Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nicholas' Birth Story

When I first learned I was pregnant with Nicholas, I was actually fairly surprised at how laid back I was. I mean, yes, it was a shock and I wasn't sure I was ready for a third...ever...but at that point, there was no going back. One thing I wasn't really truly concerned about was the actual birth - after all, I'd already done that twice with no real problems, so other than having to go to yet another OB (I had a different one for every child), I didn't give it too much thought.

My official due date was 12/31/09. Everyone who knew this told me how exciting a due date that was - I could have the year's first baby! Well, they were excited about it...but I wasn't. And as November rolled into December, I got less and less excited as my belly got more and more bigger! Getting ready for Christmas was kind of tough, and the unknown was killing me - would I have the baby early? Would my water break on Christmas morning?

Time was growing short, and I had most of my Christmas preparations ready about a week early. Around that same time, Mark had a Christmas office party and I had my weekly appointment the same day. I was up very early that day, preparing our contribution to the party, getting Jonathan off to school, getting Matthew dressed for a big morning, and getting all of it out of the house. By the time I arrived at my doctor's office, my blood pressure was a bit elevated, and it wouldn't come down. I tried to tell the doctor it was all the melee of the day, and all the Christmas excitement, but he didn't like it. This was a Thursday - the Thursday before Christmas. He told me to come to the hospital early Saturday morning to get my blood pressure checked again and to get a non-stress test on the baby.

Well, Saturday morning arrived along with a blizzard. Snow was piling up faster than an inch an hour, and it wasn't going to stop all day. I called the hospital, and asked if I still needed to come in - and my doctor was there! He'd been there all night as well, and he said I did indeed have to come in, if I could make it. So Mark, me and my mom piled into the 4 wheel drive and took off.

When we got there, my blood pressure was a bit elevated, but the baby looked okay. They kept me on the monitors for about 2 hours, all the while snow still coming down outside, and it was getting toward 4pm. I had also started to have some irregular contractions. Finally, the doctor came in and decided to check and see where my cervix was and where the baby was. I was dilated to 3cm, almost completely effaced, and the baby was down low and engaged. He quickly decided to go ahead and induce labor - after all, if I were to head back home in that weather, I may have had to turn around several hours later and come back in even worse weather.

So at 5pm, they got my IV and the pitocin started. It took over an hour to start really feeling the contractions, but once they started it was pretty intense. By around 6:30, I was in a lot of pain, and asked for an epidural...but I couldn't get one until the whole bag of IV fluid had drained in! Wait another 10 minutes. Then go find the anesthesiologists. Wait another 15-20 minutes. Contractions still coming, and now coming hard. Cervix to 5. FINALLY, they located the anesthesiologists and they finally got the epidural set around 8pm. Lovely. Except it really didn't work all that well. I had some numbness, but I could still feel much of the contractions.

Within 25 minutes, I was at 10 cm and ready to push, but the epidural still wasn't working! But at that point, there wasn't much they could do. So I pushed. All I can say is OUCH. It took 14 minutes of pushing, and probably only would've been half that much if it hadn't hurt so much! I felt everything, including the doctor sewing me up afterward.

But Nicholas was here. 6lbs, 13oz, 21 inches long with lots of dark hair. It's funny how once you have a healthy little baby in your arms after nine months of waiting and wondering, you kind of forget all else that's going on, and the fact that the epidural was crap, and the fact that there was a blizzard raging just outside the window, and the fact that Christmas was a few days away, and the fact that life as we know it will never be the same.

Nicholas was here. All the other stuff didn't matter anymore, not at that moment, anyway.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Back in the Blogging Game

Wow - it has been awhile. Too long. And although I really feel like I don't have time for this, I am going to make an attempt to resurrect my blog and post to it with some regularity. After all, I started this blog as a journal of sorts to remember things we've done, places we've been, cute things the kids do or say and in the absence of all that, just to record everyday occurrences. Not sure if it'll work out, but I'll never know unless I try.

I'll begin by doing the bi-annual update I started 3 years ago. For the record, I used to do a "family status" entry every six months to update milestones, what we're up to, how old the boys are and what's going on at that moment in our lives. Used to be November and April, but looks now like I'll be switching to February, and let's see.....ummm....August? Sounds about right.

So where are we? Well, let's start with Jonathan. He's two weeks or so shy of his 6th birthday. He's in kindergarten and does stuff like read on a third grade level, reads atlases, takes pictures with our digital camera, plays computer games and sometimes gets a higher score than me, and loves to mess around with Google maps and Mapquest and loves to watch Dr. G, Medical Examiner (much to our horror). Sound like a kindergartner to you? Yeah, not to me, either. On the other hand, he fights with his brother, doesn't like to share his toys and gets out of bed 16 times after we've tucked him in and before he finally falls asleep. Oh yeah, and he sleeps in on school days, and is up at the crack of dawn (or usually well before) on the weekends. NOW we're sounding more like a kindergartner! Seriously, though, he's a bright little guy who loves to hang out with us wherever we are, often getting in the middle of things that are definitely not his business (like adult conversations), but overall, is a true joy to be around, and a huge help around the house, if you can stand the non-stop commentary.

Then there's Matthew. Matthew was exactly 3 1/2 around Christmas, and is finally, finally, finally potty-trained. At first, we were pretty sure he'd graduate high school in Depends. But somehow, and fairly quickly, we went from extremely frustrated to "don't breathe, but he's sitting on the potty!" He's even dry overnight, all at once. The only thing we can't get him to do yet is wear his big boy underwear, so for now, we're letting him go commando until he decides that it is time. If there's one thing we've learned, sometimes these little guys like to do things on their own pace and without any suggestions from us. So when he chooses to give them a try, we'll be right there to help him. Matthew is a robust little guy, strong and sturdy. He loves cars and trucks and balls and animals and loves to play outside. He will be starting pre-k this fall, going to school with Jonathan. He's got a bit of a stubborn streak, but we're working on that!

And we welcome Nicholas. Full name is Nicholas Gabriel, born on December 19th. Nicholas was a bit of a surprise, not exactly planned. When we realized a third baby was on the way, and subsequently a third boy, we took a deep breath, moved Jonathan and Matthew in the same room, brought the crib up from storage and hoped for the best. And what we got was the sweetest little angel ever. Perhaps it's because we're third-time parents, or maybe because we're a bit older, and a bit more seasoned, but Nicholas is just a true joy. Yes, we're back on the diaper train, after JUST getting off, and then there's the sleepless nights, the endless interruptions of meals by WAAHHHHHHH, and the fact that our children now outnumber us, but we wouldn't trade him back in for the world. Not too much more to say about Nicholas at the moment. He smiles, he gurgles, he steals our hearts. He's starting to sleep slightly better at night. And, he just got out of the hospital after a nasty bout with RSV. But I'm sure we'll have a lot more to say about him in the months and years to come!

Mark and me? In a holding pattern for the moment. Life with a newborn is tough enough, but throw in several feet of snow...twice...along with a particularly cold winter, we're just hanging on, waiting for Spring. Of course, we realize with spring comes the extra work of lawn, gardens, pool, etc..., but at least we can open up the windows, let the sunshine in and start enjoying the great outdoors again. But until then, we'll just wait out this weather, count the days as they go by and maybe fill up some time doing blog entries!