Monday, October 8, 2007

Birth Story from Sarah

Hi all! Maya Grace has finally arrived! My labor experience was pretty amazing and I am really happy with it! I was able to make it through with NO drugs (with the exception of antibiotics for Group Beta Strep) and only needed 2 bags of IV fluids.

Labor story:

On Friday, October 5th I had my ultrasound that showed possible growth restriction and they decided to induce (I was 6 days past my due date). Up to this point I was 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, and had had no contractions. I was upset about the induction and really hoping that I wouldn't need Pitocin. I updated my birth plan to acknowledge that it was probably necessary, though, and tried to mentally prepare.
4pm - arrived at the hospital, checked into perinatal
6pm - cervidil started - this is a drug that is used to prepare your body for labor and to start dilating your cervix; they told me that it was possible (but rare) that the cervidil would put me into labor...the plan was to leave the cervidil in for 12 hours and then to start Pitocin in the morning.
6:10pm - contractions start
6:30pm - contractions worse and don't fully back down before building up again - coming about every 1-2 minutes and lasting as long. I can breathe through but that's a little rediculous!
6:45pm - after Peanut's heartrate dropped 2x they removed the cervidil and started me on IV fluids to try to get my uterus to relax. contractions continue.
7:00pm - my water breaks!
7:30pm (because perinatal is SLOW) - they have checked to confirm my water breaking, moved me to L&D, and started me on antibiotics for GBS; I am now 4cm dilated (yay!). Contractions were very regular and pretty strong; I cried through some of them but DID NOT ask for drugs :) I labored while walking around, in the bed, on the birthing ball, etc. There was a point where I was becoming afraid of my contractions and as soon as they would start to decrease I would get scared of the next one. I realized this and started to really concentrate on calming myself down. I was also praying between them, which helped.
9:00pm - Midwife arrives (she had no idea I would be going so fast) and I'm dilated to 7cm! I get in the tub and, while it was not easier at this point, I was able to relax a little bit.
10:00pm - My body starts pushing on its own...eek! That is a scary feeling. MW checks and I am still only 7-8cm. I got out of the tub and used the bathroom; at this point I was half-crying and my mom thought I was really losing it. After this, though, I was able to move to the bed. By the time I got in the bed, I was 9-10, they had me lay on my side to try to get Peanut to turn (she was sunny side up - they didn't tell me this at the time, though...probably a good thing :)), and I went to 10 right away.
10:15pm - PUSH! Hehe :) Toward the end Maya's heartrate started to drop and there was a point when they couldn't find it at all. They didn't tell me but I could tell something was up from the looks on people's faces; they also started to call in a doctor. They had me get on my left side and put an oxygen mask on me. I knew that I needed to get her out ASAP so I pushed AND prayed harder than I even thought was possible.
11:03pm - Maya Grace arrived! She came out crying (thank God!) and I got to help deliver her body and pull her up onto my belly. She got to stay there while they cleaned her off and for a while after. She did have to go to the special care nursery just for a few minutes because they didn't have time to get my second round of antibiotics but other than that is totally healthy and got 9s on her apgars :)

This was the most amazing thing I have ever done.

Michael was AMAZING through the whole thing. Around 8:30 or so I became so focused that I literally couldn't speak anymore - this lasted until I was pushing - Michael was guessing what I wanted because I could only answer yes/no questions and he did an amazing job. While I was pushing they brought over a big mirror so that I could see my progress and it helped to bring me back and focus my pushing.

It was absolutely the worst pain I've ever been in, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat :)


We came home from the hospital last night. Maya and mom are doing great!

Maya Grace

I added lots of pictures to the gallery, take a look.

Friday, October 5, 2007

She's coming!

I had my ultrasound this morning and it looks like Peanut will be joining us tomorrow! My fluid looks good, she's practicing her breathing, moving all around, and she did well on the Non-Stress Test (which is where they monitor her heartbeat with relation to contractions and movement). But...she's now measuring in the 20th percentile (down from the 45th 3 weeks ago). Her measurements were almost exactly the same as they were 3 weeks ago and according to the ultrasound weight (which I know can be off) she's only gained 6 ounces in that time, which puts her at 6lbs. 11oz. So the doctor wants to start the induction tonight with cervidil and then hit me hard with the pitocin tomorrow. I'm still hoping to go natural (as natural as I can, anyway!) so I'm hoping Michael is up for it! I'll let you know how it goes :)

Maya's on Her Way

We saw Maya on the ultrasound again today. She's looking good. The doctor was a little concerned that she might not be growing quite as fast as she would have liked so she went ahead and scheduled us for induction tonight. The first step is Cervidil which should help prepare Sarah for Saturday when they give pitocin. Maya will probably be born tomorrow afternoon.

We're very excited!

Here's a ruminition I had before Sarah got pregnant to tide you over: "I am afraid if I ever have twins or triplets that I would try to carry too many at a time and drop one."

Monday, October 1, 2007

Peanut, GET OUT!

So I'm officially 2 days past my due date. Definitely not gonna get me a world record, but come on, Peanut! There are people waiting to meet you!

I've decided she's either:

a. Lazy

b. Stubborn

c. Both

At least if she's both, she'll have gotten characteristics of both Michael and I (I'll let you decide which is which...not that it's difficult :)).

Friday, September 28, 2007

Still Here, Still Pregnant

Today is officially my due date, and I'm still pregnant :P No contractions, no progress in at least 4 weeks despite many attempts to encourage Peanut's evacuation (including eating lots of pineapple, taking lots of walks, running on a treadmill, driving down a bumpy road, cleaning cleaning cleaning, moving boxes, etc.) but no such luck. I'm hoping she just wants to come ON her due date, but I'm not trying to get too excited about it. We will definitely post when she's on her way (or at least when she gets here, depending on how crazy it is!). Looks like I'm having an October baby :P

Monday, July 23, 2007

Apple and the iPhone

[This is part of my snailmail bit]

July 24, 2007 

1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014


I would like to congratulate you on the release of the iPhone last month. All news indicate that the product lived up to most of the hype and sales are strong. Great work! There is however, a problem.

What you’ve done is set the bar high for other device manufacturers. That’s great. The problem is that you’ve somehow managed to convince America that spending $600 for a phone is suddenly no big deal. I applaud this accomplishment and yet am concerned that the age of affordable devices is over.

Since you started this mess, I expect you to fix it. I see only one satisfactory solution: free iPhones for all. I thought about this a great deal and decided that anything over $200 would be too much while anything less than $200 would be too irresistibly close to “free” for the marketing guys to resist. Thus, I propose that beginning this fall, iPhones be given away.

While I’m at it, let’s talk about the cost of service plans, too. A standard entry-level plan will run you about $60/month. This is slightly cheaper than it was a few years ago, plus you get a lot more for the same dollar now (more data, web, etc.). But still, $60/month…forever? I don’t think so.

Let’s not kid ourselves with the $60 sticker price. If you manage to stay under all the limits, it’s really more like $75 including taxes. At this rate, mobile service can run you $900/year. Hypothetically, if you applied that $75 to a $150,000 30-year fixed mortgage at 7%, you’d knock almost 6 years off the payments. I’d like to see the $40 basic tier move to $25 and the $60 data plans slashed to $35. While I’m making up prices, let’s go ahead and cut the cost to add a line down from $20-40 to $10 flat fee—all plans, just $10 (and no trying to charge extra for data or messaging for the extra lines!).

In my na├»ve college days, I though the federal law enabling number portability would change everything. I thought we’d see the inception of new and innovative products, plunging prices and an explosion of exceptional customer service. While handset capabilities have improved for high-end devices, it’s hardly true that any of these has improved markedly.

You, Apple, were supposed to change all that! The iPhone is an excellent piece of technology but you’ve done nothing to address the core problem with the industry: cost and service. While it may be that pieces of your master plan have yet to be revealed, it’s still disappointing that you locked in with a single carrier (not well regarded for their network or customer service) and offer only high priced service plans with your device.

You’ve done a better job in other industries and lived to tell about it. Take the iPod, for example. The long running dominate player in the market, the iPod has enjoyed unimaginable success. Even though I can’t figure out why a few megabytes of downloading from iTunes costs the same as a comparable number of tracks purchased as a CD, you’ve remained firm with $0.99/track pricing (somehow this is competitive for online music sales). I’m sure working with the music industry to sell digital copies of their precious property is no picnic but if you can do that, surely you can do more with the mobile carriers.

If you can’t save us, who will?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

New Bit: Random Letters

I've decided to launch a new bit on this site: approximately each week, I will write a letter to someone or some company. My goal is primarily humor but I will also use this opportunity to voice good or bad service etc.

I open this new bit with this letter to Google, which I will mail out (on actual paper, in an actual envelope) tomorrow:
July 4, 2007

Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Dear Google,

Thank you for providing cool web tools like universal search, GMail, Calendar, and Reader. These applications are an integral part of my daily life.

With respect your code of conduct ( and informal motto, “don’t be evil”, I encourage you to not take over the world.

Having recently read of your acquisitions of popular services like YouTube, DoubleClick, FeedBurner, and GrandCentral, and your recent installation of a solar power generation array capable of meeting 30% of your energy needs (, I’m growing quite concerned.

As the popular fortune cookie postscript goes, “…in bed,” so must Google-related news be followed with, “…and their plan for world domination continues.”

I urge you, Google, be mindful of this incredible power you are building.

Best regards,

Michael Haren
[email protected] (but you already knew that, didn’t you?)

Moving Again

I apologize for the lack of updates to the blog--I've got some things coming down the pipe so stay tuned.

On a personal note, I have some updates for you. We have (finally) sold our house in NC and are moving into a new (to us) house in Kent at the end of the month. We're really excited to get the place all ready for Peanut so expect several updates as we go along.

House Front

Flying Sucks

I travel quite a bit for my job so I've become all-too familiar with airports. They suck.

Sometimes I wonder if the whole air travel industry is really just a giant experiment to see how much crap people will put up with. I can see some PhDs at a think tank sitting around one of those yin-yang tables brainstorming:
How about this: we say they can't take liquids of any kind on the plane--even if they buy them on the other side of the security checkpoint. Then, a couple of weeks later, we'll say you can take as many 3oz bottles as you can fit into a single 1 qt bag and people will cheer--but they gotta be in a bag! And, if we want to make people really happy, we'll let them buy water and take it on the plane, too. They'll hate it at first but when we give a little, we'll all be heroes! All hail SkyMall!

It seems to me that the whole airline industry is taking the wrong approach to solve the issue of security. Instead of belittling thousands (millions?) of people each day with completely ridiculous procedures, I suggest we try something else.

First, let's recognize that a plane is basically a bus that can fly (you are so clever, Airbus). Terrorists or any other nut job can take a bus (or diner, or super market, or cafe) hostage much more easily than an airplane and yet all the focus is on planes. I guess this is because of the sole difference with airplanes--they are unique in their ability to be used as missiles. Let's focus our energy and money on that issue.

Instead of spending billions on sniffers, scanners, and detectors, let's make the cockpit into a tank and just let the pilots fly the planes. Build in some fail safes to keep the pilots isolated from cabin activities (including conversation) when the plane goes into "hijack" mode.

With this system, passengers can breeze through a greatly reduced and simplified security system and hop onto the plane (without showing up 90 minutes early for the flight).

If I can listen to a couple hundred channels of music on my XM radio which decodes a signal from space, we can probably have the planes controlled from space, too. I bet the avionics of a commercial plane are nearly 100% electronic anyway so a remote override, perhaps with on-board confirmation by the pilot, shouldn't be too difficult.
I guess my point is that flying from point A to point B shouldn't be any different from busing from point A to point B. Of course once you get in the air, the two are quite similar. Sadly, the two hours leading up to each journey is very different.

Programmers That...Program?

As a software guy, this article made me very sad. The basic gist is that a lot of software grads these days can't actually write simple programs. I'm talking about really simple programs that I am confident both my wife and brother could implement with their single introductory programming class.

The example from the article, is an application that prints a list of numbers from 1-10. A slightly less ridiculously easy version is to:
Write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100. But for multiples of three print ?Fizz? instead of the number and for the multiples of five print ?Buzz?. For numbers which are multiples of both three and five print ?FizzBuzz?.

Any programmer should be able to implement these "programs" in a half-dozen languages in under five minutes. It's tough to convey to non-programmers just how easy this should be--this is something that a programmer should be able to do in any language with 2 minutes of googling. We're talking like Hello World, part 2 type stuff here.

Here's my wife's implementation (with only a little help):
(while n<100)
if (n Mod 15 == 0)
print "FizzBizz";
elseif (n Mod 3 == 0)
print "Fizz";
elseif (n Mod 5 == 0)
print "Bizz";
print n;

Friday, June 29, 2007

Peanut (of course!)

Just thought I'd share one of my favorite Peanut pictures :)

25 weeks

Tomorrow starts the third trimester - I can't believe that she's almost here!

Oh, and she has the hiccups right now, which is kinda funny to watch - just thought I'd give an update :)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Toothpaste For Dinner RSS Feed

I used to subscribe to an RSS feed of the daily comic "Toothpaste For Dinner". Several months back, however, the comic's creator shut down the feed citing technical problems and warned against complaining and whining about it.

RSS Feed

If you're not familiar with RSS, you should check it out. The basic approach is this: for each site that you regularly visit, subscribe to the site's feed. Then, in your "feed reader", you can view updates from all your favorite sites without actually having to go to them. This is what allows me to stay current with dozens of different sites daily, with ease. This is somewhat analogous to email in that each time an article or comic is posted on the site, it will show up in your feed reader just like an email message.

There are a lot of great feed readers out there. A few that I have used include Thunderbird, Google Reader, and Newhutch. If you're new, Thunderbird may be a good start since it's actually an email interface. I particularly like Google Reader and Newshutch because they are web based and do a great job of layout out the feeds. I currently use Google Reader and can also recommend it to newbies for its ease of use and ability to add feeds for you based on your interests (who wants to get started only to have nothing to read!).


Anyway, the author of TFD no longer supports RSS. Since the comics are no longer arriving automatically and with the knowledge that he's kind of a jerk, I stopped reading. Since then I have seen a few particularly good comics that renewed me interest so I decided to build my own RSS feed.

Since I have no affiliation with the author, I accomplish this through simple web scraping. It's not ideal or elegant in any fashion but it does the job for me. You can add the feed here. I'll follow up with the details of how I did this later. It's not too complicated and only shows the current comic so don't get too excited :).

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Peanut's 20-Week Ultrasound

My parents gave us a 3D ultrasound for Easter and it was great!

Peanut at 20 weeks

We got lots of awesome shots of her and a neat video.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

More Baby Stuff...

It's a girl! We are thrilled - I can't wait to go SHOPPING but we have to wait until we have a house in which to put the things we buy :) So far, Peanut has:

  • 2 pairs of socks

  • 1 fleece snowsuit

  • 1 yellow creeper with ducks on it

  • 1 fleece jacket/pants combo with a hood with bear ears on it

So she has enough clothes to get her through 1 day :) I'll get some pictures up when I get the energy :P I swear Peanut is going through a growth spurt because I am exhausted!

The ultrasound was awesome! As far as we can tell, everything is developing perfectly and she is right on schedule (and maybe even a little ahead!) - the detail was pretty amazing - you could see fingers, toes, etc. which we expected, but they also looked at her heart chambers and the various parts of her brain! Wacky! They could even tell that she has 3 vessels in her umbilical cord (which is a good thing :)).

And, Chris, she does not have a tail :)

Next weekend we are getting a 3-d ultrasound and I cannot wait! I'll post some pictures from that once we have them - according to what I have seen and heard, we should get some pretty detailed shots of her face, hands, etc. Maybe we'll even be able to tell who she looks like!

Michael has started to read her books every night, and they've mostly been Dr. Suess. That guy must have been on some crazy drugs - seriously. Michael gets frustrated that there is no continuity between pages :) We're going to start reading her Tal, which is a book that my dad read to my sisters and I when we were little - if you haven't read it you should - great book :)

We have some names picked out and a list going - there is a poll if you're interested in voting.

That's all for now - I'll try to post more if anything interesting happens :)


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Funny Shirts, Baby Stuff

Don't be too surprised if you see Michael wearing this shirt in the not too distant future. Maybe I'll get brave and wear this one...who knows...pregnancy does strange things to you :)

This site has some pretty great shirts...I have a feeling Peanut's wardrobe may include some of them.

To update anyone who's interested:

1. I'm out of the first trimester (yay!!!!!) which means Peanut is a little safer than before.

2. We're thinking boy (for no reason at all) but won't know for sure until our 20 week ultrasound.

3. Pregnancy does weird things to your brain - I can't believe how forgetful I have become! I'm sorry if this has affected any of you (I would apologize specifically, but I can't remember! :))

4. Peanut is now approximately the size of a lime...oh how I miss limes (well, I guess I just miss the tequila that went with the lime; technically I can still eat limes, but what's the point???)

5. I made a baby sling out of peanut fabric from Michael's mom that Jane likes to ride in (I had to test out how much it can hold). I think I'll have to wash it several times to get her "Jane smell" out of the fabric before Peanut can use it :P I'll post a picture in the gallery at some point.

6. Michael wants Peanut's nursery to be "Super Mario" themed...I have a feeling this is one battle he will not win, but we'll find out for sure come September :)

7. I've started taking "belly shots" (not THAT kind ;)) to track Peanut's growth - you can check them out in the gallery (I'll post them tomorrow hopefully) if you feel so inclined :)

That's all for now

Have a nice day!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Welcome Home

It's official - we are now living in Ohio. We made the move this past weekend and have pretty much settled in to our temporary house.

More updates as soon as things settle down a little bit. Seriously.