Thursday, August 27, 2009

Baby Sean's first week.

I forgot that Blogger loads pictures backwards so these are in the opposite order in which they were taken. This is Sean as of yesterday afternoon.

Big brother Cooper and Big sister Bailey, who mostly think that Sean is pretty cool. First thing in the morning they want to know where exactly he is.
Bailey and Daddy with Sean.
First time holding Sean after he was cleaned up. Todd isn't in the picture because he is too nice to ask someone to take a picture of all three of us.
First photo.
This first week has gone so amazingly well, I couldn't have hoped for a better first week. Not having to recover from surgery has made the transition almost a breeze. There are times when three kids are all wanting something from me and other than breaking my heart a little, we survive. Mainly at meal times this is a problem. Sean is nursing well with one major exception. In order to get him to latch on I have to use a frustrating nipple shield, but don't worry the La Leche League understands that someone in my situation may have to, and their book says that some babies need them for weeks or several months. I am hoping that I can wean him from it sooner, but at least he's nuring exclusively and that means more to me than having to use the silly little device. He loves to sleep...during the day. However, I am getting about 5 hours of sleep a night and that seems to be sufficing for now.

We have been above and beyone fortunate in the amount of help we have recevied this past week. My brother, his girlfriend, my mother-in-law and countless friends have helped out by babysitting, cleaning, cooking and coming to just visit and entertain Bailey and Cooper. We have had every dinner prepared for us since Sunday and will continue to have meals brought for almost another week with a few days fit in for leftovers, thanks to the moms at Romp 'N Roll who decided that they would get together a group to feed us for two weeks. It has been awesome, awesome, awesome. They have made this week go by fast and guaranteed that my sanity remain, for the most part, completely in tact. In a few short days Todd's sister is coming for two weeks. My only fear is that we will become so used to her help, that after two weeks, we won't be willing to let her leave.

So all in all, life as a family of 5 has been pretty blissful.

Belly Shots

I meant to get these posted earlier but they were taken at 10p.m the night I went into labor, so you'll have to excuse their tardiness. These are less than 24 hours before Sean was born. Can't believe that was only a week ago.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Post Partum Fun

Today I should I put it. Maybe with a picture?

Yep, that about sums it up.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Introducing number three...

Thursday was our planned c-section. We were to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. and be in surgery by 7:30. Wednesday I had gone to my final appointment where my doctor checked me one more time because I had been having more episodes of rhythmic contractions and said that it would be at least my due date (Aug 27th) or later before this baby came and he was already big. She suggested we stick with the c-section and I agreed. Well, that afternoon and evening I began to have frequent painful contractions. At 1 am I awoke to very painful cramps and a backache accompanied by more rhythmic contractions. I began timing them at 1:57 and they were 3-4 minutes apart. Thinking it was just false labor, I tried to struggle through. By 3:30 however, I was exhausted and worried, thinking I would be going into a c-section without any sleep. Todd woke up and told me we should go to the hospital, but I being irrational, told him no, I was in false labor because my doctor told me it would be at least another week or two before my body would go into labor.

However, by 4:30 I couldn't breathe, walk or talk through any of the contractions, they were lasting over sixty seconds and coming almost one right after another. I couldn't take a bath or drink any water because of the c-section so I decided, having never gone into labor naturally, that maybe this was the real deal. We headed to the hospital. Several times on the way over I just clutched the car door handle and struggled throught the contractions, having to ask Todd to remind me what we'd just been saying a minute earlier when they passed.

We arrived at the hospital at 5 am and checked in. I told the lady at the registration desk I thought I might be in labor. She had a wonderful story that this had just happened to someone recently and they were able to VBAC. I told her that I was not overly optimistic that this would be my fate. However as soon as I arrived in the pre-op room my nurse asked me if I wanted her to 'check' me. I said sure, but again I was not very optimistic that I was in labor. Really, I must have been in denial. She checked me and checked my chart and told me that I had made a major change since my appointment the previous morning. She thought I should try for a VBAC. Following this she got excited, went and talked to the doctor on call and tried to call my doctor who was in route to do the c-section. She came back telling me that the doctor on call thought I should go for a VBAC and that she thought I should too. I told her I would wait and get the advice of my doctor. My doctor arrived at 7:15 and came in telling me that she would love the morning off and that I was getting what I wanted. I wasn't sure if I should be thrilled or hesitant. I agreed to be moved to a Labor and Delivery room, but I wouldn't let the idea of a c-section ultimately happening leave my mind.

My doctor broke my water to move things along and I got an epidural at 9:15. Unfortunately, it didn't feel right going in and though it worked at first it began to wear off immediately despite their giving me more and more. By 11:30 my back was hurting at the epidural site and I was honestly frightened that I had made a serious mistake in getting the epidural. It was at this point that my brother and his girlfriend brought by the children. I felt really bad when my own children were frightened to come near me. I finally convinced my nurse that I could easily move my legs and that my back was growing more and more painful. A second anesthiologist came in and a second epidural was administered. Within twenty minutes I was feeling NOTHING. I know some people aren't for epidurals, I will just say that the second one was lovely. At 1:15 p.m. I was checked again and only 6 cm. The nurse said it could be an hour or several hours, Todd was beginning to doubt my choice of opting for the VBAC. I was itching and given Benedryl that did little but make me drowsy.

I finally decided that laying flat with the epidural was doing very little to move labor along and asked if I could be moved to as upright a position as possible at 2 p.m. The nurse said that was fine. Within minutes my contractions were becoming more intense so that I could just barely feel them. At 3 my nurse came in and told me they were switching nurses. She said she wished she could have helped deliver the baby, I told her I wish she had too. She told me that she was confident that I would successfully VBAC and wished us luck. Our new nurse happened to be the very same nurse that was there when Cooper was born. She went about checking my vitals and I told her that I was feeling a lot of pressure, knowing that I'd read about this type of pressure before and that it often means you're fully dialated. She asked me if I wanted to be checked even though I wasn't due to be checked for a little while longer. She looked at me and said 'you're complete'. At this point two things happened. Our nurse set about getting the proper tables and tools set up and my mother-in-law showed up. I told her it was great timing, now leave. OK, it went something like that, I was however on drugs. At 3:40 the pushing began. I won't go into all the gorey details but 25 minutes later, at 4:05, Sean was born, weighing 8 LBS 12 OZ. They had warned me he was going to be big, but he turned out to be bigger than even the doctors and nurses had guessed. He was only 20 and a half inches long.

I had a wonderful doctor, not my own doctor, but from what I've been told, the best in the practice and a wonderful set of nurses who allowed me to keep Sean in my room so that I could nurse him. He didn't leave my side at all and was given his eye treatment and Vitamin K shot in my arms and his first bath with us close by. It meant alot that he never had to leave me and Todd wheeled him to our room in Mother Baby.

The experience thus far has been so completely different that before I cannot even begin to explain all the differences. I cannot say much about Bailey and Cooper's deliveries except that they were far worse than that which I had imagined. Sean's delivery however, came as another surprise, but this time the surprise was in our favor. I have been able to move around since one hour after delivery with thanks to my nurse and my mother-in-law and my persistence to get up as soon as possible. I have taken nothing more than a motrin. I can do stairs and sleep on my side. I had to have a c-section and almost had to have another and I will never make any judgement on those who have to have a c-section, but I am so truly thankful that Sean's labor began in the middle of the night. I'm ready for our fourth any time, maybe we'll even have a fifth.

Things have gone easier this time around even though now there are three, and we haven't had a night at home, but I feel more rested and content going into these first few postpartem weeks. Nursing hasn't been perfect, but I am optimistic that it will be successful and I know that even if it isn't that we have good, sound options to offer Sean.

Sean sleeps nonstop and I am always trying to wake him to feed him, often times unsuccessfully. Bailey and Cooper seem excited about the baby but seem to be harboring a grudge at our absence even if the lady in charge gave them unlimited juice, doubtfully watered down.

The only thing were not sure about is the child's name. He is currently Sean August Orion. August is my paternal grandfather's middle name. Cooper's middle name is also a grandfather's name. However, everyone seems to think that August is because of the month. I am not sure that I want to explain this for the rest of our lives. We are contemplating a name change already, but I don't know how easily that will be. I want to change it to Sean Michael Scott but my husband is resistent, something about some television character with the same name.

I will try and post a picture here in the next day or so.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

8 Years

Happy Anniversary Todd.

I love you, too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Any minute now.

Yesterday was my final ultrasound. When the baby is as big as this baby, there really isn't much to make out because things like his face are hidden and his profile is too large to be depicted on the ultrasound screen. But is was still nice to see his beating heart and to have it confirmed, yet once more, that he is definitely a he. According to the ultrasound, which the tech said could be off as much as a half pound either way, puts him at 7 lbs 15 oz. My doctor said that is smaller than she thought he was but that I have more amniotic fluid than normal and that may be why I am measuring as big as I am. Almost 8 lbs sounds HUGE to me, Bailey and Cooper were both 6 lbs 6 oz. The fact that they weighed almost 13 lbs together doesn't really make me feel any better about this ONE being almost 8 lbs. Everything looked good, his heartbeat seemed low to me but the tech said they only worry if there heartbeats go under 100, apparently 118-120 isn't too low.

The baby has dropped but that's about it for news reporting on going into labor and now I literally feel as though I have to go to the bathroom every ten minutes no matter how much or little I drink. I know that with a second baby the labor can go faster but I just don't really feel labor approaching any time soon. I have been blessed with Braxton Hicks contractions for months now and have only experienced, if anything, more intense ones lately. Not anything to get excited about.

I have, however, entered the cannot sleep stage. I consider myself very fortunate. With Bailey and Cooper I entered this stage at about 24 weeks. It was a long and difficult 3 rd trimester. If sleep deprivation doesn't show up until 38 weeks can you really complain about it? I figure, probably not. I did take advantage of nap time this afternoon which was nice, but almost assures that I will be up all night tonight. Can you take Tylenol PM when you are pregnant? Due to the lack of sleep I am reading a book every other day. This week, since Snow Flower and the Secret Fan I have read The Bean Trees, Speak and am due to finish Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets when sleep doesn't come tonight. I find this to be a great consolation that I can read this much now, when the new baby comes I won't be able to sleep well or read much for at least a few weeks.

I have two friends, whom I've only gotten to know this year, who are being quite wonderful about the new baby's arrival. They have offered to watch Bailey and Cooper if I go into labor and are willing and wanting to bring dinner to this vegetarian's home at least three times after we have the baby and have even offered to pick the twins up and take them to Romp and Roll for classes. Even if they don't do any of it their sentiments are very moving to me. I have a few other friends who have offered to help as well. The only problem is I cannot seem to ask for help. Even when I know I need it and really really want it. I keep thinking I need to get over this little idiotic hump of mine, that people wouldn't offer if they didn't want to help, but I just have a hard time accepting help and reaching out for more of it when I need it.

Several people have asked lately if I'm ready for this baby. This question seems harder for me to answer than explaining the quadratic equation. I mean it's so complicated and I think the easiest answer and possibly most accurate, is I really don't know. On the one hand I am ready to meet this little guy and have my stomach back, or at least one that barely resembles mine, so that I can reach down for the children and have them sit in my lap again. I'm ready to move forward as a family of 5. On the other hand, the concept of no longer being pregnant is actually a little depressing to me. I was overwhelmed with this feeling last time at least, which I didn't expect. I am hoping it doesn't hit me too hard this time, but babies are so much easier to care for in the womb.

Also, I cannot begin to explain how I feel like I am taking something away from Bailey and Cooper by having a new baby when they are only 19 months old, instead of the thought of giving them a new brother, I worry about their jealousies and their complicated minds taking in the new situation. I worry, I worry, I worry. Just another one of my beautiful character flaws.

So for now, I sit and wonder and worry and wait. It's driving me a little batty, I could use a little distraction. My mother-in-law is bringing dinner, I am sure she will do the trick and for this I will be grateful.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Goodbye John Hughes

Earlier in the weekend I began working on a John Hughes post, then the phone rang or the dogs barked, or something, and that post got abandoned but I couldn't let Hughes death go by completely unacknowledged on my blog. So from one of his best...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Full Term

I am officially full term whether you go with our original due date of the 20th or our second due date of the 27th. I haven't taken pictures of the belly since 20 weeks because I have been lazy and uninspired, but I really do plan on attempting some full term shots within the next few days. We didn't go for a walk yesterday because it is August here and every evening we seem to have severe thunderstorms that keep us indoors. So needless to say, here I am, still pregnant. Fortunately, I am not all that miserable.

This morning Bailey woke up with an awful fever. I have never had either of our children feel so hot to the touch. She just cried and cried, unless of course I put her down for a moment, then she screamed. I gave her Motrin and called Romp and Roll to cancel our morning class. She finally perked up, ate more breakfast than she has in a while and is gleaming as I let her walk around the house with her blanket. I'm just glad she's OK.

The spider from a day ago, he didn't go away. He just climbed into a jet in the tub and I got out and drained the water. Last night I got into the tub to begin reading Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees, when what do I see out of the corner of my eye? The SAME spider. This time I got out and he again ended up in the water. I am mean and with child so I didn't let the inch or so of water out of the tub. This morning he was still in there floating. Did I technically kill him? Or did he drown of his own accord? I mean I didn't put him in the water, I just left the water in the tub. Either way I am hoping to have a nice calm and refreshing bath this evening.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

While I should be cleaning, I will tell you...

Bailey and Cooper are 19 months old today, oh where does the time go? They are becoming more and more independent, which is good for our upcoming arrival but sad to see just how quickly they grow.

Yesterday, we did two miles because we ran out of time to do anymore. I felt a lot better than the day before and only had three contractions the whole time. Then we went to our favorite Thai restaurant (OK, the ONLY Thai restaurant in our little city) and I ordered HOT Pineapple Rice. It was possibly the hottest thing I have ever eaten. I usually ask for mild or medium. It was delicious.

Yesterday, Todd called and asked if I was packing a bag. Surprised that he was aware of my actions, I answered yes and began searching the premises for a hidden camera. He told me I should be because it was 'lightning' outside. He had apparently misunderstood when I told him about 'lightening'.

I cleaned out my closet yesterday. I have done this three times since I got pregnant. I realize more and more how much I hate all of my clothes and I have realized, from wearing maternity clothes for six months, just how little clothes one can get by on. I have two more bags of clothes and a bag of flip flops. My closet still seems overfull.

Last night I tried to take a bath at 11:30. Then I looked up when there was about three inches of water in the tub and right beside my naked body was a lovely wolf spider. I tried to coax him away from the tub, because I can't kill him (remember that old superstition I told you about, the one my mom shared about killing spiders and killing people you love?). So what did he do? Jumped into the tub with me. I kept cool, no screaming. But tub time was over.

I woke, I think 5 times to go the bathroom, probably from all the water that followed the hot Thai food. I took another bath, this one spider free at 4 a.m. My love of being pregnant is dwindling.

I am really enjoying Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I never really knew anything about foot binding. It seems far worse than I could ever imagined.
I'm having a hard time seeing how this was ever seen as beautiful.

Todd finally finished the driveway expansion and made enough room for our cars to fit. Even with the expansion I am having to get used to parking the Sequoia, I have only pulled in perfectly one time. However, loading the kids up feels a lot less stressful because they just walk around the garage and don't disappear among all the cars and trailers in the driveway, driving me crazy with worry, like they did before.

Tonight there is a full moon. Apparently, some people find/believe that full moons result in a spike in births. I don't know if it does make a difference. However, I am thinking three miles might be a goal for tonight. Of course, I know that if I go into labor I will only regret this decision. I will spend the next three weeks wishing I had just left well enough alone. But I'm stubborn and ever hopeful for a VBAC.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Homestretch

The children are finally napping so I thought, what the heck, I will give a shot at blogging. This inevitably means that my phone will now begin to ring, the dogs will bark at the UPS man and the children will be up and ready for me to make them something yummy, healthy and fulfilling for lunch and this post, like so many before it, will be forever abandoned.

Since I fear I don't have much time to chat with you, I will update on the imporatant things in life first.

So I didn't give anymore time to last month's book group selection and I went there hoping not to offend anyone with my opinions about the 80 pages I had read. Turns out, every other person also found it shallow and boring and only two people actually finished. Turns out my copy was an 'uncorrected proof' and everyone else had official copies, so no one else was quite so annoyed with typos. We have gone ahead and selected the next four months book selections and things are looking much better. This month's selection, Lisa See's Snow Flower and The Secret Fan, started off slowly but is really beginning to pick up. Then we will read a book I've been meaning to read (A Thousand Splendid Suns) and an old favorite of mine (The Things They Carried). The fourth selection is a book I've never even heard of, but after last months selection I am ready for just about anything. I have decided however, that historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and chic lit is one of my least favorites.

What else? Well, there is that constant popping in my ears that is somewhat like the change in pressure you feel on an airplane, except that is happens several times a day for no reason. I am beginning to go crazy, as it is a most annoying infliction. If it hasn't resolved itself after the baby arrives I may need to see an ENT doctor. Holding my nose and blowing, chewing and swallowing, drops, none of these things have made any real difference and I can see no real pattern as to why this is happening. Just another thing to slowly drive me insane.

I am one day short of full term and the doctor continues to tell me that the baby is big. Really, really big. I have been scheduled for a c-section but ever since I was scheduled I have been regretting it. I have shared my thoughts and feelings with my doctor, who is very good and came highly recommended by an old friend of mine. She checked me at 35 weeks and I was only a cm dilated, but the baby is head down and she said I have plenty of 'pelvic room' which I think I understand her meaning. She just continues to worry that the baby is too big. How can the baby be that big, I wonder, I have only gained 10 lbs. Next week I am scheduled for a final ultrasound to determine, a little more accurately, but still not definite, how big the baby is currently (I will be 38 weeks). I am still holding on to my dreams of a VBAC, mainly because I am stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. And if I have a c-section this time it's a c-section from here on out. I have started walking as of yesterday to try and bring on labor naturally. We walked for 2 and a half miles. It took us about 45 minutes and I had contractions every 4-5 minutes. Painful and wave like. We loaded up the car to leave and within minutes the contractions were gone. But I'm stubborn, so we're going back tonight for more.

I have also not packed a bag, because I am crazy and I am hoping that will help me in my dreams of going into labor on my own. You know, if I'm not ready, surely he'll come early. This will almost definitely backfire on me as I've put too much thought into it already. My doctor is on vacation this week and my entire family (and everyone whom I would ask to watch Bailey and Cooper) are on vacation next week. I think there could be a chance I will go into labor on, say, Sunday, when everyone is gone.

I have one more story to tell you, but as I predicted, the phone rang and now someone is upstairs stirring around, so it will have to wait until later.