Monday, August 8, 2011

:: first born (long post) ::

This morning, I woke up and laid in bed and cried.

I couldn't help it when the tears prickled in the corners of my eyeballs and flew down my cheeks into my pillowcase.  For the first time in a long time, I let myself go there.  Back to the day of his birth and the hours leading up to it.  High blood pressure plagued me in the last remaining months of my otherwise healthy pregnancy.  Swollen wrists caused severe carpal tunnel as I finished up my full-time job at 8 months pregnant.

a few days beforehand...



4th time to the hospital

I couldn't even turn doorknobs.  Each weekly appointment took a little bit longer as I began to be monitored for my blood pressures.  At times, it was so high that I was forbidden to look at it.  My due date approached and my family arrived.  As my bp continued to climb, and I began having contractions, I began to feel awful.  My trips to triage began, as I became sicker.  Each time I would go to triage (4 times total before they kept me), a different physician would be on duty and would send me home despite my high bp (my doctor was out of town or things would've been totally different...I have good timing that way).  When I was finally kept (the day before my due date), I was so relieved and scared.  Admission seemed to take forever before I was shown to my room.  Dressed and ready to go, I was hooked up to the IV and Pitocin started.

happy and nervous


still smiling...

our pit crew


(Let me stop here to say something.  I had an angel that day and her name is Anna Hubert.  I've known Anna since I was a little girl (Gia's age, probably) and she just happens to live up here now (I ran into them at a red light several years back, randomly) and works at the hospital where I delivered all 3 of my babies.  I can't help but get emotional when I think about how much easier it was for me just having her there.  Her constant reassurance, love and care was just like having a second (third, in my case) mom in the room and she knew all the tricks of the trade to make things go a little easier for me.  One was suggestion a topical anesthetic for my IV.  Back to the IV...)

The first nurse I had was not happy when I requested topical.  She also couldn't get the IV started.  After several tries, I became frustrated with her, only to look up and see Anna walk in the room.  I swore I could hear angels singing as she slipped that IV in.  Amen.  And we were off...

pushing...i love how ryan's hand is supporting me and i can sense the seriousness in his expression

Anna and Ryan trying to keep me comfortable

I very quickly felt contractions increasing and very quickly became uncomfortable.  Ryan tried his best to keep me comfortable, but most of the time stood there wide-eyed and a little panicked looking.  Poor guys...they do go through a lot watching us writhe in pain.  They gave me Fentanyl (a pain med) which instantly made me hammered.  I don't remember much except for getting sick.  Ryan was shaking as they placed my epidural (what would end up being my first of 2 for that day)...  I was so relieved when that epidural kicked in.  The relief didn't last long.  About 2 hours later, I was again in pain.  Some head-scratching occurred and the decision was made to place another epidural.  Again, relief.  For less than an hour.  It just didn't work.  Now, apparently this is very rare (in my family, we call this "Murray's Law" - my maiden name).  I was faced with natural childbirth, which I wasn't prepared for.  Or happy about.  They broke my water.  They thought they saw traces of meconium (baby poop) and Anna explained that after Aidan came out, they would not stimulate him to breathe, so to not be scared when he didn't cry right away.  They didn't want him to inhale meconium.  I stalled around 7 cm and was told I would be a candidate for a c-section if I didn't progress in an hour or two.  I panicked, but Anna (my angel) quickly reminded me that it was a healthy baby I wanted and that is what mattered.  Luckily for me, there was a doctor change during that time, and the incoming doc said I was free to still labor.  With my bp still so high, I had to stay put in the bed, which was hard.  It would've been so nice to walk around or sit in a bath or on a ball, but I was stuck.  Poor Ryan...he was such a trooper, helping me focus, breathe and not panic.  I panicked several times.  Apparently, I said every typical phrase in the book, including, "I'm done.  I'm going home."  When I think about it, all I can remember is the pain and how endless it was.  And fatigue.  I couldn't sleep, we tried watching What About Bob, and I tried listening to music.  I was at my wit's end.  Contractions just right on top of each other.  After 16 or so hours, I was FINALLY complete and pushed for several hours.  I got really angry at one point and just pushed and he finally came out.  There was a pediatric team in the room that whisked him away and for several seconds, suctioned him out.  It seemed like FOREVER before Michelle asked through her tears, "Is he okay?"  We were reminded that it would take a few seconds.  We finally heard a weak, gurgly cry which quickly strengthened as he turned pink and rosy.  His cries sounded like, "La, La, La" and I remember thinking it sounded like he was singing.  As they cleaned him up, took his vitals, etc., Ryan laid his head down on me and just sobbed.  It had been hard on him too.  Anna finally placed him in my arms as they stitched me up (with no pain meds, that was almost worse than the birth itself).  All I could do was stare.  And cry.

happy birthday!

pain? what pain?

daddy's first hold

post-circ. ready to go home!

chats with daddy

Those early days were filled with a lot of staring.  And crying.  I just could not believe he was mine.  That Ryan and I did this.    (this is a whole post in itself) He was such a good newborn.  Ate a lot and slept a lot, sleeping through the night by the time he was 8 weeks old.  Those days are sweet, sweet memories.  Ryan was blessed with a long paternity leave and we had a lot of fun during those weeks.  My mom stayed and helped and I could NOT have gotten through those early weeks without her.  I'll always think of those days with my mom fondly.  I remember one particular night when Aidan was hungry and my milk hadn't yet come in.  We sat at the table late into the night with a pump on my breast and laughed until my milk came in.  It was just beautiful.  It makes me glad I have a girl that I can do this with someday.  What a joy that baby was.  Everyone loved him, held him and marveled at him.  I took him on his first plane ride at 13 days to visit my ailing grandma in Idaho.  Rebecca took us to the airport.  They wouldn't let us fly until I had a note faxed over from the doctor to clear us.  I kept him snuggled in my sling the whole way there and fed him discreetly on the plane.  A sweet older lady next to me held him on the plane when I got tired.  I'm so glad my grandma got to meet him and vice versa.  Both of my grandmas did before they passed.  I'm so grateful for that.

fast friends

happy mama

grandma with Aidan

BACK TO TODAY: 8/8/2011...

I got up, crept out of my room, turned right and crept down the hallway, past the first room on the left where I could hear the squeals and giggles of my two youngests.  I stopped at the 2nd door on the left and sighed.  As I slowly opened the door, I had images of what my new 5-year-old would look like.  I was certain he would look bigger today.  Older.  A beard, maybe?  All was quiet as I peered in, wondering if he was even awake.  I was about to close the door when I heard a faint giggle.  I was instantly relieved to hear that the giggle still sounded like a 4-year-old giggle.  When I reached the bottom bunk I laid down next to the lump under the red, white and blue comforter and settled into the spiderman pillow.  A pair of big blue eyes quickly appeared over the edge of the blanket and laughed at me.  I choked back a tear or two for a second and laid there next to my boy.

"Happy Birthday to Yooooouu..."

Aidan, disapprovingly: "Mommy..."

"Happy Birthday to Yoooouuuu..."

Aidan: "Not yet, Mommy..."

"Happy Birthday, dear Aiiiidaaaaan.."

Aidan: "Can this wait until we get downstairs?"

"Happy Birthday to Yoooouuu!"

Aidan: "Am I having another party today?  Will I see my grandma?  I bet all my friends are going to be there again today.  Did you know that 3 + 1 = 4 AND 2 + 2 = 4?"

Me:..."Let's go make scrambled eggs and toast."

A: "Can I have jelly?"

5 years old