Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Happy at Home and Delivery Details

Thanks to Seamhead for posting the pics. As you can tell from the family hospital photo, we are all very happy since the time this wonderful event occurred and things have started to settle in at home.

On Aug 15th, we checked into St. Luke's Hospital in St. Louis at 7:30 a.m. Michelle was 5 days past due so it was time to help the baby into the world through modern medicine. By, 9 am, Michelle was being induced into labor with Pitossin, an inducement drug via an IV. Sometime between 11:30 and 1:00pm her water broke. It was interesting because it was brown which we both thought was odd. The brown was because the baby had passed his meconium in utero (he pooped inside the womb). Turns out this is fairly common in baby's past due, greater than 40 weeks of pregnancy since the baby is more mature. There are a number of other reasons this can occur and the risk factor is that the baby could possibly aspirate the meconium (breathe it into the lungs). So, the doc started her on an Amnioinfusion which is basically pumping saline back into the amniotic sac in order to dilute the meconium in the fluid reducing the amount that may be inhaled/ingested.

So, that was factor one. Next came the fact that everytime Michelle had a contraction the baby's heart rate would drop. Based on past experience with Wade's delivery, I knew right away that this baby's cord was wrapped around his neck too. The stronger the contraction, the further the heart rate drop. Having the Amnioinfusion helps this complication too as it tends to provide some cushioning between the wrapped cord and the neck. I learned this with Wade's delivery. At this point, they kept Michelle laying on one side which gave even more relief from constriction. When they put an oxygen mask on her, I again was not shocked given similarities with Wade. I recalled that they would not be giving ME any oxygen so I would just have to tough it out.

Somewhere in this timeline the Epidural came into play. The same Chinese Anesthesiologist who gave her an Epidural when she delivered Wade entered the room. I prayed this nurse would not accidentally bump the bed while this guy inserted the needle like Wade's nurse did last time. I also prayed this guy would not say "Oh, big girl, broad shoulders" again like he did 3 years ago since it was my hand she was holding while he did his work. So, although she cried when he inserted the needle in her back, the contraction pain soon left her lower extremities and she was more comfortable. And, my pointer finger that she gripped like a white knuckle roller coaster handle bar is fully functional for typing today.

So, everything started moving along, contractions higher on the charts, intensity building. Everthing happening faster. And, like last time, suddenly it seemed without warning, she's being told to Push! Reach Back and Push Again! It seemed like this only happened about 10 times and the Nurse says "I better not take it any further without the doctor being here". The nurse claims she does all the work and the doc makes the $. So, the doc comes literally running in and says, "Oh, you really did need me here now". With one more push, out comes the head and because of the meconium in the fluid, they start suctioning the baby's lungs through the nose and check his larynx for any signs of meconium aspiration. I think this happened immediately after the doc had quickly unwrapped the twice wrapped umbilical cord from the baby's neck

Next they deliver the baby the rest of the way with a few more pushes, take him to a table for a quick checkover once more and then hand him off to mom. "His name is Christopher Mark Howdeshell" she announces. They've both been doing great ever since. He eats, poops, and sleeps in that order and has been since day one...even before day one it seems with the delivery experience.

My job during this whole thing? Keep small amounts of water in a cup for Mom. Provide fingers for Mom to death grip. Status the family. And, try not to get any video shots that Mom would find undesirable included in the filming of the event. It's been easier for me ever since then too as she gets up and feeds him through the night since contrary to what you might think, I am not equipped to do so. Wade has adusted well and only tossed a pack of diapers at Christopher's head on day 1 at home. But, he missed. He really enjoys being a big brother and continues to affectionately call the baby by the nickname "Boom Boom" which he gave him months before he was born. This is his special thing even though he knows Christopher's real name.

So, that's the scoop. And, unless we decide to adopt in the future, we have probably completed our family additions. We're very lucky to have two wonderful boys and couldn't be more happy. Thanks for all of your thoughts and well wishes. Hope you all can meet these boys soon.

Christopher Mark Arrives

Christopher Mark was born 8/15/05 at 4:35pm weighing in at 8lbs 1oz and a "height" of 21 inches. Mark says everyone is adjusting well at home.

Friday, August 26, 2005


Has anyone heard any news from the Howdys? I've received inquiries. We've assumed that his uncharacteristic silence was due to the new addition in his family. If you've heard anything leave the news in the comments.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Cards Win!

On Saturday, August 13, Roy, Rochelle, Mom and I made the pilgrimage to Wrigley Field to watch our Cardinals do battle with the small bears. After enduring a three hour rain delay, we watched a fine ballgame. Chris Carpenter pitched a complete game. Albert Pujols homered, and the Cards won 5-2.

The highlight of the game for us, however, came on a Pujols foul ball. We were sitting behind the plate, a little to the right, when Pujols fouled one back. It looked like it would land 10 or 20 rows behind us at first, but the prevailing winds at Wrigley took over.

As it came down it drifted slowly toward us, until it came down in the row behind us. I saw it the whole way and could have made a play if I had stepped on my mother. Roy almost had a play on it and claims he would have caught it if he'd brought his glove.

The ladies behind is knocked it down and it was rolling around when Roy reached down to snag it. The lady behind us smacked him across the side of his back and made a remark about stealing her ball.

The day became a little surreal when the husbands returned, and the ladies related their tale of the stolen ball. One of the men made several provocative remarks. We made a few return remarks. You didn't expect Rochelle, Mom, and me to be quiet did you?

One of the women said something about stealing the ball from her eight-year old. Roy said he was going to sell it on E-Bay. Not really. I wish he'd said that, but he said his seven-year old would enjoy the ball.

Of course, being Cub fans they had to leave early. The loquacious husband made a departing crack, "I hope you enjoy the ball."

And let me tell you, we will enjoy the ball. Willa and Parke were thrilled to see it. Roy's plan is to take it to spring training next year and get Albert to autograph it.

To be fair, on our other trip to a Cards game at Wrigley we were treated wonderfully in spite of all our Cardinal regalia. So we won't draw any lasting conclusions from this trip.

No Anonymous posting... ??

Rog, might I suggest that you rig this sucker so that there is no anonymous posting/replying allowed? It's bumming me out to have to wade through the spam to get to the "meat".


Look on Paulie's blog

I put a message about Jeanne and I playing on the air in Chicago. The link to listen/stream it live:

we'll be on tomorrow (saturday) @ 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

So . . . .

Does everyone remeber exactly what they were doing the last time the Royals won a baseball game? It was so long ago.

I will have a real post soon. As soon as my brother emails me a picture from our Wrigley Field outing. We have a good story to tell.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Brush with umm . . .

Everyone rush over to Paul's blog and check out his brush with ummm, fame I guess. Or maybe he found his long lost brother. Either way, you'll see some 'Big Ass Heads' over there.

Howdy's Ziggy

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine was able to write a cartoon for The New Yorker and Peterman recognized it as a knock off of a Ziggy ?

Well I've discovered and am self-reporting that I inadvertently pulled an Elaine with my She's Your Cousin song. I had orignally titled it "Kissing Cousins" on my draft version.

Seems it was an Elvis knockoff.

Original thought is difficult to acheive. Someone has probably thought that before. As a matter of fact after self-realization of my Ziggy-like experience, I did not think that this would turn into a post that could in anyway turn toward religion. However, I did a Google Search on original thought and it takes you into originations of original thought .

Ever think we would have been better off living a mindless existence? Too deep of thinking for a Friday. I'll just try not to pull anymore Ziggy's.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Crime and Punishment?

As if baseball didn't have enough troubles...

Kenny Rogers, who physically assaulted a cameraman who (from all reports I've read) was quietly doing his job, was reinstated from his 20-game suspension. This wasn't a run-in during the heat of a game. He attacked, walked away, CAME BACK and attacked again. Then for good measure, he went after the cameraman a third time when he put the camera back on his shoulder. The arbitrator felt as if Rogers had served his time and should not have been suspended for 20 games. I always suspected that Bud Selig had no power...this confirms it.

At the same time, a frustrated DJ sounded off on the sad state of the Giants (gee, I wonder what he'd say about the Royals). He exercised his right to voice his opinion (he should have stayed away from the word 'Caribbean'...he may have gotten away with it). He was promptly called 'a messenger of Satan' by manager Felipe Alou. He chose to make fun of that on the air and was fired, along with the program director and morning show producer.

So let me see if I have this straight...a player can physically attack another person and is punished, but his penalty is reduced, a manager can call someone a 'messenger of Satan' without any recourse, but a radio DJ and others lose their jobs for making fun of being called Satan.

This sounds peculiarly like a government-run operation...or maybe it is.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Support Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan is holding vigil in Crawford, Texas. She has Vietnam Vets standing with her. Sheehan would like to speak with the President about the Downing Street Memos. Sheehan's son Casey died in Iraq on April 4, 2004.

It's a painful thing to realize your son was a pawn in someone else's game. It's painful to discover the war that took him was pre-planned, boxed up, marketed and served to Americans like the latest, greatest ground beef sandwich a red and yellow clown could dream up.

It will only get worse as the talk radio screamers and the Fox talk shows start to devour her as the latest traitor in their great 'War on Terra.'

Eventually they'll arrest her. They'll say she's a threat to national security.

Meanwhile, our great protectors will continue on, outing CIA agents for political vengeance, ignoring elected bodies that don't fall in line, and promoting torture.

I used to sleep at the foot of Old Glory
And awake in the dawn's early light
But much to my surprise
When I opened my eyes
I was a victim of the great compromise

The Great Compromise - John Prine

Monday, August 08, 2005

St. Louis Blues Hockey Player Sighting

My wife, son, and I took a late Sunday afternoon trip to the St. Louis Art Museum to see the Arms and Armor display (read Knights) as Wade is big time into Knights and Squires thanks to the Franklin the Turtle book called Franklin and the Green Knight.

Afterwards, we strolled around the fountains in front of the Art Museum and throughout Forest Park. The fountains have been restored to how they looked during the 1904 World's Fair and are very pretty. We made our way down to the Boat House to have a burgers and hot dogs at the outdoor grill and also heard a 3 man band named S.O.L. Anyone ever hear of them? The music was fitting for the mixed crowd. This is a pretty good day in St. Louis if you're looking for a relaxing inexpensive getaway. It's all free except the food. It was $17 for two Fitz's root beers, 2 cheeseburgers (1/3 lb) and a jumbo hot dog. There is also a nicer restaraunt there, but always a very long wait list. Of course, you could always pack a picnic lunch for free. And, if you're daring, you can pay a small fee and take out either a long oar boat or paddle boat. But, be forewarned, the long oar boat is a workout. We've done that on a previous trip.

Anyway, while at the Boat House, I spotted Blues hockey player Jamal Mayers. He too was out with a pregnant significant other and he was enjoying a brew with a couple who appeared to be his in-laws. Pretty much a regular guy just like me except his group went in the nice restaraunt for dinner. Oh yeah, and he plays for the Blues.

(Blues player sighting written for M.D. Forest Park day in review for the ladies who should have their man take them there. The guys might even like it too. We should play golf there someday....anybody ever played that course at Forest Park?)

Sunday, August 07, 2005


So what do you guys think about the whole Palmeiro deal? I know you baseball fans don't like to talk much about it, but I was really wanting your thoughts. Does this make Canseco seem a little more believable?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Feeling Melon-Cloney?

First there was Dolly the sheep. Now, South Korean doctors have cloned a dog. This is unique because it is the first cloned dog and dogs are exceptionally difficult to clone. There were actually two clones of the original specimen but one pup died from pneumonia within 6 weeks of birth. Some argue that the clone of an original specimen is somewhat weaker, flawed, mutated, or degenerated compared to the original.

So what of this this carbon copy? Notice the glasses indicating weaker vision of the clone. And, a mutation of growth near the "chin-al" area can be noted.

And, they said the first human has yet to be cloned! (well, maybe that's still true)

Melon-Cloning--Ethical or Not? What say you?