Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Birth Story

It's really not that exciting as far as birth stories go. The whole experience was really easy and everything went super well. I attribute this to all the people who were praying for us all day. Thank you so much--the day was just about perfect.

My water did indeed break on Wednesday morning. Right after I blogged about it I got a call from the doctors office saying I could go in right away. Dr. Zeh, the doctor who was on call and doing all the deliveries that day confirmed that the sac had ruptured and sent me over to the hospital. We arrived at about 11am.

I had my first round of penicillin through an i.v. and around 2:30pm we added Pitocin because my body wasn't starting contractions on its own. I was asked about pain management and told the nurses that I did want an epidural but that I would ask for it when I was ready because I wanted to stick it out for as long as possible--just so that the baby would be more encouraged to do his part in getting out.

I was able to breathe and relax through contractions until around 8pm. I was still only 6cm dilated and 80% effaced. I probably could have made it longer, but the contractions were starting to make me cry and I knew it would take a while for the anesthesiologist to actually get there and start the epidural. I probably suffered for only about an hour and Geary was an excellent coach, smoothing my hair back, applying counter pressure, and cheering me on. It went really, really well. The whole epidural procedure went smoothly and I felt relief almost immediately.

Since I no longer had any pain, Dr. Zeh suggested being more aggressive with the Pitocin. We really wanted to have this baby out of there by morning. It was great, I could see that the contractions were getting even bigger and longer, but I couldn't feel anything. I was able to sleep from about 9pm to 11:30pm.

When I woke up I felt a lot of pressure in my pelvis. I told the nurse and she checked me and said, "Yep, you're complete. Let's get the doctor and see if we can start pushing." When Dr. Zeh came in, she also checked me but noted that the baby was still really high up. I tried pushing a few times, but she said, "Yeah, lets let the contractions do their thing and push the baby down a little more before we start pushing."

So I tried to sleep a little more but the pressure just kept building. At 12:15 I told the nurse, "The pressure is turning into pain. It really, really hurts!" So she checked me again and said, "Oh my god! The baby is right there!" She rushed out of the room to get the doctor who rushed right in and started getting her gloves and mask on.

When another contraction came the nurse started to say, "Push!" but Dr. Zeh said, "Don't push! I don't want that baby to fall out--I'm still getting ready!" It was agonizing but I managed to grit my teeth through the pain and not bear down. Finally, at 12:30 I was allowed to push. This is how it went:

Nurse: Big breath, push push push!
Doctor: Good job, here's the head!
Nurse: Another one, big breath, push push push!
Doctor: We have shoulders!
Nurse: Okay, ready, breathe and push! Push!
Doctor: He's out! That's it!

At 12:37 am, Tobin Joseph Linhart was born. Seven minutes of pushing. That's it. Seven. S-E-V-E-N. I was shocked! All that pressure had been Tobin in the birth canal! Geary cut the umbilical cord and Dr. Zeh delivered the placenta while Tobin got wiped down and weighed. He looked so much like Noah and yet so much like himself. We were immediately in love!

I didn't have any tearing and didn't need any stitches so I had no pain. Once the epidural wore off and I had nursed the baby for the first time, I was able to eat and get up and take a shower. That shower felt amazing! I had been leaking and covered with sticky stuff all day, but it was so worth it. Over all, the whole experience was a blessing. All my nurses were amazing, Dr. Zeh was great, Noah was in good hands at Anita's house. It could not have been a better day. God provided for all our needs precisely, and I see once again how Tobin's name is perfect. God's goodness has been poured out on us by the bucket load.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Tobin is Home!

We're home now and getting settled in. Toby is adjusting well and Noah is thrilled to be a big brother. Pictures of Tobin's first day can be found on our Web Album and we'll try to update more this weekend with the birth story and some pictures from home. For now the goal is sleep, sleep, sleep!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

More Baby Coming to a Linhart Near You!

This is just a snipet of information to come, but 7 pounds 8 ounces of Mr. Tobin Joseph Linhart was born today at 12:37am. Right now, he wants to say hello to his public and assures everybody a premiere is forthcoming this weekend. Until then his publicity agents are resting and doing spendidly.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

W is for Water...and also for What the what?

So, yeah. At 8:20, a mere hour after completing my last post, I stood up to go to the bathroom when suddenly I felt a small gush, like I was wetting my pants. I had ZERO control over the liquid coming out of my body. Did my water just break?

I sat on the toilet and definite urine came out, but the liquid in my pants had a pink tinge and didn't smell particularly urinish (yes, I did sniff, thank you very much). Also, when I wiped there was a pink tinge. But it wasn't a lot of liquid...but maybe my expectation was just wrong?

I called my doctor and now have an appointment to get checked 11:20. They promise to call if something opens up sooner. For now I'm a little dumbfounded.

What the what? We were just at the hospital! In fact, as we were leaving last night, in the parking lot of the hospital, I said to Geary, "Wouldn't it be absolutely hilarious if my water broke right now? 'Hi! We're back! Did you miss us?'" Har har har.

What the what? 11:20! I thought that when a woman's water breaks everyone is supposed to jump into a state of frenzy and get her in to see the doctor right now! Okay, maybe they will call in a few minutes and I can come in right now. Because I don't know if I can hang out at home not knowing for another two hours!

What the what? I think I am leaking. I also didn't expect to be live blogging my labor. Still no contractions but I'm learning to not have any expectations for this adventure.

Hopefully, the next post will be "B is Baby...and also for Birth Story."

P is for Practice Run...and also for Pee

Last night, starting around 6pm, I started having contractions that were getting longer, stronger, and closer together. But they still weren't intensely painful. I mean, they were in no way comfortable, but I didn't feel like I would rather rip out my own eyeballs like I did with the Pitocin contractions for Noah's birth. Geary started timing them and by 10pm they were 3 to 4 minutes apart and lasting about 60 seconds. We decided to have Noah spend the rest of the night Geary's sister's house--just in case.

Around 11:30, after the contractions still had not changed, I talked to the doctor-on-call at my clinic. Even though we both weren't sure it was the real thing he said, "It can't hurt to go in and just get checked out. I'll let the hospital know you're coming." So off we went to Labor and Delivery. I thought, "Maybe my pain tolerance is much higher now...I heard kidney stones will do that to you."

I had a couple contractions in the car and one while we were walking up to the building and then...nothing. They just stopped. I told the nurse I wasn't having any more and she said, "It's okay, let's just monitor the baby for a while and see what he's up to." She was really encouraging and didn't make us feel dumb for wasting her time. "It's better to be safe and second labors can happen really fast. We'd rather you come in for nothing than not come in for something."

After about 30 minutes on the fetal monitor she asked if I wanted to walk around and see if that got anything going again. Geary and I decided we'd rather just go home and go to bed. The nurse was agreeable and finished up her paperwork to release us. Then, almost as an afterthought, she complimented me on something that makes me feel nearly as proud as having a beautiful cervix. She said, "If it makes you feel any better, the lab said you have the best urine they've seen in a long time--so clean!"

Awesome. It really is about the inner beauty.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

2 cm

I am 2 cm dialated and my cervix is "very soft." I know that it could still be awhile but it's nice to know those contractions are getting something started. Pray for endurance--they are getting to the point where I'm having a hard time sleeping at night. Also, please pray that timing issues work out. Geary has a job interview in Portland on April 2nd and Teacher Fair that we both feel he needs to go to on April 3rd (also in Portland.) As much as I would love to have an April 1st baby, that makes Geary's travel plans kind of strained. So this child needs to either come out in the next couple days or wait until after April 4th. Emotionally, I'm ready for the baby to be born today, but I also would like to have Geary home and his interview over with so that all we have to concentrate on is the birth. So with that in mind, I feel like I could hang in there another week. What will happen? Suspense! Drama! Don't like this hanging off a cliff feeling...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Time is Relative

I really believe that time is relative to age. Don't you remember being a kid and it seemed that a year was sooooooo long? Or that summer vacation seemed to last forever? But now one year isn't long at all and summer vacation feels like just a few short weeks. I'm fully convinced that this is true and Noah is helping me prove it.

Noah: When am I going to Grandma and Grandpa Bob's house? Tomorrow?
Jeana: On Sunday. One more week.
Noah: One week!?! A whole week?
Jeana: Yep, only 6 more days.
Noah: A week is a looooong time! I will be a man with a beard in 6 more days!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

38 and 1/2 weeks

I've been having mild contractions for the last week or so. They are not painful and they are not consistent. I can definitely walk and talk through them. But in the last couple days there have been a few contractions that have forced me to pause and concentrate through. I've even started asking Geary to apply some counterpressure. I know these are more than Braxton Hicks because I can feel them in my back as well"down there." Also, this might be TMI for some of you, but just a few minutes ago when I was in the bathroom, there was a little bit of mucus when I wiped. So something is definitely going on!

If I don't go into labor before then, my next OB appointment is on Tuesday. I'm going to make sure she checks to see if I'm dialated or effaced at all. Please pray for us! We're feeling all sorts of emotions--excitement, nervousness, stress, etc.

Noah and Geary have been champs at helping me feel more comfortable. Geary has been very generous with back rubs and Noah has appointed himself "Official Water Bottle Filler."

More updates soon!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

More Birth Misinformation

We really have not been teaching our son the facts of life very well.

Jeana: Guess what, bud? You only have two more school days left until April!
Noah: And then Toby will come out?
Jeana: Yep! Then he'll be ready to come out anytime.
Noah: your hole open?
Jeana:, it's still closed, but when Toby is ready it will open.
Noah: He will open it from the inside?
Jeana: Yeah, kind of.
Noah: He will just slide down the hole and bite it open?
Jeana: he's not gonna bite it open...
Noah: Is there a doorbell? Or maybe he can just knock when he's ready.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Launch

Granny bought Noah a new toy. Geary captured the fun on his cell phone.

Be sure to turn your sound up so you can hear the awesome countdown.

Thank you, Granny! Noah loves his airplane!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pregnancy Brain

This is my brain:

This is my brain on pregnancy:
Also note ridiculously long and frizzy hair.

Okay. I can admit to having the occasional daft moment when I'm not pregnant. Lately, however, I feel like I've been living through nine months of "the lights are on, but nobody's home." Here are just a few examples of my "pregnancy brain".

  • I left my keys in my car at Costco. Not in the ignition. On the front seat. In plain sight. With all the car doors unlocked. Nice, huh? Even better is that I had just volunteered to take Noah's friend Andrew home with me for a playdate. His dad stood there holding Andrew's booster seat, staring at me incredulously while I retrieved my keys from the front seat of my unsecure car. "Sure...let me take your child becuz I'm rill re-spawn-sibble like." Duh.

  • While grocery shopping I completely lost track of my shopping cart. It was there with me, and then it was gone. Thankfully, I had only put a few items in it so I just went back to the front of the store to get a new cart and started over.

  • I caught myself standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open, wondering where I had put my shoes.

  • One day I was reading a story to Noah and he said, "Mom. You already read that page."

  • This phone conversation: "Hi, this is Serena from Dr. Doctor's office. We received your payment with the credit card number, but you forgot to write the expiration date." "Oh, I'm so sorry. I'll bring it with me to my appointment tomorrow." "Okay, no problem."

  • Followed by this phone conversation: "Hi, this is Amy from Dr. Dentist's office. We received your payment with the credit card number but there was no expiration date..."

Guess who forgot to bring the expiration date to her doctor appointment today?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Staypuff Marshmallow Mommy

I'm pretty swollen lately. To the point where I get dents from my socks on my cankles (it's a calf and an ankle all in one!!). Noah seems to have noticed this.

Noah: Mom, what are kids?
Jeana: Kids are people who are still growing.
Noah: So...Daddy is man. That means he's not growing?
Jeana: Right.
Noah: But you're not a kid and you're still growing...
Jeana: Yes, when I have a baby inside me my belly will grow and grow.
Noah: But when the baby gets out your belly will shrink and shrink.
Noah: And so will your hands and feet.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saying "no" to N.O.

The Carlson family is the Linhart family's best friend. They are the type of friends who feel more like family. The ones we want to involve in every major and minor event in our lives. Chad and Geary have been best friends since college. Cindy and I share so many common interests and personality traits. Noah and Andrew, only three months apart, have a special bond, more like brothers or cousins than friends. And Nicholas...Nicholas is the baby of my heart. He was born just after my second miscarriage and whenever we visited the Carlsons, I was always eager to hold and feed him. I don't know if Chad and Cindy sensed this, but they always let me have plenty of Nicholas time, allowing his soft babyness and innocence to fill my empty arms and soothe my raging soul. Now he is a two year old unstoppable bundle of energy--but I still can't resist asking him for a cuddle because in some ways I feel like he belongs to me. All of the Carlsons belong to us.

Then there are the Brantleys. Mike mentored Geary throughout college and guided him through one of the biggest spiritual issues of his life. He was also one of the pastors who married us. Susanne is such a wise woman and I would love to be mentored by her. Their kids, Logan and Jordan are incredibly smart, endearing, and spiritually sensitive. Just the type of kids I hope my own sons will grow to be like.

When the Brantleys and the Carlsons decided to join in ministry together in New Orleans, Geary and I seriously considered following them. What an awesome and amazing community we could form together. Three families on the same path, with the same goals, in the same neighborhood. I envisioned barbecues, and neighborhood walks, our kids feeling at home in each others houses. I dreamed about making friends with our New Orleans neighbors, and developing relationships with bank tellers and green grocers. I had been wanting this kind of community for years. Still do.

The months of September through November were intense as we prayed and talked about what N.O. would be like. We calculated moving costs, looked at housing prices online, and Mike even helped Geary set up a meeting with a principal in N.O. We planned to visit the Brantleys (already in N.O.) in December.

But...something wasn't right. As we started to share about this N.O. idea, people naturally asked, "Why?" I kept hearing myself say, "It really has nothing to do with the city; I just want that type of community." Of course the response was, "Can't you have that here?" I would nod and mumble about God's leading and direction. But if am honest with myself, I must say that it had everything to do with the Carlsons going. I didn't want lose our family's cruise directors, the ones who could fix stuff, and the people who made our lives in Seattle feel safe. The Carlsons are a family of leaders, and instead of trying emulate them, I had been content to sit back and let them pave the way for our future. It was all wrong.

In addition, I realized that we didn't love New Orleans and in that war zone they don't need people like us. You see, where the Carlsons and the Brantleys were growing in love and compassion for city, Geary and I only had pity. And waning pity at that. Our focus on going there was purely self serving--to stay attached to our friends and to benefit from the community that they would build for us.

Soon after I saw my own sin in pursuing N.O., Geary and Chad had some conversations about friendship. Chad lovingly confronted Geary on his lack of pursuit. He said, "If you come to N.O. that has to change." Geary realized that he has always depended on friends like Mike and Chad to make friends for him. When other men pursued Geary for friendship he let them drop because he felt like he always had his two buddies in his pocket--he didn't need more relationships. And we realized that it would be the same in N.O. Mike and Chad would make the friends. Geary would benefit, but not grow. Chad pointed out, "It seems that the greater growth would be for you to go to Portland*."

The greater growth. We had been so caught up in the physical adventure of moving across the country and staying connected to our friends, that we never considered the spiritual adventure of letting go of the friends who made us feel safe, and venturing out to join a community on our own. What would happen if we cut the apron strings to the Carlsons. What would it do for our marriage, for our family, and for our relationships with God if we only had each other to depend on? What would happen if there was no Chad to make friends for us? No Cindy to plan the play dates and bring the snacks that I frequently forgot? We would have to grow up. We would have to mature and become adults and Christians who pursue real community instead of letting others pursue it for us. We would have to experience the greater growth.

And just like that, we knew. It was an amazingly peaceful decision and once it was made, we could clearly see how N.O. would be a bad fit for our family and vice versa. We cancelled our planned visit for December and fumbled through trying to explain the reason to the Brantleys. Mike said, "I don't understand because I wasn't there, but I believe you." So the apron strings were cut. We would not join our friends' adventures in New Orleans.

The Carlson family is the Linhart family's best friend. But they don't belong to us. They belong to God, who is leading them on a fantastic and exciting journey to a city that they already love--New Orleans. We will be so sad when they leave, and we will miss them immensely. But the Linhart family will have its own adventure. We will experience the greater growth. In fact, it's already started--the moment we said, "No" to N.O.

*Pretty soon we'll get to start saying "Yes" to the real home where God is leading us...a place where we still get to have barbecues and neighborhood walks and relationships with bank tellers. That story is still being written and will have to wait for a future blog post. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Sock Puppet

I had an old pair of fuzzy socks that were getting worn out and holey. Perfect for making a monster sock puppet! Noah glued puff balls for eyes, nose, and teeth in place (I sewed them in later for reinforcement) on one sock and then we made arms out of cut up pieces from the other sock. A folded piece of cardstock glued to the inside of the mouth helps the puppet keep its shape. We think he's almost worthy of Muppet status!

Awful Olives

Noah: Sarah likes aw-vils on her pizza, but I don't.
Jeana: Do you mean olives?
Noah: Yeah, aw-vils.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Induction by Eggplant

So...I'm not quite ready to have this little child, yet. But I imagine that in a couple of weeks I'll be more than ready. So...anyone want to try their hand at making this recipe for me? Apparently over 300 pregnant women have gone into labor within 48 hours of eating this eggplant lasagna type dish.

Now there is no way in the world that I would ever swallow a spoonful of cod liver oil, but I would definitely eat this meal...I know...if someone made it for me...(hint, hint).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

37 Weeks

Only one new thing to report:

The baby has dropped.

Oh, I guess something else, too. My Group B Strep test came back positive (which was expected). So no hanging out at home for the first part of labor. I'll need to get to the hospital fairly quickly in order to get the recommended 4 hours of penicillin in my body before the birth.

Good thing we live two blocks down the street from the hospital. (This is also kind of bad since it means that I have NO motivation to pack anything for the hospital--I mean, why bother when I can just send Geary home to fetch whatever we need?)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Three Ways to Have Fun as a Parent

One: Take pictures of your child in funny sleep positions.

When I showed this picture to Noah the next morning he laughed and said, "Hmm. I must have been dreaming that I was a ladder."

Two: When you can't find paper, tell your child to color on his own belly.

(Warning: this activity sometimes means that you must let them color on your belly. And no, you don't get to see that picture.)

Three: Convince your child your house has "magic buttons".

Our bathroom has a dual lightswitch--you can turn the lights on and off from the bathroom or from the master bedroom. We told Noah there was a magic button on the floor of the bathroom and that if he stomped on it he could turn the lights off. Geary showed him where to stomp (right in front of the toilet) while I stood in the bedroom manning the lights. We also told him that to turn the lights back on all he had to do was slap his leg. It's pretty funny when he "accidentally" steps on the magic button and the lights go off...and even funnier when he spends a few seconds slapping away to try to get them back on before resorting to the "reggalar" light switch.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Why I bought only one box of Girl Scout Cookies

As Geary and I were finishing up a small purchase at Lowes, I noticed some Girl Scouts setting up a cookie table in the entry way. I asked Geary, "Should we support the troops?" He said, "Sure!" So, I made sure to get some cash back. We walked through the automated glass doors and smiled at the little Girl Scouts. They looked about 7 or 8 years old...and they also looked nervous. "Must be their first time selling," I thought.

The girls stood there, silent, while their moms exchanged glances and grimaces. Finally, I asked, "Are you selling cookies?" They nodded.

After a looooong awkward pause, I prodded again, "Do you have Samoas?" More nodding. Then more silence. The moms looked worried. I started to wonder if I had sprouted fangs or facial hair. Was my ginormous belly freaking them out?

One mother pushed her daughter forward and the girl kind of mumbled, "Four dollars."

I counted out four dollars thinking that if they had tried to sell me some cookies I would have had enough cash for three boxes. I didn't want to have to ask for more and they simply dropped the Samoas in my hands and scurried behind their table.

When we walked out of Lowes Geary pointed out that the moms were already giving "the selling lecture." I nodded and simply replied, "Yeah. Those two are SO not going to Girl Scout Camp."

Friday, March 09, 2007


Noah and I have been battling sinus infections for the past couple days. Tonight when I put him to bed he was a little bit whiney.

Noah: I don't feel good.
Jeana: I know, baby, but falling asleep will help you feel better.
Noah: Only one thing will help me feel better.
Jeana: What's that?
Noah: I think you should get me a stripper.

Here's where I started panicking, wondering what in the world tv show or movie he had glimpsed that referenced strippers. Bad mother alarms blared in my head.

Jeana: Um...a stripper?
Noah: Yeah, that medicine that melts on my tongue?
Jeana: Yeah, lets just call those strips. Not strippers.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery

I had my 36 week OB appointment this week. I can't believe my due date is less than a month away! At this point with Noah I was more than ready to give birth and feeling pretty impatient during that last month. This time around I'm more content to let the little one hang out in there a while longer. Maybe because this time I know what's coming! All of us are getting really excited, though, especially Noah. I'm hoping that during the next few weeks we'll create some special memories of just the three of us. These are our last days as a single child family and I want to cherish them.

Good news! The baby is head down and in prime birth position! Now, hopefully he stays there. I'm guessing he will just by the fact that there isn't enough room for him to flip over. He's still very active but the movements are more squirmy and less punchy. When Noah sees my belly changing shape because of the baby's movements he says, "Toby is blobbing out!"

I was tested for Group B Strep at this last appointment, too. I tested positive with Noah and I thought it was 'once a carrier, always a carrier,' but I guess that is not always the case. I'll find out next week what the results are. From here on out I'll see my doctor every week until the baby is born!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


In January Noah made a special request to Geary's Aunt Mary, who we call Grandma Mary. He asked to her make him a Superman cape. She made an amazing one! Check out all of Noah's super poses by clicking the picture below. It will take you to our web album. Enjoy!

Thank you, Grandma Mary! We love you!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Mac vs. PC

Geary and I love those commercials with the two guys portraying Mac and PC computers--they are incredibly clever! But sometimes we feel sorry for the poor PC...Not anymore! Laurie McGuiness has created a series of some pretty funny parodies giving PC the upper hand this time. Here's a sample:

Check the rest of them out here.

Friday, March 02, 2007


I'm in the process of packing my bag for the hospital. Which outfit do you think I should pack for Toby to come home in? Vote now! (And this time, I promise, there won't be any of that electoral-college-my-vote-is-worth-more-than-yours-stuff. Scouts honor!)

1. Dark Blue Jungle Animals with Lion Hat

2. Blue & White Striped Monkey Pocket Tab with Monkey Hat

3. Light Blue Giraffe with Light Blue Hat

Dear Geary,

Thank you for continuing to sleep in the same bed with me during this last month of pregnancy. I know it cannot be easy. You've been forced over to the the tiniest sliver of mattress because of my "nest of pillows" but you've never complained about it. I know that I've started snoring, and not just because you told me so this weekend, but because my own snoring has woken me up at night. And yet, you don't shove or kick me the way I do to you when you snore sometimes.

I doubt you're getting quality sleep because of all my violent tossing and turning and getting up 100 times a night to go to the bathroom. Thanks for not making fun of me when I have to roll over in stages because my belly is too big to go in one fluid movement. And it must really be a pain when I decide that I must sleep with my head at the foot of the bed. I hope I've never kicked you the face. You haven't told me that I have, but I'm thinking you're too nice to tell me I abuse you in my sleep.

Now that I'm wearing wrist braces at night because of this pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome I'm so sorry for all the times you've been wacked on the legs/arms/shoulders/chest/back by the metal bar in the brace. Or been scratched by the velcro as I try to snuggle with you. My doctor says the carpal tunnel will go away when the baby's born. I promise the wrist braces will go away, too.

I know I'm a giant (literally) mess to be with at night. It must be a complete nightmare to sleep next me. But you do. Every night. And words can't express how grateful I am to have you there, massaging my sore muscles, scratching my itchy back, and comforting me when I have some crazy pregnancy dream or a charlie horse. You're the perfect husband for me and I love you.