The above photo is of a special "namesake" thank-you gift from my father-in-law (and mother-in-law) after the birth of our second son. It was taken when he was 8 days old.
First of all, if you've written with comments and / or requests for photo access in the last few days and have yet to receive a reply, I sincerely apologize. We still have out-of-town guests and between that, and a new baby my online time is very limited right now. No to mention that my inbox is stacked up beyond belief... Please be patient and I promise to reply just as soon as I can!
The following "birth story" was written on Thursday, June 23, 2005 (the day our second son turned one week old):
Son #2 turned a week old at 6:02 this morning. We sang happy birthday to him, and then I did what any postpartum mom would do and teared up thinking about him driving off to college tomorrow... I can't believe a week has already passed! It's been a surreal blur of the two of us running to the changing table, dishwasher, and washing machine. After several months of having a baby-routine down like clockwork...the constant-chaos thing is an adjustment you try to mentally prepare for once more, but I don't think ever fully can...
Last Wednesday evening my mother went to Target with us to take care of some last-minute baby errands, and then to the grocery store because she had offered to cook dinner for us that night. By the time we had made it near the checkout I started to feel like the baby was going to fall right out of my 'gina and left for the car early on my own. When we got home my mom took one look at my belly and said, "You've dropped even more than when I told you that you'd dropped last night! I think this baby is coming this evening."
Well the baby heard her, I guess. (Warning to the boys out there: birth story ahead!)
We all went to bed early that night thinking it was our last chance at a full night's sleep for awhile. There were tons of items on Thursday's "to-do" list, including a haircut for our oldest son and picking Todd's parents and niece up at the airport.
Around 3 a.m. last Thursday morning, I think I coughed in my sleep. But a gush of water in my undies is what woke me up. I checked the bed and it was dry, so I rushed into the bathroom and it looked like I had peed myself. So I went to the bathroom and then stood up to wipe and more water ran down my legs. Since my water had to be broken with my first labor, I still wasn't totally convinced that it wasn't just the baby pushing down on my bladder...but I went and woke Todd up (or I should say tried to wake Todd up) by saying, "Honey, I think your mom is going to kill me..." He half-moved, muttered "huh", and then started to go back to sleep. So I had to bust out the full-boom-voice "TODD!" With his eyes somewhat open I repeated my statement and he groggily answered, "Why...?" So I asked him why I would say something like that at 3 o'clock in the morning and 9 months pregnant. At this point, I think the lightbulb went off since I was also standing there with my boxers and undies around my knees.
Unfortunately with all of my recent sinus problems, I couldn't do the "smell-test" on my undies to see if it was amniotic fluid or pee. Oh boy was Todd excited to be volunteered for that duty! His expert opinion was "pee" and then he tried to go back to bed still having visions of a full-night's sleep ahead. I wasn't so sure, because liquid was still slowly trickling down my thighs. But he was trying to convince both of us that the baby was just on my bladder since he'd dropped so low, and everything was fine. I made him go get me a towel to stand on and get my mom.
Of course, I forgot my mom had sinus surgery when I was in grade school and has virtually no sense of smell either. And she also had no idea whether or not my water had broken. How many Oklahomans does it take.....?
We finally decided my OB's office made the big bucks for being on call late at night and Todd called the answering service. My heart stopped when I learned which doctor was on call that night. Of course it was the one (male) in the practice I did not want to get. The one my regular OB said was "old school" with staples use and would be my worst-shot at getting a staples-free surgery. <insert pregnant woman freak-out session and hyperventilating here> But the doctor told us to not pass Go, to not collect $200, and to get ourselves into Labor & Delivery for an amniotic fluid test ASAP. We asked how long we had to finish packing (my bag was done, but we still needed to grab the last-minute list items) and he said "enough". Right after we hung up, a huge gush of water rushed down my legs. So not pee. And that was that. Off we went.
On the way to the hospital, the first song to come on the radio was by Weezer. What are the odds? We figured that was a good sign. We checked in, they sent me to pee, and then had me strip down in the triage room. Soon after the nurse came in with the amniotic test swab, and it went black INSTANTLY. Pitch. Black. Oh yeah. We were having a baby! I got hooked up to all of the monitors, nurses started rushing in with IV carts and such, and everything quickly became a blur. I started having some contractions during this time, too. And I remember thinking, "Oh yeah. THAT'S what those felt like. Thank god I know from the start that I'm having a c-section this time!"
We had almost all of the same nurses that we had with our first son and they still remembered us. I voiced my fear / concerns over staples during the surgery and two nurses confessed back that they wouldn't want them either and they'd do all they could for me. They came back a few minutes later and announced that my OB would be on call starting at 7 a.m. so we'd probably just try to hold the surgery off 'til then. We called our moms with the news this was the real deal and braced them for an early morning delivery. (My mom was already here, but Todd's mom was just crushed. She missed our first son's birth by a matter of days when he hung in three weeks longer than expected during an early labor, and now she was going to miss our second son's by just a matter of hours. I felt so bad for her!) It was just after 4 a.m. by this point, when a nurse rushed in with a tray full of shots and liquids and said, "The OB on call didn't understand what the deal was on putting off the surgery. They have a 7 a.m. office meeting anyway and he wants to do it at 5 a.m. When I told him you wanted to wait because you preferred not to have staples he answered, 'Well we can do that. Just get an attending that will sew her up.'"
And before I knew it, Todd was dressing in his special hazmat uniform while I was being wheeled down the hall to get prepped in the OR and get my spinal block. (Which, I might add, took two tries because after digging in my back with the needle three times on the first set of vertebrae - and yes I felt it - they decided there wasn't enough room and had to go up a set. Fun, fun, fun!) Doctors and nurses started rushing in, the lights got really bright, they were play-fighting on who got to pick the delivery music CD mix, the OB waltzed in 30 minutes late, "Your Body is a Wonderland" started playing over the stereo, and before I knew it Todd was at my side and we were go for baby-launch. Not too much later the anesthesiologist announced "it's a girl!" just to get to me (temporary heart-stop), and then my son was being held up before me covered in blood and screaming bloody murder while No Doubt's "It's My Life" played over the speakers. I giggled and wondered if that was some kind of a sign...
And all that time I spent wondering if I could possibly love a second child as much as I love our first, was answered in one big newborn baby-cry.
Todd went off to be with the baby (and eventually get my mom and other son to be in the nursery with them) and they finished sewing me up. And that panic I had about getting staples? Turns out the attending that sewed me up was a plastic surgeon. How's THAT for lucky? I've been told his work is a thing of beauty. I'm not one to find artistic merit in surgical scars but I'll take their word for it and thank my lucky stars! And "lucky" doesn't even begin to describe how I feel to be blessed with three amazing men in my life now!
Well that's all I really have time to post for now. Thanks so much to everyone for the e-mails, well-wishes, blog entries, cards, gifts, etc. I promise to get personal replies out just as soon as I can!