The Harkey Blog

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Frustrating Experience of "Labor"

Some of you have probably heard through the grapevine that we had a little hospital visit today, so I thought I'd write this blog to catch you up so that I don't have to retell the story so many times. If you want to get straight to the point. . .we came home with baby still in utereo. If you have time for the longer version. . .here it is:

So, I have been having quite a few contractions lately. I had contractions for 3 hours Sunday evening, and I started having some more yesterday evening sometime. I ignored them for a long time because Brett was gone to the David Crowder show in Tulsa, and I didn't want to think about whether I needed to call him to come home or anything like that. So, I pretty much went into a frenzy doing all sorts of things that I needed to do around the house. (I believe they call this strange behavior "nesting". :)) At any rate, I worked on lots and lots of stuff for the Greenhouse, did some laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, finished up the kids Christmas lists, re-checked my library books online, sent a lot of emails about upcoming work and community group stuff, etc. I was a very efficient woman.

By about 11 pm, I was definitely in some pain. I had a few more things to do, so I sort of casually timed my contractions as I was putting away laundry, watching the world series, etc. They seemed to be coming every 5 to 6 minutes or so. For a second or subsequent delivery, my clinic tells you to come in when you have contractions 5 minutes apart for 2 hours. Brett got home around 1 am from the concert. I was still having contractions. They weren't horrible (like a movie or anything), but definitely there.

Sidenote: With Elspeth, as far as I can remember, my contractions were similar to what I described above, not terribly painful, but consistent. When I went in to deliver her, I had already progressed really well (I was at a 5) and was ready to get the epidural right away (after blood work, IV, etc.). So, I had that in the back of my mind. I didn't want to wait too long to go to the hospital because I had progressed just great in a similar scenario with my last delivery.

So, we proceded to call Stacey to come and stay with our kids, we packed up our stuff into the car and we headed to the hospital at about 2 am. So, by this time, I certainly had experienced contractions for long enough to go in. I looked at the clock as I slipped into my not-so-comfy hospital bed. It was 2:25 a.m. I figured within an hour or so we'd know whether this was the real deal. Boy was I wrong.

Here's a little hospital info for those of you who have not yet experienced the joy of having children. When you go into the hospital for "labor", pretty much the first thing that they do is "check" you. I will not go into detail about that here, but let's just say that when you are checked, you would like to hear the nurse say any number 3 or higher and words like "soft", "effaced" and "thin" are good. My nurse said, "you're at a 1 to 2" and used the word "thick".--These are not good signs that things are going to progress soon. (Also, until the nurses have determined that you are acutally in active labor, i.e. progressing, they don't really do anything--no blood work, no IV, no discussion of the epidural.--So, since the nurse didn't even mention any of these things, I felt that we would probably get sent home.)

So after the nurse did her checking she told me the name of the doc on call and said that she'd check with him to see what he wanted to do (i.e. release me or keep me there). After about another hour, 3:30 a.m., the nurse came in to tell me that the doctor said he wanted to keep me until the morning just to see what would happen. Not that I actaully SAW this doctor or anything. Now, I know he looked at my chart and talked to the nurses and made a plan, BUT he never set foot in my room, even though he was on the floor from 2:25 a.m. (when I got into my bed) until 7:00 a.m. I thought, well, maybe he's really busy delivering a baby and he can't come in right now. I think at this point, the nurse asked me to pee in a cup to see if I had a bladder infection. (Apparently a bladder infection can make you have contractions that are not true labor.--I have never heard about this before, but I peed in the cup anyway.)

So, I waited. I watched some lame television. Brett slept on a rock hard pull out bed with no sheets. I got very thirsty. I tried to ask Brett to get me a drink. For any of you who have ever traveled with Brett or lived with him, you know he is an extremely hard sleeper. So I had trouble waking him up, and I couldn't reach him to tap him on the shoulder or anything, which is my usual method. I couldn't get out of my bed because I was hooked to 3 different wires to monitor my "contractions", the baby's heartbeat and my pulse. Finally, after my saying his name 10 times or more, Brett finally stirred. I said, "I am really thirsty. Can you find out if I can have something to drink?" He fell back to sleep. I asked him several more times. Finally he actually "woke up" and started to walk out into the hall to try to get me a cup of water. He got to the door and he asked me, "What am I supposed to be doing, again?" At that point, I realized that he was not going to be able to complete this task in his state of exhaustion, so I told him to go back to bed, and I buzzed the nurse. She brought me some delicious fayetteville tap water, straight fromt the lake. (Another sign that no one thought I was in labor. If you're in labor, they give you only ice and popsicles.)

Somewhere around this time, I got checked again. Still at a 1 to 2. Not a good sign. Still no doctor, and apparently I had to stay until morning. I asked the nurse about the bladder infection. She said that I did have a slight infection so that could be a part of the problem. So, if I got sent home maybe they'd give me some medicine. At this point, I was pretty discouraged. I had been at the hospital for about 2 hours without making progress, but for some reason, they didn't think I should go home. So, I watched more lame TV and waited until 5 am to call my mom to fill her in.

After I left a message on my mom's answering machine. (She was in the shower.) I tried to wake Brett. He had a 6 am meeting on his schedule, and I thought he should call the guys and let them know he couldn't make it. I couldn't ever wake him up, so I stayed awake until 5:30 so that I could call someone about it. Finally, after that, I decided to try to rest. Apparently I wasn't going to receive any informaiton any time soon, so I'd better get some sleep. From about 5:45 until about 7:00, I cat napped on and off. Meanwhile, I was still having "contractions". At about 7:00 a.m., I called Stacey to let her know the lack of news. Then my mom called me back and I told her the latest.

My new nurse (shift change at 7 am) came in. She asked me if my contractions were getting stronger. I said "yes". She asked, "Do you think that is because you are getting tired?" Well, I have no idea. How would I know that? THe whole reason to come to the hospital is to have a medical professional interpret your symptoms for you. She told me that the doctor (the new one on call) would come in sometime in the next couple of hours to evaluate my situation. So, he finally came in around 8 am. I got checked again, still nothing promising. He said that #1 I did not have a bladder infection. #2 I had a irritated uterus. This apparently means that I was having contractions that were not true labor. He described to me how to tell true labor from what was currently happening to me. He told me to get some rest and drink lots of water because dehydration can cause the irriated uterus thing. He was nice, and I didn't have the guts to ask why I had to wait over 5 hours for someone to come in to give me this info. Even though there were signs all along the way that I would get sent home, I still felt that they gave me a false sense of hope by keeping me there for what ended up being 6 hours. I was frustrated that doctor #1 never took the time to step in my room and explain to me what was going on. (It wasn't busy at all, so I don't have any explanation as to why he didn't come in.) I was frustrated that the nurse told me misinformation about the bladder infection. Most of all, I was frustrated because I still have no earthly idea how I will know when I'm really in labor. THe doctor said in so many words, "You'll know." Hmmmm--then why was I there this time. You'd think after 2 other pregancies, I would know, but apparently not. I don't want to go in to the hospital again and wait for hours to figure out that I am not in labor. And at the same time, I don't want to wait so long that i get there during the really painful part of labor and have to wait to get my epidural.

At 8:30, the nurse gave me a sleeping pill and a lecture about getting some rest. We signed out and came home. That sleeping pill worked great, and I slept from 9 am until about 4:45 p.m. Now it's time to just wait.

I do want to say one more thing. Even though this was a very frustrating experience, I know that God knows when this baby will come. He is in control, and I most definitley am not.--Being in the hospital sure shows you that. I trust Him even in the frustrating times.


  • elise, thanks for sharing your story...we all learn much from those who go before us.

    other bloggers: i never come back and read comments on other's blogs, so just to deter the conversation: the miller's are not next on our blessed baby brigade. :)

    one grove baby at a time! we are so blessed.

    By Blogger Jaime, at 9:52 PM  

  • neither are the yang's. :) will have another blessed little girl soon enough..hang in there.

    By Blogger EY, at 10:11 AM  

  • yeah for babies. Your babies that is...not the Jones'.

    I can't wait to see her cute little face.

    By Blogger Shelli, at 11:24 AM  

  • Elise:

    Hope you are feeling better. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Sam & Katrina

    By Anonymous Sam Harkey, at 10:24 AM  

  • Elise, that sucks. When I went in (2 days before I delivered) they checked me, I was at a nothing, beginning to thin, and they let me go home right away. They didn't know for sure if I was in labor, even though I had been having contractions for about 12 hours. I think that we were there for about an hour at the most. They actually gave us the option to stay or leave, whichever we wanted. I was having to breathe through the contractions when we decided to go back. Maybe that how you will know you are in labor; you have to stop, breathe, and focus during the contraction. But like you said, God knows when little Harkey will come. I think that she will be here next Thursday, I am not sure why, but I sure can't wait (neither can Jane).

    By Blogger Chris & Carrie, at 11:34 PM  

  • neither are the sullivan's . . . or ARE they? . . . maybe not. . . ok, "NOT" FOR SURE!

    By Blogger shauna, at 4:10 PM  

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

A Tea Party

Maitlyn and Elspeth were having a tea party yesterday. Maitlyn came to tell me, "Elspeth isn't being polite at the tea party." I went in to see what Elspeth was doing. She was quietly sitting at the little table, pretend cutting with her knife and fork. Maitlyn said, "She's cutting too fast and she's drinking out of the sugar."


  • Jacqueline can't stop drinking out of the sugar either.

    By Blogger Spencer, at 7:42 AM  

  • you have the sweetest girls ever! i can't wait to see a third one join them!!!

    hope you have a good week!

    By Blogger shauna, at 10:59 AM  

  • Maitlyn is hilarious. Its like the time she told me to leave my shoes while I was on the boat (aka the blanket on the floor) because the rocks in California were very sharp.

    By Blogger *g*, at 1:02 PM  

  • Or the time we were making marshmallows in the oven (aka, under the purple couch)

    By Blogger Shelli, at 3:50 PM  

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A Great Saturday

Yesterday was a great day. I started my day at NU U Day Spa with a "relax" spa package. I received a gift certificate from NU U back in March (before anyone knew I was pregnant) for some work that I had done for The Grove. I saved my certificate for just the right time--3 weeks before my due date.

I had an aromabath, starting reading an interesting new book, "The Next Christendom", received a facial and had a 50 minute massage. Boy did I need that massage! I had been having alot of shoulder and neck pain for about 5 days prior to Saturday, so again, the timing could not have been more perfect. Virginia asked me what was my favorite part of the spa package, and I have to definitely say the massage is the best part. So, if you have to choose just one, always go for that.

After the aromabath, it seemed like I was waiting for a long time. I didn't really know what came next in the agenda, so I just sat there for a while, then I looked around the place for some water to drink. Finally, I found a lady to get me a cup for water, so at least I knew they hadn't forgotten about me. I found out later that the lady who gives the facials was running behind, so that is why I had to wait so long. BUT to make up for my wait, she gave me a gift certificate for another 1 hour and 15 minute facial (valued much more than the mini-facial I got yesterday). Sweet.

After I finished my massage and got dressed, my two silly (in a good way) friends, Stacey and Virginia barged into the bathroom and kidnapped me. They had toy guns and everything. It was funny. They blindfolded me and drove me to Powerhouse for a gathering with some friends from the Grove. (They made me listen to country music on the way there!) The group of friends treated me to lunch, brought wipes and diapers for the new baby and gave me a gift certificate to get a manicure and a pedicure. We closed our time together with prayer for Baby Harkey and our family. What a sweet surprise and blessing! I am grateful to have such thoughful friends to celebrate with me.

After I went home and hung out with Brett and the girls, I had to take a nap. Even though it was fun, all that activity was tiring for a pregnant lady! :) That afternoon, Brett, Maitlyn, Elspeth and I went to Sears and Lowe's to buy a new dishwasher since our old one died. Later, Virginia came over to watch Maitlyn and Elspeth so that Brett and I could work on baby names (something we desperately needed to do). Thanks, Virginia. We made lots of progress!

So, there's my great Saturday. Thanks friends!!!


  • We enjoyed spending time with you on Saturday. I can't wait to see little Harkey.

    By Blogger Shelli, at 11:17 AM  

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Friday, October 14, 2005

A post from Elise?!?

10 Years ago:
I was 24, married 3 years and lived in a one-room apartment at the Wesley Foundation in Norman, Oklahoma. The apartment was in the back (front?) of the sanctuary. It was never meant to be an apartment--It was actually supposed to be a storage room, I think. We had a mini-fridge, a microwave and a sink in our room. To go to the bathroom, take a shower or cook dinner, we had to walk all the way through the sanctuary and through the entire rest of the building. I had to take a shower in the men's restroom before the building opened each day! (But, hey, we lived there for free.) Our plan was to be in seminary at Asbury Theological Seminary during that fall, but God closed that door in a major way, so we lived at Wesley. I worked at Foley's selling shoes on commission. Brett and I both job-searched all over the country, going to interviews in Silsbee, TX, Florida, Dallas and other random places. We ran up a lot of credit card debt, too. That fall was one of the hardest times in our lives, but God sure taught us a lot.

5 years ago:
I was pregnant with Maitlyn. I worked full time at Fellowship Bible Church for Student Ministries. Brett was in his second year of pastoring/worship leading the Grove. We were beginning to look for houses. We lived in a 2 bedroom duplex on Dawn Drive.

1 year ago:
Brett and I just got back from a trip to Colorado, which was supposed to be my first back-country camping experience. Because of weather, we only camped in the back-country one night, but it was still fun. Brett and I love to spend time in Colorado. (I heard he's from there.) I was in the midst of planning Mission to Mexico 2005, gearing up for the busyness of November through March.

I did some laundry and rechecked a couple of library books online. The girls were unusally fussy, so I enforced mandatory rest time--they had to stay in their beds for an hour while I rested. (I told them that they couldn't go bowling unless they stayed in their beds.) We bowled with our cool Community Group at Ozark Lanes. The coolest people dressed 80's, but I couldn't find my sweater. Maitlyn and Elspeth had a great time bowling. Afterward we went to Fuddruckers for some dessert. It was fun.

5 snacks I enjoy:
homemade rice krispee treats
sonic diet coke
restaurant tortilla chips and queso or salsa
starbucks white chocolate mocha

5 songs I know every word to:
Little David, play on your Harp
El Shaddai
Jesus Loves Me
Jesus Loves the Little Children
Silent Night (all the verses)

5 things I'd do with 1 million dollars:
give--especially in fun and specific ways--like buying stuff for operation christmas child or meeting a very specific need
buy books, especially for my kids
buy good groceries--any kind of fresh produce or meat that we want, etc.

5 places I'd run to:

5 things I'd never wear:
a bikini
other than that, I'm old enough to know that you should never say never

5 favorite TV shows:
the 10 o'clock news
college football

5 Biggest Joys:
teaching my kids something new, especially if it involves a field trip (going someplace cool)
sleeping late
reading just for the enjoyment of it
hanging out with Brett
eating at a good restaurant

5 favorite toys:
Hmmmm. . .do I have toys?

5th line from my 23rd blog:
I haven't written 23 blogs.

5 People I shall now tag:
Brett, Dave, Aaron, Gennie, Lafe


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    By Blogger Shelli, at 11:16 AM  

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Video iPod

Apple announced today that they are finally releasing an iPod that plays video. That means you can now put your own videos on it, play music videos and download current TV shows the day after they air.

Now the next step seems like movies. Can you imagine flying across the country or the world with movies, music and pictures in your iPod?

Makes my 40G 3rd generation iPod look like a dinosaur... I should just relax and be thankful for what I have.


  • me like.... But first i have to get a bike again.... geez

    By Blogger Brian M. Hirschy, at 3:41 AM  

  • Yeah, the new iPod is pretty darn sexy.

    By Blogger Nelson, at 8:07 AM  

  • ...but it only has a 2 1/2" screen. Geez!

    By Blogger Shelli, at 1:30 PM  

  • Yeah, but you can plug it into your TV and play videos.

    And besides, when's the last time you carried around 150 hours worth of video IN YOUR POCKET?!?

    By Blogger Brett, at 1:45 PM  

  • I tried to pause your IPOD at Connections the other night...must have taken me like 7 tries before I realized you still have the old "extra buttons" version. Someday you can store that IPOD with any remaining CD's, cassettes, or vinyl you may still have in your personal audio museum.

    By Blogger Dr. A, at 9:26 AM  

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