Thursday, May 22, 2014

Graham's birth story

I can't believe Graham is already three weeks old. Time is really flying by! It feels like just yesterday we were heading to the hospital for our c-section. But I'm getting ahead of myself. :)

I was 41 weeks pregnant and still showing no signs of progress. I know I had so many people praying for me that I would go into labor on my own, but it still just wasn't happening. I began to realize Heavenly Father was preparing me to go through a c-section again. I was really sad; I'll be honest. I always envisioned myself going through labor naturally and experiencing the rite of passage every woman should have the opportunity to endure. I didn't understand why my prayers went unanswered. TJ had given me a blessing and he never said I would get what I want; he only reassured me our baby would be healthy and we would have a wonderful experience. I began to just pray for strength and understanding.

The c-section was scheduled for 8:00 am on April 29th. I snuggled Calvin long and hard the night before, knowing this would be the last time he would be my only baby. Aunt Lori came down around 5am (so sweet of her!!) and we told her Calvin's routine and then we were off to the hospital. It was really surreal! I was really done being pregnant and excited to meet this little guy, but I was still in mourning about not getting what I wanted. 

The doctors prepped me and monitored the baby a little before we headed to surgery. They said I was having contractions, but I told them I had been having those for weeks and it didn't do anything. They were "non-progressive" contractions. We walked into the cold surgical wing and I got strapped down and prepped by receiving the spinal block. TJ didn't want to watch. ;) He came in a few minutes later to sit by me and hold my hand. We were both excited and nervous at this point. They put up the curtain and I could feel some tugging and pulling but generally no pain. It gets a little uncomfortable when they put so much pressure on your abdomen, but it's not so bad. I did cringe a little and could feel some pain in the middle of the procedure, but the anesthesiologist just upped my meds and I was back to feeling nothing. TJ did his best to tell me stories and try to distract me from what was going on, but I was a big puddle of tears anyway. :) Then, before we know it, our little guy came out just 20 min after surgery started. There's nothing like hearing that very first cry! We both cried when we heard it - how can you not?? 

Right after the doctor pulled him out, she said his cord was wrapped around his neck three times. This was putting a lot of tension on the cord and placenta, preventing him from dropping and helping to dilate me in preparation for labor. That's why I never went into labor on my own. Had I gone into labor somehow, or had my water broken, he would have been in distress right away and it would have guaranteed a c-section  anyway. How scary! I am so glad he was born healthy and strong. Three times around the neck is scary and dangerous. A friend told me that was how her cousin's baby was stillborn. I still shudder to think of what could have happened. I would so much rather have my baby be healthy than have the birth I want. Plus, since I didn't go into labor beforehand, the recovery has been easier than last time. God was really watching out for us. We truly are so blessed and all our prayers really were answered, just maybe not the way we may have envisioned. 

My hospital stay was so fabulous. Man... I love hospital stays! It forces me to relax and be quiet so I can just enjoy my new baby and heal. I can order any food I want and it's delivered right to me. Because I knew exactly when I would be going to the hospital, I made homemade Oreos the night before for all the nursing staff and they were so grateful! Jordan Valley really does have the kindest and best nurses around. We left all of them positive comment cards. :) Recovering from a c-section is messy and can't be fun for a nurse to help with. But all of them were so kind and so professional. They all loved Graham and how cute he was! His hair is so amazing and they all gushed over it. TJ came to visit a few times with Calvin and it was fun to see my little guy again. I couldn't lift him and he had a hard time with that, and I think he felt abandoned by me since he had never been away from me for so long, but overall he was okay. We would sit together in my bed and watch Elmo videos while cuddling. :) He didn't quite know what to do with Graham, though! He didn't seem to want to touch him. He's really sweet with him now and is very gentle when he touches his hair and face. He seems to be taking out most of his aggression on me but that's okay. I know it will pass - it's been getting better and better every day. A baby brother is a big adjustment for a toddler!

I am so in love with Graham. I was not prepared for it! I didn't know how I could possibly love a baby like I love Calvin, but when Graham came out, I was completely smitten. I loved my hospital stay and the time I got to bond with him. I did miss Calvin, but I was so enamored with my new baby that I just soaked in all our time together. He is such a sweet and easygoing little guy. He nurses like a champ, he sleeps beautifully, and he is settling great into our family routine. The one thing I was worried about teaching him was how to fall asleep on his own, but he can already do that by himself! He can also be held as he sleeps and doesn't seem to mind either way. He is not fussy at all. He only cries when he's hungry. There were a couple days he had a bit of a hard time going to sleep for naps, but it was my fault for keeping him up too late. He does best when he's swaddled and ready for naps about 60-70 min after waking up to eat. He's our little cutie pie and we love him!! Such a sweet little spirit. I have two wonderful boys and I'm so blessed.

I have been recovering pretty well. I've had a few days of struggling with Calvin. He's had a hard time with my not being able to carry him and pick him up. I was less active than I usually am, so that meant no park time or walks - his very favorite thing to do. I felt so bad! He was throwing lots of tantrums and I just didn't know how to keep him entertained inside all day. Luckily, I have the world's most amazing friends and family who have called, messaged, or come over to help me. Sydney came down last Sunday and did all our laundry, made us a fantastic dinner, and played with Calvin till his bedtime. Amy came all the way from Spokane to be with us and Calvin became obsessed with her! She did our dishes, cleaned, entertained Calvin, and helped me rest so I could recover. I received gorgeous flowers from Erin and just cried when I got them! I was so touched. Postpartum hormones have me tearing up a lot lately :) Melissa and Dave came to visit in the hospital and just gushed over Graham! It was so great to see them. We've gotten to chat with Grandma and Grandpa Nicholes as well as TJ's great siblings. Mandy, my awesome neighbor, came to visit with Logan and has babysat Calvin several times so we could rest and has been so absolutely amazing and selfless, along with the other women in our ward. I am so richly blessed! It's been fantastic to have all this support. 

I kind of go into "hibernation" mode when I have a baby. I'm so sorry to anyone whose phone calls I have missed or have delayed responding to! I've been getting frequent migraines again and that's been awful combined with the limited sleep and general busyness of raising two kids under two :) My life is now so much busier and I get so tired at the end of the night that I forget to call the people I love and I'm really sorry. I can feel myself getting back to normal though! I have my energy back and have been taking walks with the kids again. Calvin seems happier and Graham is a good little baby to just go with the flow with us. Wish me luck as I start this little journey! It's been busy so far but it's also been wonderful. I sure love my little family. 

And now here are some random pictures of the last few weeks!

We love our aunt Amy!
And aunt MiLinh!! 
And aunt Sydney!
And aunt Rachel!! Seriously - my friends are the best. I love them all!

I let Calvin go crazy with some yogurt, a spoon, and a bowl. It kept him entertained for 45 min, so I didn't care one bit about the mess! :) 

Crossing his legs and watching some Elmo! Cutie pie. 

Sleepyheads. I sure love these two. 

1 comment:

  1. It was fun catching up! I loved reading your birth story. Graham is the cutest! Calvin makes such a sweet big brother. I can't wait to see you all in 5 weeks! I'm glad you are doing well!