Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our family has grown by two feet!

Samuel John is here! Landon is officially a big brother, and doing a great job too! It's been a whirlwind two weeks; our family has grown, our hearts are swollen with love, and our eyes are tired with a newborn and toddler running around the house but I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I had another doctor appointment and non-stress test on Friday, January 14th with my regular doctor. One of her partner doctors had already scheduled an induction for January 21st if Sam wasn't here by then but Dr. Mancuso had other plans. Things were still looking great, my blood pressure was fine, Sam was fine, my heart was fine, everything was fine, but according to Dr. Mancuso she just had a funny little feeling that we were done and it was time for Sam to join us on this side of the womb. It was strange coming from her since she'd been very anti induction throughout the pregnancy. It honestly freaked me out a little bit. After calling over to the hospital she told me to call the hospital on Saturday, January 15th at 5pm for our marching orders.

I spent the rest of the day in a fog, I was already anticipating the 21st as our induction date if labor didn't start on its own by then. A million thoughts were swirling through my head and now the anticipation was going to do me in. This was my last little bit of time with Landon, I wasn't sure if I was ready to give him up as my "baby" yet, and while I of course was excited to meet Sam I also couldn't help but nurse some sad feelings for Landon. His world was about to be turned upside down and he had no idea. I'd spent the last few months at home full time with him, able to focus on him and spend lots of special, quality time with him. A blessing for sure, but it was starting to make this transition to a family of four a little more difficult than I had imagined. I left the doctor's office, called Mark to let him know plans had changed and started off on what I thought would be a day full of errands. I got to my first stop, a good friend's cafe, and decided to cancel my lunch date and the rest of my errands. Dang those hormones, I was too overwhelmed. I sat in her cafe for probably three or four hours and just absorbed the last several months. Happy, excited, elated, ready to give birth, ready to meet Sam, ready to introduce Landon to his baby brother, scared of the induction, nervous, ready not to be pregnant. I was swollen with feelings.

After gathering my thoughts and inhaling a sandwich I left to pick up Landon early from daycare. We spent the rest of the afternoon and the following day, Sam's due date, just hanging out as a family, packing our bags and getting last minute details ready for Sam's arrival. Sam's due date also happened to be Grandma Jean's birthday, so we met up with the rest of the family for a celebratory dinner. It was 5pm in the middle of dinner so I called over to the hospital and was told to eat a light dinner and be there at 7pm. Granddad met us back at the house after dinner for a slumber party with Landon, I kissed my baby boy for the last time before leaving for the hospital and we were out the door and on our way.

All the papers were signed, we were assigned to our room and the doctor came in to go over the game plan. They drew labs to ensure I wouldn't need to be given any magnesium since I'd been spilling a little bit of protein for the last couple of weeks and checked my cervix. I was dilated to 3cm already and having small but regular contractions. The lab work came back fine so the doctor transferred care to a midwife and started pitocin at about 11pm. It was a party in the delivery room at that point, Mark, my mom, Katie, Emily and John were all there and planned on hanging in the waiting room once active labor started. I was starting to breathe through the contractions while the peanut gallery was joking around in the background. John cracked some joke about pixies living in the contraction monitors that had everyone in the room laughing. I was mortified when I thought I'd peed myself so I told everyone to go out to the waiting room and buzzed the nurse. Turns out my water broke; thanks pixies. I spent the next few hours trying to rest and breathing through the contractions.

It was about 3am when I finally buzzed the nurse and told her I'd like to talk pain management. Pitocin contractions are no joke, and while I was breathing through them I knew I wasn't relaxing enough to make them as effective as possible. The anesthesiologist was in a c-section and wasn't available for half an hour so she offered me a shot of fentanyl in the meantime. I almost didn't take it, but the contractions went from tolerable to not in a matter of minutes, that was a strange feeling. The midwife checked me and I was still only 3cm dilated. I took the fentanyl and it took the edge off until the anesthesiologist literally walked in.

The epidural made me comfortable enough to rest so I spent some time dozing in and out of sleep. The peanut gallery brought Gatorade and 7up and checked on us a few times between overtaking the waiting room down the hall. The nurses interrupted my rest a few times as Sam wasn't cooperating and would move and fall off his monitor. At one point the nurse came rushing in because his heart rate took a big drop, all the lights in the room came on and I won an oxygen mask for the rest of labor and delivery. Sam's heart rate recovered and they placed an internal monitor on his head. An hour and a half after the nice man gave me that epidural the midwife came in to check my progress. I'd gone from 3cm to 9cm since now resting through those contractions. She left and came back half an hour later, it was time to push. Sam was coming! I started pushing at 7am, pushed through three contractions, and out he came at 7:08am on Sunday, January 16th.

I will never forget the feeling of them laying him on my stomach after he was born. This warm, wet little being crying and looking around. It was amazing and nothing short of a miracle. They let me hold him for a minute while Mark cut the umbilical cord and then took him over to the warmer to clean him up and suction out his lungs. There was a little concern he'd swallowed some meconium as well as some blood. Maybe Dr. Mancuso was right, it needed to happen when it did, my placenta started to abrupt right before Sam was born. The midwife told me that I'd lost "more blood than the average bear." She was sweet, I really liked her a lot, but I had to laugh at her comment. She stitched me up, handed me my sweet bundle of Sam, announced that he was 8 pounds 11 ounces and 22 inches long, and left us to get to know each other.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Are we there.....yet??

We're officially six days away from baby Sam's due date. Six days, that means I'm over 39 weeks pregnant. I've never been this pregnant before, last time around I had a two week old right about now. There was plenty of anxiety and craziness with Landon's pregnancy, but I don't nearly remember it being on this level.

This time around things are much better physically, my blood pressure is in check and hasn't been concerning enough to warrant scheduling an induction. I've had some heart issues this time around and they've thankfully been quiet enough not to wreak havoc either. Phew. Don't worry though, it's not been without a teensy bit of drama in the last couple weeks. My doctors are watching things closely and we had a little adventure over to Labor and Delivery last week and I've since won myself twice weekly visits to see the doctor and have a non stress test done until Sam makes his appearance. I also can cross an emergency root canal off my bucket list since I had to get one of those done last week, and it's now infected (cue pain, numbness and swelling). Yippee. Yes, this is me, the religious tooth brusher with two whole fillings in my mouth. I won myself a root canal and I'm still trying to figure out how it happened.

Oh, the hormones. At least that's what I think it is; or hope it is. Either that or I'm going crazy, which is a possibility - ha! Really though, I don't remember being this mood-swingy last time. I've sworn off email and social networking sites for the most part because something is bound to either piss me off or make me cry happy/sad tears. Ho-Lee-Cow. Don't worry though, I'm not saving it all up for postpartum.

I cried like I'm sure baby Sam will tonight when putting Landon down for bed. Quiet, weepy tears full of happiness, hope, what I'm sure is fear, resolution....pick an emotion out of your hat, I'm sure it was in there somewhere. Tonight at dinner Landon looked like such a big boy sitting at the table eating his yogurt all by himself with his spoon and not spilling a drop. Sam kicked and it just about instantly brought me back to a time when Landon was itty bitty and wasn't quite getting the hang of eating solids. It seemed so permanent at the time, but that was all of probably two short years ago and didn't last nearly as long as it felt. Fast forward to bath time tonight. We're not officially on the potty training bandwagon because selfishly, I don't want to deal with the regression that will surely happen when Sam gets here, and Landon's not quite ready, but he does tell us when he has to "go" sometimes; like tonight. My big boy "went" in the potty all by himself - and not in the bathtub! Landon and Sam have a few pairs of matching jammies thanks to friends and family. I pulled out his 3T's and out fell the newborn matching pair for Sam. I remember when Landon didn't even FIT into those size newborn jammies, and practically swam in the preemies. Now the 3T's are a little big on him but a far cry from those newborns.

The wallop came when it was time for bed. We brushed teeth, combed hair, read stories and sang our lullaby songs. Usually we get a little backlash when the time comes to put Landon down to sleep but tonight he reached up himself to give me a hug and kiss and told me he loved me - totally unprompted. I passed him to Mark for more of the same before he crawled up to his pillow to lay down. Every now and then I'll lay down and snuggle with him, but that hasn't happened for quite some time (hello ginormous pregnant belly). Tonight as his little head hit the pillow he asked me to snuggle with him. I'm relishing these last moments of him being an only child and am soaking up as much as possible, just as I hope he's doing, so I grabbed a pillow and settled in next to Landon in his big boy bed. Mark turned on the goodnight music and off the light on his way out the door. I rubbed Landon's back and stroked his hair as I thought he was drifting off to sleep. At one point I stopped and put my arm down. Landon turned his head, put his soft little hand on my cheek and said, "I love you Mommy," before turning himself back around and settling into his pillow. On came the tears. When I thought he was reaching for his blankie he grabbed my hand, snuggled it up next to his cheek and stroked my arm as softly and gently as I'd done for him. I knew he'd finally drifted off to sleep when all was still. More tears. Lots more tears.

I don't know what I did to get so lucky as to have such a sweet little guy (with another on the way to boot) and I can't help but reflect back over the last two and a half years with all the ups and downs and be just amazed at what my life has become. How much richer I am, how crazy different life now is, and how I can't really remember - and don't care to - what life was like before this little being entered our world. I also can't help but think about how life will now change again in the days, maybe even hours to come.

Landon knows he's going to be a big brother. Ask him who is in mommy's tummy and he'll tell you that baby Sam is in there. And then he'll lift up his shirt and tell you that he has a baby in his tummy, it's Spongebob and Patrick (thanks to our neighbor's Christmas lawn decor). Yes, he understands....but does he really? Probably and probably not. I'm excited to introduce Landon to his brother, but at the same time my heart is pulled in another direction knowing and wondering what changes this will bring to our seemingly perfect little family.

Oh, the hormones. Cue more tears. Come on, Sam, let's get this show on the road.