Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Little Miss Arrives!

He is fist pumping at 2:30 a.m. when he realizes the heavy breathing and muttered curse words next to him means I'm going into spontaneous labor the very day my doctor had said to me, "I don't think she's coming on her own after all. I'll see you for an induction on Friday." I'm glad one of us is joyful.

I want to be excited. I really do. But I am utterly exhausted. That I'm-so-tired-I-want-to-cry kind of exhausted. I've been in labor since late afternoon, have spent from midnight to 1:15 trying to comfort our toddler who inexplicably woke up crying, and have gotten a grand total of two and a half hours of sleep, knowing that I am about to enter a 24-hour period of sleeping about as little. It's like preparing to run a marathon and then the morning of the race being told you have to run a 10K first. Exhausted before I've even begun. On top of that, my mind lists the things undone: going to the grocery store, running laundry, and cleaning my bathrooms, and Tuesdays are my tough-to-find-babysitters day on my spreadsheet. After weeks of being prepared, I'd finally let myself relax since I had a few more days until my induction. Ah, God's humor for those of us who are control freaks. Not very hard to rattle us.

So, after making Phil start a load of laundry and calling a few of my angel friends to set up childcare for Moo until my mom could get there that afternoon, we head to the hospital. I (finally) get an epidural around 5:30 a.m. and thank the good Lord above for modern medicine. I do love me an epidural, y'all. I love feeling present and calm during delivery, and mostly, I love not feeling that kind of please-let-me-punch-something-now pain.

Within 30 minutes, my water breaks spontaneously and not long after that it's time to push. To say this baby girl was ready to come out is an understatement. Two pushes in and the nurse says to the other nurse, "Um, go ahead and call the doctor to come back. We're ready to deliver." I call Phil, who had gone to grab breakfast, and he hurries back minutes before the delivery. Not to be too graphic, but the nurses literally had me close my legs so baby girl wouldn't fall out while we waited for the doctor. "I've delivered babies before. Don't worry," one of the nurses told me. Nice. So, the doctor comes in and half a push later, baby girl is in the world. Just like that. I have a daughter. 

She is perfect and alert and loved loved loved, and I can't take my eyes off of her or get enough of her newborn smell. Her daddy is smitten--teary even--and we're in that sacred place of looking at a miracle, witnessing life in all its fullness and emotion. And it's beautiful.

We name her after two very special women in our lives, although on the blog we'll call her Noodle--for privacy. :) And she looks an awful lot like Moo did when he was born!

I was worried that it'd be like last time: that I'd have a baby who didn't latch well, that I wouldn't make enough milk, that she'd have reflux, that I'd physically feel like I'd been run over, that I wouldn't be myself mentally or emotionally, that I'd be depressed. BUT. None of that has happened--praise God. Really, it's nothing short of His grace. I've had a quick physical recovery and have felt like myself the whole time, and Noodle is a good eater and sleeper--as a good as a newborn can be. So, besides some serious sleep deprivation, which I can handle, it's been lightyears better than last time.

Moo has been at his grandparents' house for most of this week, so it's been nice to transition without simultaneously running after a toddler, but he has been so sweet to his sister. He gets all protective of her and wants to know where she is and wants to help her with the buttons on her swing. Of course, he has his moments of wanting us to put her down and play cars with him too, but on the whole, he has loved being a big brother and is so gentle with her. Again, praise God.

And as frustrated as I was about the timing of her birth, it turned out to be perfect in ways I couldn't foresee. But that's a story for another post. Until then, here are few more pictures to hold you over:

Friday, October 11, 2013

False alarm

Bad things happen to other people, right? That's what I like to tell myself. It keeps me sane. Keeps me from freaking out and being that mom who wraps her kids in bubble wrap and a helmet and keeps them inside all the time.

Bad things in utero definitely happen to other people. I can't even let myself think they could happen to me or I'd just lose it. But yesterday, I thought that maybe the Very Bad Thing was destined for me. And I was undone.

For so many weeks, all I've wanted is for Baby Girl to quit her several-hour-long acrobatics every night, so when I woke up after a night of uninterrupted sleep yesterday morning, I was grateful. And then these words kept nagging: "If you experience any decrease in fetal movement, please notify your doctor immediately." I kept swatting the thought away, convincing myself it was nothing. But I still wasn't really feeling her move.

Years of medical school have exposed Phil to just enough nightmarish baby stories that when I mentioned the lack of movement to him offhand, he insisted that I hang up the phone with him and call the doctor immediately. That's when I started to wonder if the Very Bad Thing was coming my way. That's when I started the slippery spiral of what-ifs and fought back tears over even the idea of losing the Baby Girl I love so fiercely.

So, after three hours at the hospital of testing and monitoring, I'm grateful to report that all is perfectly fine with sweet Baby Girl. Praise Jesus, who would be good even if I didn't have such good news to report.

I was at the library with Moo when the doctor's office returned my call and asked me to come in right away. My angel friend who was there with me took Moo for the afternoon (and by angel I mean she has a 3 and 4 year-old of her own and had to get them all fed and down for naps by herself), and God orchestrated all the details down to how many diapers I had in the diaper bag.

But for three hours I had a tiny, tiny glimpse of what it might be like to lose a child before he or she really has a chance to live. And it was about the most heart-breaking thing I've ever felt. So while I'm unspeakably grateful to have a healthy baby (never again will I wish away her kicks), my heart is humbled and heavy for those who have lost theirs, whether through miscarriage, infertility, still-birth, medical complications, accidents, or acts of violence. Thank God that he is close to the broken-hearted.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Quick update: No baby yet and nothing new to report on that front since last week, so still a waiting game over here.

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Thing one: shows I'm watching (impressions in 3ish words)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (hilarious, Andy Samberg, cop show)
The Mindy Project (funnyfunnyfunny)
Parenthood (heart-warming, drama, interesting story lines)
Modern Family (Phil and Claire = Phil and Cara)
New Girl (unique characters, quirky, Zoe)
The Biggest Loser (life change, inspiring)

Thing two: new recipe of the week
These applesauce cinnamon pancakes. Yum. (And still yum after freezing!)

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Note: I didn't make the cinnamon syrup that goes with it, but I'm sure it's delicious. The pancakes themselves were fluffy and had just the right blend of ingredients. Will probably be my new go-to pancake recipe.

Thing three: speaking in sentences
Moo has started saying 5-6 word sentences, and it should come as no surprise that his first sentence was about trucks: "Excavator scoops dirt in dump truck." Yes, yes it does. Smarty pants.

Also, he refers to himself as "Mike-me," which I just love, don't you?