Well, I just went running, and as I’ve shared before, running always inspires me! Course it’s only the rare occasion that that inspiration lasts long enough for me to unlace my jogging shoes and open up my computer to start typing a blog post, but this seems to be one such occasion! It was my first run since birthing my big ol’ almost 9 pound baby, and it was WONDERFUL! Sunny Sunday it seemed to be, one of those glorious sunny days of winter in which the wind chill was almost nothing and the temp is just cold enough to keep the pretty, still slightly white snow on the ground. I could easily endure a winter made of these days…
So per usual, much has happened since my last post but this time is special because I HAD A BABY! It was the craziest most wonderful miracle of my life, and I’ve never been so happy as I was the moment the doc pulled Andy out and laid him in my arms with my hubby standing there at my side gleaming with pride. He was so perfect, that little cone headed angel… the joy was just indescribable, and we are so very blessed to have our healthy baby boy.
The labor started out on a Sunday morning, three days after my due date… I was suddenly wakened by that tell-tale sensation – like I had just wet my panties – because my water had broke! I waddled over to the toilet to confirm that indeed there was fluid gushing out of me – along with it a little pokey brown Andy hair! Of course I awoke James right away – he jumped up and started gathering things in an awful rush while I took my time, hopped in the shower, made sure I had a nice glass of chocolate milk and a piece of peanut butter-jelly-and cinnamon-toast in my stomach before leaving the comfort of our house and kitchen to be trapped in a hospital where they were sure to put me on that wretched clear liquid diet. We were so giddy with excitement as we cruised on over to the hospital that frosty December morning and as James ushered me down the hospital halls in the lovely wheel chair we had obtained from the ER.
As the ObGyn consulted us in the labor and delivery room with her clip board and long list of potential scenarios of things that could go wrong – fetal distress, forceps, suction, internal monitoring, C-SECTIONS! – that we had to sign off on, I felt such a surge of both terror and joy, this is really happening! This is really happening?? Wait, do I really have to deliver this baby? No going back now, he really has to come out and oh its such a small opening he has to fit through… Ahhhh I better not have to have a c-section, nooooo not a c-section! Oh what can go wrong, please nothing go wrong! Will I survive the pain? Can I really endure this? I had “grossly” ruptured membranes, as the OB put it (thank you), with only a centimeter dilation and feeling no contractions. “18 hours” she warned, “he’s really gotta be out by then.”
It wasn’t long before they started pumping me with pitocin, which I had really hoped to avoid, but like THAT was going to happen. I was hesitant – super gradual I told them – let’s just go up by increments of one. Well they started me on 2, I was feeling ok still, contractions were there, but I could talk through them without too much difficulty, and sure enough we started the climb by increments of 2, maybe 3, I don’t know, suddenly it hit me like a brick wall, the pain was utterly horrific, like nothing I’ve felt before, like cramps on your worst day of menstruation times a million-gazillion!
My wonderful husband, throughout this ordeal, had homework that was due that night. So while I was still in la-la land, waiting for real labor pain to start, he was off at the local Starbucks finishing an online quiz, then he came back to our hospital room, watched a couple football games (Brown’s vs Bengals + Seahawks vs Vikings, yes we had both on at once), and finally, around the time that the soccer championship game – Portland vs Columbus – kicked off (4pm), I started to feel it. As the pain overtook me, the nurse, my mother, and James accompanied me on the tortuous 7 hour journey. After every contraction, I kept thinking I was at the limit of my tolerance and would give in and order the epidural, but I didn’t. I made it to about 11pm that night, when the doctor finally told me I could start pushing, she coached me through it and James, Mom, and the nurse cheered me on. I pushed my heart out and I almost burned out when suddenly the doctor shouted, “he’s almost out, you’re going to have to push him out or I’ll have to use forceps,” and that was when I gave it my very last ounce and our little Andy was born – 11:43pm.
Our little miracle. So much joy!
Since then our life changed tremendously. I haven’t gotten more than 4 hours of sleep at a time, so much diaper changing and my nipples hurt soooo bad! But one smile from him and it’s all worth it. Sometimes he cries with so much fervor, I think my heart is going to break, but it doesn’t last longer than a few minutes, and he’ll at least take it down to a manageable level. And sometimes I am so tired I can barely get myself out of the bed to change and feed him, but by the time I get him back to sleep in my arms I am cherishing every minute of my mid-night interruption. One of my favorite things is a lazy morning when I can lay Andy down between James and I after a good feeding and we can both just gaze into Andy’s eyes, hold his little hand or cup his little toes and fish for a twinkling Andy Smile or two – or twenty.
He hasn’t full out laughed from the belly up yet but sometimes he gives us a “huh” or “eh” and it almost sounds like a giggle, or he starts to breath in and out really fast with a wide open grin like he is just busting up! And oh I could just spend hours watching the many faces of Andy, I could publish a youtube channel!
Maternity leave was so grand – nearly every moment of every day, it was just me and Andy… and lots of family! James had a bit of time off with me, so I could share lots of happy moments, and also endure the exhausting ones. Christmas came and with it – James’ family from the West coast. Soon it was Andy’s baptism day… and soon it was time for holidays to end… I spent my last few days of maternity leave with Andy and Downton Abby – got slightly addicted… 3 seasons in one week! And finally, it was time for me to return to my clinical training at the hospital. I dreaded it so much I nearly didn’t make it in! It was to be a polar vortex the day that I started, how appropriate…
But by the grace of God I made it and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had chalked it up to be, on the contrary, it was nice to see familiar faces and give them all the updates, show off some pictures and babble a little about my baby back at home. All were so sympathetic to my plight of having to return to work and ooed and awwed over my baby pics. My preceptor was all too understanding of my having to take time to pump, and he readily let me off early to get home to baby Andy. I’ve been so spoiled! Still dreading my coming surgery rotation – not sure how I am going to endure 4 entire weeks of it, but how many times must I learn, I have no right to worry so much!
So that is my update… life – it is crazy and beautiful, can’t wait to see what’s next!