Friday, February 17, 2012

My Valentine. (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1.

Since my blood pressure was so high and I was past my due date, they decided to induce me later that night. They hooked me up for one more round of monitoring before they let us leave for the evening and Nolan looked great! We were told to show up at McKay Dee Hospital at 9:00 that night to get things started. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was finally time to meet my boy! We were released around 5:00 that evening and had a few hours to kill, so we went to Subway for dinner and went home to watch The Bachelor.

We got to the hospital just before nine and were taken right up to Labor & Delivery (in a wheelchair...ugh.) They took us to the delivery room and had me change into a hospital gown as Chris pulled our car around and brought all of our stuff inside. By 9:15, I was getting my blood drawn, answering a million questions, and being hooked up to an IV. Our nurse's name was Carrie, and she was so fantastic! She wrote Nolan's name on the whiteboard in the room, but for some reason she put quotation marks around it and Chris teased her most of the night about it. She was a good sport and put up with our giddy obnoxiousness.

Carrie called my midwife, Kathy, to let her know that I was there and ready to go. They started the pitocin and warned me that most of the time it takes a few hours for the contractions to start. Kathy broke my water and put in a monitor to watch my contractions. Within two minutes, not only did the contractions start, but they were regular and they were painful! I decided to get an epidural so that I could get some sleep and get ready for the delivery in the morning.

I was terrified to get the epidural. Terrified. I'd heard so many horror stories about how painful it was going to be and the horrible shocks it was going to send up my spine. The anesthesiologist came in with his cart and Carrie had me sit on the edge of the bed and hold her hands. All of a sudden, it was over. I barely even felt it! I was numb and exhausted. Chris and I slept as well as we could through the rest of my labor. It was so calm and relaxing and painless.

My mom came to the hospital at around 6:00 in the morning. We sat in the dark room and watched the news and listened to Nolan's heartbeat on the monitor as Chris slept. She decided to leave to get some coffee just as the nurse came in to check my progress. We were expecting some progress because my contractions were strong and regular, but I didn't think I'd be anywhere close to delivery. I'd heard so many times that not only does it take longer to give birth to your first baby, but pitocin and epidurals supposedly slow labor as well. She checked me and I was complete! All of a sudden, there were people wheeling things into my room and arranging diapers and blankets on the counter. My mom wasn't even back from getting her coffee! Everything was moving so fast.

At a little after 7:00, my nurse decided we would try a practice push. I waited for my next contraction and pushed through it. The nurse had me stop pushing and wait for my midwife to get in the room. Kathy came in and had me start to really push. One contraction later, Nolan Christopher joined the world! We didn't time the pushing, but there is no way I pushed for longer than one or two minutes. It was so quick and easy! I never thought I'd be "that mom" who breezed her way through childbirth and bragged about it, but honestly if I knew that every delivery would be like that I would have 15 kids.

When Nolan came out, they put him on my chest and Chris cut his umbilical cord (I know! I was surprised too!) I remember just looking down at Nolan's face and everyone else in the room was gone. He had his eyes wide open and was just staring at me. He wasn't really crying and was a little bit blue so they took him from me to get him cleaned up. As soon as the nurse grabbed him, he started wailing. He just wanted his mommy.

Chris went with Nolan to the nursery to get cleaned up and had to give him a bottle because his blood sugar was a little bit low. It felt like it took years for them to bring him back to me. After family met him and spent some time holding him, Chris and I ordered room service and cuddled up with our son for the night. It was everything I'd imagined and so much more.

Nolan Christopher was born on February 14, 2012 at 7:23 in the morning. He weighed six pounds, four ounces and measured 20 inches long. When I found out I was pregnant in June, one of the first thoughts that I had was how amazing it would be if my baby was born on Valentine's Day. Last year, I spent February 14 with the same midwife who delivered Nolan...seeing Eden's heartbeat for the very first time. It was almost one year later to the minute that my son was placed in my arms for the first time in my recovery room. That is not a coincidence and nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise.

I love you more than you'll ever know, Nolan boy.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Valentine. (Part 1)

He is finally here! This will probably be at least a two-part post, but I want to write out the story of Nolan's birth while it is still fresh in my mind. There are so many little things I never want to forget...

My last week of pregnancy was rough to say the least. On Sunday, February 5, I woke up and had a hard time getting Nolan to move. I started to get nervous and Chris and I decided to go into the hospital for monitoring. They tried using a buzzer on my belly and he didn't respond at all. They kept watching his heart rate and finally determined that it was not fluctuating a lot, but it was enough to send us home with instructions to count his kicks. I was frustrated but I had an appointment with my midwife that Wednesday so I figured I'd just talk to her then.

At my appointment, she did an ultrasound and decided to hook me up for a non-stress test because he still was not very active. When they started, they told me it would only take about 20 minutes. They kept coming in to check his stats and nobody would tell me why they weren't letting us leave. They tried to buzz my belly and had me drink some apple juice to try to get him moving but it wasn't working. After about an hour of monitoring, they came in and said they were finally able to "get him to pass" and we could go home. They told me to come back that Friday for another round of testing and I left with an induction date of Thursday, February 16 (today.) I was so upset. I was scared to death that nobody was listening to me and there was something wrong with my boy.

We went in for our next NST on Friday, February 10. My midwife was not working so there was a different doctor that was looking over Nolan's stats. He asked when I was being induced and when he realized it was not until the following Thursday, he said I needed to make an appointment and come in on Monday to meet with my midwife. He said that I would be having a baby "very soon." With that, we left.

We got home that evening and I was a ball of stress. I couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong and we ended up back in the hospital that night after over 2 hours of trying everything to get Nolan to move with not even the slightest kick. They hooked me up to all of the monitors (again) and tried buzzing my belly (again) and nobody could get him to kick. However, his heart rate was fluctuating like it needed to and looked a lot better than it did earlier in the day, so I was sent home (again.) I felt a little bit better though because he was able to do really well on his final NST and I knew he wouldn't be in there for that much longer.

The weekend went pretty smooth and Chris and I spent most of the night of Saturday, February 11, laying in bed and playing with Nolan in my belly. He was really playful and active. Chris used the flashlight on his phone to get Nolan to move around and follow the light. It put me at peace and for the first time in over a week, I felt like I would be okay to wait until the 16th to meet my boy (even though it was a week past his due date, which I was not thrilled about...)

We went to our follow up appointment with my midwife on Monday, February 13. They checked my blood pressure and for the first time in my pregnancy, it was through the roof. They couldn't even get their machine to read it so they had to check it by hand. I was a little bit concerned, but I figured it was just the result of being nervous about the appointment and stressed about the week prior. We were moved to the exam room and a few minutes later, my midwife walked in and the first words out of her mouth were "nine o'clock." I said "tonight?!" and looked over at Chris to make sure he realized what she was saying.

To be continued...

Friday, February 3, 2012

In Tears.

I just left my last shift at work for 12 weeks and am officially on maternity leave. I had such a strange feeling driving home knowing that the next time I made that drive, I would have a nearly three month old baby boy. I started really reflecting on the last nine months and how incredible they have been. After losing Eden, I didn't think I could trust my body again. I felt broken and worthless. When Nolan came along, I kept waiting for him to be taken from me too. As I watched him grow, I began to regain faith in myself and in the fact that I am supposed to be a mother after all.

I came home and sat down with my laptop knowing I was too deep in thought to be able to sleep. I am thankful I did because I found this quote (it is referring to stretch marks after pregnancy):

 "A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me. It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it ugly. That's OK. It was your home. It's where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it." 

Oh my gosh...more tears. I realized at this moment how much I absolutely love being pregnant. I have had my moments of being uncomfortable and I'll admit I have done my fair share of complaining, but nothing compares to what I have experienced over the last nine months. There is nothing I love more than laying in bed and feeling Nolan's hiccups or his little jabs at my hand. I can't think of the last time I felt lonely...

Obviously I am excited for him to be born and I don't go an hour without thinking about that moment when I will get to hold him and look into his eyes for the first time, but I am okay being pregnant for a while longer too. The beauty so outweighs the swollen feet and sore back are nothing to me when I am sitting in a quiet room with my hand on my belly...just the two of us. I know it sounds selfish, but I am thankful for this time that I get him to myself. I plan on spending my last few days of pregnancy soaking in every kick, nudge, hiccup, and flip until he is no longer in me. I'll share him with the world when that time comes, but for these last few days he is mine.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

He Wants Out.

My handsome little man has his "scowl face" down! He's ready to get out of there. My midwife says it shouldn't be much longer! We can't wait to meet your grumpy butt, Nolan!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One Last Date.

I know, I know...just because we have a baby doesn't mean we will stop going on dates. Chris and I have had many conversations about how important is going to be to make time for us and we plan on taking full advantage of Nolan's many grandparents who can't wait to get some babysitting time in. That said, we decided to take a step out of our super-saving mode and splurge on a fun final date as a family of two over the weekend.

I came down with a really bad cold on Friday night, but we had both been looking forward to Saturday for weeks so I decided to suck it up. We spent Saturday morning at the grocery store, talking with the pharmacist to see what sort of medication I could buy that would take the edge off (I've been avoiding medication this entire pregnancy, but I literally felt like I was suffocating on phlegm.) We stocked up on drugs, tissues, and orange juice...then it was off to have some real fun!

We hopped in the car and headed to Salt Lake City. There are so many fun things to do down there, but for some reason we never venture further that direction than Layton. We had been wanting to try this Brazilian restaurant called Tucanos for months, but just never made the time to actually go. It is sort of on the pricey side ($14.00 a person for lunch, not including drinks) but I knew that if we waited until after Nolan was born, it just wouldn't happen. We decided to just go for it!

While we were walking around trying to find the restaurant, we saw a Build-A-Bear shop. I jokingly mentioned to Chris that we should make an animal for Nolan, and to my surprise he really wanted to! We picked out a fluffy brown and white puppy and went to have him stuffed. The "stuffer" had us each pick out a heart to put inside and kiss it, then make a "happy baby wish." I was fighting back tears the entire time. Chris and I both picked small red hearts that say "I Love You" on them so Nolan's puppy has one from Mommy and one from Daddy.

We picked out a little red hoodie that says "HUGS" on the front and completed the pup's birth certificate so Nolan will always have the date his toy was made. We named him Scruffy for now, but baby boy can pick out his own name for him when he is old enough. That doggie was made with some serious love, I tell ya.

After our Build-A-Bear adventure, we went to hunt down the restaurant. It was about a 6 hour wait (not really, it just felt like it) but it was so worth it! They brought you all of the meat you could eat and sliced it off at your table. Chris ate about 15 chicken hearts and I stuck with the more traditional meats like garlic steak and turkey wrapped in bacon. They also had an awesome salad bar with different pasta, fried bananas, fruit, vegetables, was well worth the money. The waiter even talked me into this fancy pinapple drink that was to die for.

We were pretty exhausted when we finished eating, so we went home and ended up taking a four hour nap. When we got up, we finished our evening cuddling on the couch with ice cream and a little 48 Hours Mystery. It was the perfect ending to an absolutely perfect day! I love my husband and I'm thankful we got a little "us time" in before our world is rocked in a week or so.

Nolan's Scruffy

Because I Want To.

The only reason I'm posting this is because I want to see my list all crossed off. This calls for a celebration!
  • Chris and I need to get our TDAP vaccines, like, yesterday. I also need to talk with all of the grandparents and aunts and uncles who will be around Nolan and let them know it is recommended that they get it as well. Everyone officially has their shots!
  • I need to get in contact with my short term disability company to make sure I have all of that in order and figure out exactly how much our check will be when he is born.
  • I still have so much cleaning and organizing to do. Obviously I have to set up his nursery, but I have a whole load of furniture that needs to be cleared out of my house before that can even start to happen. His nursery is done! His rocker was delivered yesterday and Chris did some last minute cleaning. I'll post pictures this weekend (unless I have a baby to play with.)
  • I haven't even looked at diaper bags. That sucker is packed and ready to go.
  • I can't decide on a mattress for his crib. It is all set up!
  • What? I need bedding to go in his crib too? Another decision I'm struggling with. One is on the mattress, the rest are folded in his room!
  • Maybe I should start with actually putting his crib together...or taking it out of the box... Done and done!
  • I think my insurance covers pumps but I haven't called them to check on what brand or anything else for that matter. This won't be totally figured out until he is born so we'll worry about that later.
  • I haven't even started Christmas shopping. We made it through Christmas and New Year's Eve!
  • Christmas cards. Not this year. I just can't. We didn't decorate either.
  • I mentioned to Chris that I wanted to schedule a tour of the hospital I'll be delivering in. This may or may not get crossed of the list soon as well. LOVED IT! I'm so glad we went!
  • We have a few pediatricians that we want to interview. When? Who knows. Then we actually have to pick one.
  • I just looked up a list of things to pack for the hospital...Heaven help me. Just a couple of more things to grab from the store and my bag is packed!
  • I haven't bought a new bra in over a year. The thought of even looking at nursing bras makes me want to vomit but I know I need to...eventually. I decided to wait until after Nolan is born to see what size I'm going to need. I bought a few things that will work until I'm able to shop for my new size.
  • I need to finish Nolan's dresser and mirror that I'm refinishing for his room. Done!
  • Lots and lots of baby (and mommy and daddy) laundry. For the first time in my life, I'm caught up on laundry. That was a huge project!
  • I need to get my FMLA paperwork to Kathy so she can get it done and I can get it turned in and crossed off this list. Done and approved!
  • We need to figure out what in the world is going on with Chris' job and his FMLA (like how he can even get his hands on the paperwork he needs?!) Things worked out a little differently than we planned, but it is exactly how it is supposed to be!
  • I need to get the side panel on my car fixed so it isn't ripped up more and more each time we put a car seat in the backseat. My whole car needs to be cleaned really well when that is done. We decided that fixing the side panel was more of a vanity thing than something that needed to happen so we decided to save the money and get that done later. My car is still spotless though!
  • I need to call my landlord and let him know that we will have another person living in our house in 8 weeks. Done!
  • Somewhere in the middle of all of that I'm supposed to eat healthy and balanced meals, pamper myself, enjoy these last couple of months of "freedom" with Chris, exercise, prop my legs up, and get lots and lots of rest (can you hear the sarcasm?) Right. 
I'm not going to cross off the last item on my list because that will continue until Nolan is here, but everything else is done! Literally all we have left to do is get his car seat installed (I've been paranoid of getting in a car accident and having to buy a new car seat so we've been putting this one off as long as possible on purpose...) and throw a couple of last-minute things in the hospital bag. I can't believe I'm actually at this place in my life. I remember looking at this list and wanting to cry...I still kind of do but now they are tears of joy. I'm in the single digits...eight days and counting! Come on, baby boy!