Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Settling in

I cannot believe that it was 14 days ago that my life changed so dramatically. I can't imagine what I did with all my time before this beautiful boy to stare at all day. Each day seems to fly by as Nathan's head gets rounder and his motor skill get stronger.

We had the delivery video made into a DVD because the tape unwound in the camera and someone played with it instead of listening to the Wolf Camera guy's instructions...so we had to put 15 minutes of video onto a DVD for $32. To be honest, I would have paid $320. We watched it this weekend when Danny's family came to town. Though it wasn't the delivery I dreamed about--painful, exhausting contractions climaxing to an unbearable yet unbelievable finale--there was nothing about that day that disappointed me. Captured on video is my total disbelief and elation. I could hardly open my eyes--it was too much to take in. And to see Danny's reaction was priceless. He, too, was speechless. And giddy. Even though I was there, I feel like I could watch it over and over again.

So much has happened since then. In the past week, Nathan has:

  • lifted his head 90 degrees, he can turn it from side to side while laying on his belly and even keep the pacifier in his mouth while doing it!
  • started to stare at me in the eyes which elicits some of the MOST PROFOUND FEELINGS I have ever experienced.
  • realized he has vocal chords. Nathan seems to always be humming or testing his range. He loves to make noise, but rarely fusses. There is a period of about 2-3 hours at night when he is only happy if he is out on a walk or eating (just like his mommy). I have always found that a good walk followed by a good snack is the best way to go, and so far Nathan agrees.
  • behaved marvelously for numerous outings (this of course says nothing about my parenting skills, only his will to sleep). He went to church on Sunday and made it through the first hymn and the Apostles Creed before politely asking to go to the Mother/Baby room. There we sat for the remainder of the service, listening intently to the sermon.
  • grown! I am sure his head is bigger and we went to put a pair of pajamas on him yesterday and he couldn't straighten his legs in them! We find out next Tuesday exactly how much he has grown. Until then his is keeping fit by eating and sleeping, mostly.

So that is my update for the week. Wish you all could be here to see him!

Nathan dreaming about playing with Margot.

Nathan gets ready to go to the gym.

About to go to church.

Nathan's milk mustache.

He's growing up so fast!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

the fastest seven days...

I cannot believe a week has already gone by since Nathan was born! I already feel like time is going so fast. I find myself, in the middle of the day, realizing there are only 2 more feedings left until tomorrow (that seems to be how I tell time these days). I look at my little guy and want time to just stop. I miss him after he has been down for nap--I cannot wait to stare him in the eyes again. I had no idea I was capable of this kind of love.

We returned home last Friday after 3 1/2 days at the hospital. It was a wonderful homecoming. Margot fell in love and has been following Nathan around since. It was an easy transition and felt good to be home.

In the past week Nathan has already changed a lot. He may still look like a little old man, with his wrinkly forehead, bald noggin and loose jowls, but he is starting to fill out. He has gained a pound a day since we left the hospital, putting him at 7lb 15oz. He has gotten used to the diapering thing and only screams to warn us that the geyser is about to go. I have yet to provide sufficient protection from this natural wonder. His little knuckles look more like knuckles and less like dimples. He is sleeping 3-4 hours between feedings and hardly fusses at night. Who knows how long this will last, but for now I will cherish it.

We had our first bath on Sunday and Nathan was a champ. He especially loved having his back scrubbed. And I never thought I would be one of those parents who oo'd over their child's first poopoo, but today Nathan sneezed and a little booger flew out! I got way more excited than the event merited and was glad to be in the privacy of my own home.

Words cannot express how I feel about my little man. My big man (that would be Danny) has been such a great dad, taking every opportunity to love on Nathan. I am sure it must be hard to work 16 hours a day so far from his little prince, but somehow he makes it through the day and comes home with energy for us.

My mom is here to help however she can. She has made some great meals and offered great encouragement and solicited advice. She has ran the errands I am not allowed to and kept me (mostly) obedient to my post-op instructions. I am so glad to have her here. But today she bought a carry-on bag with little air vents and a mobile hanging from the top--this kind of concerns me.

This weekend Kathy, John and Danny's brothers (well, a few of them) are coming to visit. I am so excited for them to meet their grandson/nephew. You really have to see him to grasp how incredibly handsome he is and how sweet he tastes!

Sorry for all the long posts. I am overwhelmed by all of the love and excitement I am feeling right now. I am sure that very soon Nathan will need more of my time, so I will take this time to sing my love of him while I can.

my sweet pea!

He sleeps just like ME!

Margot loves her new baby brother.
Napping with Daddy on Sunday afternoon.

Nathan getting his back scrubbed during his bath. This was his favorite part.
We made it to the end!

Kisses after a wonderful first bath.

One week old today!

Lovin' the bouncer seat I recovered. I especially love the leopard print loin cloth. Like father, like son...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Welcome to the world, Nathan Christopher!

This post is for those who want the whole story. I figure I'll write it while it is fresh on my mind and while Nathan is sleeping between feedings. Not that it is the first question on everyone's mind, but I am feeling wonderful! No insision pain, up and walking around and loving every sigh and coo of motherhood. Couldn't ask for anything more!
So let me start at the begining: the night before the big day. Danny returned home from work at about 10pm. I had just finished the last load of laundry and my last serving of dairy (I am not counting on this lactose tolerance lasting past pregnancy). We finished packing, and Danny did the ritual pedicure (on me, of course). It took some instruction, but he did a wonderful job. I have felt pampered by him this pregnancy. Even though he has not been able to be around much, he has always had energy for a foot rub or back scratch. What an amazing husband I have!

We laid in bed reading and praying in an attempt to calm ourselves for the big day. We finally fell asleep at around 1:30, planning on a good 4 hours of sleep. And sleep we did.

We woke at 5:30 and were out the door at about 7am. Poor Margot did not know what to think of it all!

We went from the waiting room to patient holding in the LDOR. Only I could go back. They scanned to make sure Bun was still breech--sure enough that big noggin was still up by my ribs. Poor stuck baby! So they started an IV (I was so brave--I didn't even faint) and put me on the monitor. I was contracting pretty regularly, and baby sounded great. A great friend of mine offered to come in on her day off to take care of the baby in OR in hopes that I could breastfeed in recovery--a practice that is poopoo-ed at our hospital. She arrived just as Danny was being allowed back to holding. The doctor came in to check on us and then the anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist was an absolute blessing. She explained everything and prayed with us before we went back.

As they rolled me back on the stretcher, it felt like a television show. I do not remember anything that was said to me, I was so overwhelmed. I sat up on the side of the OR table, shaking. My spinal was done so quickly and easily. Before I knew it I was laying flat, my bottom half was all pins and needles and they were putting a catheter in my bladder. I was prepped and draped and they called for Danny. I couldn't believe they had already started. It was very difficult to me to let go, to submit to all that was happening. To loose control of my legs and really my entire well-being--to place the life of my baby and my own in other people's hands--was quite a test. All that I have learned about holding my own plans loosely came in handy as I lay on that table totally vulnerable. And all was well. If ever I felt woozy or sick, the anesthesiologist would quickly give me some ephedrine to bring my pressure back up. I was so comfortable the entire time. With Danny at my side, they dropped the drape for the big delivery. They pushed and pulled and laid on my ribs. They wiggled his toosh from side to side, trying to dislodge his legs. They repositioned and wrestled to get our sweet baby out. They all tried to be light-hearted, but I knew it was not supposed to take so long. The doctor joked that he shouldn't have tried to keep the incision small. I just lay there in peace, knowing it would be alright. Had I been my own patient, I would have been freaking out.

Finally, at 10:31 on August 11th, a big butt, followed by legs and a head were pulled out. There he was! There HE was! It was a boy. And all I could think was, "That just came out of me!?" They took him over to the warmer to get him dried and breathing. He did not cry at first, but I just lay there calm, knowing it was going to be alright. They brought him over to me and all I wanted to do was touch his face. I kissed his vernixy head all over, still unable to believe that he came from me...that he was mine! After a little more touching and kissing, they took him to the nursery for a quick checkup.

I was repaired and cleaned off and wheeled into PACU. I felt overwelmed by all that had just happened. My recovery nurse couldn't get a temperature on me, so she bundled me in warm blankets, turned on the heat lamp and stuck and heat pump under my sheets. I didn't realize how cold I was...all I could think of was that sweet baby.

A few minutes later, Danny and the lactation consultant wheeled the baby in the little recovery room. My nurse was so accomodating and kind. The lactation consultant held the baby up to me and he immediately latched on. I am so glad he knew what he was doing because I certainly had no clue! He nursed for about 20 minutes off and on. I am so grateful for that experience. The chance to see him again and for us to examine one another--it was priceless. It made the "sacrifice " of a c-section more of a means to this indescribible end (well...beginning).

Soon after, I was brought to my post-partum room where I napped and relaxed until baby was ready. The rest has been a fog. A wonderful fog. Nathan Christopher sleeps well for a few hours, wakes up to feed and then stays social for about an hour. He is an amazing eater, though he is only receiving colostrum for now. He feeds for at least 30 minutes each every 3-4 hours, but he wished he could feed for 3-4 hours every 30 minutes. And the plumbing is most certainly fully functional. I have not yet had to change a diaper. My amazing husband has displayed expertise and artistry in that department so I will enjoy it while I can.

Up until yesterday at 10:31am, I was afraid motherhood would be a very difficult adjustment. I know my impatience, selfishness and rigidity and I know babies do not tolerate that well. But somewhere between the spinal and that sweet baby being delivered into my arms something changed. It wasn't so much of an adjustment as a new state of being. All I think about is that little guy. I don't even realize I am hungry or having bladder spasms when he is laying in my arms. I don't care how long it takes to get him to latch on or stop crying but only that he gets there. My day revolves around him for now. Someday that will have to change, I'm sure. But for now I can just spend all my time smelling him, rubbing my face against his, kissing every part of his round little head, exploring every bit of his arms and feet and toes and wondering how I found such favor in the Lord's eyes that I could experience this kind of love, and somehow realize that this is only a taste of how He loves me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rescue Bun Day

Please join us in celebrating Rescue Bun Day on August 11th! Poor sweet baby is still upside-down (well, actually, I guess the problem is that Bun is upside-up...anyway...) so tomorrow morning we will be going in after him/her.

After giving report on my last labor and delivery patient for the next three months, I headed to my last prenatal visit. It was all I could do to keep from crying in the waiting room. Luckily I made it back to a private room before bursting into tears. Danny escaped for about an hour to keep me company, and I am so glad he was there with me. I have had such a wonderful pregnancy. I have loved every kick in the crotch, pinched nerve and middle-of-the-night trip to the bathroom. I have loved watching my belly grow as this little human inside me matured each week. I love how my belly button sticks out and how I cannot see the underside of this bump. I love my linea nigra and all of the other changes that have taken place over the last 9 months. And now it is coming to an end.

I have been told that tomorrow will be the best day of my life. It is hard to understand that, though, when you have never experienced it before. I am not sure exactly what parenthood will be like. I know pregnancy and I love it, so in a way it feels like I am giving something up without certainty of what I am gaining. I guess I will have to wait and see. Having a baby is not an experience you can imagine before you actually go through it, I think. It is far to marvelous than that.

So tomorrow morning at 7:40 Danny and I will arrive at the hospital to check in. My C-section is scheduled for 9:40am. After a few cuts and cauterizing, I will get to watch my first born baby rescued feet first and welcomed into this world. Though it is not how I hoped it would happen--in that sterile OR, legs strapped to the table--I know I will never know another day like it. I praise the Lord for this amazing gift that is still far more amazing than I know. Tomorrow it will be real.

When I get the chance, I will post all the important details (name, pictures, etc.). But until then, I am just going to enjoy the sweetest day of our life. Thank you for all your prayers. Now the blogging begins....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Still slightly doughy.

Another prenatal visit today revealed that I am now "a good 2cm" and 50% effaced. The plan is still for a C-section. I have one more visit on Monday where we will check dilation and verify that the baby is still breech. If he or she is still upside down, baby Linn will enter this world shortly after 9:40am on Tuesday the 11th of August. Oh geez.

So the next few days will be spend trying to decide on a name (or at least narrow it down to a couple), cleaning the house and just relaxing. Danny arranged to have Saturday off so that we can spend one more day together before Baby arrives.

My next update will be on Monday after my final appointment unless I look down and see toes between my legs. In that case, I will post shortly after we rescue Bun.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

do i look ready?

As we count down the days, my emotions are a storm. I am so excited to see the baby, but I don't feel ready at all. Not only do I not feel ready to care for a baby, but I don't feel ready to say goodbye to pregnancy. It has been wonderful! I have not had any problems (other than constantly getting kicked in the crotch), I am still able to work out and do most of the things I am used to doing. It is a little hard to bend over and if I get stuck lying on my back I look like a little turtle trying to get right again. OK, maybe a not-so-little turtle. Otherwise, I could do this forever!

This being our last weekend together before the big day, we had quite a list of To Do's to accomplish. Danny took down all the vents, cleaned them with a toothbrush and 409'd the insides of the ducts. We cleaned out all the closets, bleached the tubs, got the video camera ready and started packing a bag. We made a final trip to Babies R' Us and then hung pictures in the nursery until 2:30am. I could still think of a million things we needed to do today. Thank God for the Sabbath. More to do tomorrow as I have only 4 more days off work before the baby.

I will miss being just Danny and me. I know that Bun will add more to our life than we could ever imagine, but it has been such an amazing 5 years growing in love. I have so many wonderful memories. It is hard to imagine we will never be just us again. I am so blessed to have such an incredible husband that I know will also make the most incredible dad.

Nine more days until this chapter of our life comes to a close. Wow.

Loving every last minute of it!