Monday, June 30, 2008

6 weeks of Declan

Tomorrow D will be 7 weeks old. I can't believe it's been that long already....and yet it's also been a LONG 7 weeks! I have mixed feelings right now: I can't wait to see Dec grow up, get bigger, sit on his own, crawl, eat solid foods, eat better (that has not been easy...), and I also don't want him to be any different than he is now! So many people have said regarding their own children "I can't believe *insert child's name* was ever that small!" I love my boy this small, and I think I'll be sad when he's not....he's just so darn cute!!! And to prove it to you, here's 25 pictures from his first 6 weeks.

Hanging with Daddy, 3 days old.
Ducky Boy. Grumpy Old Man.
First Bath.
Pharoh Declan. 6 days old.
We were having some dinner, and Dec thought Mom should be more decent.
Daddy feeds Dec for the first time. 9 days old.

He started at the top. He ended up there. He's wiggely.
Our strong boy! 2 and 1/2 weeks old.

"I'm too sexy for my crib."
"Yes. I am that cute." 4 weeks old.
D and Papa Gill.
First try at tummy time! I think he likes it! 5 and 1/2 weeks old.
"I'm a happy boy!!"
"You got a problem with that?!"

"Why Mom? Why do you have to make me look more like an old man?"
Meeting Colton....
Colton likes babies! :)
Paranoid much?

"Stop taking pictures already and pick me up!!"
D and Uncle Chris.
First pool time. "It's like a GIANT bath!"
"I'd rather be naked......"
"Or in the swing! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!"

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Birth Story

Tuesday morning, May 13th, I woke up around 6:30 and I was having contractions. Not bad ones, and not long or close enough together to time either. I already had an appointment that morning at 9:30 to do testing since I was 6 days over due, so I called around 9 to see if they thought I should come in considering I was apparently starting labor. They said yes, and that they might keep me too considering. So in we went.

At the appointment, they monitored me and the baby for about 20 mintues, and then they did an ultrasound. They needed to check my amniotic fluid to make sure I had enough. I needed to have a measurement of 6 (I have no idea what that measurement is) and if I was any less, I would need to stay and be induced. I only had 3.4. I was staying.

We started making our calls to my mom and Chantel, my photographer, and other family to let them know and then we were taken to the delivery room. It was a really weird feeling, I was totally expecting a different experience: to walk into the hospital, clutching my belly in pain, and screaming for an epidural. Instead I calmly walked to the room, and sat around for about 15 mintues with the occasional contraction, before a nurse came in to even give me a gown to put on. On a side note, I did at some point scream(ish) for an epidural, but I'll get to that in a bit. I got the gown on, got hooked up to the monitors, one to watch contractions and one to monitor the baby's heartbeat, and got an IV.

Now because I had Group B Strep, I had to be on antibiotics. (Group B Strep is something that pregnant women are prone to, in fact most women have the bacteria, ((I know, gross, sorry!)) but some can have a higher count of the bacteria, and it could be fatal if passed to the baby. SUPER scary, but totally treatable with antibiotics immediately preceding birth.) So, I have to say that getting the antibiotics was one of the most painful part of the whole labor process. It was just added to my IV, but for the first 10 minutes after it was administered, it made my whole forearm ACHE!! It was horrible! Especially when I was given another dose just before I started pushing. I couldn't even hold my own leg....but again, I get ahead of myself.

I got the antibiotics at about noon, and then Trevor went back home to get a few more things we had left. (We had taken most everything we needed when we left in the morning, but there were a couple things we forgot. It wasn't my favorite idea for Trevor to leave, but we needed those items!) Oh yeah, and he got something to eat. I was bummed by this because I didn't think I would be able to eat, but the midwife said I could and brought me Jello, graham crackers, saltines, and juice! It was soooooo sad is that. I think the fact that I knew that's all I would get made it taste so much better!

While Trevor was gone, my friend Karen joined us. Chantel had gone to Walmart and bought a game so we started playing that. My friends kept me well entertained!

Around 2:30 Trevor came back and they started me on the pitocin (the labor inducing drug.) This was the part I was really not looking forward to. A friend of mine had a 7 minute long contraction at the first drip of pitocin, and in the classes, we had been told that pitocin contractions were more intense than natural ones. They were right! My goal had been to not take any drugs before the epidural, as those are the ones that can really affect the baby. But after an hour or so, I couldn't take it anymore and I started begging for anything! When you ask Chantel how I was throughout the whole process, she says I was awesome......that's because she didn't see me when I was really in labor! She left right when the pitocin went in, and came back after the epidural had taken full effect. Lucky her!

At about 4:30, I was checked to see how dilated I was, and I was 6 centimeters! I made it through to the epidural without any other drugs! I was happy, not happy enough to make the pain easier, but happy that I had made it that far! So at 5 the anaste.......I'm not even gonna try to spell that.....the epidural doctor came in and started the sweet relief. I was sooooooo nervous about getting the epidural. For those of you who don't know, to get an epidural you have a GIANT needle inserted into your SPINE!!! Yeah, not so fun huh? For most women, thankfully, the pain of contractions make this process seem inviting, and that's mostly how I felt. I was still nervous because I knew I had to stay completely still during the procedure, but I also thought it had to be done during a contraction and there was no way I would stay still! I prefered to writhe around in pain. :) Again, thankfully, I was wrong and I have to say I did do really well, waaaaay better than I thought I would. They first give you a couple local numbing shots, so when the biggie went in, all I felt was the pressure and not the pain. I know, I'm awesome. :)

The whole day our midwife, Jessica, kept telling us that we probably wouldn't deliver until the next morning, hence Chantel went home for part of the day. So at about 7, Trevor's sister and brother-in-law called to ask if they could bring him dinner and come visit, and we both thought there would be plenty of time for a nice long visit. Trevor went out to eat at 7:30 and Danica came in to hang out for a bit and at 7:45, Jessica came in again to check me and I was at 9 CENTIMETERS!! A lot farther along then any of us, even Jessica, expected! My water had also not broken yet so that had to be taken care of as well. That was a fun call for Trevor to get! "She's 9 centimeters and they're breaking her water!"

Now I have to point out something. The main reason I had to stay and be induced was because I did not have enough amniotic fluid. However when they were breaking my water, I heard Jessica say to the nurse to bring more towels because my water was bulging and there was going to be a BIG flow! Odd. Oh Kaiser.

It was really cool that Jessica was with us most of the day because she was the midwife I saw for all my appointments while I was pregnant, and we were really hoping she would be able to deliver me. However her shift ended at 8 and if I had a chance of delivering soon after, she would have stayed but since we thought it wouldn't be until the next morning, she left, after introducing us to the new midwife on call. I have to say I was not nearly as impressed with the other midwife. It was probably because I was nearing the end of a really long day and didn't want a new midwife, I wanted MY midwife. But, what could I do. So at 8, Jessica left, and.....well I don't remember her name, I think it was Dianna, so that's what we'll call her, she stayed.

At 8:50, I got a quick visit from my brother Danny, and at 9 we started pushing. Now that was a weird experience! I had asked before I got the epidural if it would feel like novacaine, and I was told it wouldn't, because I needed to be able to feel when to push. But I have to say, I would touch my legs, and they would feel like, like how my face feels when I had novacaine. But they were right, I was still able to tell when I was having a contraction and needed to push, it just wasn't painful at all. In fact, the only pain I felt was from the stupid antibiotics in my arm!

Like I said the pushing process was a weird experience, especially in the beginning. The nurse would tell me when to start by watching my monitor to see when I was having a contraction. Then I would push for a count to 10, 3 times in a row, and then we would stop. It was between the pushes that it was weird. It felt like there was nothing to do but twiddle our thumbs, and just wait for the next contraction. And because it was painless, I didn't even have the need to cry or complain about any pain. Almost boring. I guess that's why I had to spice things up and puke a couple times to make things more interesting! :) Seriously, at one point, the nurse, my mom, and Chantel were running around getting emesis basins to catch my puke. Trevor has a really sensitive stomach, so I didn't mind him standing back and letting the ladies do the puke catching. Unfortunately though for him, the second time around, he was the first one available with a basin, and was the lucky reciepient of my puke on his hand and shirt. The floor got some, too, I like to share!

At some point during the whole pushing/puking process, I started to hear beeping coming from the epidural machine. It was telling us that it was running low on juice, that is the feel good medicine, and that we should refill it. This had me worried the whole rest of the time that it would run out and I would start feeling something down south. I was not cool with that possibility. But my worries were unnecessary, the good stuff lasted!

Near the end of 2 hours, a gentleman doctor came into the room. He said he was only in there to check on things, see how we were all doing, and report back to Dianna, who had maybe come in once or twice since I started pushing. As we grew even closer to that 2 hour mark, the Dr. kept coming into the room, and finally at one point, as the baby's head was crowning, he came in and told us he would be delivering me. The 3 other midwife's on duty were busy delivering other babies. Ok, fine, whatever, I didn't care, as long as someone caught my baby. Oh I'm so glad it was Dr. Gatcliffe! (P.S. I didn't get his name until after he finished stitching me up, and then it took me asking several times before I would remember what it was!) Seriously, the Dr. was amazng. I had been afraid I would get someone who would be really mean and would yell at me, but he was perfect, calmly telling me what would happen, and talking me through everything. We had told him we didn't know what we were having, so he asked for the names, and when my son was born, Dr. Gatcliffe declared, "Here's Declan" as he handed him to me. What I remember besides that is a pair of baby testicles coming at my face! Yup, it was a boy! :)

So at 11pm, after two hours of pushing, twice vomiting, and the use of an Oxygen mask to keep me going, Declan James was born! He was handed straight to me, all gooey and gross, but I didn't care. I thought I would but it turns out I was distracted by the fact that MY SON was on my chest. (Although, he had some blood on his head the whole time he was there, but I made sure to avoid kissing him there.) I got to hold him for an entire hour after he was born! The "baby-measuring" nurse (I don't know what she's called....officially) was not too thrilled, I think, but I needed to have him. You see, that entire hour I was holding him, the Dr. was still doing some work on me! It took AN HOUR to stitch me up! More than an hour actually. They said I had a Grade 3 tear, and I asked a pediatric nurse the other day how many grades there are and she said 4! Yeah, not so fun. But, like I said before, the good stuff lasted!

By 12:15, the stitching was done, and the nurse got to check Declan out. 7lbs 12oz, 20in long. He was perfect! My parents and Chantel finally went home around 12:45, and by 1 we were being taken up to our room. Once we got there, Trevor immediately left with Declan to go to the nursery where a bunch of tests would be done on Dec. I stayed and puked again. Nice. Then I got into bed for about 20 minutes, and then the nurse came and told me I had to try to pee. What?! Why?! I wanted to sleep! So I walked the 5 feet to the bathroom, and tried to pee. No luck, wasn't gonna happen. The nurse helped me stand up, but I went too fast and got SUPER light-headed. She sat me back down on the toilet and she had to physically hold my head up, because I couldn't. I must have passed out because the next thing I know another nurse is holding smelling salt under my nose to wake me up! It was the scariest part of the whole experience! They ended up putting me in the wheelchair to take me back the 5 feet to my bed! Once there I was finally able to fall asleep. Wonderful!

At 4 in the morning, I woke up to see that Trevor and Declan were back, and both sleeping. Now being the brandest new of mothers, and because he was down by my feet, I kind of freaked because I couldn't tell if Declan was breathing. So I woke up Trevor to check him out, since I still could not move very well. Trevor, somewhat grumpily, got up and verified that, of course, Declan was fine! Later I found out that Trevor had just gotten back from the nursery and had just laid down to sleep when I got him up! Oops!

We went home from the hospital on the following Thursday and have been figuring out this parenting thing ever since. I think we've done quite well! It was REALLY hard in the beginning, while I was still recovering, but Trevor, my BabyDaddy, was AMAZING!!! Seriously, my emotions were so crazy that I would cry at being overwhelmed by everything and by how sweet and wonderful Trevor was. I considered it a milestone the first day I didn't cry! :)

So there's the birth story. I hope it was worth the wait! Hopefully I will be more diligent with this blog.....wish me luck!