Friday, November 28, 2014

And then there were four...

Now that he's over a month old,  it's about time I get around to writing out his birth story!

It was SO very different to go into this pregnancy knowing the outcome would be a C-section.

We had an ultrasound done at 6 weeks to confirm pregnancy and check on everything since my progesterone levels were low.  Then we had the fetal scan/gender ultrasound at 18 weeks.  And that's it...  We went the other 21 1/2 weeks of our pregnancy without getting to see our baby--so strange.  But when I asked about having another one, my doctor explained that there really wasn't a need so the insurance wouldn't cover it--everything was going well, his heartbeat was great, my weight gain and measurements were perfect; and it really didn't matter what size he was because we would be having a section either way.  It made me nervous to not check on you with my eyes...but at the same time, what he was saying made sense.

Knowing the date we would most likely have you was also quite strange.  I didn't progress at all with Arabella, so I really didn't expect to this go round either; meaning I was pretty sure I'd make it to the section date with no labor at all (although it was only 4 days before my due date and that freaked me out sometimes!).  However, my doctor never once examined me to check progress, so I really had no clue.  That was also extremely strange.  But he didn't want to trigger anything to start, so he left well enough alone.  I was able to go to church the morning before we had you and tell people, "tomorrow!"  We were prayed over very intentionally for that day.  I could make plans for grandparents and work schedules and Arabella.  I was able to count down actual days to meeting you.  It was just a much more definite date than an estimated due date--the suspense was eased some, but the impatience was amplified.

So here's what actually happened...

My sister came over that Sunday night to take care of Arabella the next day for us.  We loaded up the car, cleaned the house, installed the carseats, and all that jazz Sunday night.  Then everybody went to bed except me...  I was already having restless nights and staying up pretty late; but there was no way I was able to go to bed at a decent hour anyway knowing I was having a baby in the next 8-10 hours.

We were scheduled for the first surgery of the day at 7:30, so we needed to be at the hospital at 6 (leaving the house at 5:30).  It was such a strange feeling to walk out of the house that morning, driving to the hospital knowing we would have you in a few short hours.  We walked in and headed up to the third floor to try and find out where to go.  Thankfully we passed a nurse (the floor was so empty that early in the morning!) who directed us through the poorly labeled maze of the maternity ward and we were able to get checked into pre-op.  Mimi and Papa (my parents) got there at the same time as us, so they were able to visit with us through the wait.  MawMaw, Nanny, and PawPaw (Hunter's parents) got there a little bit later.  And Aunt Mel and Arabella came that morning too.

They ended up having an emergency surgery which pushed us back about half an hour.  No biggie.  I basically rubbed your daddy's thumb raw while they put my IV in, but I managed to make it through with only one tear (this was oddly enough the part I was dreading the most...even moreso than the whole getting cut open bit).  Anyway, all the nurses and anesthesia personnel and doctors came in and got their questions answered and paperwork filled out.  And before we knew it, they brought in daddy's {hazmat} suit, I kissed your sister goodbye, and they wheeled me back to the OR.

I had to get the spinal done and get all situated before they let your daddy come in.  By the time he came in there, I was already starting to feel pretty crummy.  Thankfully, I had talked this over in detail with both the anesthetist--she was so fantastic.  I didn't ever once have to tell her I felt bad.  As soon as she could see it on my face, she adjusted my medicines to help the nausea subside.  That was SO helpful.

One of the nurses took daddy's phone as soon as he came in so she could take pictures for us and he could just be in the moment.  Loved that!  Those moments while they were prepping everything were so special.  Your daddy and I finally got the chance to put everything else going on out of our minds, look deeply at each other, and talk about having you.

Before we knew it, Dr. Bost was telling us to get ready, that you were coming out.  I'll never forget his reaction when he pulled your head out--"whoa, we've got a big ole boy in here!"  He had guessed you'd only be a little over 8 pounds, almost definitely smaller than your sister.  I knew he was wrong. I had been telling people for months that you were going to be big...  I wasn't huge for a pregnant woman, but you were everywhere.  I couldn't breathe, every move you made hurt me (and you were strong!), and you just felt a lot bigger than Arabella...which at almost an inch longer and more than a pound heavier, I was right!

He had to basically climb on my chest to get enough peerage to pull you out.  I literally couldn't breathe until you were out of me.  And then he lifted you over the curtain and I teared up immediately.  It was so hard for me to wrap my head around having another kid through the entire pregnancy; and laying my eyes on you for the first time was enough to swell my heart.

And then you cried and I started up again!  I was so emotional the whole time you were back there with us.  They cleaned you up and got you all labeled and banded while they sewed me up.  Then you and daddy went off to the nursery to finish all of your stats and such.  I remember the nurse coming back in and telling me how much you weighed, and that's it.  I don't remember anything else until we were in the room and I had fed you.  Your daddy tells me I was wide awake and having conversations the whole time, but for the life of me, I don't remember any of it.

I do remember being in our room (not at all getting there...) and feeding you.  Our nurse that day didn't want anyone to hold you--or even leave you in the room for that matter.  You weren't crying and you were making all these little grunts and flaring your nostrils (all typical for new babies...and you haven't stopped since).  Anyway, she said all of these were signs that you were stressed out and your lungs were struggling (say what?!).  I had to ask her to leave you in the room and she said she would, but nobody needed to hold you.  Well that lasted all of about the 2 seconds it took her to close the door before I told one of your grandmamas that they better pick you up.  After that, it was history and you got all kinds of loving for the rest of the day.

It took Arabella a little while to warm up to the idea of holding you...or really having anything to do with you other than looking.  She was pretty concerned about me not feeling well, so that took most of her focus.  However, Juannie finally got her to hold you that evening.  It only lasted about a minute before she said, "oh, but he's so heavy!" and handed you back off.  Each day, she got more comfortable and more fond of you.  Now, at a month old, she refuses to let you go anywhere without her and begs to hold you all the time.  She absolutely adores you.

Your glucose levels wouldn't stay up, so they had to do several Accuchecks on you before you ate and we had to supplant with formula a few times.  You also struggled with jaundice and your levels wouldn't stop climbing.  We even had to do 3 bilirubin tests after we left the hospital before we finally started to see a decline.  Mama's blood counts were really low again, but thankfully I wasn't showing any tell tale symptoms and escaped the need for a transfusion.  They discharged both of us on Thursday (you were born on Monday).

Oh, mama and daddy love you two more than you will ever, ever know.

We are completely in love with you, Kaplan Paul.  Welcome to our crazy little family--we'll do our best to get you through this crazy big world.  

And then there were four...

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