Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hospital Days [Part 2]

At 2:24am on April 10th, the nurse handed me a pink naked baby. I immediately counted all his fingers and his toes - all his little parts were accounted for. I was shocked (still am) that his little hands looked just like Norm's, amazing. Norm cut the umbilical cord, that looked like a fat white braid. Then we got to hang out for about one hour before they had to take him to the nursery to run blood work and give him antibiotics since my fever had spiked to 102 at delivery and he had a temperature of 100.5.

At 5:00am we were moved to a Mother Baby room and by 6:00am Benjamin was finally with us - IV line in his tiny little hand and all.

Norm holds Benjamin for the very first time:

Very first diaper change for the little one:

When Pablo and my mom came back from sleeping for a few hours, Pablo gave him a blessing:

That afternoon he got his first sponge bath and they brought him back to the room with a heat lamp. He was connected to temperature monitors that confirmed he was able to hold his temperature.

We hang out with baby:

Norm also got to sleep some...

I pretty much stayed awake all day until about 10pm that Friday night. When we turned off the lights to sleep and not even 15 minutes later we heard a faint cry, asking for food.

The next day, Saturday, was quite traumatic for all parties involved. His bilirubin count was borderline low, so he had to be under these lights for 24 hours. He could only come out 30 minutes at a time to eat. The problem was that when he came out, all he'd want to do is snuggle and sleep.

We were given permission to pull him out more often as long as we kept the bottom lights on him. In those cases, we had a little glow worm!

Thankfully we overcame that horrible day and his counts went back down. Aunt Kerrie came to meet him on Sunday morning before we were discharged!

After waiting for blood work and all sorts of other due diligence that are part of being discharged, we got the green light to go home at around 6pm.

Daddy Norm buckled him up in his car seat. I really need to come to terms with this car seat situation - it is the most unpractical, uncomfortable piece of invention pretty much ever.

And off we went to get our new life started!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hospital Days [Part 1]

This is Benjamin's birth story. No, crazy birth pictures or videos are not involved. I just want to recount the events that lead to him joining us in this world because, from what I understand, later down the road many details are forgotten.

It started on April 7th - his due date - my mom and Pablo and I had gone to the local church to listen to a talk about relics of Saints - which involved seeing and touching said relics. Mass ran late, so the talk started late. It was close to 8:00pm and there I was, big as a house, sitting in the pew, tracking my contractions with an app. Before I knew it, contractions went from 20 min to 14 min to 12 min to 8 min. The talk was wrapping up, and it was going to be followed by the showing of the relics, so I was waiting it out... I quietly whispered to Pablo about the contractions, he whispered to my mom. My mom said "what are we doing sitting here??? Didn't the doctor tell you to call him when contractions were 6 - 8 minutes apart?"

So we went home. Had dinner (trigo and rice and steak... yum!). Took a shower and called the doctor. He said to go on in to the hospital. We made it to the hospital at around 11pm - quite tired:

Apparently my contractions weren't strong enough... the doctor gave me the choice to either walk for an hour or go home. Not wanting to risk having to drive back 25 miles into the city in rush hour traffic in the morning, I chose to walk... One hour later there was no progress. We gathered our belongings and went home - as in I got in my bed at 4am.

The next day, April 8th, was dedicated to walking. We went to the Buford market, to the other market, did laps around the back yard in the morning and in the afternoon. When my legs were tired of walking on uneven ground, Norm and I walked up and down our block... When the pollen got out of control, I just did laps around the living room... late into the evening.

The next day, April 9th, I woke up and realized Norm hadn't gone to work. He said he was going in at 10am - great! As I go to pee (some of this story is going to have TMI, being pregnant and giving birth is one big TMI session, come to terms with it and keep reading or just quit now) I realized my water was breaking. Calm as a cucumber I call out to Norm "Love? I think my water has broken". Then the whole house went into a frenzy. Wake up the family, have breakfast, feed the dogs, call the doctor, get the hospital bag, I won't be back to this house without a little one....

Thankfully traffic was non-existent that morning - we had already purchased a Peach Pass just in case we got caught in bad traffic.

I went into triage and they confirmed I was leaking amniotic fluid (yes, leaking is an accurate term), they also confirmed the baby was in position ready to go and they also confirmed I was still at 3cm dilated, which I had been since that Monday. So what did the doctor order? Yes! Walking!

So we walked pretty much all day... laps around the maternity center. Walk for 30 minutes, rest and check the baby's heart rate and my vital signs. Then walk again for another 30 minutes, then rest and check both baby and I are still coming along. Don't eat lunch. Drink apple juice and water. Pablo, Norm and my mom all took turns walking with me. Although all four of us (and the IV pole) walked the first lap together... it was a bit obnoxious, so then we decided that it's best for them to take turns.

At around 4pm we had finally made some progress and contractions started to get stronger (as in I had to stop walking and lean on the wall), but we weren't where we needed to be as far as dilation went. Doctor order some meds to speed it up - and for me to keep walking. At about 6pm the pain was getting critical when the strong contractions hit. There was no more smiling going on... they gave me some pain killers with the plan that I'd be able to get up and keep walking (because once you get the epidural you are bed ridden until baby comes out). At one point, I remember the resident doctor asking that I be given oxygen... it seems I had had 3 contractions back to back to back which had caused Benjamin's heart rate to drop to 88 (normal was 140), so he was quite stressed out since he hadn't been able to recover. Thankfully that was all just a scare. The medicine they gave me was supposed to last 4 hours, but at 8pm I woke up from contraction pain. I asked the nurse for the epidural... they called anesthesia. 15 minutes later I asked Norm to go out to the nurse station and let them know anesthesia hadn't come by. So he did... 10 minutes after that I told Norm to go find anesthesia himself and not come back in the room until whoever could make epidural happen was with him. At 9pm finally the doctor showed up and hooked me up.

Before I knew it, it was 1:00am and I was being told I had done a good job and dilating and moving the baby down - the nurse had already called my doctor and he was on his way. Considering I was able to move my legs, toes and feel the pressure of the strong contractions, I immediately asked for anesthesia to come back and increase the drugs. However, we ran out of time...

In the meantime waiting on the doctor to arrive, everyone went into another frenzy. We took pictures:

My mom organized things, Norm and Pablo walked around, I just sat there. Thinking about not getting nervous. Thinking about what my baby was going to look like. Praying to St. Gerard that delivery not get complicated.

Then the doctor got there wearing his button down white shirt and bow tie and things got real. He was telling me how to breathe, I was doing it wrong, so he'd get mad at me when I screwed up my breathing. At one point I told him I've never done this before and it's difficult! He just kept on trecking. We (yes, "we" as in Norm, my mom and I) pushed for 1 hour. I was freezing through the whole process because I was running a fever... at one point earlier in the night my nurse (who was from Jamaica and rather awesome) had already explained to me what would happen with baby if my temperature hit certain thresholds...

Half way through pushing and making little to no progress it dawned on me that since I was feeling the contraction pressure of the strong contractions, I should call it out to the doctor and not wait for him to rely on the monitor (since the monitor had a few seconds of a delay). So that's what we did... until near the end when I was so tired and cold and borderline defeated.

All of a sudden about 15 people showed up in the room - I guess it was show time. My doctor, his resident doctor, the fellow doctor, my nurse, the baby's nurses (yes, there were multiple ones since my fever had spiked close to delivery, they were going to have to keep a closer eye on  him once he arrived), the techs... everyone was dressed in those blue gowns. They got everything ready and then we waited and waited and waited on the last contraction for one last push. It seems like we waited 10 minutes.

Before I knew it, Norm and my mom were panting (change in breathing pattern) and telling me to do the same. I heard the resident doctor tell me "look down! look down!" and then she greeted Benjamin "hello little one".

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fourteen Feet

Last Friday, April 10th at 2:24am, we were blessed way beyond we could have ever imagined by welcoming the newest member of our family to this world - Benjamin Daniel Aldredge.

He weighed 7lbs 13oz and measured 18.5 inches.

A week ago tonight, we brought him home - officially adding 2 more feet to our home. 

There's been lots happening already... more to follow. I don't know if it will be by the end of April, but it will follow!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cali: 1 -- Baby Snake: 0

This sweet face killed a baby snake this beautiful Easter morning... We were having breakfast and Norm noticed that she would not move from this one particular area in the backyard (where the woods are)... He went to investigate and there laid about a 1' long, skinny snake ... dead. Then there was Cali, hitting it with her foot, getting it to move and play and of course baby snake did neither.

So that's that. Two years ago she ate some random small animal. Last year she killed the neighbor's chicken... today was the baby snake.

We already had a talk with her regarding killing and playing with snakes... I don't think she gets it, but we'll see. At least she's still pretty!

Now we get to deal with snake repelling techniques... Fun stuff.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

He Loves the Yard

Pellet is so unbelievably happy at the new house. He has been doing things that he used to do when we lived out at the lake... one of them is this, rolling around in the yard (be sure to expand the video to get the full effect):

Of course right now the grass is not fully grown in, so rolling around in the yard involves picking up dried up grass... which is nearly impossible to get all of it off before getting him to come in the house. It's okay though, I surely don't mind sweeping the floors every other day if it means I get to see him happy and playful!

And for those who are wondering, yes, I'm still pregnant...

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2015

Family Picture 2015

Christmas Picture 2011

Christmas Picture 2011

Family Picture 2009

Family Picture 2009
Thanks for reading! Come back Soon!