Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1 Month

Dear Caleb,

You are a month old today. It doesn't seem possible! Has it only been a month since we met you? Has it already been a month since we met you? You're 31 days old but I feel as if I've loved you forever. I can't remember what life was like before you came along.

4 days old

1 month old

You are a very chill, relaxed, easy going baby. I think you have your daddy's temprament. As long as your belly is full and your diaper is clean and dry you're happy doing just about whatever! You've had some issues with gas this month and it breaks my heart to see your knees pull up and face grimace in pain. Despite that you are nursing like a champ! I'm amazed at how quickly you learned how to latch. You're gaining weight faster than I ever dreamed. I keep finding clothes you can no longer wear. There were a lot of newborn size clothes that you never got a chance to wear. You now fit comfortably in 3 month clothing. We don't go to the doctor this month so I weighed you on the Wii Fit. You weigh in at an amazing 12 pounds! Wow!

Someone put your head on sideways!

This week is the first week I've officially stayed home with you. We're trying to establish a routine and get used to life together. Through it all you remain happy and easy going. I love spending my days with you! You love holding your head up when we're holding you up in our lap, but you're not a fan of holding that head up during tummy time. In fact, most of the time I put you on your tummy you just fall asleep. You love laying on your back, however. You kick your legs and wiggle your arms and talk and coo away. I love just watching you! You've just started looking at your daddy and me when we talk or sing to you, but you'd much rather look at lights. I think your favorite is the curtains in the living room. Between the stripes on the curtains and the stripes in the blinds there's lots of patterns for you to stare at.

Sweet baby feet! These are his keepsake baby shoes...

You are a great sleeper! We've already seen you sleep 5 hours at night. Most nights you wake up, get a diaper change, eat, and immediately go to bed. Some nights you really enjoy spending time awake. You seem to want extra snuggles and refuse to go to sleep. As tired as I am the next day, I love spending the nights snuggling with you. No one else is around, your daddy is snoring, and it's just you and me. We've watched lots of movies together in the late hours of the night! I wouldn't trade it for the world!  
Those silly arms refuse to stay swaddled!
Your daddy and I love you so much! We can't believe our amazing luck that you're our son! I can't wait to watch you grow! I love you Sugar Bear!


Sleep Deprivation

I'm working on a blog about Caleb turning a month old (wow!) but I'm having trouble narrowing down the 867 pictures we have of him to just a few for the post. I'll get to it eventually... :- )

Nothing says new parent quite like the exhaustion beyond all reason that's written all over their face and body. Hubsters and I are no exceptions to this rule. We've had many sleepless nights that led to far too many sleepless days. However, sometimes in the middle of the night sleep deprivation gets the better of you and all that's left is laughter. Allow me to illustrate...

One night I was trying to let DJ get some sleep so I was changing Caleb and re-swaddling him in all his layers. (This is normally DJ's job.) I was struggling to get it done because our son has incredibly strong arms that refuse to be swaddled! I finally went to wake DJ and ask for help since he's so much better than I am. He kept asking who needed to be swaddled and why they couldn't do it themselves. I giggled but kept working to get him out of bed. When he did, he grabbed his shorts and attempted to put them on. However, he couldn't lift his leg high enough and kept falling over into everything around him. I tried to tell him he didn't need shorts - just a swaddle but I was laughing way too hard. He got so mad that I was laughing but I simply couldn't stop.

There are a lot of times that I feed Caleb, get him back to sleep, and lay him down. The child has Spidey Senses and can tell the second my head hits the pillow because he inevitably chooses that second to spit up and cry because he's laying in a puddle. There have been SEVERAL nights that I've asked DJ to get up and comfort him to which he replies, "But you haven't fed him yet!" However, two nights ago I shook him awake because we needed to get up. He argued, quite passionately, with me that I hadn't fed him yet. It took quite a bit of arguing to convince him that I fed him three hours ago and that we needed to be up again. He was convinced I never fed him the first time.

There was one night that Caleb woke up to eat and was crying. DJ nudged me that we needed to get up. I promptly rolled over and snapped, "You gave him the medicine! You deal with it!" There was no medicine. There was no reason for this comment or the intesne anger I felt towards my husband.

I've also become very well known for rocking the bed back and forth when Caleb begins to cry in an attempt to calm him down. Caleb doesn't sleep in our bed! He sleeps across the room in a beautiful hand made cradle! Why do I feel the need to rock him to sleep in my bed? No clue!

However, my all time favorite story was from the first week we were home with Caleb. In that first week we were up every 2 hours to feed and I had to take some form of pain pill every 2-4 hours. One night in particular I was feeding Caleb, struggling to stay awake, while DJ snored loudly in the bed. (He's lucky I didn't throw something at him! I was so jealous of his sleep at that point!) Suddenly, the alarm on his phone went off alerting us that it was time to take a pain pill. Since I was feeding Caleb I called out his name and told him to turn off the alarm. He immediately reached over and began hitting his water glass, trying to turn off the sound. I giggled and reminded him that his phone was making noise. Without hesitating, he picked up the remote and said, "Hello? Hello? HELLO?" When I finally contained my laughter I told him what he was doing. He looked at me and said, "Shhhh! I'm on the phone!" It was all I could do to keep hold of Caleb as I laughed hysterically. Poor kid got a milk shake that night!

Sleep deprivation is an evil mistress! But praise the Lord that our little boy slept 7 hours last night! And then slept 5 hours after that! YAY! We're feeling much better today - especially my poor husband who has to get up in the morning and go to work each day. I have a hunch, however, that the nights of sleep deprivation are no where near an end. I expect that Caleb will have many more milk shakes before it's all said and done! :-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Adventures in Diapering

So there we were... Watching the recording of the Olympics, enjoying some special time with Caleb, and loving being a family. Caleb was freshly bathed (and smelled fantastic!) and we were winding down for the night. D.J. took Caleb to change his diaper and I got ready to feed him. I always love listening to D.J. talking to Caleb while he changes him. It's so sweet to hear the one-sided conversation. Although last night, the conversation was a little different...

"Oh goodness Caleb! You sure filled that diaper! Let's get you all cleaned up. Here we go... Oh! My! Aaaah!" I yelled to the back of the house to check on my boys and he assured me that all was well, but that Caleb had "christened" his t-shirt and the carpet and several things near by. But he'd gotten him covered with a diaper and all was well. So the conversation went on... "That was funny Caleb! You got Daddy all wet! Let's not do that again... Let me grab a fresh diaper, ok? Oh my gosh! Alli! Help! Come quick! This is...Well it's... Hurry!" I put myself back together again and rushed into the nursery. There I discover a soaking wet husband with Caleb's ankles in one hand, a wipe in the other, and poo shooting out of our son at an alarming rate. All I could do was laugh. I quickly grab some wipes and another diaper and attempt to clean up. In the process, Caleb begins to christen us all again. Out of options and panicked by the fountain that had sprung up, D.J. covered the flow with his hand and laughed hysterically. I just stood and looked at him. "What are you doing?!?! That's not going to absorb anything!" "What are my options?" "A diaper! Get a diaper!" With quite a bit of scrambling and more than a few laughing fits, we finally get a diaper successfully covering all of the messy bits! When all was said and done, Caleb had soaked his pajamas, used 5 diapers, half a box of wipes, and sprinkled everything in sight. I know it won't be our last diapering mishap - I'm sure we'll have many more. And for now we're so thankful that for some un-known reason D.J. set Caleb down so that his bottom faced the tower part of our changing table and not the glider only a foot away. But for our first diaper changing explosion, it sure was fun to experience it together and laugh through it all!

And that's how we narrowly escaped death... Well, Caleb did anyway!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Photo Bomb

I apologize in advance for those of you who have trouble downloading a ton of pictures. But with a baby this cute, it's impossible to keep him all to myself! :)

Meeting face to face for the first time!

Both moms meeting Caleb. They were just a little in love!

My dad meeting Caleb. He was so proud!

My mom and Caleb

Our first family photo! Yes I was just as tired as I looked. 26 hours of labor really takes it out of ya! :)

Caleb and Winnie the Pooh

A much better family photo! It's amazing what a few hours of sleep will do!

All snuggled up after bath time

This is currently the background on my desktop. I think it's my favorite one of him so far!

Caleb has some big shoes to fill!

40 weeks and no longer pregnant! Let the adventure begin!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Caleb's Birth

In case you've missed it on Facebook, Caleb has arrived! I always love when my friends share their birth stories on blogs so I'm thrilled to get to do it here. At the advice of a friend I'm adding a disclaimer. If you're close to delivering your own bundle of joy you might want to hold off on reading until after your sweet one has arrived. My story has some scary moments - even though it all ends well. (It ends very well - with the cutest baby boy ever!) 

Monday, July 16th: I had a dr's appointment in the morning and was 1 cm dilated and 25% effaced. I began feeling contractions sometime in the afternoon. I knew it was just false labor because they never organized into a pattern and didn't grow in intensity. However, I noticed that I kept getting hotter and hotter as the day went on. DJ checked the a/c and was frustrated to discover that it had gone out. Again. (We just fixed it in May.) The a/c man came and said we had to have an entire new unit. I sat through contraction after contraction and tried to listen to what he was saying. We ended up borrowing a window unit from our neighbor so we could cool down the bedroom enough to sleep that night. The contractions stopped about 10:30 or 11:00 that night and I was able to sleep, hoping this baby would have an air conditioned house to come home to.

Tuesday, July 17th: The a/c people called and said that sadly, the part we needed was on back order. In Houston. And couldn't be shipped until Friday. Which meant we wouldn't get the new unit installed until Saturday. Grrrr!!! So we buckled down and set up camp in the bedroom. We told Caleb all day long that he couldn't come until we had a/c again. I could not fathom bringing home a baby to a house that reached 95+ each day.

Wednesday - Friday: Nothing exciting happened. I had a few contractions on and off but nothing to speak of. We got very restless very fast.

Saturday, July 21st: The a/c men showed up early in the morning and spent most of the day working to get it installed. We stayed put in the bedroom, eager to enjoy the rest of our house. At 4:30 I started feeling contractions. They weren't in much of a pattern so I didn't think anything of it. I don't think I even told DJ about it for quite a while. By 8:00 the house was finally cooling off and we made our way into the living room. We also started timing the contractions. We were shocked to discover that they were over a minute long and 4 minutes apart. However, I was still able to talk through them and didn't feel like the timing warranted a very expensive trip to the hospital. By 10:00 I was having trouble talking and really needed to focus to get through them. We were watching "Grease" and had to pause it every few minutes in order for me to work through a contraction. I don't think anyone's ever taken so long to get through that movie! :) Just about the time the contractions would get in a solid, predictable pattern, we'd have 10 or 15 minutes that threw the whole thing off. By 11:00 we were feeling like maybe this wasn't false labor but we still weren't sure. I called the on-call doctor, sure he'd say that because they weren't in a perfect pattern I should stay put. He told us to head on in and he'd meet us there. We took our dear sweet time getting out the door. We straightened the bedroom, finished packing our bags, loved on the dogs, DJ took a shower, etc.

Sunday, July 22nd: At 12:45 we checked into the hospital. They got me hooked up to monitors and made me lay down because my blood pressure was elevated. (Of course!) When they checked, I was 3cm and 50% effaced. I was thrilled that I'd made so much progress since Monday. By that point we began to realize that maybe this was real and we really were going to have a baby soon.

We labored for 4 hours, certain we were making lots of progress. When they checked me again, I hadn't made any progress. My heart was just a little sad. The doctor felt that because my blood pressure wasn't coming down and we were contracting regularly, it was best to start pitocin in order to get things moving a little faster. We fought through 4 hours of horrible pitocin pain. I felt a constant level of pain, not the typical waves of contractions. When the doctor came to check me I was confident that this time there'd be progress and we'd be moving closer to having a baby. I was crushed when there was still no progress. He tried to break my water, but Caleb was still too high and the sack had no tension. Much to our dismay, the doctor urged us to get an epidural. He needed to double my pitocin levels and was worried about my blood pressure climbing too high. I cried quite hard that I wouldn't have the natural childbirth I was planning on, but agreed that it was for the best. Right before the anesthesiologist put the epidural in, I ran to the bathroom one last time. As I was walking back to bed, my water broke. I was thrilled! It was one thing I had really wanted to experience on my own and God was gracious enough to give it to me.

The epidural wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared. It allowed me to relax and DJ and I both got a little nap. (We had been up all night laboring.) Within 20 minutes of the epidural going in, I was dilated to 5cm and 100% effaced. Within a few hours I was at 10cm. After a few set backs it was finally time to start pushing! I was going to have a baby by dinner time!

We pushed for an hour and a half and I was so deeply proud of myself for being what the nurse deemed a "great pusher"! The doctor came in to see how much progress we'd made. Sadly, Caleb's head was stuck and wasn't coming down very fast. The doctor felt very confident that he was facing sideways and couldn't be delivered naturally. So he ordered forceps in the hopes that he could be turned and we'd still get a vaginal birth. After several minutes of working with the forceps (during which I was so deeply thankful for the epidural) the doctor sat back in frustration. It wasn't working. Caleb's head was turned and not only was he sideways - his head wasn't coming straight down. It would be literally impossible for me to deliver vaginally. A c-section was the only option.

I, of course, was heart broken. This was NOT what we'd planned on and dreamed of. Suddenly, our room became a hub of activity. In the midst of it all I suddenly sat straight up (although I'm not sure how with the strong epidural pumping through my back) and began throwing up violently. I had no idea I could get that sick that fast. My nurse rubbed my back and looked concerned. She gave me anti-nausea medicine and promised it would all be over soon.The anesthesiologist came in to increase my epidural for surgery. As he put a booster in the line, I suddenly felt a pain like I've never felt before. My legs and lower back felt like they were on fire, and there was a horrible pain in my upper right side. I immediately began screaming and crying. DJ rushed to my side and begged the nurse for answers and relief. I did my best to describe the pain, but there really weren't words to describe what I was feeling. Within seconds, the nurse began screaming for more nurses and began unplugging machines as quickly as possible. Chaos erupted and we began to panic. Suddenly, I could no longer hear Caleb's heart beat and I was being whisked out the door to the OR without a chance to say good-bye to DJ. I heard the nurses say just enough to know that I was utterly terrified. I screamed in pain all the way down the hall (I'm sure I terrified all the other women in labor!) and shook all over in fear. After what felt like hours I was all set up in the OR and DJ was finally allowed by my side. We prayed and cried together as the operation began. Somewhere in the midst of everything they finally gave me enough medicine that I wasn't feeling pain, but I was still scared to death. I was sure that Caleb had died and I wasn't far behind.

At 6:33 pm, after 26 hours of labor, I felt DJ squeeze my hand and laugh. Then, I heard a cry that made all the pain and fear disappear. I got a quick glimpse of a squirmy, bloody 8lb 10oz baby over the curtain before they whisked him off to be cleaned and weighed. My first thought was that he looked exactly like the 3D ultra sound pictures we'd seen a few days before.

DJ got to put his first diaper on and comfort him as he was measured (21" long). When I finally got to meet my sweet Caleb, he was still fussing a little. DJ held him up next to my face and the second I started talking, he immediately calmed down and just looked at my face. It was a moment I'll never forget!

In the hours after the c-section we began to put the pieces of the puzzle together. About the time we decided Caleb wasn't coming on his own, my placenta decided it was done. When all was said and done I had a 10% placental abruption. Basically, the placenta began to separate before it was done doing the work it needed to do. Without the c-section, Caleb and I both would have died quickly. My nurse realized that the odd combination of symptoms was a big red flag and literally saved our lives. We will forever be thankful!

It's been a week and a half since Caleb was born and we're settling into life with a newborn. We have taken a million photos and I'll post some of them soon. We're shocked by how much we love the newest member of our family. He is a genuinely good baby and hardly ever cries or fusses. He is proving to be a good sleeper - literally an answer to prayer.

Thank you to all of those who have prayed for us through this entire journey - from struggling to conceive to long bouts of morning sickness to a very difficult labor. Let the adventure begin!