Friday, April 25, 2014

Some Scare and Sedation; Then A Soothing Strategy and Sunflowers

Aside from being an obvious fan of a little alliteration here (see post's title) and there, I also always enjoy foreshadowing as a literary device. I didn't think though that mentioning on my previous post that my father was confined in the hospital, thus the idea for the Apple Wrap Art; would foreshadow what was to happen to me four days after that particular post: Confined in the same hospital for four days (I love seeing patterns, see).

I read somewhere that if before 37 weeks you feel 4 (there's the number again)... 4 contractions in an hour (even if they do not hurt), then you should call your doctor. I didn't really know what contractions were at that time, but I felt tightening and hardening on my stomach 15 times in an hour (in 2-or-3-minute intervals)!

It only took my doctor 3 contractions in 10 short minutes to decide that I had to be wheeled into the Delivery Room, injected with a dose Bricanyl (one's usually enough, they said), injected with another dose (because one wasn't enough for me), hooked up to an IV with Ixosuprine, and finally, medically sedated into what was a long night (even longer for my husband who had nothing to do but wait and pray outside).

Because a persistent instruction that time was to relax, I thought of doing this little soothing strategy I do with the children to help them do just that: Calming Down By Counting (I mentioned this on an old post regarding PDD-NOS). I have yet to meet a child with whom this little trick does not work.

When a child is crying in the classroom--be it a younger child with some separation anxiety or an older child who was upset with another classmate or someone who scratched himself/herself on the playground--I take the crying child, maybe carry him/her or give a little hug and whisper on the ear (to make sure I'm heard--really in my experience, with children, softer voices are heard more, more often than not), saying, "Let's count something you like. Maybe cars... Or flowers... Or butterflies... Or dinosaurs." And then I'll go on counting , whispering, "1 car, 2 cars, 3 cars, etc." If the child is crying aloud, I'll also say, "You have to be a little quiet so you can hear me count." And sometimes if I sense that it would help, I'll ask the child, "What's after 9 cars" or "Where are the cars going" (and when they're feeling calmer, they'd answer). I usually take the child to wash his/her hands and face, too, because water is inherently soothing.

As for me, as I stayed overnight in the labor room, I counted, to sooth myself as I drift in and out of sedated sleep, sunflowers.

And since I'm still supposed to be in bed rest, I thought I'd just share with you an art activity I did some summers ago.

- Paint in yellow, brown, and green; remember to check consistency and to put just enough in the containers so we can make handprints, not for an entire hand to be submerged in paint (note that some younger children might hesitate dipping hands into paint, so take your cue from the child and see if he/she is ready for this activity)
- 3 flat containers for each paint; large enough to fit a hand for yellow, fingers for brown and green (I simply used rectangular plastic microwaveable containers)
- Thick paperboard, white
- Apron and newsprint as usual
- Wipes nearby for quick cleaning

- Just dip an entire hand (palm down) on the yellow paint and "stamp" that hand on the paperboard. We can turn the paper around as we go so we don't have to twist our hands when we make the impressions. Make 4 handprints, with the palm print always overlapping, making the center of the flower (where the brown thumbprint seeds would go later). These make our sunflower's yellow petals. I usually guide the children, especially, the younger ones, in this part.
- Wipe off the yellow paint from the hand and use the thumb with brown paint to make the sunflower's seeds.
- Then, paint in the stem and leaves with green.

There. An idea for Mothers' Day, as I wait for my own little girl, whom I'll meet in due time.

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  1. Oh no! So glad everything is ok now and your baby didn't arrive too early. It must have been very scary. A little girl, how fantastic! You must only be about six months pregnant, is that correct? Are you on bed rest until your due date now? Thank you for sharing your calming technique, which you may be able to use during labour as well. I used a simple "breathe in, breathe out" technique but I'm sure counting can be helpful as well. I like the sunflower idea and may try it later today with Finn. Good luck with everything!

    1. Thank you, Elsa! It was such a scare--especially because the resident doctors were saying that the baby must not come out yet since her lungs, at 6 months yes, are still underdeveloped. But it helped that my ob-gyn was very calm and encouraging. :-)

      I'm on bed rest until the end of the month. And then the doctor will check again to see if she can clear me so I can join a birthing class in May. Hopefully!!!

      I was breathing in and breathing out, too! Thank you, yoga!

      I'm glad you liked the sunflower idea! I hope Finn enjoys it! :-)

      Thank you, Elsa! I'm glad to be back--even if I'm typing lying down! :-)

  2. Thank God you're okay! Take a lot of rest and drink lots of water. I heard that staying hydrated helps keep premature contractions at bay. And thanks foe sharing the technique!

    1. Thank you, Jhanis! :-) And thank you for that tip--will make sure to do just that--drink lots of water. In fact, I'll do it now. :-)

  3. How "four"-tunate that you and baby are ok!!!!!! I'll be sending you lots and lots of happy, healthy thoughts!!! xx

  4. "Four"-tunate made me laugh, Anne! Thank you for that! :-) And yes, looking at your posts brings enough happy and healthy thoughts. :-)

  5. I am so glad you are both okay! The flowers are lovely!

    1. Thank you, Deirdre! :) This past week was better for both us and I've been able to sleep well for 3 days now!!! After 20 weeks of having such a hard time sleeping! :)