Monday, July 25, 2011

Our First Week

Okay, so it's not quite a week yet - but one day doesn't really count for much!

I can't believe how different life has become so quickly and yet, I wouldn't trade a moment of it for the world. It's as if there was never a different life before Henry and honestly, this past week has just flown. I hate that part, I want each little moment to last forever. It's true what they say though - every complication, every horrible symptom and pain of pregnancy and birth is just a distant memory. It was worth every single bit and I'd do it a million times over to have my healthy baby boy here in my arms.

Our first couple of days was kind of rough. As expected I was in a lot of pain from the surgery and after spending the entire day in intense labor and then going in for the c-section, I was beyond exhausted and just completely out of it when he was finally born.

They told us they were going to go ahead and do the c-section at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Within a half hour Jeremy was in his scrubs and I was making my way to the OR, contractions still coming about every 45 seconds or so. The anesthesiologist had no problem with my spinal tap although I had two contractions in the time it took him to do it. I just breathed on through and tried not to move and I never even felt the pinch. I found the whole operation to be kind of miraculous. It's quite the experience to feel nothing and yet feel everything at the same time. The anesthesiologist told me what was happening the entire time so I knew the moment that they pulled his head out, unwrapped the umbilical cord that was around his neck once, then when his shoulders and the rest of his body was out. I heard him cry and them announce the time - 8:33 p.m. - and then I cried too. I heard them announce his length at 19 inches and then they let Jeremy over to see him. He let me know that he was perfect and then went back to cut the umbilical cord. Finally they weighed him at 6lbs 5oz and then brought him over for me to see. Jeremy held him next to my face while they put me back together and I couldn't take my eyes off of him while we all had a conversation about cars, vacations and cameras (but mostly cars, go figure). I was so happy and relieved that everything had went well and that my son was here and healthy. They moved me from the operating table to the hospital bed and laid Henry in my arms. I could barely believe I was holding my little boy and for the next hour or so in recovery I refused to let him go. By 10:00 p.m. or so they allowed family in to see us and Henry was passed from person to person to be loved and cuddled on.

It was 3 a.m. when everyone finally left, I got him fed and we all got settled into our hospital room. They came and took him to the nursery to give him a bath and I agreed to let him stay until 6 a.m. so I could get some sleep. At 4:30 I woke up and couldn't stand not having him there so I had the nurse go and and bring him back to me. He never left our sides for more than a few minutes after that moment.

The hardest part after that while we were at the hospital was getting in and out of bed to feed him. By morning I was told I could sit up on the side of the bed so I did and then within a few minutes I was standing. I walked to the bathroom myself and the nurse was quite surprised at how fast I was recovering. For the first couple of days I just took Motrin for the pain then I moved on to something stronger about once a day. We had some issues feeding Henry. I had decided that I wanted to breast feed and he would latch, but he wouldn't suck. Everyday the consultant would come in and try to help and I had 3 or 4 different nurses try to help but he just wouldn't have it. Soon I was pumping and haven't really stopped since. I still try to get him to breast feed but he still does the same thing and it always ends up with him screaming at the top of his lungs and us both getting frustrated. I will be honest - I'm very close to giving up. I think I'll end up pumping exclusively so that feeding won't be so frustrating all the time for both of us.

Henry was circumcised on Wednesday night and the doctor told us he did wonderful but peed all over him which I found funny. Everyone was amazed at how laid back of a baby we had - the only time he would fuss (and this is still true) was when he was hungry and even then he would wake up and start moving around to let us know before crying. I'm lucky in that sense, I can usually hear him moving around in the night before he starts crying when he gets hungry. Two times the pediatrician came in to check on him and both times I was pumping and it embarrassed him to pieces so he kept telling us he'd come back. Finally on Friday after I was discharged, the pediatrician managed to come in and look him over and give the orders that he was good to go home too. We left that afternoon around 4 p.m. We went straight to Meijer to pick up my prescriptions and then headed home for a very lazy night. At this point I was exhausted - despite trying I could not sleep at the hospital and instead found myself taking little naps here and there that were always interrupted either by Henry or a nurse.

During the entire hospital stay Jeremy slept. I envied him.

The first night was kind of rough. I was so tired that it took everything in me to climb out of bed and my milk was just starting to come in so I had to take the time to pump every time that Henry ate - with a manual pump, which was such a pain. The next day I insisted we make a trip to Wal-Mart to buy a pump and I must say, I don't think I could live without it now. It's my best friend. I usually pump 3 times a day and am now producing 6 to 8 oz every time. I'm going to have to start freezing soon!

Sunday evening we took Henry to his Aunt Holly's and we all had dinner together with Grandma and Grandpa O. Izabel finally warmed up to him a bit and even asked to hold him, it was a very precious moment. Sunday night was probably the easiest night and I hope it continues to get easier from here.

Mason and Henry are getting along just fine. Mason loves to nuzzles Henry's neck and ears with his cold nose and Henry absolutely hates it; he'll wrinkle up his nose and his face will turn blood red. It's really funny. Mason likes to give him kisses too - although to Henry I'm sure they're more like mini baths considering that when Mason starts he just won't stop. I've had to yell at him many times for it, just because I know it bothers Henry so much too. The cat hasn't even sniffed him - I don't think he cares a bit.

Jeremy is still a bit timid around Henry and I find it kind of amusing too. He's super careful when picking him up and moving him around and I think he's changed all of two or three diapers. I've let him feed Henry once or twice but I do the majority of everything. Some new mom's would expect much more from their husbands but I honestly like it this way. I cherish my time with him so much that I really hate to let anybody else do anything. I know that sounds silly and I may change my mind later but right now it's how I feel.

My favorite thing to do is just to watch him, especially when he's awake and looking around. I love when he searches for my little finger and then holds on tight and it brings tears to my eyes every time I stop to think that he knows I'm his mommy. I love stripping him down to his diaper when he's hungry and just cuddling him on my chest - that skin to skin contact holds such a powerful connection. The world just stops around us. I don't hear him cry all too often but he let's out little squeals all the time and I laugh just about every time. Sometimes it sounds like a little kitten, other times it's more like a strange bird or something. It's just so darn cute.

Today we had our first doctor's appointment. He had gained 5 oz since leaving the hospital and was still the same length (although his head has gone back to normal so more than likely he's gained an inch since birth). There were no signs of jaundice and the doctor was very pleased at how his circumcision was healing. He even gave the doctor a little smile - which is something that he normally only does here and there for a split second. If you blink you'd miss it. We had lunch with daddy and then headed home for some tummy time and about an hour of being wide awake and curious. It was probably the longest I've seen him so alert since he was born.

Overall life has taken a crazy turn but it's been a wonderful one and I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Henry's Birth Announcement

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Three full days of labor and then a c-section to get him here, but he's finally here. I even did it without pain meds, even though there towards the end with two bags to pit in me, I thought my insides were going to just rip out.

Little Henry weighed 6lbs and 5oz and was 19 inches long (although the nurse said he would probably lose an inch or so due to his long, cone shaped head from all the contractions). His first cry was magical and while he cried, I laid behind the curtain and cried too. I seem to be recovering well and Henry is just perfect.

We're having issues breast-feeding but they're sending a consultant in today to try and help. The little guy will latch but then he just won't suck. I've been pumping and feeding him through a syringe. The nurses assure me it's probably due to him being 3 weeks early.

I can't get over how tiny he is and I'm glad I bought a few preemie outfits because they are definitely going to fit. I'm completely exhausted but I'm sure I'll catch up on and off in the next few days. I'm so proud of how Jeremy did and I'm pretty proud of myself as well, I put in a lot of hard work.

Every minute of it was worth it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Baby Story: Months 7 & 8 - The End of Pregnancy

The last couple of months have been quite the experience. I had both baby showers and received more gifts than any one baby could possibly need. I'm up to my elbows in clothes and blankets and toys. The crib is set up and ready. The bottles are washed. The car seat is in the car. I've been cleaning the house like I'm mad and it seems like every week I find something that I missed, although I'm not sure how. Then I was diagnosed with cholestasis, which has been, well, horrible.

The entire last month has been dedicated to figuring out what was going on with my body. I started itching two months ago and although at first they thought it was nothing, it soon turned so severe that I'd be up all night long doing nothing short of crying and itching myself until I was raw. Finally the doctor decided to do a blood test and the results came back positive for the cholestasis and so started a whole new process: figuring out what to do about it. They put my on Atarax which does little more than either knock me out or leave me feeling high as a kite. It does help with the itching some though, it keeps it bearable at least. Then they started the non-stress tests and ultrasounds twice a week, which keeps my mind at ease but is a serious pain in the butt as well. Then they decided to deliver me at 37 weeks, so next Monday I will go into the hospital to have baby Henry 3 weeks early. I'm okay with that.

Overall things have been up and down. I have yet to decide if I want to take this coming weekend off or if I want to go ahead and work until Monday. I am however thankful that things worked in my favor and my brother will get to meet Henry before he leaves again. That is purely an act of God. Mason seems anxious, I think he knows something huge is about to happen and well, I'm a bit anxious as well. I'm still hoping to deliver naturally without any drugs. I've been told never to say never on more than one occasion but I feel as if I've made my mind completely up. I'm now praying that labor will progress quickly and I won't be stuck in a hospital bed for 3 days. Because of my condition I have to be monitored constantly and have an IV drip for the Vitamin K to keep me from hemorrhaging so I won't be able to be that mobile.

In the meantime I intend on enjoying this last week before baby. I have plans to spend time with my grandmother and brother tomorrow and a good friend is having a birthday this week so we have plans for that. Other than that I have some little things I need to do. I figure I better go out and get some more newborn sized onesies considering they're expecting him to weight little over 6 lbs when he's born. I have a ton of 0-3 months but only a handful of newborn anything. I may grab a preemie outfit or two too, just in case. I need to mail out a couple of final thank you cards and finish preparing the baby-book. I'm sure I'll clean the house really good again, and maybe even again. I'm sure this week will go fast. I am going to miss my little womb-peanut but at the same time, I'm so excited to meet him.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Plans are made to be broken.

The nerves are starting to set in. I'm anxious about delivery, a bit disappointed that things haven't happened the way that Jeremy and I thought they would and still a bit worried about my little peanut. I think Jeremy is in worse shape than I am. His parents are a bit disappointed because their vacation was planned for this coming week and now they're cutting it short. He's told me many times that he was looking forward to those final moments at home before I told him it was 'time' to go to the hospital. I think he just wanted to be my hero, haha. I know he's nervous about delivery, he's just not one for any sort of blood or bodily fluids. I think he'll be just fine though. We both know that this is better for little Henry.

It's strange to know that we'll be given a date to start labor. I was really looking forward to sitting at home and finally realizing that I was actually in labor and not just practicing. Again, I know this is for the better though. We'll know on Monday. The doctor told us yesterday that they would probably pull me in Friday to check my fluids a final time so I'm assuming it's going to be early in the week. His paper just said 'set to deliver at 37 weeks'. Brandon's date to leave to go back to Texas was moved up 2 days, so even with them deciding to induce me at 37 weeks, it's almost cutting it close for him to meet his nephew. I'm just thankful that all signs are pointing towards him getting to meet him before he leaves. God does work in mysterious ways.

In other news, we finally got our maternity pictures done. Our friend Betsey did them for us and we were blessed enough that she did them for free. She just graduated from Sinclair with a degree or certificate or something in photography so she's trying to practice and build a portfolio. We were her first maternity shoot and I was happy to see how most of them turned out. I did all the editing though as editing is something she said she's yet to explore a lot of and well, I was more than happy to edit my own. I told Jeremy we really cut it close there, considering the circumstances, our maternity pictures aren't going to be very exciting to look at when our little one will be born in a little over a week. Everyone is going to be wanting pictures of him!

My plans are to work this weekend, spend some time with my brother this coming week, pack my bag and keep the house squeaky clean until next week. Depending on the date they set, I haven't decided if I'll work next weekend. If they decided to take us Monday or Tuesday I'll probably work Friday and Saturday and then take Sunday off. If it's later in the week I'll probably work all weekend long. It's just a waiting game at this point! (I've gotten pretty good at that...waiting, that is.) I'm going to do everything I can to enjoy Jeremy and I and our last week as a couple without the baby. I'm going to focus on not worrying. I'm just going to let go and let God and I'm just going to relax, have some fun and be content in knowing that life is about to change forever.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

On the Edge

Today I am about to break.

I have not felt well all day but I had promised myself yesterday that I was going to finish all my cleaning projects before my appointment tomorrow and so I did.

Now it's all I can do not to sit here and cry as every inch of my body itches miserably. I've taken my medicine and I have tried everything that I know to do but I cannot find any relief.

I am hoping and praying that my appointment tomorrow will shed some new light on what's going on now that I have an actual diagnosis and they can do something else that will help. I'm also anxious about having to go in twice a week now for non-stress tests and ultrasounds but I know it's for the best. At least I'll get a bi-weekly peek at my little boy!

Monday, July 04, 2011

We are Blessed

As Jeremy and I were driving home from the lake last night, I couldn't help but sit in the passenger seat and just smile. The fireflies are out full force now and one of my favorite things to do is just to sit and watch them light up across the corn fields. It was like our own personal light show as we watched the hundreds of little bugs light up as we drove by; lightning bugs as far as the eye could see! I couldn't help but think that God's creations were so amazing and miraculous and those that doubt His existence clearly has not taken a real good look around.

As Jeremy always says: the world is full of magic, we're all just too stubborn to see it.

My mind has been elsewhere today. Henry has been particularly wiggly and I keep thinking about his tiny face. I'm so excited to meet him, time seems to be crawling but part of me is okay with that. He will be here so soon and I'm so madly in love with him, I just want to tell him and show him. His daddy is pretty excited too. There's a few little things I need to do before we're really 'ready' but nothing too important. He is our little gift from God, Jeremy and I had been discussing trying to start a family in the coming months but I'm not going to lie, trying to plan it makes a person kind of anxious. Finding out that he was on his way without any sort of plans made it so special and such a blessing.

I keep thinking about our missionaries today too. I know several groups right now that are out serving and I pray that they remain safe while providing enough assistance and light into the world of the people they serve to shake their lives forever. I hope one day I'll get to join them, even if it's on a small scale. But as of now, God has not presented any situations for me and I'm okay with that. Just say a small prayer for the Hunts and the Starrys and a group in Brazil if you think about it.

Now I'm off to enjoy the rest of my 4th of July festivities. I hope any who read this have a safe and blessed day with family and friends!

Friday, July 01, 2011


I'm not sure what's more frustrating:

Waiting on a phone call you never receive.
Calling the doctor and being told they'd call you back never to hear from them...twice.
Or, finally getting an answer that really answers nothing.

I'm sorry but telling me, 'We do have your test results Jennifer and I'd love to discuss them with you but unfortunately I can't do so until the doctor signs off on them and he's so behind on paperwork that I doubt he'll get to it before Tuesday.' does not help ease my mind one bit!

Ugh, I know he's busy and I know I'm being impatient but every day that passes with me not knowing what's going on is another day that I'm going crazy wondering. Not to mention being so itchy that I'm driving everyone around me nuts. I guess when it comes to the health of my unborn baby, I feel as if time is of the essence and waiting over a week for test results seems a bit excessive. But...that's just me.