Thursday, April 30, 2015

Quick Update: 3 Weeks

Little Jack is 3 weeks old today!  I can't believe it has already been 3 weeks and at the same time, it feels like he's been with us for so much longer!

This past Monday we ended up flying my parents up from Florida a week earlier than they were scheduled to come. Hubs went back to work that day and the thought of me up with the baby pretty much all night long and then alone with him all day as well was so overwhelming that we decided I couldn't do it right now without the help. For the first two weeks we had either my MIL or SIL here more days than not (plus Hubs was still on paternity leave) so it felt manageable albeit hard. With Hubs back to work and no help available I admit I was scared I wouldn't be able to handle it.  I'm so glad they are here. (And they're so glad they're here!) They have been taking care of meals, errands, and any little thing we need them to do, plus have been an extra set of hands. It has been SO helpful.  Especially since my back pain is now so bad that sometimes I am having trouble moving at this point. It is very scary. As of today I can tell that I am just one movement away from it officially going out on me. If that happens I really don't know what we will do.  I have an appt with the chiropractor tomorrow afternoon (it can't come fast enough) so I REALLY hope that will help. It is so so difficult trying to take care of a newborn when you can barely move!!  :-(

Good news over here though is that we had another ped checkup this past Tuesday and Jack is officially back up to his birthweight of 9lbs 6oz!  He's such a big boy!! I'm still breastfeeding but still not producing much so Jack is now nursing and then taking up to 3 additional oz of formula. Hungry Hungry Hippo :-)  I'm trying to take it easy on myself on the BF front. I am doing what I can.  I talked to the pediatrician about it and my concerns and he said that ANY amount of breastmilk I can give him is good so to keep doing what I'm doing for as long as I feel like I can, and for as long as it makes sense for our family.  I can do that.

I can't believe how different life is now... I am still looking forward to when we can get on some sort of schedule. Jack has slept from about 1:30am to almost 5am for the past two nights though so I am hoping so hard that this might be a pattern.  Granted, I still can't put him down or he wakes up but: baby steps!  
Everyone says the first 3 weeks are the hardest (and many say the first 3 months) so I hope that by the beginning of July things feel a little easier!

Love him so so much though:
My sleepy little guy

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Recovery & The First 2 Weeks



I will not lie - the first 2.5 days were really really tough. I was hooked up to an IV and had a catheter so I couldn't leave my hospital bed for the first 2 days. I was completely doped up on pain meds so I would randomly fall asleep and wake up to someone new in our room. There were doctors and nurses and techs in and out of the room constantly (even more so for us than the normal new parents since we had specialists checking in due to Jack's dwarfism) so that, coupled with have a fussy/crying new baby meant I really didn't get to sleep more than about 20 mins at any given time for days.  Hubs had it even worse.  Since I was useless beyond breastfeeding the baby, he had to do EVERYTHING else. He had to do all the soothing and the burping and the diaper changing. He had to be lucid enough to meet with all the doctors and direct everyone and make plans and appointments.  He even had to bring Jack to me every time it was time to nurse. Even after the catheter and IV came out and I was able to get out of bed and walk (and even just sit up), it still took about a day for me to really be able to do much. Just getting up to use the bathroom was very difficult and if I didn't keep on top of the pain with my meds it was bad.  But eventually I moved through it and was able to help him out more with the baby. Unfortunately, Jack was extremely fussy  those first 4 days. He would cry or at least fuss almost non-stop and it was very difficult to soothe him for any amount of time. On the 3rd day the nurses told us that Jack had officially lost 12% of his birthweight and I was not producing enough milk to keep him full so we'd have to supplement. I continued to breastfeed for each feeding and then Hubs would feed him some formula while I double pumped.  It was exhausting. (And it hasn't stopped yet. This is what we are still doing and it is still exhausting. More about that below.) It didn't really stop him from crying and fussing though.  By the third night Hubs and I were both crying out of sheer frustration. One of the nurses took pity on us and took Jack out of the room to the nursery for a couple hours in the middle of the night so that we could get some uninterrupted sleep. She told us later she also attached a huge sign to our door saying not to enter except in case of emergency. God bless her.  [ASIDE: Note to future mommies: "Rooming in" is wonderful - you get to bond with baby, do all kinds of skin-to-skin, breastfeeding, etc. and it really is a wonderful way to learn how to care for your newborn and feel confident in caring for him/her upon going home. But it is EXHAUSTING. And when trying to recover from major abdominal surgery, I have to wonder whether or not it was the best decision for us in the end.] But our hospital stay overall was amazing. I am so so glad we chose to deliver in that hospital. Someday when I have some hands free again I am going to write to thank them for everything. All of the staff was wonderful and we were so well cared for. On the fourth day though, we were happy to go home with our little guy.


So regarding my "recovery" from surgery - there really was none to speak of.  A newborn is so needy that there is no way to put yourself first so you can "recover". The best I could do was keep on top of my pain meds, try to remember to eat and drink, and try to get as much sleep as I could. None of these things have been easy. Even with my husband helping to take care of Jack and my MIL staying with us for the first 4 days there has been very little opportunity to rest. I am mostly better now though.  I am still taking motrin every 4 hours but am no longer on any real pain meds and I rarely have pain, just soreness.

It's true what they say - there is no way to prepare you for this. It is hard.  I feel like I am just feeding around the clock. He's already gone through phases of cluster feeding too so I really am kind of constantly feeding. I originally had hoped that I'd be able to exclusively breastfeed (BF) but I am so so tired as it is that if my husband wasn't able to give him a bottle of formula sometimes I think I'd go crazy.  BF has been interesting (read: kind of difficult). I really like feeding my child. I really hate pumping.  When PG I wanted to have the attitude that I would try my best to BF but if it wasn't meant to be then that is okay. But almost two weeks later my milk hasn't fully come in and we've had to continue to "supplement" with formula (the quotations are because the main part of his feeding is coming from the formula, not from me).  I try to have the attitude that as long as he's getting enough to eat and is gaining weight then it doesn't matter how it's happening but honestly it's hard to have that attitude. I feel like a failure. I feel like BF is the essence of motherhood and I am failing at it. My body is failing once again. ::Sigh:: We'll see what happens.  Apparently having a c-section can delay milk coming in as can PCOS so I sort of have a double whammy.  At this point I'm not quite sure what to do. I'm still trying.

The first day home was a bit of a shitshow. We had so much stuff everywhere (and we took practically everything that wasn't bolted down from the hospital - which was awesome by the way since we've used almost everything) and hadn't determined any kind of a system yet for where to feed or change or where anything should go... The entire house was a mess and we had a bunch of family there cooking for us so everything was even more cluttered, and I was in serious pain since I had been moving around all that day packing and coming home. It was rough. I did the bare minimum of what I had to do then I went to bed.  When I woke up, everyone but my MIL had left (thank goodness) and my SIL and cleaned up and organized a bunch of stuff. Godsend!  MIL stayed with us for four days and I was so so grateful for her help.  Even with me, Hubs and MIL it was still difficult in those first few days.  One of the major things that made it better though was that we went to meet with Jack's official pediatrician the day after we got home. Originally I was really annoyed that we had the appt so soon since we hadn't had any sleep, I was in pain, and we had just gotten home the previous afternoon but in the end I am SO GLAD we went that day.  That is because we told the pediatrician about how Jack was fussy/crying all the time and about my BF issues and he said we simply weren't feeding him enough formula! When we left the hospital they had told us to only supplement up to 15ml after BF.  The pedi told us that at this point in his growth (and with his size), his stomach could hold up to 2 oz (60ml) so since my milk wasn't in yet it was no wonder why he was always upset - we were starving the poor guy!!  I was so pissed at the nurse who told us that. Once we got home we started giving him more formula and he has been so much better ever since. Poor baby :-(

Besides the pediatrician appt we've had a bunch of other appts too (other pediatricians, neonatologist, genetic counselor, geneticist, nephrologist [kidney specialist]...) which I'll write about in detail in a seperate post.  Jack also failed both of his hearing tests when in the hospital (not too surprising since one of the issues that comes along with Achon is often hearing problems) so we have an appt coming up with an audiologist and then also his 2nd appt with the pediatrician early next week.  All the dr appts have been a bit of a whirlwind when trying to establish some semblance of a routine. It hasn't been easy.

And now Hubs is going back to work this coming Monday. I'm scared. As of now we've established a schedule with "shifts" that seems to be working for us:

5pm - 8:30pm: Hubs sleeps and I'm up with baby
9/9:30pm - 2:30am: I pump then sleep and Hubs has baby
3am - 8am: Hubs sleeps and I have baby
8:30/9am - 12:30pm: I pump then sleep and Hubs has baby

1:00pm - 5:00pm has been our golden time. That's the only time we have to get in all the errands, cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes, showers, shopping, visiting with company (and we have had a LOT of company), anything we need two hands (or one hand) for, plus giving the poor neglected pup some exercise and attention (all while one of us still cares for the baby of course).  This is why blogging/answering emails/being online is so hard lately! It's also the only time we are both awake at the same time.  Unfortunately, we're usually so busy during this time we still don't really get to see one another. I miss him. And with him going back to work soon we're going to have to figure out a new schedule- likely one that will consist of me taking care of Jack pretty much all night long so Hubs can function for work. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if our baby wasn't nocturnal. I'm tired and emotional just thinking about it.

Lastly I wanted to mention the changes to my body since giving birth. Obviously, I no longer have the huge belly.  Instead, I have a layer of skin/flab that hangs over my c-section incision.  It's really not attractive.  And it's weird because it is sensitive to the touch. For about a week it was numb and then as the feelings came back it's been sensitive/on the verge of painful. And I have no idea what to DO with it - I went out to the store for the first time yesterday and selecting pants was interesting. I didn't know whether to try to push this new skin flap up and out over the top of regular pants or try to tuck it down flat against my stomach/pelvis.  In the end I did the latter while wearing my tightest pair of maternity jeans. I hope it starts to go away because I have no idea what to do with it. Besides that, I have been having soreness at my incision site here and there and my back pain has been out of control. Worse than when I was pregnant. I have always had back pain and I was shocked that it actually seemed to get a bit better while pregnant. Now, I assume all my muscles, ligaments, etc. are shifting back into their regular places so for me, that means it's back to the back pain. Only now it's worse because I'm carrying around my little guy all the time and reaching and moving and barely ever resting. I'm a little concerned about it.  What HAS likely helped is that I'm actually already back down below my pre-pregnancy weight.  If you want to know the secret to losing 25 lbs real fast it's to have an almost 10 lb baby with a ton of extra amnio fluid, breast feed, and not get a chance to eat enough or stop moving.  One last thing to mention was my FEET. In the week after giving birth my feet because elephant feet. No lie - they were HUUUUUGE. I have never seen anything like it. I should have taken pictures.  They were so full of fluid and were pushing out of the skin so much I was sort of worried they were going to explode. I could not wear ANY shoes. When we went to doctor's appts I wore my husband's slippers and even those hurt.  It was CRAZY. I was so relieved when that swelling went down after about a week.  I also had some serious cankles going on and my lower legs/calves and face were a bit swollen but nothing too insane.  Everything is back to normal now though.

Okay, I'm sorry this has likely been really disjointed with tons of typos - no time to proofread or edit!
There's a bunch of other stuff on my mind too so here's a list of random thoughts and things I have learned so far:
  • I did not know what "tired" was until Jack came along. I used to get annoyed when PG when people would say "get your sleep noooow!" as if I was sleeping so soundly. But no - pregsomnia is nothing. At least then I had the opportunity to REST even though my body was working hard growing a human. But there is very little resting now.  I am actively up all night long - feeding and burping and changing and rocking and singing and walking and and and. It makes you a very different kind of tired.
  • We had my MIL come and stay with us for 4 days when we got home from the hospital. It was a Godsend. I highly suggest having someone come to stay during those first few days - especially if you have had a c-section.
  • Cloth diapers make excellent and absorbent burp cloths. ( We use disposable diapers but these were a hand-me-down and work awesome)
  • We have approximately one million swaddle blankets and swaddleme sacks and then quickly learned that our baby hates being swaddled.
  • Babies pee and poop a LOT. And you really need to watch the firehose with a baby boy because once that diaper comes off and the air hits him it's a free-for-all. I have already been peed on more times than I can count.  (I have also been pooped on and projectile-vomited all over. The mommy trifecta!)
  • So far there has been no need for any other clothes besides short sleeved onesies and long sleeved footed pjs.  Jack lives in these and in spite of a bureau full of clothes, he has worn the same 5 "outfits" for the last 2 weeks 
  • I feel so bad for the dog. He is used to being the center of attention and the poor guy is so neglected now. We try so hard to get him exercise and give him love and pats and treats but there is just no way around it right now - all the focus is on the baby. I hope that will be able to change soon. He's getting depressed.
  • If someone offers to help, LET THEM. If they offer to bring food say yes. If they offer to hold the baby for 30 mins while you rest say yes. If they are going to the store and ask if you need them to get anything for you say yes.  I had my neighbor pick up colace and metamucil for me the other day because I could. not. shit.  No shame.  And that's another thing:
  • Take lots of colace and metamucil. That first poop is a doozy. It hurts. The constipation was out of control.  I think I could have pushed the baby out in less time and with less pain than that first poop.
  • Having lots of Purell around the house is a good not-so-subtle hint to visiting guests to wash their hands before holding the baby
  • Besides using the nursery to pump, we have not used that room once yet for the baby. When PG I was all about making sure it was all ready to go and perfect.  And now we live downstairs in the living room around the clock.
  • I love my baby and I love being a mommy. But I'm finding it lonely too.  I like when there are people here (if they don't interrupt the quasi-"schedule" we have going) since there are other people to talk to besides a sleepy baby who doesn't understand what I say and a dog that just looks at me quizzically wondering why this creature is here. I miss being able to spend time with my husband. The shifts we're doing enables us to both get two 3-4ish hour blocks of sleep in per day so that's important but it also means we rarely see one another now. I just miss him.
  • I cry every day.  I am on the verge of tears most of the time. I think it's just from sheer exhaustion and from having our lives completely overhauled in the span of one day.  I cry when one of my "shifts" is ending and Hubs has come to relieve me because I'm just so tired, I cry when I see him hold Jack because it is so beautiful and he's such a good daddy, I cry when I finish a pumping session and see that I didn't get very much milk, I cry when I finish a pumping session and see that I did get a good amount of milk... you get the picture. I'm a ball of hormones.

I am hoping things will start to normal out a bit sooner rather than later and that maybe we'll fall into some routines that feel more natural. Overall we're doing well though, it's just hard and has been a complete whirlwind so far. We are happy though. Most of the time I still can't believe that Jack's finally here and... we did it. We finally had a baby. After all this time and effort. We are finally a family.  It's amazing to me.

Our little football.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Jack's Birth Story

Warning: This will likely be the longest post ever. Where to begin?!

First, let me say that I just feel so so blessed and happy. I am loving being a mother to this little guy. It's hard. But it is soooo worth it. Everything we went through to get to this place now has all been worth it.  I don't know why we had to go through so much - there are no answers for any of it so I've stopped asking the questions - but I am just so grateful to be holding my little guy now while his sibling watches over us.

So Jack officially turned one week old yesterday  **EDIT: He's now almost 2 wks old - that's how long it's taken me to be able to find time to type this** and while I can't believe a whole week has already passed, it also feels like he's been with us for so much longer.  Here's his birth story:


Monday night (4/6) I woke up to a contraction.  I could tell it was different from all the Braxton Hicks I had been having over the last 2ish months because it was painful and crampy-feeling. I didn't wake Hubs because I wanted to wait it out and see what would happen. That ended up being a good choice because over the next 3 hrs I had approx 2 contractions per hour (kept falling asleep and then waking up to another one) but then they stopped. During the day on Tuesday 4/7 I was on pins and needles but nothing happened.  Tuesday night, same thing with the contractions. [I should also mention that the previous weekend I lost my mucous plug. It was gross.  It was like my vagina had a cold and the mucous just would not stop. But because of that I wasn't surprised by the contractions since it was obvious my cervix was doing something and labor might be starting soon.]  The difference on Tuesday night was that the contractions never really stopped.  All through the day on Wednesday 4/8 I had contractions off and on. Sometimes 1 an hour, sometimes 1 every 2 hrs but they were continuous.  I admit I was slightly miserable. (Okay, okay, I was a cranky bitch that day.)  Most of them were painful, some of them felt like my back was breaking, I could not find a comfortable position all day long, and every time I went pee it brought on another contraction. In the early afternoon I had my "bloody show" so I knew that if the contractions continued I was likely in labor. Starting around 10pm they began getting stronger and more consistent so I sent Hubs to bed since I was feeling pretty confident this was the real deal and double checked my hospital bag to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I felt surprisingly calm as I crawled into the bed in the spare room in an attempt to relax and get some rest myself.  It didn't work. I laid there having contractions every 30 mins, then 20, then 10... eventually a little after midnight I gave up and went downstairs. I forced myself to walk around the house even though some of the contractions had me bent over in pain and after another 1.5hrs they were coming every 4 mins - every 7 mins. At that point I decided to call my OB and let them know we were thinking of heading to the hospital. Hubs heard me on the phone and came down to ask if it was go-time. It was!  I think Hubs had a moment of panic but I was pretty serene through the whole thing (minus the more severe contractions). We took care of the dog, contacted my MIL who would be coming to stay at the house while we were at the hospital, and got on the road.  This night was, of course, the ONE night we were having wintery weather with snow and freezing rain so that was fun.  I could tell Hubs was anxious as he drove in the bad weather with me having contractions every 7ish mins next to him (we were also both afraid my water would break) but in the end it was fine and it was actually sort of nice that we were one of the only cars on the road! 

We got to the hospital about 2:45am, got me a wheelchair and checked into L&D.  A nurse took me to the triage room had me strip and change into a gown and then started hooking me up to the monitors to check my vitals, uterine contractions, and baby's heartbeat.  They asked me to rate my pain level on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the "worst pain I could imagine". Worst pain I could imagine?  Like a gunshot? I said a 3 or 4. The nurse monitored me while we waited for the midwife on call to come check my cervix.  Everything was moving pretty slowly, I couldn't quite remember what the nurse was doing during that time but there was no real sense of urgency, especially since my contractions were around 8-10 mins apart on average and didn't feel all that strong. All the monitoring was going well and when the midwife got there we chatted for a bit and eventually she got around to checking how dilated I was.  As she stuck her entire hand up my vag I saw her eyes get wide. She asked again what my pain level was and I shrugged and said "about a 4".  She told me I must have the highest pain threshold of anyone she's ever met because my cervix was 6cm on it's was to 7!  Holy SHIT!  At that point both she and the nurse sprung into action and called the doctor. They asked me what we wanted to do - did I want to continue to labor and have a vaginal delivery or did I want to proceed with the c-section that was originally scheduled for the very next day?  Hubs and I really didn't know what to do.  So far my labor had been quite "mild" (it hurt - sometimes a lot - but nowhere NEAR as bad as I thought it would be) so I felt like I could keep going but we still had the unknowns related to Jack's dwarfism that had a slight chance of making a vaginal delivery dangerous for him. We had to make a decision quickly and in that moment I chose to release my long-held vision of a vaginal birth with immediate skin to skin time and breastfeeding and made the decision to go with surgery. Healthy baby is the most important thing above all.


Once I officially decided it was like everything was thrust into fast forward.  The nurse called the anesthesiologist and also some guy to come take blood (phlebotomist?) and then went to work hooking up my IV. She BUTCHERED me.  I swear she blew every friggin vein in my left arm, wrist, and hand and still could not get it in. I could see her getting frantic. The doctor arrived while that was happening and he was a stern guy who kept saying: "if this is going to happen we have to move" and it kept stressing her out more.  She moved over to right arm and I braced for more blown veins.  At that point the blood guy got there and had no choice but to draw from my battered left arm which hurt like a bitch. While the doctor waiting impatiently the nurse blew the vein in my right hand as well. Sigh.  Oh yeah, and I was having painful contractions on top of all this.  Fun.  The doctor decided to check my cervix once more and announced that I was at an 8 so he instructed the nurse to call in for backup with the IV.  When she arrived she found success on the first try in my right wrist. Not the most comfortable spot but whatever, it was FINALLY in.

They wheeled me down the hall to the OR, gave Hubs scrubs and directed him to wait in a different room somewhere while they got me prepped.  We had time for just a quick peck before they brought me in and had me get on the operating table. They introduced me to the anesthesiologist whom they said was "amazing!" (debatable) and had me sit on the side of the table with my legs dangling off. He had me hunch my shoulders and curve my upper body over my belly bump as much as possible so he could access my spine to put in the spinal.  HO - LY FUCK that hurt.  I screamed.  Like - at the top of my lungs. I couldn't help it.  And then come to find out, he missed whatever spot he was trying to hit.  And so he did it again. And again. And AGAIN.  He finally got it on the 4th try ("amazing" my ass) and that was absolutely hands down the worst part of this whole experience. I don't know how many times I screamed or how long it took him but it felt like forever.  My legs had fallen asleep so long ago that I actually had to request for two nurses to stand up against each of my legs, bracing me so that I wouldn't fall off the table. I was feeling so much pain in different areas of my body each time he would stick me and I wasn't allowed to move through the whole thing!! Do you know how hard it is to try to be completely still when it feels like someone is stabbing you in the spine? Even just sitting up and hunching over my belly was extremely difficult since I was having intense contractions through the whole thing as well! Ugh, it was awful.  The spinal was just such a gross and painful feeling. I would like to forget all that.

Anywho, once that was finally in properly they laid me down, set up the sheet right in front of my face, gave me an oxygen mask and strapped my arms straight out to the sides Jesus-on-the-cross style. I had forgotten that was going to happen.  That gave me a tiny sense of internal panic.  Then I had a BIG sense of internal nausea. I yelled out to whoever might be in hearing range that I was gonna vomit and someone put a little bucket/tray thing up against the left side of my mouth with one of those sucky-tubes like at the dentist.  At some point the nurses had given me some gross liquid to drink that was supposed to neutralize my stomach acid, I think in the hopes of avoiding this very thing but it didn't matter.  I vomited it all up. Tasted just the same coming up as it did going down, haha.  I had read somewhere that it's common to puke after a spinal but that if you have to you should avoid lifting your head at all because it can cause a painful spinal headache for a while afterwards. I don't know what that feels like but I know I wanted to avoid it so I just turned my head to the side and pitifully let it just fall out of my mouth as someone sucked it up. At that point I really did not care about much. 

After that Hubs was allowed into the OR. Having him there made me feel a bit more normal and the doctors started doing their thing pretty much as soon as he sat down at my side near my head. I believe it was the anesthesiologist who was standing behind me the whole time to make sure everything was okay and he offered to take Hubs' iphone and be the photographer. We ended up really appreciating that as he got the exact moments Jack was born which we could not see because of the sheet. (He also got our first pics of me and Hubs with Jack.) Hubs didn't want to see it anyway and I don't blame him, because he really did not want to peer into the inside of my body. Also, I really needed him up at my head holding my hand. I focused on his face the whole time as he kept me distracted by telling me about what we would do with Jack as he grew; playing baseball and going fishing and taking him to the zoo and how excited everyone was going to be... it was very helpful to have that distraction so I didn't focus so much on the yucky tugging and pushing and pressure below my waist. I didn't feel any pain at all thankfully but I can't say the sensations were exactly pleasant.  It felt like it only took a couple minutes tops and then I heard the absolute most beautiful and awe-inducing sound I had ever heard in my life: my son's first cry.  He had a good set of lungs and the moment we heard him, Hubs and I both started crying immediately. I couldn't believe it. After everything, we finally had a child. He was here. He was breathing. He was ours.  The midwife held him up over the sheet for a split second so we could see his bright pink little body and full head of dark hair and Hubs and I just stared at him in amazement and then at each other in awe that we created this little human. It really was an incredible and indescribable moment. I have been through a LOT of emotions over the past 3 years since we started TTC and none of it could compare to what I felt in that moment.

We really only got to see him for a moment or two before the nurses brought him over the warmer to clean him, weigh him, administer all the tests, etc. That part sucked. Hubs sat with me as we both cried a bit but eventually asked if he could go over to see his son and I said "yes, yes, go!" but while he could walk around and go see him, I remained strapped down since the doctor still had to remove my placenta and stitch up my uterus and then my abdomen. Again, I could feel them doing a bunch of stuff to me but I was so distracted, following my baby with my eyes and trying to get any glimpse of him that I possibly could between the bodies of gowned staff. There were SO MANY people in there. I never actually counted but I would estimate there were at least a dozen people in the room. I knew the operating doctor, the midwife, the two nurses and the anesthesiologist, and besides that I have no idea who all those people were.  But they were all gathered around looking at Jack and doing whatever they were doing. There was just a wall of people around him at all times and I started to get so impatient for them to come back and bring him to me.  I also started shivering uncontrollably while I laid there. I was reassured that this was totally normal after a c-section because of the flood of hormones that shift in your body (and also being opened up) but I couldn't believe how violently I was shaking and I couldn't do a thing about it.

After what felt like forever (but was probably 5 minutes), they brought my son to me. They placed him on my chest and it was...indescribable. It was almost overwhelming and I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that this was my child. We had worked so hard for this moment and it was finally here. He was ours and he was real and he was healthy. I felt so unbelievably grateful and emotional.  While he was on my chest it was hard to see him because he was so far up that he was almost in my neck due to the sheet being so high up so I kept straining and straining to move my head enough so that I could see him.  They also released one of my arms so that I could touch him. It was hard though physically. I was so exhausted and still shaking uncontrollably and in such an awkward position. Eventually I asked Hubs to take him since I felt really unsteady holding him with one weak arm and once Jack was in Hubs' arms I could finally actually see him. And he was perfect. I know I am biased but he was seriously the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. He still is.  He looks exactly like a miniature version of my husband.  I love that more than I can say. Watching my husband hold him gives me feelings I didn't even know existed - like my heart is just going to burst :-)

I was so smitten just laying there watching my husband hold our child that I don't even remember what happened next.  Eventually I somehow ended up moving/being moved over to my own hospital bed and covered up with a gown and blankets and then my baby was put in my arms and I gazed at him while we were wheeled to our recovery room/suite where we would stay for the next 4 days.

~Okay, this will not be the longest post ever because it's taken me the better part of a week just to get this written. I'll stop here and then the next post (hopefully soon) will be about the time in the hospital, recovery, and first two weeks.~

Obligatory baby pic:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jack Pictures!

Wow, now I see why new mothers have such a hard time finding time to blog once the baby comes!

I will just say - Jack is AMAZING. I am so absolutely in love with him.  Hubs and I are exhausted at all times but we are happy :-) 

I really want to write out a big long post about labor and birth and the first week but it's hard to get even one hand free! I will get there eventually. In the meantime I'll just say that everything is going well so far, he is healthy and wonderful and we feel so absolutely blessed.  Here is picture overload of my new favorite little guy!

Welcome to the world little guy!  Being held by Daddy for the first time.

Jack got dressed up for his first pediatrician appointment :-)

My daily view - LOVE!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Baby Jack is Here!

Just a very quick update because I am so tired I can't see straight:

"Little" Jack was born today, 4/9/15, at 5:20am via C-section. 9lbs6oz and 19inches!! Nice big boy. He is HEALTHY!!!! Absolutely no special care required. He is beautiful and perfect with big chubby cheeks, tiny limbs, and a full head of hair just like his daddy. We are so in love.

As you can see we didn't make it to Friday - I had contractions off and on the last few nights and then all through the day yesterday. Throughout the night they got more intense and frequent and we came to the hospital around 2:45am and learned I was already 6cm dilated! That really set the wheels in motion for the C/S so once IV was in, blood was drawn, etc and they checked again I was at 8cm! The rest was a whirlwind but all went smoothly and we're both doing well. I'll write more an post pics as soon as I can!!

Thank you for all the well wishes!! Hubs and I really are over the moon :-)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Last Check-in Post: 38 Weeks! (plus nursery pics)

38 weeks down, 1 to go! 
PS: I really can do math but c-section is scheduled for next Friday at 39 weeks (if I make it that far)!

I can't believe I'm finally here, just awaiting the birth of my child anytime now. This has been a looong time coming. Not counting the few months after we lost Petey, I have been pregnant since November of 2013. Holy shit. I am ready to hold my little rainbow.

Here's the (likely) final bump pic: 

I cannot believe I am this large.  I don't think the bump pics even do it justice. I went to a baby store earlier in the week and as I approached the register the girl working there said "Oooo! It looks like someone's having twiiiins!!!"  Sigh. I couldn't even get mad at her though - I'd probably think the same thing. (I just wouldn't be dumb enough to say it.)

In the end I only gained 20 lbs in all (though it looks like 40) so I'll be interested to see Jack's birth weight since as of our last appt they are thinking that although his head is big the rest of him will equal out the weight and he might be more like 8lbs at birth.  I'm huge though because there is just so much extra amnio fluid in there! When my water finally breaks I better hold onto something so I don't get swept away in the flood.

Symptoms: PAIN. Just pain. Everything hurts. I am thrilled there is only 1 more week TOPS to go and I am happy that with every passing hour I get closer to having this baby.  38 weeks was our goal and we made it so Jack can come out aaaaany time now :-)

Other stuff: 
-Today is my last day of work until after 4th of July!  I've been "working" exclusively from home for the last few weeks but today is my official last day. It will be nice to not have that weighing on me anymore and I can just focus exclusively on whatever else we have to do before Jack arrives and take all the naps and epsom salt baths I want during the days without feeling guilty, haha.
-This afternoon we met with our new pediatrician who has experience with Achondroplasia and we looooooved him!  I feel like we will be in very good hands and I am so thrilled I made the connection with another Achon mom to get this recommendation.
-Lastly, I haven't attention-whored the nursery on here yet!  Here are some pics:

Everything's ready to go! Now we just need our little guy :-)

So barring any other crazy shit happening [and who knows with the way things go with me ;-) ], my next post should be announcing Jack's arrival!  Dear Lord please let it be a safe delivery of a healthy baby.  Please.