Saturday, October 26, 2019

Six Pack of Kids - Thoughts on One Month In

This was the first - and probably only - six kids pic we've taken so far. The hospital didn't have a couch in the mother-baby room so we had to get the first kid picture at home when J was super new. Fast forward one month - how! - later and it probably wouldn't look too terribly different. 

If the walls could talk around here they would say that J has been loved into the folds of this family. They would say littlest sis has the best nickname for him so far - Joe-sis - but has already corrected herself to the proper pronunciation of his name - which super hurts my feelings. The walls would tell you the biggest sister adores this little guy and has been known to rush around the house to get ready for school just so she can hold him for a few minutes before it's time to go. They'd say that big brother was mortified of Mama feeding him for the first time and begged her to put her shirt down. 

For this mama, it is hard to believe that J has been in this family for a month but in some ways he's been here the whole time. He's a pretty great baby and I really like him - despite his tongue tie which is making nursing more interesting that normal - but will be remedied here before too long. Sometimes I don't know how he has passed him hearing test with all the crazy antics that go on around here - this week was no different but that's for another time.

We have been showered with love and support and gifts and food from so many family and friends over the past month it is pretty overwhelming. No more overwhelming though, when I catch myself literally having to count my blessings to make sure they are all in the car or in bed or where they are supposed to be. 

This last month with a six pack of kids and as a family of eight has been wild and crazy - as it was before J graced us with his presence - I really couldn't imagine our family without him. I've already learned so much from him being here and I can't wait to find out what the next month and year will look like with him. 

He's a keeper. 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

The Storm before the Storm

The tale of what lead up to baby J's arrival...

The weeks before he was born was a flurry of ALL the doctor appointment I can possibly handle. And my patience continues to grows during doctor appointments. Though it never fails to boggle my mind why appointments are scheduled and you still end up waiting 20-45 minutes to even get called to see the doctor. I mean, I GET it there's paperwork and processing and things that come up and stuff and stuff but my time is valuable too, you know. I digress because nothing's going to change and I ought to be thankful rather than whiny.

Honestly all the doctor appointments really started piling up right after we got back from the beach - the second week of July. Between biweekly OB appointments and ENT checks and dentists and someone getting a tooth pulled because of an abscess - oh and I don't think I've mentioned this but maybe I have.... there were several heads that had lice in our house at the end of July - which was terrible and I don't think you can fully understand the implications of lice unless you have had kids who have had it and you are constantly wondering if you nitpicked well enough and olive oil and yellow Listerine and apple cider vinegar are your BFF for days. On top of an extremely busy pool season plus being a thousand weeks pregnant... I probably need therapy to process all that happened between July 4th and J's arrival.

In fact I think the last three weeks had been even more medical-filled and we have the stacks of bills to prove it. So thankful we live in a time and place that we can get all this stuff taken care of but man has it been exhausting.

Ear aches
Check ups
Waxy ears requiring colase to get it moving
Dental check ups with cavities found
One of the two cavities filled
OB appts
And the hardest hitter... an abscess on a leg that came out of nowhere

I found the abscess late Wednesday night (8 days before baby J) and I was fully prepared to go to the ER that night and dragged Lee home from his Bible Study - I was totally freaked out because at that point I had no idea where it super painful spot came from. It was not black and blue like a bruise but it was basically untouchable.

After doctor appointment 1 of 5 for abscess - what else do you do when you get some news you don't want to hear because your 39.5 weeks pregnant and ain't nobody got time for an abscess... chocolate milkshakes of course

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were sprinkled with pediatrician visits to the point where I wonder when the credit card company is going to call to confirm they are legit transactions.

When part of your treatment plan is taking hot baths and because you're number 4, mom never gives baths because showers are way easier... relish in lots of baths!

Saturday afternoon A and I trekked up to a children's hospital to get the thing drained. Now I imagine draining with a needle and some sort of suction device. Well, let's just say that's not exactly what happened.... at all. I was pretty unprepared for the 20-30 minutes of screaming and tears and MAMAAAAAAAAAAAS that is freshly in my mind.

He was so hungry and so pitiful 

After two popsicles and watching Thomas on the iPad while soccer was on the TV, A was pretty unfazed. I made the long walk to dig the van out of the parking deck (why would a MAJOR hospital only have about 20 parking spots for both the ped ER and regular ER). On the way in I discovered the van is in fact taller than 7 ft 4in courtesy of the plastic bar thing which I scraped the whole way down. SWEEEEEEEEET

I made good on the chocolate ice cream promise I made before/during the hospital visit and we got dinner while we were there and I drowned all my emotions of the last 6 hours into my cheeseburgers and fries (and then proceeded to feel terrible the next day but it was totally worth it).

Such a long day!

Sunday was quiet which also happened to be my due date. A's abscess still looked pretty bad especially with the hole from the ER in the middle of it.

Monday held another doctor appointment. A new medicine (not without its issues of course) and hope that we might not have to go back to the ER for another draining of this crazy thing - next time they'd sedate him which I wished they had done the first time. Though, I have to admit, I love to block out L&D but seeing A go through what he did - I have a bit of a different perspective and thinking, if he can do that, then I can do L&D.

Tuesday was uneventful during the day. Tuesday evening Lee and I squeezed in one more date night without a third wheel - which was so nice, and then Tuesday night I couldn't sleep. I was semi-convinced I might be in labor but not convinced enough to do anything about it. Wednesday morning I told Lee I wanted him to go to the pediatrician with me and A which was the final check before another trip to the ER or a wait-and-see because the medicine was working. Then we'd go to the OB to see what the deal was - even though I was to be induced the next morning.

I kept thinking to myself - come on and just hold out until everyone and everything is in place and planned for - PLEEEEEEEEASE.

Well my plans were foiled because my OB couldn't see me until 1 - he was in surgery. A's appointment went well and we did not have to get the abscess drained. So Lee was on kid duty for the rest of the day and I went to work for a few hours and then trekked to the OB.

While there the nurse used the doppler and discovered that baby's heartrate was in the 180s - which is pretty high - especially considering the week before it was in the 130s. So off to the ultrasound room which confirmed everything appeared to be fine and also I swear the tech said something about 'baby girl' - and I was pretty much validated in my assumption that this baby was in fact a girl (so I clearly misheard her). Then my mind floated to the girls name and how I liked the first name but wasn't convinced of on the middle name - much like M's middle name which I have come to adore. Then the 20 minute fetal heartrate monitor. I'm pretty sure I had more than 2 people ask me if I had any caffeine that day to which my reply was, I had only had water and I wasn't hungry.

With the option to go to the hospital then (I wasn't dilated - but maybe in early labor) or go home and drink a bunch of water and eat something decent, I opted for the latter and headed home a bit more assured I wasn't in active labor - I hadn't been in natural labor since R - so 7.5 years ago and I think I was worried I was going to forget what it felt like.

That night Jibbe stayed the night just in case we had to bolt to the hospital - which we didn't but it felt better knowing if we needed to I wouldn't be waking up neighbors and waving them on to our house as we sped out of the neighborhood.

So that's our story and I'm sticking to it. In hindsight the last 3 Saturdays have had completely different feels.

This Saturday - coaching A's soccer game with baby J by our side. I think coaching is semi-therapeutic for me

The Saturday before - sitting in the pediatricians office doing the happy dance that I was NOT in the hospital with baby J and getting the play-by-play updates on M and A's soccer games, wishing I could watch Lee with all five big kids out on the soccer fields, watching Lee single-handedly man the house and the laundry and antics

The Saturday before that one - wanting to be the one to take A to the pediatrician to the final check on the abscess, coaching M's soccer game, getting a text from Lee that said the ER was in our near future, experiencing the ER, coming home crying thankful that A was okay but emotionally drained from everything he went through - mama's of sick kids, I don't know how you do it. A wasn't even that sick or in the hospital for long and it sucked the life out of me.

So who knows what crazy adventure will happen to our house next but for what we've been through, I hope we get a little down time before

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Introducing Baby Boy Number Two

It seems fitting this post is being written almost one week to the hour that this new baby came into this world... so here goes.

The back story on all the events leading up to the birthday are too insane to include in this post so we'll just pretend that everything was perfectly normal and calm. I was scheduled to be induced on Thursday because my due date was the previous Sunday and there wasn't anything happening and I was not trying to be pregnant in October. Why? Well one thing is we already have an October baby and clearly one of our family goals is to hit a birthday every month so that would have really messed us up.

So Thursday it was, I was up and down much of the nights before the induction so when the clock stuck 4 and Lee's alarm went off I was pretty much ready to hit the road. I think we ended up leaving at 4:30 and got checked in everything by 5:15. They remodeled the L&D wing so it was neat remembering what things looked like before.

Then the big waiting game of getting the IV going and stuff set in. I think I commented to Lee on at least one occasion... How in the world did we get back here... again? As I looked over at the empty baby warming table. That is so surreal to me, knowing we won't be leaving the room without someone occupying that little bed.

Anyhow, after the shift change and a visit from the doctor - who promised he wouldn't miss it this time - we were off to the races with pitocin. Last time I think I was on the second highest dose before C was born. I was hopeful this time because I got to the hospital and I was 3 and definitely having some mild contractions so maybe the combo of early labor plus pitocin would get things going without being too crazy.

The L&D nurse was great. First things I told her were - I wanted to walk around and that the last time the nurse delivered the baby. So she got me hooked into the WiFi monitors - Hello 21st century!!!!!!!! - and I could walk and be on pitocin at the same time. Imagine that. Imagine not having that the last 3 times - it was no fun.

I think at some point after 8 I finally got motivated enough to start pacing the hallways. I was pretty exhausted from the nights and days before but I really wanted to take advantage of the freedom while I could. Lee and I chit chatted about stuff. The nurse and I ended up getting into an extensive conversation about soccer - which was a fabulous distraction from the contractions.

Then at some point something happened which had never happened before... my water broke. That was strange. At that point the nurse asked me to just stay on the L&D hallway because ain't nobody trying to have a baby in the hallway of recovery - or in L&D too but you know.

Eventually the contractions got strong enough where I wanted to get in bed. The nurse said I was about a 5 so I had gone from 3 to 5 in 3 hours... perfect. : (

Well not long after being in bed, Lee could probably comment more on the timing of everything, I called for the Stayidol or however you spell it - the narcotic that makes you kinda sleepy and care less. That was at 11:29.

Well a few contractions after that, I was like send for the epidural. Which in the moment and in hindsight I still can't believe I actually spoke those words. I think Lee was just as surprised as I was that I was asking for one but I knew if I had hours more to go then something was going to have to give. The nurse came back and I was like... how long does it take for them to get here?

Someone said, go ahead and call the doctor (the OB) to which someone else replied, he's coming up the stairs. The OB and the anesthesiologist came into the room about the same time and the doctor checked me was like.... nope, she's having this baby.

At which point there was this overarching sense of relief and peace - which was certainly a prayer answered. There was hustle and bustle getting the bed ready and the nurses in place but not the chaotic scene that played out at Cs birth.

A few pushes (which seemed to take forever) a head, two shoulders, two knees and ten toes later - an 8 lb 21 inch long baby was plopped on my chest at 11:47. Lee announced it was a boy and I was basically in shock because I was certain this baby was a girl. Plus I had just gotten a dose of Stayidol (which lasts for 2-3 hours!) so it registered but I was still very much out of sorts.

I'm not one of the immediately bond with freshly plopped baby in the first place - sorry kids, I love you I promise - but y'all that baby just did a whole lot of hurting so call me crazy but it is not my initial reaction.

The room cleared out and we did skin to skin and all that fun stuff. Lee went to get Chik Fil A and cookout milkshakes except those crazy people gave him chocolate chip instead of Mint Oreo - which was rectified the next day as that was my lunch request. The nurse checked him again and we had this funny dialogue that went something like this:

Nurse - Do you want to trying feeding him?
Me - Do you want me to?
Nurse - Well you don't have to, it is up to you?
Me - I mean, I will if you want me to
Nurse - It is your decision
Me - I don't know. I can't make decisions right now (because of the Stayidol) - just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it.
Nurse - (hands me the baby)

Yes I normally keep some number of hairbands on my wrist. No they don't help me remember how many kids I have... just have a few girls with long hair and you'll understand!

That Stayidol took forever to wear off and had I known baby was coming in 15 minutes, I surely would have not gotten it or at least halved the dose.

I was wheeled out of L&D and passed through the threshold I was said, I am so glad to be outta there. To which it was discovered my room wasn't ready so back to L&D while that was fixed. By that time grandparents were reigning in the big brother and sisters  who were eagerly and I'm sure impatiently waiting to meet their new sibling.

The gang paraded in and was introduced to little brother Joseph Jeremiah

Came through for A on one of his two requests. Baby boy but no twins... 

I think they liked him : )

Lee left shortly after. It was a quiet evening with a visit (and dinner) from a great friend. J went back and forth to the nursery - which I LOVE being able to turn off the lights and try and sleep. I didn't love that you there was no nursery window so when I did wake up I couldn't see what he was doing when I made my circles around recovery. I've always walked alot in recovery - I makes me feel normal after so much not-normal just happening.

He looks enormous in this picture but I promise he's not

The pediatrician caught me in the hallway in the morning and announced he may not discharge J until Saturday since I was GBS positive (I have been every time - and I've been discharged about 24 hours after birth and I got the full dose of medicine) - that was a MAJOR bummer. Though we did agree to waiting until the afternoon and scheduling a follow up with his pediatrician. Eventually about 4:30 we got the green light and a fast pass outta there.

Home to the loud, crazy, loving chaos at the house.

Happily not pregnant and happily not at the hospital.

Here's to you baby J!