Friday, December 31, 2010

Your little hands wrapped around my finger
And, it's so quiet in the world tonight
You're little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So, I tuck you in
Turn on your favorite night light
To you, everything's funny
You got nothing to regret
I'd give all I had, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
It can stay this simple

I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, and never grow up 


This is a selection from a Taylor Swift song that snuck up on me yesterday.  I got her newest CD for Christmas and finally pulled it out of the plastic yesterday and played it while running errands.  There I was parked awkwardly next to the drop box for our storage unit payments trying to stick a flimsy check through and metal-flapped slot and this song starts and the tears start rolling.  My boy was in the backseat throwing a fit and I just wanted to hop out and unbuckle him and hold him so tight.  I think adding to my sentimentality is the fact that he will be spending his first night away from me for New Year;s Eve.  Hence, why I am up at 2:30 AM worrying and thinking about tomorrow night.  Anyway all of you mommas should listen to Taylor's Never Grow Up...and cry so I don't feel like such a weirdo.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

So proud...

I am one of those moms that really wants her kids to grown up to be humanitarians.  I want Silas to help the needy and be grateful for what he has and therefore share with others.  I want him to fight for what he believes in and all that.  I just had no idea that it would start so early.  My boy has taken a stand...a stand for standing.  He his on a sleep strike until the rest of us realize the importance of his standing.  We lay him in his crib sound asleep and he just pops his tiny head (well, it's proportional but he is tiny too) up and grabs the crib railing and just stands.  He refuses to lay or sit anymore.  The kid is devoted too.  He falls and busts his face time after time as he trips over stuffed animals or loses his grip but he cries a few seconds and then yanks himself right back up again.  I don't know how long this strike is going to last but I hope that maybe he loses a little steam for the cause so that we can get a little sleep here soon.
One of his favorite standing aids...a peanut can.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My first Mousey ears!

The First Noel


Our first Christmas turned out to be a lot like parenting so far.  It wasn’t perfect or Rockwell-ish.  We didn’t come downstairs to perfectly wrapped presents under a perfectly decorated tree.  We came upstairs from our room in the basement to presents wrapped with paper so cheap that the corners of the toy boxes poked little holes on most of the edges and the cats had even further opened many of them.  It was a lot of driving with a fussy impatient baby to try to spend a short time with everyone.  It was a treacherous drive from the south through thick slushy ice.  It was a baby who fussed through present-opening because he was still sleepy and wanted to play with each present as he opened them while we were in a hurry to get to our next destination.  


It was all of that but it was also so many amazing things.  It was baby shyly peeking from his nestled spot on my shoulder when he spotted the video camera as we emerged up the stairs for our first Christmas morning together.  It was the way that he chose the books in his stocking over the cars.  It was the way that he just hugged and hugged his little stuffed Batman and daddy’s genes just shone through (his face was shining too with all that nerdy pride).  







 It was the way that he, with little pursed lips and furrowed brows, had to help daddy put together his new fire truck.  Also, true story, it took daddy and Uncle Drew to get the plastic wheels in the thin metal axles of his new favorite toy.  Oh, his face when he climbed on and started to roll.  It was brilliant.  It was the way that he piled on his big boy cousins, just assuming that he was a big boy too.  It was Silas looking up at me to check if something was funny or not and when seeing that I was too laughing, his grin would spread even further.  It was all of the quiet conversations that daddy and I had when baby slept in the backseat.  It was listening to baby scream angrily in the car until Frosty the Snowman came on the radio when he was dead quiet and then picked right back up with the screaming when his song rolled to an end.  It was grandparent love and parental pride and baby joy. 





I am learning that old Norman painted a pretty picture but he didn’t paint the real world the way I see it.  The bad things and the difficult times make the good ones seem better.  If you haven’t tasted vinegar, do you really appreciate the sweet honey?   It makes you want to work like a little bee for that honey and just savor it.  


Working on it

I can't seem to get my Christmas blog written...I am trying to capture it in a way that I will remember it the way that I would like to.  So just know that it will be coming soon.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

PPD

I have read these initials over and over through the last few weeks.  Postpartum Depression. Yep, I've got it.  I have struggled with whether or not I wanted to share this fact here or not because I want to be uplifting and fun and I want to read this 10 years from now and see the happy stuff not this stuff.  But then I am one who like to rally behind causes that are important to me.  When I was diagnose with Fibromyalgia, I got my tattoo.  Hope in purple (the color of the fibro support ribbon).  When I was simultaneously blessed/cursed with having a preemie, I was instantly drawn to support the March of Dimes as well as supporting other groups that help all mothers who need it.  So, I guess I am saying that as I deal with my PPD, I am trying to learn more about it and maybe it will help someone else with it.

At first, I just thought I was really tired.  Then I just thought it was adjusting to our new life back in Cape but then things were getting worse and worse until I was having some pretty bad thoughts.  One day I was just driving to the grocery store and I thought, I am just going to drive off of a bridge.  It was a scary thought.  Since then I have started counseling and am working on getting support from my lactation consultant in getting my doctor to prescribe the medication that I need.  That has been the most frustrating part-the psychiatrist don't want to prescribe the medication because I am breastfeeding.  Their solution is just to wean but I know that there are some medications that are safe to take.  I don't want to wean.  I committed to a year and am well over half way there.  Besides if I quit now I will just have another crazy hormone shift that will make it even worse.

So, it's out there.  All of my attempts at optimism and loving everyday are honest attempts to help me get past this and it is helping but there are days (like yesterday) where I can't stand to hear Silas cry for another second without joining him in the tears and days where I just do all that I can to get him to nap as much as possible because I am just so tired.

I hope that this doesn't all make me sound like a terrible mother because I do love that boy more than anything else and it was his existence that kept me from just driving off the road that day.  I just want to get better so that i can be the best momma that I can be.

Night #3

This is the third night that I have barely slept at all.  It's not even just baby still thinking he is a newborn and still waking up every 2-3 hours (although it doesn't help), I just wake up and am wide awake.  I think that it's Christmas.  I am obsessing over all things to make it the very best first Christmas possible.  I realize that "he won't even remember", that he "will love the boxes more than the toys" and that "next year will be a lot more fun" but this is all for me too.  oh, to see his tin face light up when he grabs the Christmas tree with two hands and throw his eyes toward me in a way that asks "have you ever seen something so great?"  He loves it all and I love him loving it all more than I can explain. 

A few of our Christmas activities so far:

We took him through the park to look at the lights displays, I sat him on my lap in the from (shhh, don't tell) and I excitedly pointed out the lit polar bear and the beautiful stained glass nativity scene and he stared in wonder at...the dash lights.  Yep.  At first I was disappointed but then I decided that as long as he enjoyed his time with us then I didn't care what it was that brought him that joy.

Baking.  We have spent a lot of time baking at Aunt Thurty's place this week.  For me, it has been awesome to get out of the house and just laugh and sing Christmas songs (and eat everything we baked).  For Silas, it meant even more new kitties to torment.  And I swear his first word is going to be kitty because when he sees one, he already says "key".  I also think that they are the reason he is such a good crawler but I told them that they we going to have to walk on their hind legs if they were ever going to teach him to walk.  I also tried to get him involved in the baking process ( I have showed him baking ever since he was a newborn because I told him that someday he would bake for his wife and she would thank me for it) so I gave him his own mixing bowls and oven mitt and put some hot cocoa packets and hershey's kisses in his bowls and he played with them for about 5 minutes which is pretty good for his attention span.

Anyway, lots more Christmas fun (and pictures) to come in the next few days.  Until next time  

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

On being an 8 month old

My sweet boy,
You are into everything imaginable.  You are sitting up with ease until you get excited and fling yourself backwards.  If you are bad at math when you get big it is because of the brain damage you have probably gotten from hitting your head so very many times a day.  You love your music toy that you can stand at.  You also fall doing that a few times a day but you usually just sit straight down, pucker out your lip and start working to pull yourself back up again.  You can also pull up to the couch but have less motivation to do so.  I have loved watching you try out every object you come to for its ability to hold your weight.  The bumbo is good for standing with but you have to bend all the way over at the waist.  The arch hanging over your gym is a good height but as you have found many times it flops right over.  Your little canvas cubes buckle in a heartbeat and your eeyore doll just rolls our from under you. 



In just over a week you will experience your first Christmas and mommy and daddy couldn't be any more excited to share such a special holiday with you.  Someday we will teach you what Christmas means but this year, for you, it will be little gifts, family, new foods, and so many camera flashes that you might be seeing sparkles for days afterward.  I hope that we are doing everything that we can to make you happy and help you grow but someday when you are older and you realize all that we did wrong just know that we are doing our very best and that some days are just better than others.  Everyday we love you so very much and live in wonder of your every move.  Your tiny face tells a thousand stories each day and I am trying hard to hold on to every happily ever after that you have to share.

I love you, my little eight month old!

Love, Momma

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This is harder than I thought

I am really trying to keep up this optimism but I keep getting knocked back down.  I think the biggest factor is that I am pretty sure that I am losing my mind.  I keep forgetting things, and losing things, and backing vehicles into mailboxes (okay, that has just happened once but it hurt the most).  I don't know what it wrong with me but I am pretty sure that my brain is dying from complete and total sleep deprivation and from hearing a baby cry all day long. 

Silas and I are both in a slump from being stuck indoors day after day.  He is also teething and it has made him very grumpy and I can't seem to please him ever.  I am really just feeling like abandoning ship but there is nothing but bone dry land anyway so they would probably just chase me.  I love my family but I am just totally overwhelmed and feel alone in my situation.  I can't seem to find anyone to talk to that understand the way that I am feeling.  I hope it is just still a new momma thing but I am wondering how long it will take for it to pass.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Tiny Eye Candy

Here are just a few pics from our life:

Playing with his Gym

Hello, you handsome devil, you!

Playing some music

MOOOMMMM!

I love a baby in a plain white onesie!

Stripey pants (Shout out to http://www.theunglamorousmommy.com/2010/12/stripey-pants.html )

Hangin at my crib (Sorry, I know that joke has been made 10 kajillion and a half times)

Basking in a heavenly glow

My attempt at swaddling my not-so-newborn

Yep, he fell asleep with his head inside my pillowcase

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Warning:

There is a vicious beast on the loose in our household.  The beast is responsible for this senseless violence against Wade:



Here is a photographic rendering of the creature approximately one year ago:


Change

Things are brewing that put us right on the horizon of change.  oh, how desperate I am for this change.  It will be challenging and sad but will lead to so much good.  Wade is taking on a second job starting next semester.  He will be teaching a couple of evening classes for Three Rivers.  This will mean more money coming in so that we can finally branch our family tree out into our own forest.  Our roots will still intertwine but there will be less likelihood of becoming root bound.

 Sadly, this will also mean so many hours away from daddy.  It is hard to picture days that will send him out before the baby wakes up and brings him home at bedtime but this will be our means to an end.  I know that this will be temporary and we will get through it.  We might still get stuffy and need to open a window now and then but the door  to opportunity is slowly creaking open.

  I can't express how proud of my second half I am.  He is our loving, nurturing provider and our calm in the storm at the end of hard days.  I can never thank God enough times for sending me my perfect match.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Baby Slingin'

I have engaged in a new activity.  Oh yes, I have been slingin this tiny creature all over the house...and he likes it.  In fact it generally eventually knocks him out.  Nope, this is not a form of child abuse but just me finally getting this baby wearing thing down.  When he was a little preemie he was just to tiny for the slings and then I just kind of gave up on my little dream of skipping through the house with my baby nestled against my chest but we have discovered that is something that we are both finally ready for.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I wish

I have some I wishes but I think of them not in a way that makes me pine for them and end up disappointed but because I never want to stop having wishes.  Here are some current ones:

I wish I lived on the beach.  I have these visions of taking my boy for sunset picnics, letting the tide chase our bare feet as we clumsily run through the sand.  I love salty air and afternoon rainstorms, sunburned cheeks, and fuzzy horizons.  Oh, to live at the beach!

I wish for an activity that reminds me that I am young and maybe even makes me feel like a kid.  I am thinking dance or tae-kwon-do, or some random sport in which I would annoy my fellow teammates because I would never in a million years take it seriously.  I have settled for afternoon dance sessions with Silas.  As it nears the evening, after his afternoon nap and the sun is setting and we are waiting for daddy's 5:01 call, we turn up the music and dance.  Oh, I love to dance and it is so much sweeter when baby giggles compete with my exaggerated singing. 

I wish for my own home.  I want to decorate with baby toys and litter my yard with leaf piles and a kiddie pool.  I want a swing set and a mailbox and quiet mornings.  I want to wake before everyone else and sit in the dark and know that I am where I belong.  I miss that feeling of being home more than I can put into words.  I want Silas to know what his home will be like forever.  This is not do-able at the moment but I know in time we will get there.

I wish for a second car.  I long for spontaneity and having to make a trip to Nash Road to drop Wade to work with a sleepy baby screaming in the backseat then back to Cape then back down at lunch then back home then back to work, home, back to work at the end of the day then home makes a trip to the park seem a lot less worth it.  I really want trips to the park, library, museum, riverfront and many other places to be a part of our daily lives but with all the extra driving involved we just end up sitting at home bored most days.

These are my wishes for now.  Are you listening, Santa?

The Celebration Continues

I swear that having a positive attitude is yielding results...when I am able to maintain it.  I am still having to make an effort at not being so pessimistic.  Friday was a day I chose to celebrate and it was a great day.  We even got an amazing bonus at Wade's work Christmas party.  The party included great food at Mollie's topped off with the best fudge cake I have ever tasted and after a dramatic game of Texas Hold 'em we walked away with a new (pretty amazing) camcorder and a cash bonus.  Merry Christmas to us!  I also took Silas downtown With Tabes, Heather, and I to celebrate the holidays with local merchants.  He even sat on Santa's lap and smiled the biggest smile he could.  I can't wait to see the picture! 

Yesterday, we spent the day at Tabe's and David's just relaxing.  The men (or should I say boys?) spent the day indulging in Magic game after Magic game.  Which for the record, as much grief as I give him, I hope my husband never grows up.  One of the most lovable things about him is that he still loves those childhood activities (comic books, video games) with so much passion.  I know that Silas will have a daddy that he can play with not a work-a-holic consumed with the financial support of his family.  This is a daddy consumed with love support of his family and that is so very much more important. 


Anyway, us girls spent the day playing with baby and while he napped, us ladies napped on the couches with HGTV holiday specials playing in the background the glow from the old fashioned ceramic bulbs strewn on the Christmas tree cast their glow.  It was a great day. 

I realize that I will have moments of late-night dish washing and early-morning laundry but those are just subtle spices in my life pie.  When baked together it tastes like baby giggles, kitten purrs, and whispering to each other in the middle of the night so we don't wake the baby.  It tastes like love, joy, and the inevitable sadness but it tastes great!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Celebrating Today

I have decided to choose to celebrate each day.  I think I will have to remind myself often because I have a tendency toward pessimism but I don't want my baby to be a pessimism.  I want him to know joy everyday and that is up to me.  I have a Christmas party to attend today, for which I got a new outfit which include the first pair of high heels that I have worn since...I can't even remember.  Tonight I am going to take baby with me, Tabes, and Heather to the open house downtown.  I am determined to take him on his first carriage ride.  And this morning, baby is sleeping in and I just had giant piece of cake for breakfast.  That may be the best part of adulthood...eating what you want when you want.  The worst part:  getting fat.  You think there is a connection?  Celebrate today with me like it's a holiday:  a holiday called today.

Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Freedom is not without consequence

I was so pumped because my mom said she would take Silas for a couple hours this morning.  I really needed a break because yesterday was uber-stressful.  I got my purse stolen yesterday, luckily it just had a bottle of juice, 3 diapers, and a clean outfit that Silas has outgrown anyway in it.  The scary part is that it had mine and Silas's Social security cards in it and my driver's license.  I just keep picturing that these criminal geniuses are out open credit cards in my baby's name. 

Anyway, after all that I was stressed this morning.  My mom picked baby up and I danced back into the house with glee and ten minutes later she called and was laughing.  She said that my dad asked Silas if he wanted out of his car seat and he shook his head yes.  And I missed it.  I can't believe that i am here all day everyday with him and the one day I pass him off, he does something new.  This is always my fear in being separated.  It makes me appreciate that Wade has to be gone everyday and miss little moments like that all of the time.

Oh well, I will console myself with a quiet morning watching an entire episode of a TV show all at one time.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Singin' in the Rain

Watching the rain over the past couple of days reminds me of my own falling tears that came over the weekend.  I didn't cry for any specific reason but just because I was overcome with my situation and had to express that.  I live in a state of emotional, whether happy, sad, angry, or excited I am rarely in the in between.  I am glad that I live this way because it makes me feel like my life is being lived fully.  I would much rather be maxed out than save up my feelings for some event that never comes.

A Good Morning

I am up early but baby is still sleeping.  I have the fireplace blazing because it's cold, a chance for flurries even.  Christmas movies play in the background of my day.  Silas loved his first viewing of Frosty the Snowman yesterday and I loved my first viewing of him watching it.  Everything he does is a perfect little moment in my memory bank.  Someday I will go collect my saving and realize what a happy and perfect life I had.  I can't wait to start the day, with Silas Dadadaing and knocking over block towers that I build over and over.

My hat is too small and I have slobbers but aren't I cute?


Monday, November 29, 2010

But being momma is a job...

Well, I haven't said much about this because in the whole scheme of life it means nothing but because of financial issues (my husband being one of those that has a Master's degree but can't find a decent paying job) we are living with my in-laws.  I love them dearly and if I had to live with anyone besides hubby and baby it would be them but sometimes it is hard.  I think the hardest part is not being able to freely express myself during my crazy moments.  Sometimes I just need to vent about things without an audience.  Anyway, I was in one of those venting sessions yesterday and the response I was given was that maybe I should get a little job to make some extra money so we can afford our own place.  No, not from hubby but from some well-meaning family members. Honestly, I barely make it through the days without collapsing as it is.  I can't imagine dragging myself to a second job.  All of this has made me doubt myself but I know that I am meant to be a full-time momma to my baby no matter the sacrifice.  I could probably get a part-time job and scrape enough money together to get a small apartment but it would be at the sacrifice of my time with my beautiful family.  It may be silly or naive or immature but having money and even my own happiness will never come before taking care of my sweet Silas.  I say all of this now because I wish I would have said it yesterday instead of making excuses for my decisions.  I am sitting here now saying, without excuse, that no matter how difficult it can be I will continue to raise my boy in the way that I think is best and right now that means giving him the full-time care that he deserves.  These glimpses at our day are the reasons why:






I am so blessed that I didn't have to miss a single of these moments in his life!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I saw his face and now i'm a believer

People who say they don't believe in love at first sight must not have any babies yet.

Black Friday

I definitely got up at 1:20 AM for cheap pajama pants and a discounted video game.  i don't do it for the savings though (well, I guess I kind of do) but also for the thrill.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble

So very much to be thankful for but most of all, my little turkey.  On a side note he loves it when I gobble so I, without any shame, walked through wal mart and schnucks yesterday gobbling away while he laughed and squealed.  He totally made unbearable day-before -Thanksgiving shopping almost bearable.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Strange and Comforting Realization

I have always had this idea that I wanted many many children but I realized last night that I would be happy if Silas was the only baby that I had.  I don't think that things will go that way but it is such a comforting feeling to be content with what you have.

Screaming

No, not me this time.  My kid has woken up multiple times in the past couple of nights screaming at the top of his tiny lungs for no obvious reason.  The first time it happened, I just had to step out of the room for a minute because I was so overwhelmed in my sleepy state.  Then I held him and rocked his limp little body and kissed his salty cheeks until his breathing slowed and he drifted off.  I tucked him against my side and he slept peacefully for an hour but then daddy placed him back in his bed and the screaming picked back up again.  This has happened several times only at night and I don't know what to do.  I think this may lead to my own screaming if it continues tonight.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hormones?

I have been trying to figure out for some time now if I am still suffering from roller coaster hormones or if having my sweet boy in the world has just made me a total sap.  Not just a sap, but a full on emotional basket case. 

Case in point, on Saturday night we had Thanksgiving dinner with Drew and Randa and as we sat down to eat, we acknowledged that Silas was downstairs sleeping and Baby Dranda (as I have dubbed my unborn niece or nephew) is still a jellybean-sized fetus but they were both still a part of the celebration.  Well, as we bowed our heads to pray I started boo-hooing at this image of sleeping Silas holding hands with this little nubby fetus and playing a game of ring around the rosies with the angels in dreamland.  I realize that this sound like some kind of acid trip or something but it really got me going with the tears. 

Don't cry, Momma!


This was not an isolated case, I cried on Halloween and many days in between at the most random thing.  I think that my heart is just so full of indescribable love that the love must pool in my eyes and overflow in salty tears of wonderment.

Sit baby sit...now stay

The days of leaving baby in the floor to play while I do chores are gone.  I can put him on his soft blankie with his little toys and will come back in the room to find him on the dirty floor with an xbox360 remote cord in his mouth acting as a teether (true story) so the question is how am I supposed to get things done now?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Christmas Time...well, almost

We have pretty much finished buying Baby's Christmas presents for his very first Christmas.  So far we have gotten him these:

I love these little guys.  They are called Sing a ma jigs and they are hilarious!



We also got him this because I am determined to make him a musician and he has the crazy personality of a drummer.  It is a Fisher Price Crawl-along drum.




                                                   


Daddy's Pick was a Little People zoo because he and Silas are both animal lovers!

We also got him some discounted halloween costumes for pretend play and I am going to try making him a little blanket with taggies on it so that he can have something handmade...we will see.  I think that this will be plenty of presents for a 7 month old especially considering he will be getting so many presents from our families as well.  I am trying to think of ideas for stocking stuffers.  I am going for things to make his face light up so that I can get some gorgeous pictures.  Having him here for Christmas will make it a Christmas like none other and will be the best present ever.

What the teething tablets?!

So, I knew that one brand of teething tablets had been recalled (thanks to http://www.theunglamorousmommy.com/search/label/Recalls ) but I had found another brand that was just fine but apparently so had everyone else in town.  There is a teething tablet shortage, the shelves have been cleaned out and I am scared of what tonight might bring.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful

It is not quite Thanksgiving day yet but we are celebrating for the next week and it never hurts to be grateful everyday so I am thinking about what I am most thankful for:

My husband going to a job he hates everyday so that I can do the one I love
Always losing at staring contests to Silas because he makes a goofy face and makes me laugh every time
Being back together with my friends and family for this first big holiday
Moving forward in life, even when I feel I am stuck
A new niece or nephew on the way- and a best friend for my boy
For being pushed to see how strong I am over the past year
For always being able to keep going

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Breastfeeding-ish

So, I pretty much knew that when my boy was born that I would breastfeed him and I am not ashamed to say that my decision was based mainly on the fact that formula is so very expensive.  Well, when baby was born early it was stressed by everyone how much more important it would be for him to have the sustaining power of momma's milk.  Of course, we were separated those first days and I had to pump and Wade would make a delivery each day to the nurses at the NICU and they were actually able to give him the milk through the feeding tue in his nose.  Once we were reunited I tried nursing him but he was so small and would tire out before he had enough to eat.  That is how we got to this point...the point where I have been exclusively pumping for 7 months.  I hate pumping, really I do but yesterday as I was preppping his solids I realized that it wouldn't be that long until he no longer needed my milk which feels a lot like he won't need me and that lead to tears.  I realize he is still so small but all I can see is how fast he has grown already.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fairytale

We sat in the Schnucks parking lot feeding you an overdue bottle between Christmas shopping stops and the bright sun pried at my squinting eyes.  I was annoyed at the brightness until I looked down and saw the rays blazing through your long lashes making them look like little feathers.  I smiled at the way that you make each moment feel like happily ever after.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

At First Sight

Anyone who has had a c-section knows that it is pretty painful to recover from but I had the blessing of distraction to get me through it.  On the day I left the hospital, I wanted to leave and immediately drive to Saginaw to see my sweet boy but was coaxed by Wade and my concerned in-laws that we might want to at least pick up my pain prescriptions before heading out (I was grateful for their urging later).  The drive over was like nothing I have experienced before.  The closest approximation I have would be the night before a vacation as a kid when painful anticipation makes your heart jump and your fingers jitter.

I kept closing my eyes and picturing my tiny little wonder finally filling my arms.  When we arrived at the hospital my in-laws dropped us at the door, knowing how desperate that I was to take off in a sprint to the NICU.  I let Wade guide me to elevator and up to the 3rd floor.  We walked to the little phone and announced that we were the parents of Silas Christian and were there for a visit.  We walked to the industrial sink to begin our three minute scrub that we would have to do every three hours until the day that we were released.  We walked down the hall toward Nursery 6 which was almost at the end.  We walked in and he was in the first isolette on the right. 

They had a blanket tossed over the top to shield the light and on the end was a laminated piece of construction paper that had his name spelled out and little dinosaur stickers dancing around the edge.  As I stepped around and looked at him, I couldn't believe this was my baby.  I had a lump in my throat because I didn't have an instant knowledge that this was the wiggle creature that I had carried for so long.  The nurse walked over and asked if we wanted to get him out for a few minutes.  Of course I wanted to but first we had to change his diaper.  This doesn't seem like a big deal but when you are holding little tooth pick legs up with each arm in a separate hole in the isolette and wiping off sticky, thick meconium it was a challenge.  Also, his little preemie diapers were still huge on him and had to be tucked and folded to make a suitable cover. 

After we had him secured in his little pamper, Wade instructed me to put a gown on over my clothes.  He opened the isolette hatch and wrapped his bundled body in my arms and truthful that weight I had been anticipating was not there.  He also did not fill my arms even nearly.  It was like holding a doll with lots of blankets.  I smelled his head and held him tight and knew that this was my baby and I can't say for sure but I think that he knew I was his mommy.  My biggest concern while being kept in my separate hospital was that he would not know me.  I feared that his recollection of my voice would fade and my scent would be unfamiliar after staying in the sterile hospital wing, but I think that he knew who I was.  I just kissed him and cried, cried to the point that one of the nurses actually shushed me but I couldn't help it.  I had never been so happy in my whole life.  As I sat there with Wade beside me and my baby in my arms I felt whole for the first time in my life.  I finally got my moment of love at first sight that most women get just seconds after their baby's birth and because I had to wait so very long I savored it in ways that I wouldn't have under normal circumstances. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Silas's Birth Story

My pregnancy was not even close to being that glowing and miraculous event that many women describe.  I was sick, very sick from about the second that I got pregnant.  Of course, I didn't at first know that I was pregnant because it had only been weeks before that my doctor had told me that it would be "impossible" to get pregnant.  I was not trying to get pregnant but also didn't feel the need to not not try and it lead to where we sit today.  Anyway, that whole being sick thing was the stuff of nightmares.  What began as morning sickness, lead to be called hyperemesis which is just really bad morning sickness.  I was losing weight rapidly and was in and out of the ER for fluids and a random smattering of anti-nausea meds that did not help at all. 

On Thanksgiving Day (heh, thanks a lot, baby I don't know yet) I awoke with the worst pain that I had ever felt in my abdomen and called my mother-in-law at about 3 AM to ask her if this was normal.  She said probably not.  Off to the ER we went, where they reluctantly drugged me up and gave me a diagnosis of having a bum gallbladder.  Anyway, the next several months went on this way with lots of pain and vomiting and spending days at a time without getting out of bed.  Once I hit about 7 1/2 months the nausea eased up and I feasted in ways that only someone growing another person can imagine.  Things were going pretty well until I was about 34 weeks pregnant.
This is a story I have told to others at least a dozen times and to myself at least a thousand but I still fear forgetting each painful and joy-filled moment and crave writing it down so that I can release myself from the need to keep reliving it.  I write this story with tears, even after the knowing the outcome, it conjures up pain that I can't ever describe to even those who know me best.
On Wednesday morning I woke up and my bottom lip was puffy, and I knew that I had laid off the bar fights during the pregnancy so I had no explanation.  I had also been experiencing some other weird things like seeing sparkly lights and getting dizzy.  I was feeling a tugging in my mind that something was wrong so I finally broke down and called the OB and they wanted to see me.
Wade left his work at the writing center to take me in.  From here, everything moved very fast and it gets a little harder to remember all of the details.  I went in and they checked my blood pressure which was high and there was protein in my urine.  I had read enough to know that this was adding up to preeclampsia.  They monitored me and sent home to stay on bed rest.  I was back the next day with worsening symptoms and at this point they said that there was a good chance I would have my baby that weekend. 

We went home scared but excited, calling our friends and family 600 miles away to tell them the news.  I was reeling and felt the strong need to prepare the house for the baby we would be bringing home in just a few days.  Wade went out in search of preemie clothes and all of my little tools that I wanted on hand for my labor and delivery, none of which ever got taken out of the suitcase.

On Saturday morning, we went in at 8:30 AM so that I could be put on the monitors.  I was feeling awful and was starting to shows signs of the neurological symptoms of the preeclampsia, with my jerking muscles.  They quickly got me into a gown and into a labor room.  Through all of this, I managed to stay calm, imagining holding my sweet boy that I had seen only in ultrasound images.  My amazing doctor, who I had first met on that Thanksgiving trip to the hospital and who I will always be thankful for, came in and discussed our next steps.  I agreed with her that a long labor and delivery process would be impossible in the condition that I was in.  She also discussed the fact that our hospital did not have a NICU so if things went wrong our little newborn would be taken to one of two hospitals, both of which were roughly an hour away.

Wade and I had an ignorant confidence that our baby would be just fine and would stay put with us.  In what seemed like minutes, they had called a team of doctors in for my c-section and for the care of my coming newborn.  They wheeled me in to the OR and before the epidural gave me a sedative.  I remember rambling about feeling weird but saying that it was okay because Wade was also weird and then prophesying that our baby would also be weird.  I don't remember the procedure or the fact that they brought my sweet boy to me to see for the first time. 

The first thing that I remember is being wheeled to the recovery room and someone placing my baby's first picture in the palm of my hand.  I have vague memories of excitedly telling the nurses in recovery about my 4 lbs. 2 ozs., baby.  I am not sure how much later it was but I was taken back to the maternity ward, fully expecting to finally get to see my baby.  Wade was there armed with the digital camera which he had used to document the beginning of my son's life without me.  He was so tiny that the picture of his hand gripping daddy's finger shows that his fingers could not fully encircle the very tip of his appendage. I was in awe of his scattering of blonde hair and his bright red skin, all of which I was seeing on a one inch screen on the rear of the camera.  He was so beautiful but I longed to touch his skin and breathe in his baby scent and feel the weight of him in my arms.  I couldn't wait to nurse him and give him the nutrition he needed to start growing right away.  I finally saw my sweet baby about 8 hours after his birth and that was only through the case surrounding him in his little isolette, equipped to ride safely in the ambulance to another hospital.  I knew that he would only be one hour away but it felt like a million.  As they rolled him out, the emotions only served to further exhaust my already broken body.  I was very out of it for the couple days after that because of the medications, sadness and exhaustion that turned out to be exacerbated by a huge blood loss.

Once I was given transfusions and was getting energy, I was desperate to get out so that I could see my Silas and hold him for the first time.  Wade was driving to see him each day, taking to him the tiny drops of milk that I had managed to pump and bringing back to me new pictures and burp cloths that held the scent of my baby.  The nurses encourage me to look at his picture and take in his scent to aid in my milk production.  They probably thought they knew how painful that was but there is no way they could understand the emotions coursing through me when I dwelled on the beauty of my distant baby.  Only on the fourth day was I released and able to see my precious son and hold him for the first time.  That is another story and one that I am now too exhausted think about at the moment. 

Tonight, I will hold my boy a little tighter and complain a little less about waking in the night to care for him because all of this has made those wounds new again but the touch of his tiny hand and his smile that starts in his eyebrows, spreads to his ears and then finishes on his lips only help to ease the pain of the loss of those first hours with him.

In the Beginning...

I have toyed with the idea a writing a blog for sometime but I was afraid of the commitment.  I have decided that it is one that I am willing to make for myself because I never want to forget any of these precious moments that are passing by so very quickly.  I want to look back and have some documentation so that I know it was all real.  Each day feels like I am muddling through some sort of maze to keep everything in balance but in all of that confusion there are glimpses at true love and the knowledge that life is made up of puzzle pieces that, when placed together, create a portrait of a miracle.