Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Welcome to the World, Wild Thing

Two weeks ago today, on February 21 at 10:24 PM, our second little boy graced us with his presence.  Thanks to inspiration from a little art print from sweet friends of ours, we're calling him Wild Thing on the internet, as he certainly does make our hearts sing.

Little about this pregnancy was what I'd call easy or fun, but his labor and delivery was quite the exception.  Spoiler alert: he was born less than 3 hours after getting to the hospital.  Hallelujah!  He was due on the 24th, but I'd known for a few days that he seemed like he might be here earlier than that.  I wasn't going to complain, but I did want to be over the stomach bug that hit us hard and violently the Friday evening before he was born.  Luckily, I was feeling better by Sunday, but Man Cub, a very excited big brother, was still down for the count on Tuesday.  Isaac had to pick him up early from school due to a resurgence of tummy issues more than 24 hours after his last episode.  After a trip to the pediatrician to diagnose the tummy virus and a double ear infection, my men went home to cuddle and nap.

Meanwhile, I was at school, teaching away about Apartheid that morning, when I realized my contractions were no longer just the Braxton Hicks I'd been having since November.  I kept track of them, but kept on teaching. Mid afternoon I thought my water maybe had broken, but I wasn't sure.  It's not always a noticeable event like it had been with Man Cub.  The contractions were stronger and slowly getting closer together, but I only had an hour and a half left to teach by that point and knew there wasn't a risk of anything exciting happening before then.  It's amazing how well we can know our bodies if we listen to them!

My mom was out running errands and said she'd pick me up from school since Man Cub was still napping away at home.  Isaac drops me off at work most days since we work across the street from each other.  It works out just fine most of the time!  I got home about 4:45, ate dinner early because I was hungry, and then wanted a shower.  Isaac was dealing with more tummy virus yuckies from our sweet two year old, so I wasn't telling him every time I was having a contraction, but I let him know to make sure he had what he needed because at some point, we'd head up to Texas Children's.

While I was in the shower, he called the after-hours line for our midwife group to let them know what was happening with me.  When we got the call back, I was thrilled it was Titi who was on call.  Every single one of the midwives in the group at Texas Children's is phenomenal, but I had felt such a connection to Titi when we first met her at the orientation back in October.  I had told my family and friends to pray it was her day on call for deliveries when our little guy decided to be born.  Titi wanted to talk to me and not just Isaac, and when she realized I couldn't say more than a word or two during contractions, so told us to start making our way into the Med Center.  I think my poor mom had just gotten home from dropping me off when Isaac called her and said we needed her and Dad to come get our sick kid and the dogs.  Oops.  She and Dad decided to camp out at our house for the night since Big Brother was pretty out of it.  They're saints, I say!

As soon as they got to our house, we left.  I know it's totally a first world luxury, but I was grateful for seat warmers to ease back labor pains during the drive.  What a treat!  We got to the hospital about 7:15 and were ushered into a triage room about 7:45 so they could confirm I was truly in labor.  I hate that part because I'm not going to drive 30 minutes just to be sent home, but it's protocol.  Titi met us there, confirmed my water had indeed broken, and that I was 4 cm dilated.  I guess I must've had a wild-eyed, panicked look on my face when Titi said that.  When I had Man Cub, I arrived at the hospital with a broken water and 4 centimeters dilated and had hours of labor left in front of me, on top of nurses who were watching the 'broken water clock' like hawks and nearly insisted I use pitocin (I caved and did because I was dumb and didn't know better).  Titi very calmly assured me everything was just fine, that there was no rush to get out this baby, and that I was doing great, all without me saying a word. That right there, her being able to read me without me saying a word, was exactly why I wanted her to deliver my baby.  Thank You, Lord!  Peace!

Getting to a L&D room was a relief, and we got settled about 9:00.  The L&D rooms at TCH are equipped with just about anything a mommy could want: birthing balls, jacuzzi tubs and big showers, lots and lots and lots of open floor space to walk or get on a yoga mat, and wireless monitoring so no one has to be hooked up the whole time.  Lizzie was our phenomenal L&D nurse, and once she had a IV port in my arm, just in case, she let me back up to move around.  I never realized with Man Cub just how much better labor is on your feet.  I caved to an epidural when they started the pitocin with him, so I was stuck in bed, and it was miserable.

After talking with many friends, I had wanted to hire a doula to assist the midwife, but Isaac assured me he'd be all I needed.  I pretty much blew him off and figured I'd be relying on the midwife during active labor to keep my bearings. However, my man had done more than his share of homework and knew exactly what to do for me even before I knew what I needed.  Between all the awesome care he gave Man Cub and me while we were sick and then his doula performance, he's proven yet again I really did marry Super Man.  I'm not sure Titi had to give him instructions the entire time we were in labor and delivery. Isaac really did become Daddy Doula. He blew me away with his calm and collectedness. He kept reminding me of my Zambian mommy friends who do this all the time to keep me focused.  He swayed and danced with me through contractions.  Titi had two mommies in labor that night, so she was back and forth between us.  She came in after a few minutes of us being in L&D and said we'd be having a baby very soon.  What?!  Isaac had been putting my YL oils on my ankles, and I knew my contractions were being effective, but I had no idea just how effective.  Titi told me to get in the shower for 3 contractions (I couldn't do the jacuzzi due to my water breaking and the risk of infection), and sure enough, by the time I was dried off again, it was time to start pushing.  Isaac physically knew how to tell me to position my body to ease my discomfort. Man oh man, we make an amazing team.  Pushing caused my legs to have the worst charlie horse cramps, so I kept having to stop and let Titi and Ana, the newest midwife to the team, massage out my poor legs.  If I hadn't had that issue, pushing would've been much faster than the 30 minutes it took to meet our little guy.  Titi even let Isaac "catch" our sweet boy, and then I got to cut his cord.  With no epidural or drugs in my body, I was on a full adrenaline rush (sometime I completely missed with Man Cub), and it was amazing.  I could fully enjoy this tiny little babe on my chest physically and mentally this time around.  What a gift!

We didn't have a name for him until the next day, but "Baby Brother" had worked just fine for months, and worked for a few more hours as well.  After we'd all cuddled and he nursed while Titi stitched up my tiny little tear, I let Isaac take him across the room to get weighed and measure.  That squishy little baby was 20 inches and 8 pounds, 6 ounces.  And, at least for a few days, he had a full head of jet black hair, just like I did when I was born.  Score one for Mommy genes!  Wild Thing has blonde roots though, and his hair is already brown.  He has the most gorgeous purple gray eyes.  They aren't blue, and they aren't brown, so yes, they almost seem purple right now.  It'll be exciting to see what color they turn as he grows.  

We had a great stay at TCH but I missed my big boy.  He seemed better Wednesday, but then that night got sick again, landing him in the ER at TCH on Thursday morning with my parents while we were waiting to get discharged.  Ugh.  Poor, poor Big Brother.  My parents really are saints.  They took him back to their house that evening, and the three of us went on home.  It was a odd, quiet night with no 2 year old and no dogs, though we were grateful for the sleep.  Finally, oh finally, Man Cub was able to meet Wild Thing on Friday when he was well enough to come home.  A part of me has had to mourn that there aren't any pictures of my two boys tucked into a hospital bed with me, meeting each other for the first time.  This part of it was not how I envisioned it.  We had lots of facetime chats while we were in the hosptial though, and that was nice.  When it finally did happen, the meeting at home was flawless and absolutely precious.  Brotherhood deserves its own post.  These two melt me.  

1 comment:

The Lady Okie said...

I'm so happy for your family! You look fabulous :) HOpe things are going well for all of you!

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