Friday, June 15, 2012

Snapshots

What life looks like as we adjust to having two under 2 (busy to be sure, but so, so much fun)...

 One day old
 Resting on the patio
 Mother's Day 2012

Brothers

Monday, June 04, 2012

Finally (the birth of Isaac Jeffery)

Apparently blogging letters to your unborn child is an effective way to go into labor. Who knew? Had I known, I would have started writing to this little guy a whole lot sooner.

My doctor was willing to let me go up to 2 weeks past my due date, and although I was very uncomfortable and ready to be done being pregnant, I really wanted Baby to come on his own, as Timmy had. A non-stress test on Thursday and an ultrasound on Friday showed he was fine, just enjoying his stay. That weekend I went for a few walks and ate a bunch of pineapple the beginning of the week, and it really did feel like my body was getting ready for labor.

Thursday morning, I woke up with Chris' alarm around 5:30 (normal for me) and tried in vain to get more rest once he got up. It was about 6:15 when I felt a painful pop! (which I swear was audible) and then...nothing. I was slightly confused, because I was positive my water was broken, yet nothing was happening. I needed to go to the bathroom, and once I did that, fluid did start trickling. By now it was 6:30ish and Chris was about to leave for work. Because contractions hadn't yet started, I told him to go in for a few hours and tie up loose ends, which he reluctantly did. (I knew it'd be less stressful for both of us if he had things taken care of there.)

 It was about 7:30 when contractions started, coming about every 10-15 minutes. Timmy woke up sometime in there and we had breakfast and I started washing some cloth diapers (did NOT want to come home from the hospital to a stinky pile of those). I also let my parents know what was happening, along with the friend who was going to watch Timmy. I tried to straighten up the house, but contractions were picking up and I still felt tired, so Timmy and I sat on the couch reading stories. After awhile, he laid down and fell asleep. This from the boy who only sleeps in his crib or the car. It ended up being a wonderful, wonderful thing because by this time I was having to focus through each contraction and had a hard time devoting the necessary energy to Timmy. Because he's mobile in his sleep, I wound up moving him to his crib, which woke him up, but since he was happy, I let him play with his stuffed animal in there. An active toddler and a laboring mama didn't seem like a good combination to me.

 By 9:30, I needed Chris. The contractions were definitely painful and I wanted my husband. Thankfully, he was on his way home when I called him. Once he was home, we had our friend Kate come get Timmy so we could focus on labor and go to the hospital whenever we were ready. I'd planned to go walking with Kate and another friend, Abbi, that morning. Unfortunately, I forgot to text Abbi that I was in labor, so she came to our house as planned, surprised to see Chris home and me on the couch in labor.

 Around 11, we decided to head to the hospital. I think contractions were 6-7 minutes apart at that point? Sleep deprivation kicking in, sorry. The hospital is an hour away, so we figured it best to be near the hospital, especially given that I was only in active labor with Timmy for 10 hours.

We arrived at the hospital and got a close parking spot (miracle!) but I quickly realized I was in no shape to walk to the doors and go up to the second floor. Chris drove to the drop off spot, left the van and we went inside. Unlike with Timmy, I opted for the wheelchair ride to the maternity ward, where we were quickly given a room and I got changed into a gown, etc. They tried to give me a hep lock, but weren't able to find a vein. Since I didn't have Group B strep this time (thank you, Jesus!) the on call doctor said I was fine without one. (My doctor was out of town that day.)

The charge nurse, Renee, was incredibly kind and stayed with me while Chris went to park the car. She also checked me and said I was 7 cm dilated--woohoo! Unfortunately, no one had any idea just how many hours those last three centimeters would take.

My contractions kept coming every 5 minutes or so. They were painful, but between Chris and my Bible verses, I was hanging in there. In our birth plan, we'd asked to mostly be left alone and the nurses were quite respectful of that.

Around 5:30, the nurse checked me and I was at 7 1/2. So discouraging. She was a little concerned that he might be sunny side up, so she suggested I labor on the edge of the bed. Just like in my labor with Timmy, moving was excruciating and miserable, but once I had done it, I felt SO much better. I also spent about an hour in the shower, which was AMAZING.

Since it's been a month, some of the details are fuzzy, but I do know that progress took forever. With Timmy, I ended up on Pitocin for a few hours, but that was never even suggested at this hospital. At about 6:30, the on call doctor wanted to put me on an antibiotic since my water had been broken for 12 hours. They were able to get an IV going, which ended up being a really good thing. Although I had been eating Jello and drinking water, I was still dehydrated, and the nurse thought that some fluids might help me finish dilating. (At this point I was about a 7.5.) She also wanted me to try laying on my side for three contractions. I remembered trying to labor on my side with Timmy and not being able to do it because the pain was so bad, but with a concrete number like 3 in my head, I thought I could, and I did.

After that I also labored on the side of the bed for awhile. By now, I was definitely in transition and feeling absolutely miserable. I was convinced I'd never finish dilating. At the end of each contraction, I was having a slight (though not overwhelming) urge to push, so I got back in bed and the nurse checked me. She then uttered some of the most beautiful words I've ever heard: "you're complete." I'd gone from 8 to 10 in less than an hour!

Right after that, I felt like I absolutely without question needed to push. Our nurse (who, by the way, was awesome and chose us specifically because we were doing a natural/drug-free birth) wanted to try a few pushes to see where I was. I pushed once and she could see Isaac's head! Chris told me this and I was so thrilled--I'd been praying that pushing would be mercifully short. The doctor was standing outside the room, so someone got his attention, he (literally) ran to put gloves on and two or three pushes later, Isaac was on my chest, healthy and with a head full of dark hair. He started nursing when he was less than 30 minutes old (a HUGE answer to prayer as Timmy struggled to nurse for a long time), and we called our families to tell them the good news, after we figured out his name, that is.

About 15 minutes after he was born, I said, "I think he's an Isaac!," and as Chris told me later, "I figured after what you'd been through, you deserved to pick his name." Had he been born after midnight, he would have been Benjamin Mark, named after my brother whose birthday is the 27th, but since he wanted his own birthday, we went with Isaac, which Chris had suggested months ago and I'd fallen in love with.

So, that's the story. Short on specific details because it's somehow been an entire month since this all happened, and my mommy brain, though functioning, is certainly doing so at a diminished capacity these days. Timmy loves his baby brother and constantly points to him, saying "baby!" and giving hugs. God is good, my friends, and these two beautiful boys are one more proof of that.