Star Wars was good but it was scary too.
So after a couple of hours of pushing, my OB, Dr. Bellardo, comes into the room and checks on Ian's progress. Apparently the little guy is facing the wrong way, and pushing doesn't seem to be accomplishing much. Dr. Bellardo gives me the option of trying a little longer.
After another hour or so and no progress, I agree to a C-section.
“I just want to see my baby,” I tell the OB.
Suddenly, the activity in the room picks up. Nurses and the anesthesiologist whip into the room and start preparing me for surgery. Before I know it, I am being rolled down the hallway in my hospital bed.
Paul is pointed to a waiting area while I am taken into the operating room. At this point, I realize that I have never had major surgery and somebody is about to CUT ME OPEN. The tears start flowing down my face. I am trying really hard to be brave, but it's not working very well.
Dr. Bellardo walks over to me while I am being prepped for surgery and lets me know that he has to step out of the room but he'll be right back. I'm thinking, “That is really very kind but right now I barely have any idea who is in the room other than being acutely aware of Paul's absence.”
Finally, I'm ready for surgery (“Can you feel that? Does it hurt? Okay, good.), and Paul is allowed to sit by my side. He smiles gently and comforts me while I feel crazy amounts of tugging and pulling in my abdominal area. Suddenly, we hear it — the beautiful cry of our little boy. “That's our baby!” I exclaim.
A nurse takes the baby over to the isolette and invites Paul to hold little Ian's hand. My reaction, upon seeing my baby for the first time: “Oh my gosh! He's huge!” Sweet, I know. Ian looks like he was already a couple months old.
While I'm being put back together, Paul and Ian sit by my side. I try to stare at my new little boy, but also in my line of sight is the suction tubing. I see blood fill the tubing and feel light-headed and whoozy. “I'm sorry,” I say to Paul. “I have to look the other way.”
For whatever reason, the post-birth part of the operation is worse than the beginning. The tugging, the blood loss — ugh. A couple of times I think I might pass out, and I try to say something to the anesthesiologist. Apparently he is slightly hard of hearing and can't hear me (Paul later confirmed that it wasn't just my slurred speech — the doc really couldn't hear me). Finally, just when I think I am never going to leave this OR, they're done. Paul takes Ian to the recovery area, and I soon meet them there. (First, though, they had to move me from the operating table back into a hospital bed. I felt like I was on MASH.)
Much of the rest of my hospital stay is a blur of shakes (from the epidural), midnight feeding sessions (for Ian, not me!), and painful tummy exercises. I spend hours just staring at my little boy as he sleeps in his little isolette. I love watching him breathe, and I treasure those moments when he opens his eyes and absorbs his new world.
I want to thank my family and Paul's for helping us welcome Ian into the world. Thanks for putting up with my new mommy paranoia and for accepting me as I deliriously walked through those first sleepless nights and drugged up days. And thanks especially to Paul, for being a great daddy to Ian and for changing all those diapers when I couldn't get out of bed.
I am so thankful to be a mommy!
Ian has his first two teeth! Tooth #1 appeared on October 28, and tooth #2 came exactly a week later! I think more teeth may be on the way, judging from Ian's constant demand for teething rings.
Paul taught Ian how to sit up from a crawling position. Ian was half-way to a sit, and Paul helped him with the rest of the motion. After the help, Ian pulled himself to sitting several times! It's not a regular occurrence yet, but it's exciting nonetheless.
Ian isn't quite crawling yet, but he can scoot around the floor well enough to capture any toy he wants.
He's an awesome little dude.
So SOMEBODY is working on his crawling skills. Ian has spent the past couple of weeks pushing up on his hands and knees, and sometimes his hands and feet. He's great at pivoting in a circle to reach toys, and he can push himself backwards a little bit at a time. Paul pointed out that it's absolutely amazing that Ian automatically knows how to work on the skills he needs for crawling. I mean, it's not like he sees us crawling around the house!
Currently Ian is awesome at getting up on his hands and knees and rocking back and forth for a few seconds. Check it out:
So this week Ian has been shocking us by saying “Hey” when we walk into a room. Okay, so maybe it's not a clear, deliberate “Hey,” but it's clear and consistent enough to amaze his totally impartial parents! As soon as he notices one of us, we get a “Hey,” “Hi,” “Heh,” or some other variation of a greeting.
Yeah, he's awesome. Or at least we think so.
This has also been the week of rolling over. He's been able to roll tummy-to-back occasionally for a couple of months, but this week he has perfected his back-to-tummy roll. His favorite time to do this is bedtime, when — instead of sleeping — he rolls around his crib until he gets frustrated and fusses for Mom or Dad.
I am so amazed to see this little guy grow so quickly right before my eyes!
Early in the morning, I think around 4am or so, the nurses started to ramp up my pitocin to get the show on the road, so to speak. Then it was time for my epidural, which absolutely terrified me since they made me sign this form that was like, “You know this could KILL YOU, right?” But the epidural procedure seemed to go fine.
A few minutes after my epidural as put in, a nurse came to check my progress and found that my amniotic fluid (a.k.a. “water”) had started leaking when they placed the epidural. She was double checking the leak when POP! — my water fully broke, with gusto, apparently! (TMI, I know, but this next part gets interesting.)
After my water broke, little beepy alarms went off and nurses came rushing in. I got to put a stylin' oxygen mask on and turn onto my side. Apparently the baby's heartrate dropped when my water broke, and it took a few minutes for it to go back to normal. Paul did a great job smiling at me and keeping me calm even though he was pretty nervous. (Apparently the heartrate dropping thingy was a common but scary event called a vagal response.)
After that excitement, I got to wait around another hour or so while letting the pitocin do its work. In the mean time, we got text messages letting us know that our family had arrived in the waiting room (my mom, in fact, was already there, having spent the night in the waiting room unbeknownst to us).
A new labor nurse came in after a shift change, and she began checking my progress regularly. I wish I could remember her name, because she was a great nurse. Very kind and helpful. I felt like I made a new friend for those few hours.
Finally it was time to start pushing, so I pushed. And pushed. And pushed. I pushed for off and on for a looooooooong time with little result. “He's so close!” the nurse would say. “Keep trying! I can see his hair!”
“He has hair?!” I said in my half-delirious state, already in love with my new little boy.
I expected Ian to arrive weeks before he did. Every time I saw my OB, he said he thought I would deliver before my next appointment. Ian's kicks were strong, and my tummy was huge. I started staying close to home, just in case I went into labor.
The due date came and went, unfortunately uneventful. I didn't want to be induced, I guess because I figured the fewer drugs, the better. But two days after my due date, on March 26, Paul and I packed everything up and calmly headed to the hospital for induction.
Once we were at the hospital, we were told that it was an extremely busy time and we would have to wait awhile before they could start in induction. We sat on an uncomfortable bench in the waiting area for 15 or 20 minutes before retreating to the family waiting room's slightly more comfortable seating. Once in the waiting room, I started having mild, regular contractions about every 5 minutes. Paul, ever the family protector, talked to the receptionist at the desk to explain that we needed a room NOW, and what do you know — we got one!
We were placed in a temporary room where they could monitor my contractions until the labor and delivery room was ready. The contractions still were mild, but the staff decided to give me an hour to see if my body was going into labor on its own. No dice. We were taken to the L&D room to prepare for induction.
Next they put the IV in to start the slow pitocin drip. I absolutely hate having needles put in me, so I was dreading the IV experience. Apparently I blocked out the experience, though, because I have no memory of it today. I think I may have been hugging my Care Bear, and I do remember that the kind nurses covered the IV catheter with a bandage so I didn't have to look at it.
I spent the next couple of hours staring around the rather large hospital room, watching my baby's heartrate on the monitor, and wishing that the Predators game was on TV (Baptist Hospital, you need FSTennessee!!!). Paul and I were excited to see the little alcove where the hospital bassinet awaited Ian's arrival.
Finally, very excited, incredibly nervous, and acutely aware of the needle stuck my wrist, I settled in for a night of restless sleep.