1. I miss not seeing my feet. You see, when I couldn't see my feet, I didn't know that I desperately needed a pedicure and therefore went about my day in a sort of blissful ignorance. Now that I can see my feet, I am painfully aware that not only do I need a pedicure, but I no longer have the time to get one. Win- Win
2. I miss eating whatever I want. Don't misunderstand. I still eat what I want, but I miss people starring at me and then smiling and giving me the "Oh how cute she is eating for 2. Isn't pregnancy beautiful?" look. Now they just stare and give me the "What a cow!" look.
3. I miss sleep. Not that I could get much with a baby squishing every organ in my body. But at least I could be lazy and take a nap whenever I wanted.
4. I miss maternity clothes. Whoever invented the elastic waistband is a genius. Right now I do not fit in my maternity clothes, and my regular clothes are too small. So I either walk around with jeans that sag down to my crotch, or I walk around with a muffin top. Neither is very attractive.
However, not being pregnant has it's benefits as well....
I know that everyone says that Dylan looks like Jeff. And I think that he does. But there are a couple things that remind me of myself when I look at Dylan:
He loves to sleep.
He has big eyes.
He likes to eat...
Let me explain:
I am all about demand feeding, because I think that my child knows best when he is hungry.
Today Dylan has been really fussy and has wanted to eat every hour. Sometimes he eats a full meal, and sometimes he will nurse just to be comforted.
I never worry that he is getting too much food, because when he is full, he won't eat. Or so I thought....
Two minutes ago, I was sitting on the couch, feeding my sweet baby, and when he was done, I lifted him upright and rubbed his back..... what came next makes me think that he is more like his mother than previously thought.
All over me, the couch, the boppy and himself.
Homeboy likes to eat. Like I said, he may look like his dad, but he has an appetite like his mom.
Jeff's mom pointed out that I have the same photo of Jeff with Brendan and Dylan. Jeff is even wearing the same color in both.
The first one was taken the day that Brendan came home from the hospital. Jeff and I were so tired, and so stressed out. We had no idea what to do with a new baby, let alone a new baby that came with attachments (g-tube, oxygen, suction). We got home and I remember that Brendan was a little fussy and Jeff just laid next to him on the floor and calmed him down, in about 15 seconds flat.
The second one was taken a couple days after we brought Dylan home. Dylan was fussy, and I was tired, so Jeff took over. Amazingly, Jeff had Dylan quiet in about 15 seconds. I think that he is a natural at the daddy thing.
These photos make me smile.
My husband is an amazing father.
He showed it when we had to make decisions about Brendan and his care.
He showed it when we learned that Brendan's life was going to be cut short.
He showed it when Brendan died.
He showed it when we learned that we were pregnant, again....(did you know that we found out that we were expecting the day that we picked up Brendan's ashes?)
He showed it during the whole pregnancy, taking care of me and providing for me and my growing belly.
He showed it when I freaked out about every little thing when I had Dylan in my tummy.
He showed it the day that Dylan was born.
He showed it when I freaked out that Dylan was going to be born early, and when we learned that Dylan might have to go to the NICU.
He showed it when we got home with our healthy little man.
He showed it by letting Dylan sleep in the room with us.
He showed it by not getting sleep every night, just so we can sleep in the same bed, and so I can be near Dylan.
He shows it every day by being the best dad he can be.
But there are things that happen on a daily basis that make me miss Brendan.
Just the other night I was feeding Dylan in the middle of the night, rocking on the rocking chair in our bedroom andstarted to cry. I never got a chance to feed Brendan. When Brendan was 2 weeks old, he was lying in a hospital bed recovering from heart surgery. I wasn't even able to hold him.
I stared at Dylan and just thought about how lucky I was that I get to hold him whenever I want, but it also made me sad that I didn't get that chance with Brendan.
Dylan cries. Brendan had the most pathetic little cry. He wasn't even able to cry a majority of the time because he was intubated.
Dylan is home. Brendan was stuck in the hospital. I wasn't able to do all the things with him that I am with Dylan, like to go the store, go out to a restaurant, go to a friends house.
Dylan is awake for a couple hours during the day. Brendan was on some strong pain medicine and one side effect was drowsiness. He slept most of the day.
Dylan gets to breastfeed. Brendan had a tube that gave him all of his food.
Dylan can lie on his back without losing oxygen. It's kind of remarkable. I sometimes freak out just looking at him thinking that he is going to stop breathing, then I remember that healthy babies are supposed to be on their backs.
I talk to Dylan at night while Jeff is sleeping and Dylan is having his midnight snack. I tell him about his brother. I tell him that he was a strong little man who fought and fought to be on this earth. I tell Dylan that Brendan gave his dad and I the most joy that we have ever experienced. I tell him that Brendan was a sweet little boy and that I think that he is Dylan's guardian angel.
I think that Brendan and Dylan were hanging out in heaven before Dylan arrived. I think that they were playing in the mud and giving God a hard time, as boys tend to do.
Brendan - 3 months old
Dylan - 3 days old
You know, Dylan has a couple little freckles on his neck and head. I think that he and Brendan forgot to wash all the mud off and those freckles are just mud spots. Well, I am sure that they are just freckles. But it's fun to pretend. It makes me feel like Brendan is close by.
I yelled at Jeff to get the doctor, a nurse, the janitor, anyone. This baby was coming. Quick. ....
The nurse walked in and nonchalantly got things ready. She told me to hold on. Seriously? You want me to wait? This is no joke lady. I am about to have a baby, with or without you. Someone better be on the receiving end to catch it!
And by the way, trying to hold in a baby is like trying to catch a water balloon covered in vaseline. It wasn't going to happen. So I turned on my side, bent my legs, and got into the fetal position and grabbed onto the bedrails with all my might. I had to wait to push and this was the only thing that worked.
I kept looking at Jeff and crying and asking him why the epidural didn't work. I kept thinking about the last time I was in the hospital. I was so stressed and so worked up. This was not the experience that I wanted. I was supposed to be relaxed. Jeff was trying with everything he had to calm me down, but it wasn't happening.
Poor thing. He really was trying. I can honestly tell you that I heard nothing he said to me. I was channeling my strength. I was trying to not go to pieces at the thought that another one of my babies may not be okay.
Then I looked up, and noticed the doctor gowned up and ready to go. She told me to push at the next contraction. Thankfully we didn't have to wait long because they were 30 seconds apart.
At this point, I remember getting dizzy, pushing, and then feeling excruciating pain. I think that I pushed about 5 times, through about 3 or 4 contractions, before the doctor told me that the baby was coming with the next contraction.
I started to panic. The pain was unbearable, but the thought of meeting my little man was greater than any pain I was experiencing. I wanted him out and I wanted to make sure that he was okay.
I pushed one last time, and his head was out, then I sighed a sigh of relief...until I realized that his shoulders were wider than his head. Crap, that was going to hurt. The doctor could sense my nerves and was being encouraging and told me that it was almost over and I was about to meet my son. Then, before I knew it, his shoulders and the rest of his body were out.
Let me interrupt this part of the story and tell you something. I asked the doctor how we would know if his lungs were good and how I could tell if he was healthy. She told me that a good strong cry is a surefire way to tell if their lungs are developed and that if he was just making little weak noises, then that meant there was a problem.
So back to the delivery room.
The baby came out, and it felt amazing. For several reasons.
First, the burning, excruciating pain was gone, and it was replaced by an ear-splitting sound. No, not by me.
By my beautiful baby boy. This child came into the world screaming so loud, that I think a few nurses came into the room just to check and make sure that we weren't shoving wooden shims underneath his finger nails.
I have to interrupt again. Each nurse, doctor, lab tech, basically any person that came into the room to talk to me while I was in the labor room asked me about my history. I had to explain about 12 times that I have had 2 miscarriages, once full term pregnancy, and that I had a son that died at three months old. I had to rehash this tale so many times that I seriously think that the entire labor and delivery team was aware of my story.
Therefore, when baby popped out and appeared healthy (despite the preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, high blood pressure, and my history) every person in the room seemed to take a deep breath and look up to the sky and thank God. There was a very noticeable sense of calm that fell over the room.
Dylan Scott had arrived safe and sound!
Then we all switched gears and were wondering who was torturing the poor newborn on his mother's chest. As soon as they covered me and him, he calmed down. It's like he knew how is momma was and new exactly what to do. He rested his little head on my chest and closed his little eyes. I held him for what seemed like only a few minutes, and then the nurses took him to the other side of the room to give him his shot (again with the ear splitting screaming) and dry him off. Then they returned him to my chest. It was like he was born to be there.
Another thing they were concerned about was Dylan's blood sugar. Because I had gestational diabetes (dude, add it to the list of problems) the main concern was that Dylan's blood sugar would be too low after birth. They needed to check it right after he was born and every few hours to make sure that it stayed within normal range.
The first test was normal.
Dylan was healthy.
Heart Rate: good
Blood sugar: normal
Ten fingers and ten toes: check
Cute as a button: heck yeah!
Seriously. There were so many things stacked against us going into delivery, that I couldn't stop starring at my healthy baby boy. It was unbelievable.
He was born at 9:34 pm on Thursday evening. I didn't sleep that first night. Not one wink. I held him in my arms and stared at him. I snuggled, kissed and talked to him all night. It was the best night ever.
One other thing. Shortly after he was born, the nurse came in and said that because I was on the magnesium, they were going to take Dylan to the nursery (the well baby nursery) and make sure that I got rest and I recovered well. She said that they don't like me being around the baby because the mag makes me dizzy and uneasy on my feet.
I freaked out. Again. I said no. I told her that there was no way that they were going to take him away from me. He was going to stay with us. She looked a little shocked, and said that she was going to have to check with the doctor and she would let me know. She never brought it up again.
Dylan stayed with me in the room for almost the whole time. He left for 20 minutes to get a newborn screening test done.
The delivery may not have gone exactly like I planned, but in the end I got a healthy baby boy.
I got to keep him in the room the entire time with me.
I got to have skin to skin time with him for like 5 hours.
Daddy got to cut the cord.
Dylan was able to breastfeed. That's another thing. He was totally a champ at it. Brendan was never able to breastfeed (although he ate my milk through a G-tube) and I was terrified that Dylan would have issues. Nope, not one.
We were able to take him home after 3 days and 2 nights in the hospital.
We were a family and we were going home! All three of us healthy and happy! Albeit tired. And scared. And nervous.
So I am a mom. Officially. Not that Brendan didn't count, but the nurses and doctors were more like his caregivers than I was. I didn't have a normal experience as a mom before. This past week has been more like what I expected.
Let me start at the beginning:
Thursday, September 23rd. Jeff and I had an early doctor's appointment at UT Medical Center. It was just a routine appointment to check baby's heartbeat, and check his size. Everything was good, but the doctor wanted to do a non-stress test just to make sure every thing was okay.
The test is just me sitting in a room, with a monitor on my belly watching the baby's heart rate and watching to see if I was having contractions. It is boring. I told Jeff to go to work.
Well I sat there reading my book (the book that I haven't had time to pick up since then-in fact I am not even sure where it is) and felt fine. I didn't feel contractions, and the baby's heart rate was good. I enjoyed listening to it. It was calming. It kinda felt like time stopped. Then I looked at the clock. Time had stopped. Seriously. The second hand was going back and forth from 10 seconds, to 11 seconds, and back to 10 seconds. Time had stopped. I have no idea how much time had passed, but I enjoyed every minute.
Anyways, The nurse came back in and took a look at the info and went to go show the doctor. Then the nurse came in and said that the doctor was going to have to come in and talk to me. I think I peed my pants. I think she saw this and assured me that every thing was fine. She told me that I was having contractions, every 3 minutes, and they weren't going away. I however didn't feel a thing. Not one contraction. I thought that you were supposed to be more in tune with your body when it was your second pregnancy. What the heck was my problem?
Anyways, my doctor told me to go to Labor and Delivery Triage and they would monitor me and give me meds to stop labor since I was only 36 weeks along.
So I called Jeff and told him what was going on, and told him to stay at work, since all they were going to do was give me meds and send me home.
They checked me out set me up with a monitor and told me to drink like 48 oz of water (dehydration can cause contractions). And then I waited, and waited, and waited. There was no change. I was still having contractions, and I had to pee.
I was wearing a gown. A gown not fit for a woman with a big belly. A gown that made my butt cold.
I was getting nervous and so I called Jeff and told him to come back to the hospital just to be with me.
He got there in record time. Let me just take this time to tell you how awesome my husband is. He kept his cool the whole time to avoid freaking me out. He told his boss that he had to leave to be with me. He probably sped past 5 cops on the way to the hospital, and didn't get one ticket. That's impressive.
The doctor finally came in and told us that my blood pressure was a little high (a sign of Preeclampsia) and the blood tests showed that I had a low platelet count (which is a sign of HELLP syndrome) that can cause serious problems with the mother if it goes untreated. The good news was that the baby was okay.
She said that she was uncomfortable stopping labor because of the risks to me.
Then the doctor said these magic words: "you ready to have a baby today?"
This did not make me a happy camper.
I was a freaked out camper. Here is what went through my mind:
I was only 36 weeks along. The baby wasn't ready. The nursery wasn't ready. I haven't had my baby shower yet. We didn't have our bags packed. I didn't want the baby to spend any time in the NICU. I hadn't shaved my legs in like a week. Thank goodness that we took the hospital tour 2 days ago. I was hungry. I still had to pee. I was supposed to stop by Lowes and pick up paint after the doctor's appointment and paint the baby's room.
Oh dear Lord. I was going to have a baby.
They said that they were going to transfer me to Labor and Delivery once they got a room available.
It took like 6 hours.
I finally got settled and the doctor came in to tell me that they wanted to break my water to get things moving quicker. They didn't want me laboring too long, because the longer I labored, the greater the chance of complications.
I also had to be put on magnesium to reduce the risk of seizures because of my low platelet count. They told me that I couldn't leave labor and delivery and go to the postpartum unit for 24 hours so they could watch me and make sure I was okay. They had to make sure that my body responded well and that there were no complications.
Here's the kicker. If the baby had to go to the NICU, I couldn't leave to go see him. I had to stay in the room hooked up to the monitors and the IV's until I was cleared and all the mag was out of my system.
I started to freak out even more. How can I possibly be away from my baby for that long. Again. I did it once with Brendan and I was not going to do it again. I started to panic. Then I started to cry.
This was not turning out to be the birth experience that I wanted.
The doctor finally came in at 6:30pm and broke my water. I requested an epidural just in case. I figured that if the contractions were manageable I would turn down the meds, but I didn't want to be stuck without the option.
Fourty five seconds after the doctor left the room from breaking my water, the contractions got stronger. And stronger. And longer. And more painful.
Great, I was freaked out, not relaxed, worried about my baby's health, worried that I wouldn't be able to see him for 24 hours, and I was feeling every little contraction. I couldn't relax. How was I supposed to breathe and think happy thoughts with all this going on in my head?
Then I got some good news. The magic man with the drugs came in. Actually it was a woman. She looked to be about 20 years old. But at that point I just wanted something to make me feel better. There was too much going on and I knew that I couldn't handle it. It was just too much.
So I got the epidural. It took no time at all to put in.
But it didn't work. I started to work for about 20 minutes. Then it wore off.