Totally in love with this kid.
23 Days old—taken on 9.27.11.
He has a lot of hair and it’s really dark! —JQ’s first words upon seeing the baby.
Saturday, September 3rd started out like most days—shower, coffee, chocolate soy milk for G-tot along with breakfast. It’s the way we do things. But that would be the last morning our routine would be just that way.
The next morning we would become a family of four.
I went to bed Saturday night feeling incredibly emotional about the state of my life at that moment. Part of me mourned the fact we would no longer be a family of three—life as we had known if for the past four and a half years would cease.
At that same moment I was elated about what was ahead for us. Meeting our second son. Becoming a larger family. Seeing this pregnancy through to an end that we all hoped for—a healthy baby.
We were in the midst of a major life change and I was kind of overwhelmed.
I felt a little lonely that night. G-tot, our first son, was staying overnight with my mom. My husband, JQ, had a gig that night and wouldn’t be home until late. My dad was in town and staying the night at our house, but he was asleep by 7:30.
It was just me and my thoughts for the rest of the night.
I packed up the last minute items in my hospital bag. I finished the book I had been reading. By 11:00 I was turning off the light and hoping for a little sleep before my alarm went off at 5 a.m. the next day.
I think I managed 3 hours of sleep.
A hot shower for me on Sunday morning and by 5:40 we were on our way.
The hospital seemed really quiet that that early.
I was put in triage and began the routine of being hooked up to various machines, injected, questioned, and informed of what the next few hours might look like for me. Thankfully, the nurse who put my IV in did a great job this time and got the IV in my arm instead of my hand. However, the phlebotomist that took my blood sucked and managed to inflict more pain than every other person putting a needle in me did that day. And there were several. The nurse that would be with me during surgery and in recovery was the same nurse we had in OR and recovery when I gave birth to G-tot. Erika. I liked her.
At 8:05 a.m. I was checked into the operating room.
It was weird to feel so on schedule with this birth experience.
JQ was not allowed in the OR right away while they prepped everything and for about 15 minutes we were apart that morning. I wonder what he thought about sitting there alone? Moments before everything really big was about to happen.
Part of the prep included anesthesia. This time I was getting a spinal block instead of an epidural. As the anesthesiologist was getting ready to apply the local and do the spinal block, my nerves took over and I started to cry. This is what scared me. More than the actual surgery, I was afraid of the anesthetic. My sweet OB hugged me and consoled me that it would all be alright. She was right. The spinal block was a much better experience than the epidural was for me. I would chose that again in a heartbeat. Dean, the anesthesiologist, was fantastic.
Music played in the background of the operating room. Classic rock—chosen by my OB but very likely what I would have chosen. There was an air of calm confidence in the room and I felt really at peace and joyful about what was about to happen.
As soon as everything was prepped, JQ was let into the room. He took a seat near my head and minutes later we heard the first cry of our second son.
At 8:37 a.m. on Sunday, September 4th Harper Otis was born.
I fell in love the moment I met him.
I had forgotten how painful some things are days after you give birth.
Not how sore you may be from having your stomach cut wide open and a human pulled out from an incision much narrower than the actual human—thankfully skin is has a good amount of elasticity. Or how sore your ladies bit and the resulting episiotomy from having to push another human through a hole that is once again much smaller from the actual human coming out (see prior note about elasticity of the skin).
Instead, how ridiculously painful that initial latch on when breastfeeding can be for the first couple of weeks or so. My toes curl every time Huggy Baby latches on the right side.
Or, how painful that first crap can be after giving birth.
I pooped for the first time on Friday since the morning of my c-section the previous Sunday. Five days without pooping. I don’t suggest you try it.
I do strongly encourage you to take the stool softeners they offer in the hospital. Religiously.
Even with four days of double doses of stool softener in me, my maiden post-birth poop practically made me pass out right there on the toilet.
It was like passing a brick through a keyhole—without the blessed elasticity of skin that my stomach offered me over the last nine months.
Be forewarned: Once you commit to the process you cannot give up. There is no going back.
So brace yourself.
It’s 11:22 a.m.
If all goes well and some moron doesn’t set themselves on fire or blow off any of their fingers “celebrating” Labor Day weekend, by this time next week we will be a family of four. I could be in my room eating a post surgery meal and basking in the love of my three guys.
I’m still in shock that we are so close to the end.
I’m also completely unprepared when it comes to having “stuff” for the baby.
I have my boobs.
That’s good enough, right?
I probably won’t get that pregnancy massage but I will be in for one as soon as I can after giving birth. Along with some new tattoos.
The hospital I’m delivering at has a kick-ass cafeteria. That may be what I’m looking most forward to during my hospital stay. Well, besides the baby of course.
I wonder if they could send wine in one of these care packages?
And these? These make me think I should get to designing some birth announcements sooner than later.
Oh, and since some of you have asked, yes we have a very small registry.
Pooping on the table.
Having to get an epidural.
Those were the two things I feared the most when I headed to the hospital four and a half years ago to give birth to G-tot. After 20+ hours of labor the doctor’s strongly suggested an epidural—which I succumbed to after a mini-nervous breakdown.
A few hours later I still hadn’t progressed enough to push so we went the c-section route. Plus side? No pooping on the table.
I’m nine days away from having another c-section. NINE DAYS. Single digits.
This time I’m scared to leave G-tot behind.
Just thinking about leaving him sleeping in bed early in the morning on September 4th brings tears to my eyes. I know he will be in great hands. I know I will see him as soon as I can. And yet, it won’t be quite the same. I will be coming out of major surgery. He won’t be able to climb up on me and snuggle quite like we will on Saturday night. We will no longer be a family of three.
It will be the end of one chapter of our lives and the beginning of something completely new and unknown. For some reason that makes me weep.
Over the past year and a half I doubted we would ever get to this point. I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to give G-tot a sibling. A comrade. Someone to vent about his dad and me to in years to come.
Now we are just nine days away.
I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it.
I don’t want to stay in the hospital for days this time. I want to leave as soon as possible and be with my family in our own home. I want to start our new life away from IVs and nurses. I want to create our new routine.
I want G-tot to know I will never love him any less than I do in this moment.
I want to not be scared of the next nine days.
I could probably count on one hand the number of times my son has slept in his own bed in the last two or so months—with fingers left over.
It’s not that he won’t, it’s just that we don’t.
We are co-sleepers.
Co-sleeping wasn’t something we planned on doing but rather something that just sort of happened over the last few months. G-tot would climb into our bed in the evening for our nightly story time ritual. After three or four books he would snuggle up to next to me and fall asleep. Do you know how wonderful it is to have your four year old nuzzle into you and drift off to sleep?
Those moments won’t last forever so I would never stop him from doing it.
Early on I would carry my son to his room and tuck him into his bed. In June I was diagnosed with Complete Placenta Previa and unable to lift anything over 10 pounds—including my son. So instead of taking him to bed he slept next to me right on his dad’s pillow.
My husband JQ keeps a much later schedule than we do and I liked having G-tot next to me. When JQ would come to bed hours later he could move G-tot to his own bed if he wanted to. But he didn’t.
Do you know why?
Because JQ wanted to snuggle with G-tot too. He loves those moments as much as I do. So instead of moving him to his own room, JQ would slide G-tot over and crawl in bed next to the two of us. And there the three of us would sleep in our queen size bed. More often than not JQ and I would have little limbs draped across us or end up with just a sliver of the bed to call our own space by morning.
For the most part that has become our routine over the last couple of months.
Does it have to be? No. My Placenta Previa went away and all my restrictions have been removed. I can pick up my son again. I could take him to his bedroom. We could do story time in his room if we really wanted to. JQ could move him at night. But we don’t.
Right now, we are co-sleepers.
“It’s for the baby.”, G-tot declared as he put the sticker on the ever expanding belly of my dress.
Man do I love that boy. Every night and every morning his little hands push around on my belly feeling for Huggy Baby. He hugs my belly and talks to the baby—sometimes really loudly. He is going to such an awesome big brother.
We’ve been reading books together that have to do with bringing another baby into the family. They are sweet and endearing and will often invoke a wide-eyed look from G-tot when we get to the end. As if he is thinking, Hey, that’s going to be me soon.
G-tot has officially decided that he wants the baby to share a room with him. I am constantly humbled by how unselfish this child is that I’m raising. When he outgrows something the first words out of his mouth anymore are, “We can keep this for my baby.”
His baby. Swoon.
I hope his little brother realizes how lucky he is to have G-tot in his life. I know I am.
I was recently contacted by the fine folks over at Easy Canvas Prints to review one of their—you guessed it—canvas prints. The process was really simple and the results are too fantastic. I’m seriously considering ordering a ton more for my living room wall. The hardest part of the entire process was picking out which photo of the hundreds of thousands in my arsenal that I wanted to have printed on canvas.
Once I figured that out it was as easy as clicking on the Start Your Canvas button. I picked my canvas size—there are lots including cutom sizes—and wrap dimension, uploaded my image, and picked an edge option. I went with a black edge around the canvas and it is a perfect addition to all the black frames I have hanging up in my living room already.
That’s it. Easy Peasy. It took no time at all to get the print in the mail—I think a week—and I may have squeed a little when the FedEx guy delivered my package.
Easy Canvas Prints are currently offering 25% off all canvases and free standard shipping to the contiguous United States. Check them out!
*Disclosure: I was contacted by Easy Canvas Prints to receive and review one canvas print made from one of my personal photographs. All opinions are mine.
I needed a picture for my We Can Have Sex—But Will We? post over at Babble (which contains totally exciting news) and this is the one I chose. It is a picture we took on February 12, 2007 when I was just about 35 weeks pregnant with G-tot.
It is one of my all time favorite pregnancy photos. The look on JQ’s face pretty much sums up exactly how we were feeling about becoming new parents in just over a month at that point. Sort of a “holy crap this is really happening” feeling.
Four years later and I still think becoming parents was one of the most remarkable things we have ever done.
I could get used to this.
It’s don’t care that I couldn’t swim a single lap in that pool.
He loves it and that is all that really matters to me.