
We waited a little over an hour. 
During that time, the techs were very sweet. They offered me hot tea and sat with me several times petting Cooper and asking me questions. He’d had another “attack” while in the room, but  I now was able to see it coming on, and was able to comfort him and help him respond better. 

Around 11:30am, the nurse came back and took Cooper so the doctor could run a few tests and observe him in the back. Then afterwards, she came out and spoke with me about what she saw. 

He was definitely suffering from vestibular disease; the exact cause was unknown. She’d asked that I leave him for the day for observation, and she’d call me that evening to discuss the options. 

When Tim arrived home that night, we immediately went from the airport to the clinic desperate to see Cooper. After a day of observation, the doctor happily reported he hadn’t had anymore attacks. He was still tilting his head slightly, but was playful and energetic, and she felt the incident was possibly isolated. We’d scheduled a follow up appointment the next week with the doctor and an internal medicinist, but we’d left feeling relieved and optimistic about his future. 

Cooper’s Story, Part 2

If you missed the beginning, you can read part 1 here

For 7 years, Cooper’s only health complication was when he was 6 months old when we discovered a fun little fact. We took Cooper in to be neutered, and he was spayed instead. 

The Thursday before Christmas, the Little Man and I’d slept in.
I remember feeling so refreshed, and excited about the day. I’d gotten great sleep, and there was a lot to do! 

We were playing as we walked into our laundry room to let the dogs out of their kennels, when I noticed Cooper was sitting up with his left ear next to the kennel door. 

I thought it was a little odd, and as I got closer became concerned that he’d some how gotten his ear stuck in the door. As I opened it, he stumbled out of his kennel in a panic. Unable to stand up straight, he was falling over to his left and was rolling in circles almost unable to stop. I was quickly trying to make sense of what was happening when I noticed he’d used the bathroom in his kennel; he’d lost control of his bladder and bowels. 

I started to become unglued.

My husband was in Kentucky. Cooper was howling and unable to stand. Bailey was getting rowdy thinking this was some kind of fun game. Then, there was my 8 month old sitting in my arms confused by all the commotion. 

I felt completely outnumbered and helpless.

I took a deep breath, and focused on the situation. 
My first priority was my son, so I set him down where he could play safely, and began to take care of Cooper. I attempted to calm him down by holding him, but the restraint only seemed to make things worse. Knowing there was nothing I could do, I threw some towels over the mess, and placed him back in his kennel. I felt he’d at least be in a small space and unable to hurt himself. If he’d had a stroke or was having a seizure, being in the open trying to move wasn’t going to help. Unable to hold back the tears, I called my husband. 

10 minutes later. . .I had thrown the dog kennel into the back of my car, loaded up my son into his carseat, and was headed to the nearest pet emergency room. 

I attempted to walk into the vet office calm, but my eyes were puffy and my son was sitting on my hip still in his pajamas. I explained that I believed my dog was having a stroke, and he was out in my car. The technician listened to me as I described what I’d witnessed that morning, and went into the back to repeat it all to the vet who was about to begin a surgery. 

My father-in-law met me at the office, found me a sobbing mess, and offered to watch the baby so I could focus on Cooper.
(I’m so grateful to have family nearby!) 

At this point Cooper was upside down and his eyes were violently moving back and forth. Confused himself with what was going on, he was pushing and scratching to get away from me and right himself on the floor, only he wasn’t sure what “right” was. 

The doctor confirmed that the situation was serious. As a primary veterinarian, she wasn’t able to confirm exactly what was going on, so she refereed me on to a group of specialists in Carrollton who were more equipped to handle what was happening. Over the phone and full of emotion, I explained to Tim that Cooper was having some kind of neurological attack. He appeared to be in pain and was panicking. 

For the first time, we were forced to make a decision on how much our dog was worth to us. Getting an estimate, we agreed to go forward and let the pet neurologist take over. 

With the Little Man in the care of my in-laws, I once again loaded Cooper up and drove off believing this would be his last car ride.

Trying New Foods

Upon the advice of our pediatrician, we began the journey of solid foods tonight. Ever since he had a growth spurt a few weeks ago, Mark hasn’t been sleeping through the night. We’ve tried letting him cry, giving him water, and, simply, hoping it will pass. Our doctor thought we might try rice cereal before bed to help get him through the night, so after a week of continuing to try other methods, we decided to go for it. 

*These are Tim’s arms. Mine aren’t that hairy. :) *

We’re fully aware this isn’t going to be an instant fix to his sleeping problems, but we thought we’d let him practice getting used to a spoon and the act of eating solids. 

I’m hoping rice cereal is all he’ll need for some time. Sitting in his Bumbo, walking in his walker, eating solids . . .he’s getting too big too fast. :) 

Happy (First) Mother’s Day!

This weekend was a whirlwind! We went to two Mavericks Playoff Games, celebrated Tim’s birthday twice (and again tonight), and my first Mother’s Day. In between these events, we also went to the dog park and the Richardson Cottonwood Festival.

I have to be honest . . . it wasn’t my dream Mother’s Day, but I know there will be plenty of more opportunities to make it that. As exhausted as I’ve been lately, I would have loved to have had a day of pampering and relaxation. Instead, we went from church to the Playoffs to Tim’s parents, and weren’t back home until 10pm. In the end though, Tim only turns 30 once and the Mavs haven’t been to Round 2 since 2006. I also have a happy and healthy family, so I can’t complain too much! Tim also got me the Tuffo Outdoor Blanket I wanted. I’m excited to have this to spend outdoor time with Mark.
Tuffo Water-Resistant Outdoor Blanket with Carrying Case, Dots

Mark also went to his 2 month check up today. I was very nervous since he was getting his shots, so I’d asked Tim to take the day off and go with me. It’s also his birthday today, so it’s a great excuse to get to spend some time with him. Mark did amazing considering he was hungry. He cried for about a minute (a cry I hadn’t heard before), and then he fell asleep.
The doctor was thrilled with his weight and progress. She thought I was doing a great job with feeding, and assured us it’s all downhill from here! By 4 months he should be sleeping through the night. I was a little disappointed to learn that “sleeping through the night” isn’t actually considered 8 hours, but 5-6 hours.
His 8 week stats:
Weight: 13 lbs., 13 oz. (88th %)
Length: 23 3/4″ (89th %)
Head Circumference: 40 1/2 cm. (92%)

2 weeks old (or a little older!)

Wow! It’s so much harder to post now! I had every intention of posting on Monday after his two week check-up, but time just gets away from me. I’m also discovering the importance of spending free time sleeping, so blogging seems to be at the bottom of the priority list. I DO want to continue blogging though. I have loved going back through my pregnancy and reading some of my posts. (It also helped me fill in his baby book!) I hope to do the same as Mark grows!

So, on that note, we had his two week check-up on Monday. He had already returned to his birth weight on his 1 week check-up, now he’s just gaining! He was 9 pounds, 10 ounces and 21 3/4″. Although the breastfeeding was painful, he was apparently getting all he needed. He’s also in the 99th percentile for his height and head circumference, and the 97th percentile for weight. Our new nickname for him is “Chunker.” I promise we’ll stop calling him that before he realizes what it means and does too much damage. :)

He’s currently going through a growth spurt, and has been very fussy the last few days. He’s also working on his days and nights. I was thrilled when he went to bed last night at 11pm, and didn’t wake for a feeding until 3pm. I’m slowly increasing my sleep time from 3-4 hours a night to 5-8 hours a night. Of course, this is all 2-3 hours at a time.

He loves being next to me. I think it’s mostly because I feed him, but when we discovered the Moby Wrap, he’ll sleep on my chest for hours at a time. This is the first time I’ve started to develop a real bond with him. To be honest, it can be hard to develop that bond when you feel like you’re only good for one thing. . . milk. I’ve loved watching him make faces while he sleeps, and love to see him smile. I hope he’s dreaming of his fabulous new life!  

My Last Doctor’s Appointment

We’ve reached the end of our 9 month adventure; except there’s no end! Tim and I went in to speak with the doctor about what’s going to happen now that we’ve (basically) reached 40 weeks. The report this morning wasn’t good-for me at least. I’m still only 50% effaced and at a 1. He’s not dropped, and is actually sitting pretty high. He has a strong heartbeat and is very healthy, but just doesn’t want to come out!  

At this point, we knew she didn’t want us to go past March 18th, so we discussed our options. Since he hasn’t dropped, there’s a higher chance of longer labor and a C-section ending if she induces now. This doesn’t scare me, but I’d like to avoid it if possible. Unfortunately, our doctor is also going to be out of town towards the end of next week, so our options are fairly limited. Based on her recommendation, we’ve scheduled an induction for Monday, March 14th. This gives me a week to work on getting labor started or at least another week for him to drop into position.  

I plan on walking and staying active, and eating all the spicy food I can. :) If anyone else has any tips for getting labor going, please let me know!

Tim and I would also love to hear your induction stories. We’re fairly nervous about this since we don’t want to spend 12-24 hours in the hospital during the labor part. We’d hoped to get the process started at home, and end up at the hospital for the end, but realistically, I don’t think this is going to happen at this point. Mark’s just already so darn stubborn! :) We’re both very logical people, and feel it’s always best to be prepared going into any situation, so let us hear your stories! Hopefully, they’re all good or somewhat uneventful!