Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Big Kid Trip

For the first time in the almost two years since I've had this blog, I somehow lost an entire post's worth of in had it written, pictures added, edited and waiting to publish. I hit save, shut the computer down and returned the next day to pictures only, no text. SO frustrating.

So, here I am, re-writting an already told story (only no one read it of course). Oh well.

Anyway, after five days of sitting at home post hospital stay I was still on the couch licking my wounds so to speak and the big boys were starting to go a bit stir crazy. Auntie Jenn and Christi had asked before we had Tanner if they could take Drew and Coll to Mammoth with them for a quick trip to meet my Auntie Pam and her kids for the weekend. Originally I had been pretty wishy washy on whether or not I wanted the boys to go since I was feeling like they might feel bumped out by the new baby if we shipped them off with their Aunties. After five days cooped up at home with Mom on the couch though, it was clear that a Big Kid Trip was just what they needed. So after repeatedly asking the girls if they were sure they wanted to take on the challenge of traveling with two preschool aged kidlets, off they went for two days of fun in Mammoth...and fun they had! They came back with a camera full of photos (that I have shamelessly stolen!) and plenty of stories to tell.

Collin scrubbing the deck at Nammy's (my grandma) house in Mammoth. From what I heard, this was a favorite activity for both the boys over the weekend. On Saturday Tyler texted me and somewhat explained their game: "Johnner (Collin) and Degogo (Drew) would like me to recommend their deck cleaning services. According to Degogo their services are only available on Saturdays and Thursdays so plan accordingly. Also, they accept payment in the form of M&M's." Too funny. Their little imaginations right now crack me up.

Silly goggles that Drew somehow convinced Auntie Pam to buy during a trip to the grocery store. From what I heard, he also managed to add to the grocery cart every type of fun snackie his little heart desired, the silly goggles, and tattoos (which we are still putting on the boys!). Apparently Auntie Pam is just as bad as her sister Lala when it comes to spoiling the boys. ;)

Collin's turn with the glasses

The boys with their tattoos "just like Daddy's" (Oh boy....). Considering the fact that they have been asking for a new tattoo daily since coming home and the fact that there are still plenty more tattoos to be used up, I have a funny feeling the boys are going to run out of places on their skin to put them before we run out of actual tattoos. Thank you oh-so-much Auntie Pam! ;)

On Saturday, the gang headed out to Lake Mary. All of this fall color and the cooler weather the girls said they enjoyed made me a wee bit jealous of their time in a place where fall has actually arrived!

Drewski and my Cousin Garrett

Auntie Christi, my cousin Hannah, my Auntie Pam, and Auntie Jenn Jenn

Auntie Pam and Coll brother, so sweet!

I loved this picture! Not sure what exactly they were up to, but Drew sure looks like he's having a good time!

On Sunday, the girls made a pit stop at Mono Lake on their way home from Mammoth. We used to go with my grandparents when we little, but it's been years since we've been back to the lake. The girls must have remembered the fun we used to have there though, because Jenn and Christi decided to stop there on the trip back to let the boys play and run off some energy before heading home. The pictures they brought back brought up some great memories for me of fun times spent with my grandpa while he was still alive.

Doesn't the landscape remind you of something from another planet? ...Or something from a Star Wars movie set?

Collin has been talking non-stop lately, with new words and sentences added daily. Nothing however, is said more often than "Ty Ty" right now. He loves Uncle Tyler!

Drewski and Auntie Jenn

Mono Lake Stalagmites

The salt content in the lake creates foam on the water like in the ocean. The boys apparently had some fun stomping through it.

Drew, Uncle Ty Ty, and Auntie Christi

Coll-brother and Auntie Jenn

Stick throwing

Auntie Jenn and Auntie Christi. Thanks girls for taking the Littles for the weekend. They had a ton of fun and I'm sure the trip was a nice break from the slow pace they had at home our first week back!

Before the boys left for Mammoth we had quite a few visitors pop by our house to meet the newest munchkin. Drew and Collin were super proud and excited to be introducing their new little much so, that if I happened to be nursing while someone walked through our door, Collin would rip the nursing cover back to immediately show whoever had come in his new baby. Um, awkward. Thank goodness these were all close friends and family!

Our friend Emily

Proud Big Brother

Our friend Michelle

Nathan's sweet Grandma

By the end of the first week home, I was still not feeling great, but definitely starting to go stir crazy sitting around at home all day. So while the big boys were gone, I convinced Nathan to take me by to see the progress on the new house. It had been a while since Nathan's mom had seen it, so we invited her to come along with us as well.

Grandma and Tanner in his new room. I thought it fitting that since I took a picture of the big boys in their new room, that I take one of Tanner in his when he arrived as well.

Baby T aslo got his first bath over the weekend

Fortunately as the days have gone by, I've started feeling less and less like I was sawed in half and more and more like myself. ...And its funny, because as a result, my attitude on C-sections has begun to greatly improve (something I'm sure all around me are thankful for!).

I cannot get enough of this squishy little bundle! I'm loving just soaking in how little and sweet he is...such a great phase that goes by way too quickly!!

And of course, I can't end a post about my first week or so home without mentioning all the help I've had. Nathan has seriously been the best nurse. Maybe he felt sorry for me, but I really have been waited on hand and foot. (Reason number five million and thirty two why I happen to think that boy is pretty great). I also have had tons and tons of help from Jenn and Christi. Jenn took an entire week off of work and Christi came up from her house in Orange County for two weeks (!!) to help me with kids, make dinner, do laundry, etc. around here. So, so grateful to both of you and your selflessness! You have made recovering easy!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How Baby T Came to Be

Well, this is how it started....

Just a simple Non-Stress Test for the baby. Nathan left just before 8am for work, and I left for my appointment at the hospital for the test. Because I was five days overdue, the test was a requirement by my doctor to make sure that everything was still going well inside there in babyland. I left the boys with Jenn (thankfully she agreed to go in late for work that morning), and fully intended to be back home in an hour. 

As I was saying bye to Nathan he teased that it was pointless for him to be heading to the office since he'd be getting a call telling him to come back home to have a baby shortly after my appointment finished up. I teased back that there would be no such luck, but that I'd call him anyway when I was finished to let him know how things went. I was so sure in fact, that there would be nothing abnormal about the stress test, that I didn't bring anything to the hospital. No paperwork, no hospital bag. Nothing. Denial? Perhaps.

So, I arrived at the hospital, they checked me in for my appointment and off to be hooked up to a bunch of monitors I went! (If you're one of the lucky ones whose body thinks that the regular 40 weeks is acceptable for a pregnancy and have never had a non-stress test, then one...I hate you. And two, during a stress test, they hook you up to monitor contractions, fetal heart rate, etc. and then they give you a little clicky that you press each time you feel the baby move. I think the goal is to monitor you for twenty minutes or so. Well, I got through maybe ten minutes before the nurse looked over at me and said "Hun, I think you may be having this baby today. I'll call your doctor.". I'd been having contractions here and there all morning, so I figured I'd likely go into labor sometime that afternoon or the next day anyway, but for some reason her news came as sort of a shock to me.

Turns out, when I was having contractions, most were normal, but there was one that occurred where the baby's heart rate dropped after the contraction had ended, causing concern. My doctor later described it as a symptom of an aging placenta (T.M.I.?). When the placenta starts getting old (which mine was), it can calcify. When contractions occur, all of the blood gets squeezed out of the placenta and then should return quickly once the contraction is over. This may cause the baby's heart rate to drop just a smidge during a contraction, but should come right back up. Because my placenta wasn't functioning the way it was supposed to, the blood supply likely wasn't immediately returning, causing the dip in heart rate after the contraction ended. It only happened once, but because I was overdue and already having contractions for the morning, they decided to admit me. The plan was to allow my contractions to continue on their own until noon and then break my water if things hadn't progressed far enough alone. I, of course, asked them if I could just go home until noon, to which they responded that I had already been officially admitted. We were on track for having this baby.

So I texted Nathan and got ready to eat my big fat slice of humble pie. Of course he had been right. Oooooooof course he had. "Hey, might want to get ready to leave. Think they're admitting me, call you in a bit when I know for sure". 

So, seriously like 10 minutes later (I don't even want to know how fast that boy was driving)....Nathan shows up next to me at the hospital. We spent a good deal of the morning in the recliner in the NST room before we were transferred to this luxurious room over at labor and delivery:

Yep. You read that right. "Hallway 1". As in the hallway. Apparently October 12th was a happening day to go into labor because the hospital was so packed with women having babies that they had set up 4 or 5 makeshift rooms down the hallways of the labor and delivery wing. 

Glamorous, no? That red line on the floor to the left is the door clearance line for the operating room for the C-sections. The same O.R. in fact, that I eventually ended up in.

Shortly after being moved to my room with a view, I got this cute text from Jenn, with the exclamation, "We're going to be big brothers today!" I'm still curious how she got them both to smile at the same time (teach me your ways oh wise one!).

Well because it took forever for an actual delivery room to open up, noon came and went without my water being broken. No one wants a baby being born in the hallway, so they decided it'd be best to wait to push things along until we actually had a room. Couldn't agree more. My contractions were definitely still there, but weren't anything too terribly miserable (thankfully). The only bum part in all of this was that they told me to stay on a liquid diet (broth, jello, water, etc) from the point they admitted me in the NST area on. Boo. Nathan's sandwich and lunch smelled delish (although hindsight, I'm thankful they gave me restrictions on eating considering I actually fell into the category for reasons they make those rules in labor).

Finally, finally (!!) at 2:05 we were given an actual labor and delivery room. Hooray! Let's get this show on the road! Fifteen minutes later, my doctor came in to break my water....and then things went haywire. (It's weird to write this all out because it comes off sounding so dramatic. Trust me, I'm not trying to be a drama queen here, but in all honesty, there was a lot going on from this point forward). Breaking my water almost instantly started "real" contractions and the first big one that I had dropped Tanner's heart rate in half, from 140 beats to 70. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I didn't realize what was happening until everyone around me started to panic. The nurse quickly asked me to flip onto my side. When I asked her which one, and she snapped back..."Doesn't matter, just MOVE". I moved to one side, then she moved me to the other, then up to my hands and knees. In the meantime, she asked Nathan to press the call button to the nurse's station and when he did she yelled that she needed another pair of hands in our room now. Ok, I wasn't panicky when she asked me to flip over quickly, but the tone in her voice and the four (yes four!) nurses, plus my doctor that rushed into our room after her call definitely made me panic. I had actually assumed that the reason his heart rate had dropped originally was because he had rolled off the monitor on my stomach, not because there was an actual problem. Well, I was wrong. They attached an internal heart rate monitor to Tanner (didn't even know they had those!) and to make a fairly long story short, eventually got Tanner's heart rate stable again. Because of what had just happened though, I was told that we'd be heading over for a C-section, um now. They tossed Nathan a set of surgical scrubs and started getting me ready for surgery about two seconds after that. I'm leaving out a lot of details here, but like I said, written out it all sounds very dramatic. Know that it was stressful and that there were plenty of emotions involved, but in the end it came down to making sure we had a healthy baby delivered that day. That's all that mattered to me and Nathan. A healthy baby.

Nurse Nathan! Make note of the time on that clock, 2:35. 

Things went fast after this. They told Nathan to get ready and wait in our room. He couldn't go into the operating room until I was actually on the operating table--super hard for me to not have him there while I was stressing and scared. They prepped me with these awesome and super attractive stockings that also compressed my legs throughout surgery and recovery to prevent blood clots, wheeled me into surgery (it was cold!), the anesthesiologist did my spinal (which immediately made my whole body from my chest down go warm and numb, like a to bottom...strange feeling!), and on went the drapes, etc. The doctor looked at me and said, "Ready to have a baby? Five minutes..." 

Because everything was sterile and set at this point, they told Nathan he could come in. Huge relief for me just having him there. I couldn't see anything other than Nathan at that point due to the drape between me and the doctors, but when Nathan came in he said I was already cut open. About two seconds after that, Dr. Dan said he saw an ear, and then Tanner came into our world. That first cry was seriously the sweetest sound I've ever heard! I hadn't realized just how scared I had been until hearing him cry. I wasn't sure what exactly I had expected upon his arrival, but I know that hearing that little cry brought relief, in large doses. 

Well it turned out Dr. Dan wasn't kidding about that 5 minute thing he'd mentioned in the beginning. This whole thing went so fast! Remember the clock behind Nathan that said 2:35 pm? Tanner arrived at 3:23 pm. So different than a regular delivery. Funny because I distinctly remember thinking when they were breaking my water (much later than originally planned) that Tanner might not even be born on the 12th, it could be the 13th depending on how quickly my contractions got things moving. God has a sense of humor with my little Type A, plan everything, personality.

My doctor, Renee, bringing Tanner around so that I could see him. I really, really missed having a brand new baby placed on my chest and getting to meet him that way, but again, I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't about how Tanner got here, it was that he was here.

Our beautiful baby boy!

After surgery, Tanner was handed to Nathan and I was wheeled off to recovery. Again, hard for me to not have this brand new baby I had just had with me, but I took a lot of comfort in the fact that during that hour, Tanner never left Nathan's arms. I'm so thankful for that and the bonding time the two of them got together.

They kept me in recovery for a full hour while the feeling started to come back in my lower half. When I was transferred over to labor and delivery recovery wing I still didn't have all of my feeling back, but what I did have, was a private room, which was so nice and a highlight to a semi-rough day for me. The nurse told me that although Tanner had to make a pretty dramatic entrance, he had earned me the right to the one private room that had opened up (just remember, the hospital was so packed with Mommies that we had been in the hallway earlier that afternoon!). Most rooms at the hospital are shared recovery rooms and up until this baby, I have always recovered in one of those. The perk to this private room? Nathan was allowed to spend the night! I needed him to stay this time around, not only for the physical help (C-section recovery is a bear!) but definitely for the emotional side of just having him there.

Because we had a C-section, visitors weren't able to come visit until we were over in the recovery wing  (another strange thing and different than our other labors). Usually we have had an inundation of family shortly after having our kids, but this time it was just Nathan and I for the first two, if not three hours after having Tanner. Eventually though, we were cleared to have visitors. 

Cousin A.J. meeting Tanner

Auntie Yvette

And shortly after, the boys. I couldn't wait to see them and they were so cute and excited to be meeting "their baby". I love these pictures of the three of them together. Warms my heart. :)

Auntie Jenn Jenn meeting Baby T. She obviously never made it in to work that day. Thank goodness for Auntie Jenn! The boys had a fun day and loved their time playing with her and I loved that I didn't have to worry about them. I'm thankful Jenn and Burkie live so close to all our boys.

Uncle Burkie

And in the morning, who came around the corner and into my room? These smiling faces!! I can't emphasize enough just how excited I was to see them. There's something about your Mom coming to take care of you when you're sick or hurt that just makes everything better. I realize that the pull to come down from Oregon was likely Tanner, but I'd like to think it was to take care of me too ;)

Lala meeting her third baby. My parents weren't supposed to be down until the end of the month, so I made sure to ask that this trip wasn't in exchange for the month I was supposed to get with her here through Thanksgiving. It wasn't. It was just an added bonus. It still makes me tear up with gratitude (I know, I know, these post baby hormones make me super emotional!). It was so unexpected to have them there but so, so needed!

Auntie Christi and Uncle Ty Ty came to meet Tanner in the morning too!

Brother lovin'

Our friends Laura and Aaron (they're Noah and Nathan's parents and are due with their third in April....can't wait to be on the other side of this holding their new little one!)

Meeting Auntie Sarah

Morning 2 in the hospital

Do we look exhausted? After two nights of sleeping in the hospital, we felt exhausted!

My battle wound! 22 staples...

Headed home. Yep. Even in the hospital, drugged up and sleep deprived, we're self-portrait dorks.

When we got home that night, Auntie Sarah came by with Hope. If I have never mentioned this before, Sarah's kids love babies. Tanner was no exception!

Grandma and Grandpa were out of town for business when we went into labor, so on Monday morning Grandma got to meet Tanner. So thankful for the grandparents in my boys' lives. We love you Grandma!

And since coming home, the boys have been getting in plenty of Tanner loving as they get to know their new brother.

So sweet!

So that's it. Slightly high drama for the last one to arrive in this world, but he's here! And healthy! Nathan's been home this week from work, Christi stayed in town, and Jenn and Burke have been over nightly to cook dinner and help out. I'm so thankful for all of the help we've had as I've been recovering (I never, ever want to have another C-section again!) and as we adjust to being a family of five. My heart is full!