And How

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My first baby

Okay, so I know this is a long time coming, but I've been dreading sitting down to write this because I know that I've forgotten so much already! I'm going to do my best trying to remember how things went down and I'm going to vow that with my NEXT baby (in a few years), the first thing I will do when I get home from the hospital will be to document the birth.

Anyway....May 21, 2007

I had had a pretty non-eventful, textbook pregnancy with Penn. Things were actually going really well for me. Morning sickness was minimal and aside from the 50 pounds I gained and my hugely swollen legs and feet, I really felt great throughout my entire pregnancy. As I made it to the final weeks, I was progressing. I'm not sure how much and when but I was dilating about a centimeter a week from 37 weeks on.

On this particular check-up about three days from my due date, the doctor took one quick look (or grimace) at my "telephone poles (aka legs)" and swollen hands, and we were given the option head to the hospital to be induced as soon as a bed was available. At that point, I was three centimeters dilated and completely effaced, but I hadn't noticed any contractions. Pack and I both agreed to that (it was hard not to at that point), and immediately looked at each other thinking, "What the heck are we doing...we don't have a clue!"

There were no beds available at the hospital right then so we went home and waited on them to call us. I swept and nested like a mad woman! Finally, we got the call to be at the hospital at 7 to spend the night and try to "soften the cervix" before induction began at 6 the next morning. Holy cow! This is it!

I was so excited to get to the hospital! After getting our room, changing into a gown, answering dozens of questions, and getting the IV site ready (by far the worst part), I was ready to get some sleep. The doctor came in and inserted Cervidil to ripen my cervix. This part sucked. I was up all night feeling very uncomfortable and needing to constantly go to the bathroom. I was so happy to see five o'clock in the morning come!

May 22, 2007

I got up and put some make-up on and brushed my teeth and tried to look as good as I could for someone almost 10 months pregnant and in a hospital gown. The nurses came in right on time at 6 to begin the Pitocin drip. They also asked me if I was interested in having a doula present. Since I wanted to have a natural labor (as natural as induction gets), I said, "Yes!"

Roy (a female), the doula, came almost immediately/ She was a voice of reason and confidence when I needed it and I am so thankful that I was able to have her with me during my labor. As contractions got more and more intense after they broke my water at about 9 am, Roy constantly praised me and made me feel like I was handling labor like a champ. I really was enjoying the experience this far.

Also, my wonderful husband/coach was amazing. He was right by my side, scared out of his wits, but supporting me anyway! He was letting everyone know the updates and taking lots of pictures because he knew how important that was to me. When I think back to that day though, I picture him standing right beside the bed, head to head with me, telling me what a good job I was doing and asking how I was feeling. What a wonderful man!

I think the 10 o'clock hour is when things started getting rough for me. I kept setting 20 minute goals. I'll ask for the epidural in 20 minutes. Finally, Roy told me that if I thought I might want an epidural, it was not in my best interest to keep waiting because I may get to the point where they would let me have it and then I would be out of luck. This convinced me to go ahead and have it. By the time the nurses and anesthesiologists arrived to administer the medication, I was 5 or 6 centimeters (I think). Although I was terrified of having an epidural, it was no big deal and I was able to catch up on some rest that I hadn't gotten the previous night.

Roy still stayed with me, talking with my mom while I rested and labored. She would leave to go check the nurses' station and then come back to our room. At one point she came back a little excited and said, "Have they checked you recently?" I told her that it had been a couple of hours and at that point she suggested that I have a nurse check me again because the monitors at the nurses' station showed me having some pretty intense contrations that were right on top of one another. I really didn't feel any different, but they checked me anyway and by 12:30, I was at 10 centimeters. I thought Pack would faint!

What I never imagined was how quickly after those words come out their mouths that the room is transformed! My bed was being separated, the lights in the "baby area" were coming on, mirrors and lights were coming out of the walls, and they were trying to finagle my limp, fluid-filled legs into the stirrups without dragging me off the bed! I pushed several times before they went to go get the doctor. Meanwhile, A Baby Story is on in the background and everyone keeps getting a little side-tracked with HER delivery in between my contractions. The doctor arrived all gowned-up and ready to deliver a baby.

It is now about 1 o'clock in the afternoon. I push for so, so long, not having a clue what I was doing thanks to the epidural (doing it's job, I guess). The doctor says, "If I would have known you were going to take this long to get him out, I would have waited to come in!" Thanks, lady! Anyway, turns out, Penn is stuck and veering off the "traditional course," making it harder for me to get him out. Finally, after another hour and fifteen minutes, Penn was born squalling like a pterodactyl! It was 2:16 exactly when he was born.

The first thing I want is to hold my baby, but the doctor hands him off to a nurse who starts cleaning him up. My face in the background of his first pictures show me longing to hold him. I couldn't believe that I had just delivered that baby! As soon as I get him, I am amazed...AMAZED! What perfect little red lips, and beautiful, slick brown hair. My baby was THE most beautiful thing I had ever seen! After the finished delivering and "repairing" me, I was able to nurse Penn for the first time. He didn't really get it and as a matter of fact, didn't really start eating well until we were home from the hospital.

My doula, Roy had remembered the fifty millions times I had mentioned how bad I wanted a cold Diet Pepsi during the pushing phase and went and got me one to throw back as soon as the doctors had finished with me. It was obviously a shock to my system though because I instantly threw it up and very nearly threw up on my sweet little newborn. YIKES!

After two more nights in the hospital, we took our little baby boy home and kept falling in love. That was it...that one little day...eight hours...made me a mom and I am so thankful for that whole experience. When I remember Penn's birth, I actually get excited about doing it again! In fact, I was so excited about doing it again that I did...almost two years later, when my sweet Baby Jude was born, but I'll get to that another day:)

PS...Here's Penn's birth video for the experience in a nutshell:)

Monday, January 18, 2010

The things I hope I never forget

  • I love how you made me a MOM on the day you were born.
  • I always wanted a snuggly baby...that's you!
  • I love your interest in and tenderness with babies.
  • It drives me crazy when you aren't happy to see me.
  • I'm in love with your colorful personality, which is obviously a perfect mix of your Daddy and me:)
  • I love reading to you and watching you look at the pictures, knowing that you know exactly what the story really means.
  • I love to hear you tell me your "favorite part of the day" every night.
  • I always feel horrible when I make you cry because you hardly ever REALLY cry and it truly breaks my heart!
  • I love to hear you ask, "Are you happy, sad, or mad," when you know I'm probably mad.
  • I hope I never forget your words for things: safe scissors, something special, peek-a-boo apples, juicy, hot-diggity-dogs, bock-bock, yippy-yay...
  • I love it when you run up and give me a hug for no reason.
  • I miss your curls and baby smell.
  • I love how you try to protect your little brother, like when I fussed at him for playing in the puppy water and you ran up to me and said, "Be nice to my brudder, Mommy!"
  • I love to watch you play pretend.
  • Lately, it makes me laugh to see you do your skunk impersonation.
  • I love how you can always make Jude laugh...I hate that you can also just as easily make him cry...
  • I think it's adorable that you love bouncy balls so much and you can ALWAYS keep up with them!
  • I am so frustrated that you are such a picky eater!
  • I love that you always want an extra piece of candy for your Daddy.
  • I wish I remembered the last time I nursed you and rocked you to sleep.
  • I love that I was the first person to hold you when you were born.
  • I love how your mommy is the only person in the world who can make you feel better sometimes.
  • I love that you have hazel eyes like your Daddy.
  • I love how you always wiggle your feet and rub them together.
  • I love that you have dimples.
  • It makes me sad that I know your baby days are coming to and end.
  • I love to watch you clap when we sing, "If You're Happy and You Know It."
  • I love that you are such an angel when I put you to bed every night!
  • It bugs me when you won't let go of my legs when I'm putting on my make-up or trying to dry my hair.
  • I love your toothy grin even though at one point during teething I was wishing you could be toothless forever--I take it back!
  • I love that you always say "Ma-Ma" and that you make the sound by pressing your top teeth to your bottom lip. It looks like it should sound like "Va-Va"
  • I love to see you smile when you hear your Daddy's voice on the phone.
  • I love your laugh and how you suck in air really loudly when you smile really big. You also do this like a language back and forth with your Daddy.
  • I can't wait to find out what your voice sounds like!
  • I hate it when you bite me. I have three bites as we speak!
  • Speaking bugs me that you laugh when I try to fuss at you for biting!
  • For a long time, I was disappointed you wouldn't take a I'm thankful!
  • I'm amazed at the sheer volume of your voice when you want food or attention at a quicker pace that how you're getting it!
  • I love your name...Jude Tillman...and I love that I thought of it myself!
  • I wish I could keep you as a baby forever, but I'm thankful for the days to come...I'll only love you more!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

By George...

I think I've finally got this two-kid thing down! Life has eased up a bit on me lately and I'm soaking it up! Jude, my non-napper/sleeper, has finally conceded to taking two "scheduled" naps a day and Penn, as usual, is down for the count at almost exactly one-thirty every day. PRAISE THE LORD! That's the best thing that's happened in quite some time and I'm actually looking at getting some down-time every day again (aside from nighttime, where I will fall asleep as soon as I get in a semi-horizontal position).

So here's our recent family goings-on:

  • Christmas
So sad it's gone, right? get your tree up and decorated, presents all nicely wrapped under it, and it just "smells" like Christmas. Then in no time at all, your house is destroyed, the tree comes down, and you wonder if you've always had this much empty space in your house. Oh yeah, except for the toys...the mounds and mounds of toys that, once opened, creep into every room in the house and under every piece of furniture. Ugh! My kids have way too much stuff, but it's so hard not to make it BIG for them!

We had an amazing Christmas! Penn woke up on Christmas morning and immediately grabbed for the two ornament-shaped Cokes that Santa brought. He was so excited! Yeah...Santa brought a wagon with a roof and tons of toys too, but the "ball Cokes" stole the show...should have known!

We spent all day traveling at warp speed. From our house to my parents', then to the in-laws, and finally to the Carmon family Christmas (all day in the pouring rain), we had a pretty crazy day, but it reminded me how truly blessed I am for having such a close family. I can't imagine giving up even one of our "engagements."
  • Mama
A few days after Christmas, Mama's diverticulitis began acting up again. She's still in the boat for surgery in the next few weeks and we're just hoping that she feels better soon. She'll got from times of feeling pretty normal, to being laid up in the bed. Just hearing her talk, you know how she's feeling. I think she'll feel like a new woman once they get this under wraps. Who knows how long she's been letting this fester!
  • New Year
If there's one thing this past year has taught me, it's that you can't get moments back. Through Jude's pregnancy and birth, Cam's deployment, Aunt Connie's death, Pack's promotion, and our transition to Virginia, our family has experienced joy, sadness, excitement, worry, and fear to the extreme this year. 2009 was bittersweet. I am saying goodbye to a decade that (for the most part), made my life what it is. I started dating Pack in 2000, got married in 2005, and babies in 2007 and 2009! Those were my most joyous moments. Then there were the times of sorrow...the death of my last remaining grandparent, the sudden loss of my sweet Aunt, seeing my parents go through their own struggles of health and well-being, and the loss of other family and friends. There is no getting those moments back to experience them one last time (and for some, I am thankful for that), but I am so blessed to have had the moments that remind me just how special family really is!
  • Virginia
Speaking of 2009, I was disappointed in not including a MOVE to Virginia to wrap up the decade. Unfortunately, we are still trying to sell our adorable home that I love so much. I can't imagine living anywhere else with my boys, but I know we'll adjust well and it will be so, so nice to have Daddy home all the time again. Hopefully, I'll still be able to stay home with them when we move, but you never know...houses don't come cheap!
  • Green Stuff
I'm talking about money...the insufficient amount of it. I have graciously offered to take the finances off Pack hands and make budgeting my responsibility. Maybe a better way to say this would be that I relieved Pack of the burden of my spending (I don't spend on me though!!!). I'm trying to lay out a budget and cook more regularly because I actually think that we can waste less and save more if I quit letting everything in my pantry and fridge go bad! This should also impact our waistlines (I hope, I hope), thus being good for the planet...haha! For the past few months, I've been "priming" myself to get started becoming the best "homemaker" I can be and not having to worry as much about money would be a great start! I know myself well enough to know that jumping in with both feet is never my style...I've always like to dip a toe in gradually and get used to the water. Maybe in another year, I'll be able to report that I'm a regular tree huggin', coupon clippin', penny pinchin', baby-sittin' (ok, SAHM'in) gal!

NOW...seeing as how this is the longest stretch of "alone time" I've had to blog, I better get ready for the GREAT AWAKENING!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Preach it!

"Venting every feeling isn't mature. Learning to deal with uncomfortable and unpleasant feelings is an important aspect of maturity. The pop-psych notion that you have to divulge every unpleasantness or you will have gangrene of the soul and spirit is ultimate nonsense. Learning to endure, transform by perspective or action, and be grateful is the fast lane to a good life. That's right. Having great luck and fortune is not the conduit to loving and enjoyable life; gratitude is." -Dr. Laura Schlessinger

I feel like I owe my husband an apology...yikes!