Sunday, October 16, 2011

looking back. . .samuel's birth

Phew.  Samuel is almost two months old.  In a way it seems like forever ago, but another part of me can't believe he's that old.   I keep telling Courtney that I feel like I kind of got jipped out of his first three weeks.  For most of the first week, he was in the NICU and so I couldn't hold him much.  Then, when we got home and I actually had him all to myself, I went and landed myself back in the hospital and spent the next week and half without him again.  Shouldn't I get that time back?  Darn it, I guess that's not the way it works.  Anyway, I'm so, so glad he's here.  And what a ride it's been! 

Samuel was born on Courtney's birthday, which made for a pretty special day.  I usually have my c-sections scheduled first thing in the morning and so our birth days start bright and early.  This time around, they couldn't schedule surgery until noon, and so we had a pretty laid back morning.  In fact, it was also the day of the lamb show at the county fair, so Courtney woke the girls up early to take them for his traditional daddy-daughter breakfast that he does the morning of the big show.  I helped them get all dolled up for the judges, and then grandma and grandpa took over the reins.  (That was kind of mean of me to pass off the whole lamb thing this year, but to be honest, Grandma and Grandpa do most of the work every year anyway.)

With girls and lambs taken care of, it was off to the hospital!  . . .Let's have this baby I say!

Not the best picture.  The anesthesia always makes me so, so sick.

The first peek.  I think we were both holding our breaths to hear those words. . ."It's a boy!"  It was kinda one of those 'I'll believe it when I see it' kind of things.  They had a pretty tough time getting him outta there.  Usually I can't feel much of anything, but this time around I felt an awful lot of tugging and twisting.  Courtney said both doctors were up on their tippy toes, with one of the doctors actually laying across me, straining to get him out.  I remember my OB laughing and saying, "What a chunk!"

(I always cry when I hear that first unhappy baby sound.  Such a miracle, isn't it?)

8 lbs, 10 oz.  (Two weeks early, too!)

After Claire's scary delivery, I was so nervous.  Our OB and pediatrician both suggested we do steroid shots during pregnancy for Samuel's lungs in light of Claire's history.  Everyone reassured me that if we did the shots as a precaution, we would be pretty safe.  So although I was nervous, I kept telling myself everything would be fine.  I feel so selfish for writing this, (and I think I've put off writing about his birth because I didn't know how to explain how emotional it was for me).  It seems selfish to me because so many families have really hard experiences and I know ours was so easy in comparison, but I really, really wanted an uncomplicated delivery for Samuel.  Maybe it was because things were so touch and go with Claire for a few days and I didn't want to feel so scared again.  Again, this sounds selfish and silly, but I knew this might be our last baby and I just wanted those quiet days in my hospital room, cuddling my baby.  There, I said it.  Watching them whisk him away to the NICU was disappointing and scary. 

After a day or so, Samuel's lungs were strong enough to get rid of the c-pap, which meant we were able to hold him for longer periods at a time and I could try nursing him.  I took every chance I got!  Too much stimulation stressed him out a little and made his oxygen levels decrease, and so we tried to make the most out of those chances to cuddle him. 

The nurses would joke with us that he was such an easy patient until he got hungry!  They would tell us that he could go from zero to a hundred in .2 seconds!  He's still the same way!  He's such an easy, calm baby. . .until he decides it's time to eat!  Then it's business time for sure!  I would ask the nurses to call me in my room when he was ready to eat (day or night) so I could go down to the NICU and have a chance to hold him.  When my phone rang, I could hear the urgency in his nurse's voice, hoping I would hurry!  And always I would hear him in the background- mad, mad, mad! 

The girls were so anxious to see their long awaited baby brother.  After what seemed like an eternity to them, they were finally able to see him through the window of the NICU when he was three days old!  It was pretty exciting!

After only five days in the NICU, we were all happy to get Mr. Samuel home.  Armed with an oxygen tank and a monitor, we made the trek home- a little nervous because the nurses admitted they cheated a little bit on his oxygen test in order for him to pass!  His monitor went off almost constantly the whole way home, making for a not so fun thirty minute drive!  Luckily, we were a lot more at ease this time, after having had Claire on oxygen for several months. 

A funny side story:  After we'd been home a day or two, Samuel's monitor was going off constantly.  It had been that way for the first 24 hours or so at home, but his lungs were improving daily and so I was a little discouraged because on the third day it seemed we were losing ground.  It wasn't til the end of the day that I realized that Claire had turned his oxygen down early that morning!  I remembered seeing her over by the condensor, and even shouted "Claire!" to keep her from messing with the dials (or so I thought!).  When I asked her if she touched anything, she'd backed away, reassuring me "I didn't touch anything!" over and over.  However, I was busy getting hte girls off to school and soon forgot all about it.  (A heck of a good nurse I'd make, huh?)  Well, when Courtney got home from work he quickly figured out what was wrong.  Once we fixed the problem, he was back on track, and the monitor was a whole lot quieter too!

Samuel's lungs were champs (or maybe it was the grandmother's touch since they stepped into my shoes for weeks two and three!).  When he was almost three weeks old (just a day or two after I got home from the hospital)  we were able to kick the oxygen and the monitor.  Yippee!  We laugh about it because they actually picked up his equipment and delivered my walker at the same time.  Talk about a pair!

Oh Little guy, we are so, so happy to have you in our family.  Your big sisters adore you.  Since your arrival, our family feels complete.  In fact, after my big adventure, your daddy teased you one day, telling you that you would need to apologize to me every day of your life for what I went through in getting you here.  And you know what I told him?  I'd do it again in a heartbeat.  Cross my heart- I wouldn't even have to think it over.  For almost three years, I knew you were waiting.  (That's a long time to feel like a part of me was missing, mister.)  For so long I dreamed, prayed, and waited.  Now you're finally here and already, I love you a gazillion. 

So glad you came to join us, baby brother. 

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