Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If you build it...

The most stressful things in life are having a baby, moving, public speaking, and getting a new job. Public speaking is the worst! Ha ha, just kidding (but not really). I am a glutton for punishment. I have done all of these things in the past year. And I am about to do another again!
We bought a house. We have been renting a house since June and finally pulled the trigger to put down roots. Honestly, we didn't do much house hunting like we did to find our home in Chandler, AZ. That was like mining for diamonds in the desert!
Naples by Ryan Homes

We looked at home prices in the Greenville area and saw that we could build one for the same price for what we wanted. Done. Decision made.

We break ground in about a week. I need to start looking for some boxes....

Monday, March 19, 2012

The First Two Weeks

Henry James at two weeks old
The first two weeks of motherhood were rough. Whatever expectations I had were oh so very wrong.
I didn't think breastfeeding would be difficult, first off. I mean, I have gigantic hooters. I was made for this! Henry didn't have a good latch, he had a downright awful latch. He actually lost too much weight, losing a pound from birth to his fourth day outside the belly. I was ill prepared for the atomic bomb siren that is my son's cry.

The biggest unexpected side affect was just how much I love my husband. Truly, I had no idea just how much having a baby would instantly magnify one thousand time the capacity I have of loving him. I knew that I would be overwhelmed with love and caring for this little new life, but was caught completely unawares by the new affection for the one who helped create him. When I looked at Henry in those first moments and hours, I could only think of Shawn. It is not his fathering that has brought this entirely new level of wholehearted loving, it is simply becoming a mother that has done it.

Whatever hurdles we jumped those first weeks of parenthood, we were greeted by constant and unconditional tenderness by not only us, but by each other.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Babe is Born

 I scooted out of triage with my IV drip and my butt firmly planted in a wheelchair at 4am. My contractions were making me double over and I was dilated three centimeters. The birthing room where I would deliver my baby was a place of serenity with its flat screen and wood floors. The husband was digging the comfy couch by the window. I was happily anticipating that nectar of the gods, King Epidural.

I met Dr. Price who ordered the anesthesiologist and a dose of Pitocin. "Are you ready to have a baby today?" Yes, sir, I was ready to have a baby.

At 10am Dr. Price returned to examine me. He took one look and said we would have a baby by the afternoon. Shawn's face beamed. His boy is coming! The the shizz got real. Dr. Price felt my gigantic belly. "Hmmm..." he hummed. Then he did an internal exam. "This baby has a soft head," he said... out loud.. to a panicking me. What?! WHAT?!?! "How long has he been breech?" What?! I had an appointment on Monday...this was Wednesday. I think I would feel if this giant baby flipped upside down. To be sure he pulled a portable ultrasound machine into the room. Four minutes later I was looking at my baby's head by my tailbone.

Emergency c-section. I have never had surgery before aside from getting my wisdom teeth pulled. I have never had my organs removed from my body and placed back all willy-nilly. I was terrified of the dreaded episiotomy. Dr. Price called Dr Chasedunn-Roarke who saw me on Monday and she was shocked, but told him that at least I wouldn't have the episiotomy like I was worried about. No, now I was going to be opened up on a table in a cold and sterile operating room rather than this hotel suite I was crying in. I was seven centimeters dilated and progressing fast. 14 minutes later I was being prepped for surgery, getting dosed with even more epidural and Shawn was putting on his scrubs.

At 10:33am on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, our baby boy came into the world with the loudest cry I have ever heard. Shawn looked into my eyes and we both teared up. The nurse showed Henry to us and asked Shawn if he would like to hold him. I wanted to jump up too and hug that screaming and wriggling body. Obviously, I couldn't feel anything below my shoulders, so Shawn held our sweet baby and brought him over to me to kiss and snuggle. By this time, Henry's baby blue were wide open as he took in the scene. By 10:50am I was sewn back together, intestines in their rightful place, and was being wheeled into the closet sized recovery room where we would spend the first three hours of our lives as a family of three.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How I Knew It was Labor

Somethings just cannot be explained, they must be lived to be remotely understood. Birth is certainly one of them. I have conquered one of my biggest fears... having a baby. This is how I did it:
On a cold and foggy night...
At exactly 12:59am on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 I woke up with a start. I sat bolt upright, "I think my water broke," I said out loud. Shawn teleported to my side of the bed (seriously, I am sure he broke the sound barrier with how fast he ran around our king-size) saying "What?! What?! Are you sure?! What do we do?!"

"I could have just peed myself," I cautioned. I have snizzed my pantalones on more than one occasion throughout the past 39 weeks. Not pretty, not fun, and (dreadfully) not unusual. "Gross! I did it again!"With another whoosh underway, I just looked up at Shawn's beaming face, then decided to mosey on over to the bathroom. A moment later there was yet another whoosh of water into le toilet. As I suspected I would, I started to voice my doubts. Phrases like "extremely incontinent," "never actually going to come," "only 8% of women's water breaks, I am the 92%" and "not ready not ready not ready" spilled forth from my mouth.
No smiling once the contractions begin

Then the contractions started. Oh my word, the contractions did a-start. "Crap. I think I really am in labor." was answered by Shawn with "I'm not even sorry. I'm so excited."

What to do when you have finally convinced yourself that you will be birthin' a baby:
1. Repack entire hospital bag
2. Make husband take a shower, despite his anxiety baby will be born in bathroom if he does
3. Put a maxi pad on since this faucet drip cannot be turned off once started
4. Unpack hospital bag after remembering need to brush hair and teeth
5. Squeeze into car and backseat drive as husband driver is blinded by pure adrenaline excitement and that deer on the side of the road looks like a jumper
Thank you, Husband Love, for allowing me to see what real pain looks like (also check out the drawer full of my contraction ticker-tape)
I also suggest once you are at hospital, remind your husband that he could have dropped you off at the doors rather than having you hoof it at 2am through a parking lot in the middle of January - do not voice frustration as you both trudge across parking lot in between contractions. Holy mother contractions! The lady that sees you pain and will not help you find triage is definitely the person who only cares if you have insurance, do not be mad at her when she tries to avoid eye contact and pretends not to see you, she knows not what she does. If she does, forget to date a paper so she can search all over the hospital for you until her shift ends at 7am.

Once I was firmly planted in triage and gussied up in my bum-exposing gown, the monitoring began. Contractions were one and a half to two minutes apart and freakin' awful. I would grit my teeth and clench the bed sheet and blankets so hard, my nails could have bored holes through the fabric.

How Henry came to be... to be continued..