Two weeks? Has it really been two weeks since I last posted? Seriously, where does the time go? Where did summer go? It was too short! Can I get an amen? And does that mean Brody is over two weeks old? It doesn't seem possible.
But yes, it has been two weeks since I posted. I've been a little busy.
With little this...
And little that...
And oh yeah, all these littles...
I thought I should back track and talk about Brody's Birth Day a little bit, more for my own sake than any of my readers, because it's amazing how quickly those moments you "swear you'll never forget" fade away. And it's probably a good thing, or the pain might just keep us from having more of these precious little things!
So here we go. And if there are any male readers out there, I'm talkin' about a real, live birthin' here, so read at your own risk.
On the morning of my due date, 8-8-08, I woke up at 5:50 in the morning to a quiet little "POP!" It startled me, and yet I knew instantly that it was probably my water breaking! I went back to the dusty corners of my mind from that childbirth class five (FIVE?!) years ago and remembered that your bag of waters can have a slow leak, be broken by the doctor, or literally POP like mine did. I got up expecting a gush, but when there wasn't one, I second guessed myself. But when I got in the shower a few minutes later, there was absolutely NO DOUBT that indeed my water had broken. It gushed! Gary called the hospital, and the doctor said to get there quickly since I was already 4cm. dilated the week before.
I got ready in record time - yes, hair and makeup - and finished packing my bag. I really didn't know what to do with the water which continued to gush, so I asked Gary to get me one of Addie's diapers. Oh yes, you read that right... I wore one of Addie's diapers. It's pretty much the only reason I'm glad she's not potty trained yet. It did the trick for the 15-minute drive to the hospital!
When Gary went into the girls' room to get the diaper, they woke up and he told them that we were headed to the hospital. They were ecstatic! They raced around the house singing, "The baby's coming! The baby's coming!" It was the cutest thing in the world. We kissed them goodbye and off we went!
I'm not going to go through every little detail here, so this part will be an abbreviated version of what happened over the next 10 hours. Because, really, who wants to hear what we did for 10 hours of non-labor? It's not like Gary hijacked my Facebook account or anything like that.
My plan was to have as much of a natural labor as possible, unless I just couldn't take it or the baby was in danger. I've done it both with an epidural and meds and without in the past, and couldn't honestly say that I preferred one way over the other. So this time, I was just going to go with the flow and decide as we went.
The problem was that even though the doctor urged us to get there quickly, I wasn't having regular contractions when my water broke. It's ironic, because for a month before that, I was having regular contractions several hours a day. After we got to the hospital, it seemed like every time my contractions would pick up, they'd stall out and we'd just sit and wait and nothing would happen. The catch is that after each contraction I did have, the baby's heart rate dropped dramatically. It's a scary thing to watch the monitor and see that little line plummet and hear those "beeps" get slower and slower. After losing our baby last August, I can assure you that we were a little on edge.
The doctor and nurses explained that the baby may have been sitting on or pinching his cord in some way, which could explain the drops in his heart rate. That one word - CORD - was all they had to say to get MY heart racing.
The concern over the baby's well being really tensed me up, and I couldn't concentrate enough to breathe through contractions which although weren't consistent, were getting more intense. I opted to get the epidural, which brought much relief and I have no regrets. The baby's heart rate actually got better at this point, probably because I was more relaxed. They gave me an oxygen mask to wear for the baby's sake, not mine, and the extra dose of oxygen also helped the baby.The doctor recommended a small dose of Pitocin, which I was very hesitant about, but she hoped it might get the contractions going in order to get the baby out of there - they were all concerned about his well being as his heart rate began to drop again, despite the oxygen and changing positions multiple times to get the baby in a more comfortable place. I've not heard good things about Pitocin (bad experiences with friends, mostly), but I completely trust my doctor, and because I was very worried about my baby, I gave it a shot. It turned out that it didn't help, so after just a few minutes, they took me off of the Pitocin.
Because so much time had gone by after my water breaking and because I had lost so much water as the day wore on, they actually put some water BACK IN, in hopes they could float the baby more so that he wouldn't be pinching his cord. Who knew they could do that?! Thankfully, it worked a little bit, but there was still concern.
I'm telling you... I felt like a marionette with all of the cords and catheters coming out of me! (And for what it's worth, I learned that a catheter is any tube coming from your body - not just for pee. Sorry... just had to put that out there.) It wasn't exactly how I'd pictured it, but I was thankful to be taken care of by such a competent staff at the hospital.
Finally, the doctor and nurses were out of options and approached me about the possibility of having to do a C-section. I had been adamant all along that it would absolutely be a last resort. They explained that the baby's heart rate just wasn't where they wanted it to be and the contractions weren't indicating that we were very close yet. My heart was pounding and I sent up a short, desperate prayer to God that my baby would be okay and that we could make it through this. I felt tears sting my eyes and I remember silently pleading with Him that I wouldn't need a C-Section. And I was terrified that I might lose another baby.
But out of the blue, the doctor decided to check me one more time. She said, "Oh! You're at 10 centimeters. It's time to push!" In the next eight minutes, I pushed through two contractions, insisted on pushing one last time (despite them telling me to stop), and Brody Ryan was born. Gary helped pull him out and put him on my chest, as I sobbed and cried and thanked the Lord over and over again.
My hospital has a new rule where the mother holds the baby skin-to-skin for the first hour, even before the baby is weighed or anything. It was bliss. I cherished every second of that hour, experiencing nearly every emotion imaginable. I nursed him for the first time, which he took to easily, and I just thanked the Lord for such a gift in this sweet boy.
I was so eager to pass him to his Daddy after the hour was up, and it was a sweet moment to watch Gary holding his son. He's not proud or anything...
We wanted our girls to be the first people besides ourselves to hold baby Brody, so they came in and we shared some sweet moments alone with them. You've never seen two prouder big sisters. They were so tender and quiet with him, and really continue to be two weeks later.
There's so much more to share... the dynamics of having three, details about how the girls love on Brody, the rollercoaster of emotion I've been on in the last few weeks, how we chose his name and just little things that make Brody who he is. But I'll have to come back to those, or this post will be a kajillion times longer than it already is!
Dr. Jensen high-fiving the girls after Brody was born
It was difficult to go through the day without thinking of Joshua, Brody's older brother. I need to write more about it later, but I can say without hesitation that although Joshua cannot be replaced, Brody has filled the hole in our hearts that has been there for a year. The day Brody was born, there were so many comparisons and stark contrasts to the day Joshua was born, and it was impossible to ignore them. But God is so good and Brody is here to prove that. Much more on that later... there's still so much I'm processing.
The rest of this will be very picture heavy, as they really tell more about the day than I could. So I'll just end with pictures, pictures, and more pictures! Because you can't have enough pictures of a tiny, newborn little miracle. And he is.
My mom, me, and Brody... just a couple hours old
My sisters, Brody and me
Emma and Brody, 1 day old
Addie's an expert at holding babies
All the grandparents